Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
3109 Carlisle St., Dallas
Hours: 11am–5pm Tuesday–Wednesday and Friday–Saturday; 11am–7pm Thursday; 1–5pm Sunday.
The saying goes that you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, but with MADI art – featuring abstract, geometric shapes in bold colors – anything is possible. You’ll find the best examples of this little-known art movement inside the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art, an Uptown gallery packed full of works that are made for interaction. You’ll see 3-D prints and paintings that change perspective as you walk by and movable sculptures made from wood, plastic, metal and even liquid mercury.
Ask the attendant to switch on the motion-activated model in the lobby. With a wave of your arms in “open sesame” fashion, its motorized boards flip over to expose a different form altogether. Preschool-age kids learning those basic shapes and colors will relate to the waves, spirals, stripes and other patterns. Every example looks like it came straight out of the ’80s, but the MADI movement began decades earlier, founded after World War II by Argentinian artist Carmelo Arden Quin.
Contemporary works by international and local artists make up the permanent collection, and every one of them is worth a close look. For a gallery-wide view, take a knee on one of the colorful and curvy cushions located in the center of the museum, and bring the kids back at least once every quarter for the fresh rotation of exhibits including the new digital show now on view.
If you think you’ve pulled up to the wrong place, you haven’t. The museum is tucked away at the bottom of a law firm’s office building. To get the kids extra-pumped about a first-time visit, save your trip for after dark (open late on Thursdays) when the neon signs light up the building façade.
Published February 2014