Nashville: Frist Center for the Visual Arts & Union Station Hotel
I've passed this sculpture of roses that stands in front of the Frist Center for Visual Arts many a time, and that's really the main reason that I wanted to go to the museum in all honestly. I just liked the flowers.
But, not surprisingly, it turns out there is more to the Frist than giant rose sculptures with giant bugs on them. The inside of the museum — at least the entry part is gorgeous. It's a transformed post office. The really cool kind where they really valued all the details in the architecture.
The exhibition space is not as enthralling from a stylistic standpoint since that used to be the sorting area of the mailroom. But that's fine since the artwork is the real stand-out.
When Whitney and I visited, the exhibitions included "Treasures from the House of Alba" which featured many beautiful artworks and a map by Christopher Columbus along with his list of the people who were with him on the Santa Maria in 1492 by Christopher Columbus. Was not expecting that, but really cool to see.
I personally loved the films of Guido van der Werve which "convey pleasure in unexpected juxtapositions." He has one film of someone (him?) walking in front of a huge ship breaking the ice and all around is just whiteness. There was something really powerful to me about the mental image of someone walking, what seemed to me, aimlessly with no idea really how far they've got ahead of them because the surrounding is just blank white. I watched for about five minutes observing and at times wondering if he was moving at all.
Lastly, the exhibit featuring early soviet photography and film was also interesting. The way photography captures perspective at different times and the style and experimentation they employed makes you think about some of the methods and photo editing we take for granted.
In addition to the rose scultpure on the outside to the street, the entry from the other side of the museum, where the parking lot is, has a visually trippy sculpture — Isabella by Jaume Plensa. The way the sculpture is designed makes it feel like a full three dimensionally constructed head, when it is actually flat. It's a beautiful piece.
And while you've got that parking spot, you might as well walk over to go inside the Union Station Hotel. Built in 1900 as a railway station, it is now transformed into a hotel but retains the same architecture and details it did in the railroad era. The lobby area is beautiful. Make sure to look up to the windows filtering light at the top.