For some reason, the models kept conjuring images of food. The Chichu Art Museum (Japan) was built into the side of a hill overlooking the ocean, but the model makes me think of cave dwellings that have been exposed by some giant cutting into his mountain of cake. A model of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart reminds me of oversized stacks of half-eaten pancakes. Maybe it’s lunchtime, or maybe the aesthetic of this exhibit is just delectable: an entire gallery of creative seeds that have (almost all) grown into lush creations, ripe for the picking.
The grandeur of this gallery echoes the grandeur of these architectural feats. Its super-high ceilings—extended nine feet in the recent renovation of the museum’s original 1910 structure—make me anxious to see the rest of the building and UMMA’s sleek new extension, a modern box-like structure that doesn’t succumb to the rampant futurism of most of the other buildings featured in the exhibit. I leave it up to other viewers, who may see the exhibit through May 3, to decide whether that’s a disappointment or a relief.
[Originally published in April, 2009.]