Bridge brings Calatrava to campus
Meadows Museum honors Spanish architect for decade of work in Dallas
Published: Sunday, March 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Continuing with the celebrations of the inaugural Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge over the Trinity River, SMU's Meadows Museum welcomed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava by hosting a special exhibition "Calatrava and SMU: A Decade in Motion."
Photographs, works on paper and a selection of preliminary sketches of the landmark sculpture "Wave" were on display. Museum goers also had a chance to see Calatrava student bridge models and personal inscriptions.
"The exhibition tries to encapsulate the strong relationship and close relationship between Calatrava and the museum. It goes through time," Mark Roglán, Meadows Museum director, said.
Meadows Museum opened its doors in 2001, highlighting Calatrava's work in "Poetics of Movement." The festival attendees included King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.
A vase, filled with water from Spain, was given as a gift until the unveiling of the kinetic water sculpture "Wave" at SMU in 2002.
"It was poured into the reflecting pool beneath ‘Wave' and was mixed with Texas water," Meadows Curatorial Assistant Shelly DeMaria said. "It was meant to symbolize the aesthetic and cultural bond between the two countries. Dallas and Valencia have become sister cities. There is this whole connection that has been slowly developed through the decade."
In 2009, the Meadows Museum Plaza and Sculpture Garden were renovated creating a terrace and a fresh view of the "Wave." Saturday marked the first time Calatrava overlooked the 40-by-90 foot moving sculpture, which was the original intention of the piece.
"The Wave has a repetition of art however, in a dynamic way. It is moving. The water below multiples and has a multiplying effect, creating more complex symmetry," Calatrava said.
An architect, artist and engineer from Valencia, Spain, Calatrava's work is said to be both imaginative and poetic.
Permanent pieces of Calatrava are housed at the Meadows Museum. Sculptures include "Palme" and "Il Dente" which will be incorporated into the new exhibit.
SMU has presented Calatrava with the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Meadows School of the Arts and an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree.
For Calatrava, The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is a functional piece and an interesting addition to Dallas itself.
Moving just a little bit through the cables, of the bridge, the whole physiognomy changes.
Despite claims of self-homage, a common artistic occurrence, Calatrava designed the bridge specifically for Dallas calling the city, "Nueva España del norte [new Spain of the north]."
"The inspiration for the bridge came to me by watching the landscape," Calatrava said. "There is a huge void between the two riversides. By seeing it in the night it is a very dark place. Friday night I saw the effect of putting these very plastic elements in the middle. All white, in the middle of the darkness. This is what I consider will be the center of Dallas for the 21st century."
The exhibition is free for SMU students and runs from March 4 through April 22.