Wednesday, October 29, 2014

West Texas: Art, art and more art.

Part 3 of 5.

This was the day when we actually showered in the open air.  And I will again emphasize that it was seriously invigorating.
We packed out of Pinky and went in search of breakfast and I devoured some cheesy grits with over easy eggs on top at Buns N' Roses. Fueled for the day we went into town for county courthouse picture numero dos.  Marfa is the county seat for Presidio County and again had a lovely idyllic looking courthouse off the main street.

Some forward-thinking entrepreneurial folks in the area have combined the concept of a coffee house and a fluff and fold and we wandered into there for another jolt of caffeine and to kill a little bit of time before heading out to the Chinati Foundation for our 2.5 hour tour of art works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain.
Q. What is the Chinati Foundation?
A. “The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum based upon the ideas of its founder,
Donald Judd. The specific intention of Chinati is to preserve and present to the public permanent large-scale installations by a limited number of artists. The emphasis if on works in which art and the surrounding land are inextricably linked.“ Judd has two primary installations at Chinati, this first of which is his 15 works in concrete which is made up of 60 individual units measuring 2.5x2.5x5 meters with concrete slabs that are 245 centimeters thick. The second is his 100 works in mill aluminum which are 41 x 51 x 72 inches each having unique interior divisions.
I don’t fancy myself to be one who really “gets” contemporary art, but there was something very cool and interesting about these installations in their habitats at Chinati.  Truly one of those things where you you need to be there to get it.
These concrete works were installed over a 1/2 a mile of property.
The old POW barracks that house the mill aluminum works are in the background.
This man is good with the camera.
After wrapping up the tour at Chinati we drove out to the iconic Prada Marfa exhibit that is 40 miles from Marfa.  The side trip took us through the sleepy town of Valentine with a population of 217 and no gas station, but they did have a public library and post office!

Prada Marfa was pretty much what one would expect it to be and it’s just one of those things that you might as well say you’ve done it if you are going to be out there anyway.
We then checked in to the historic Paisano Hotel for our second night in Marfa.
The view from our room!

The evening started with a one-hour tour of “The Block” which was Donald Judd’s personal residence for the majority of the time that he lived in Marfa. Time was split between Marfa and SoHo. He and his two children lived there and his kids attended public school in Marfa!  Judd left Marfa to work on some things in New York and Europe and due to a diagnosis of advanced nonhodgkin's lymphoma his health deteriorated rapidly and he never returned to Marfa.  Now The Block is a museum showcasing Judd’s home, library and onsite works as he last left them.

A Margarita Verde before dinner!
With mezcal of course!
After the tour we were ready to enjoy a meal at one of Food and Wine Magazine’s must dos in Texas- dinner at Cochineal Our menu for the evening:
  • The house bread with rosemary butter
  • A wedge salad with yummy blue cheese dressing and pork ribs that I probably could have made a meal by themselves
  • Beef tenderloin with blue cheese butter (duh) and homemade potato chips
  • Freshly baked date pudding with whipped cream
I probably inhaled had a piece of bread before I took this picture. 


This is a place for a special dinner if you are looking for a reason to dress it up a little bit, even if the locals are super casual.
We capped the night off with a few games of shuffleboard and dancing at Padre’s around the corner from Cochineal.  

We played a clean game.
Justin won best two of three in the shuffle board game which is surely a sign of the apocalypse so if there’s anything you want to do in life you better get to it. Might I suggest a trip to West Texas?

Relive day one here.
We saw space on day two.
Day four was a good day!

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