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Changing of the guard

New sculptures greet Nasher Museum visitors

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Anish Kapoor's "In Search of the Mountain." - PHOTO BY PETER PAUL GEOFFRION

"Large Typewriter Eraser," Claes Oldenburg's pop icon, has left the building. A recent visit to the Nasher found curator Sarah Schroth working with museum preparators to place two recent arrivals to the Nasher Museum. The two sculptures are on loan from the extensive modern art collection of the museum's namesake, Raymond D. Nasher. The works are by Alain Kirili, a favorite artist of Nasher's late wife Patsy. After some careful deliberation, Schroth asked that the two vertically oriented forged iron pieces be moved closer together, where "Laocoon with Red Base" (1978) and "Untitled 9904" (1980) relate like two spindly columns in dialogue with one another.

Also new to the atrium is Anish Kapoor's "In Search of the Mountain" (1984). The 9-foot long pleated cone fabricated of gessoed wood is covered in crumbly, powdered chunks of searing cobalt blue pigment. It rests horizontally at floor level, looking a bit like a gigantic, slightly opened umbrella, where it lures the viewer into its crenellated interior vortex.

"Black Angel" by Beverly Pepper (according to curator Schroth, the first woman artist to use welding in her sculptures) occupies another nook in architect Rafael Viñoly's tour-de-force, sun-drenched atrium. A series of five imposing, open square forms, its gleaming stainless steel edges contrast matte black isofan color-treated surfaces. Paired squares hinge outward like a book or unfurl like wings. Behind these two opening squares, remaining squares spill and stack.

Jean Dubuffet's painted epoxy resin "Tour Dentilliere," or "Tower of Lace" (1981), remains in place, and the Henry Moore bronze "Working Model for Oval with Points," 1968-69, is happily repositioned in front of the auditorium entrance.

Loans from the Nasher collection will continue to rotate in the atrium, periodically creating new "mini installations."

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