An art critic is a person, specialized in analyzing and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism and they are published in newspapers, books, exhibition brochures and catalogues and on web sites; some of today's art critics use art blogs and other online platforms in order to connect with a wider audience and expand debate about art. Differently from art history, there is not an institutionalized training for art critics. Professional art critics are expected to have a keen eye for art and a thorough knowledge of art history; the art critic views art at exhibitions, museums or artists' studios and they can be members of the International Association of Art Critics which has national sections. Art critics earn their living from writing criticism; the opinions of art critics have the potential to stir debate on art related topics. Due to this the viewpoints of art critics writing for art publications and newspapers adds to public discourse concerning art and culture.
Art collectors and patrons rely on the advice of such critics as a way to enhance their appreciation of the art they are viewing. Many now famous and celebrated artists were not recognized by the art critics of their time because their art was in a style not yet understood or favored. Conversely, some critics, have become important helping to explain and promote new art movements — Roger Fry with the Post-Impressionist movement, Lawrence Alloway with Pop Art as examples. According to James Elkins there is a distinction between art criticism and art history based on institutional and commercial criteria. An experience-related article is Agnieszka Gratza. Always according to James Elkins in smaller and developing countries, newspaper art criticism serves as art history. James Elkins's perspective portraits his personal link to art history and art historians and in What happened to art criticism he furthermore highlights the gap between art historians and art critics by suggesting that the first cite the second as a source and that the second miss an academic discipline to refer to.
Art criticism History of art criticism List of art critics Media related to Art critics at Wikimedia Commons Good audio version of symposium on contemporary art criticism entitled "Empathy and Criticality," sponsored by the Frieze Foundation
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic and essayist. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Western Marxism, Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, historical materialism, he was associated with the Frankfurt School, maintained formative friendships with thinkers such as playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem. He was related by law to German political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt through her first marriage to Benjamin's cousin, Günther Anders. Among Benjamin's best known works are the essays "The Task of the Translator", "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction", "Theses on the Philosophy of History", his major work as a literary critic included essays on Baudelaire, Kafka, Leskov, Proust and translation theory. He made major translations into German of the Tableaux Parisiens section of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal and parts of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu.
In 1940, at the age of 48, Benjamin committed suicide at Portbou on the French–Spanish border while attempting to escape from invading Nazi forces. Though popular acclaim eluded him during his life, the decades following his death won his work posthumous renown. Benjamin and his younger siblings and Dora, were born to a wealthy business family of assimilated Ashkenazi Jews in the Berlin of the German Empire; the patriarch of Walter Benjamin's family, Emil Benjamin, was a banker in Paris who had relocated from France to Germany, where he worked as an antiques trader in Berlin. He owned a number of investments in Berlin, including ice skating rinks. Benjamin's uncle William Stern was a prominent German child psychologist who developed the concept of the intelligence quotient, Benjamin's cousin Günther Anders was a German philosopher and anti-nuclear activist who studied under Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. Through his mother, his great-uncle was the classical archaeologist Gustav Hirschfeld.
In 1902, ten-year-old Walter was enrolled to the Kaiser Friedrich School in Charlottenburg. Walter Benjamin was a boy of fragile health and so in 1905 the family sent him to Hermann-Lietz-Schule Haubinda, a boarding school in the Thuringian countryside, for two years. In 1912, at the age of twenty, he enrolled at the University of Freiburg, but, at summer semester's end, returned to Berlin matriculated into the University of Berlin, to continue studying philosophy. Here Benjamin had his first exposure to the ideas of Zionism, which had not been part of his liberal upbringing; this exposure gave him occasion to formulate his own ideas about the meaning of Judaism. Benjamin distanced himself from political and nationalist Zionism, instead developing in his own thinking what he called a kind of "cultural Zionism"—an attitude which recognized and promoted Judaism and Jewish values. In Benjamin's formulation his Jewishness meant a commitment to the furtherance of European culture. Benjamin expressed "My life experience led me to this insight: the Jews represent an elite in the ranks of the spiritually active...
For Judaism is to me in no sense an end in itself, but the most distinguished bearer and representative of the spiritual." This was a position that Benjamin held lifelong. Elected president of the Freie Studentenschaft, Benjamin wrote essays arguing for educational and general cultural change; when not re-elected as student association president, he returned to Freiburg University to study, with particular attention to the lectures of Heinrich Rickert. In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, Benjamin began faithfully translating the works of the 19th-century French poet Charles Baudelaire; the next year, 1915, he moved to Munich, continued his schooling at the University of Munich, where he met Rainer Maria Rilke and Gershom Scholem. In that year, Benjamin wrote about the 18th-century Romantic German poet Friedrich Hölderlin. In 1917 he transferred to the University of Bern, they had Stefan Rafael. In 1919 Benjamin earned his Ph. D. cum laude with the dissertation Begriff der Kunstkritik in der Deutschen Romantik.
Unable to support himself and family, he returned to Berlin and resided with his parents. In 1921 he published the essay Kritik der Gewalt. At this time Benjamin first became acquainted with Leo Strauss, Benjamin would remain an admirer of Strauss and of his work throughout his life. In 1923, when the Institut für Sozialforschung was founded to become home to the Frankfurt School, Benjamin published Charles Baudelaire, Tableaux Parisiens. At that time he became acquainted with Theodor Adorno and befriended Georg Lukács, whose The Theory of the Novel much influenced him. Meanwhile, the inflation in the Weimar Republic consequent to the First World War made it difficult for the father Emil Benjamin to continue supporting his son's family. At the end of 1923 his best friend Gershom Scholem immigrated to Palestine, a country under the British Mandate of P
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is Spain's national museum of 20th-century art. The museum was inaugurated on September 10, 1992, is named for Queen Sofía, it is located in Madrid, near the Atocha train and metro stations, at the southern end of the so-called Golden Triangle of Art. The museum is dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí; the most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica. Along with its extensive collection, the museum offers a mixture of national and international temporary exhibitions in its many galleries, making it one of the world's largest museums for modern and contemporary art, it hosts a free-access library specializing in art, with a collection of over 100,000 books, over 3,500 sound recordings, 1,000 videos. The museum is dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica. The Reina Sofía collection has works by artists such as Joan Miró, Eduardo Chillida, Pablo Gargallo, Julio González, Luis Gordillo, Juan Gris, José Gutiérrez Solana, Lucio Muñoz, Jorge Oteiza, Julio Romero de Torres, Pablo Serrano, Antoni Tàpies. International art represented in the collection include works by Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Robert Delaunay, Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Sarah Grilo, Damien Hirst, Donald Judd, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Fernand Léger, Jacques Lipchitz, René Magritte, Henry Moore, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Nam June Paik, Man Ray, Diego Rivera, Mark Rothko, Julian Schnabel, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Clyfford Still, Yves Tanguy, Wolf Vostell; the building is on the site of the first General Hospital of Madrid. King Philip II centralised all the hospitals. In the eighteenth century, King Ferdinand VI decided to build a new hospital because the facilities at the time were insufficient for the city.
The building was designed by architect José de Hermosilla and his successor Francisco Sabatini who did the majority of the work. In 1805, after numerous work stoppages, the building was to assume its function that it had been built for, being a hospital, although only one-third of the proposed project by Sabatini was completed. Since it has undergone various modifications and additions until, in 1969, it was closed down as a hospital. Extensive modern renovations and additions to the old building were made starting in 1980; the central building of the museum was once an 18th-century hospital. The building functioned as the Centro del Arte from 1986 until established as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 1988. In 1988, portions of the new museum were opened to the public in temporary configurations, its architectural identity was radically changed in 1989 by Ian Ritchie with the addition of three glass circulation towers. An 8000 m2 expansion costing €92 million designed by French architect Jean Nouvel opened in October 2005.
The extension includes spaces for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium of 500 seats, a 200-seat auditorium, a bookshop and administration offices. Ducks scéno was consultant for scenographic equipment of auditoriums and Arau Acustica for acoustic studies. Guernica by Pablo Picasso The Great Masturbator by Salvador Dalí Equal-Parallel/Guernica-Bengasi by Richard Serra The museum features, as a major protagonist, in Jim Jarmusch's The Limits of Control. In the 2003 Spanish film Noviembre, the school entrance scenes and some performance scenes were shot in the square in front of the museum. List of most visited art museums Museo de Escultura al Aire Libre de Alcalá de Henares Official website
The Volkswagen Beetle—officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in German the Käfer, in parts of the English-speaking world the Bug, known by many other nicknames in other languages—is a two-door, rear-engine economy car, intended for five occupants, manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003. The need for a people's car, its concept and its functional objectives were formulated by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for his country's new road network. Lead engineer Ferdinand Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design; the influence on Porsche's design of other contemporary cars, such as the Tatra V570, the work of Josef Ganz remains a subject of dispute. The result was the first Volkswagen, one of the first rear-engined cars since the Brass Era. With 21,529,464 produced, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform made. Although designed in the 1930s, due to World War II, civilian Beetles only began to be produced in significant numbers by the end of the 1940s.
The car was internally designated the Volkswagen Type 1, marketed as the Volkswagen. Models were designated Volkswagen 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302, or 1303, the former three indicating engine displacement, the latter two derived from the model number; the car became known in its home country as the Käfer and was marketed under that name in Germany, as the Volkswagen in other countries. For example, in France it was known as the Coccinelle; the original 25 hp Beetle was designed for a top speed around 100 km/h, which would be a viable cruising speed on the Reichsautobahn system. As Autobahn speeds increased in the postwar years, its output was boosted to 36 40 hp, the configuration that lasted through 1966 and became the "classic" Volkswagen motor; the Beetle gave rise to multiple variants: the 1950 Type 2'Bus', the 1955 Karmann Ghia, as well as the 1961 Type 3'Ponton' and the 1968 Type 4 family cars forming the basis of an rear-engined VW product range. The Beetle thus marked a significant trend, led by Volkswagen, by Fiat and Renault, whereby the rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout increased from 2.6 percent of continental Western Europe's car production in 1946 to 26.6 percent in 1956.
In 1959 General Motors launched an air-cooled, rear-engined car, the Chevrolet Corvair — which shared the Beetle's flat engine and swing axle architecture. Over time, front-wheel drive, hatchback-bodied cars would come to dominate the European small-car market. In 1974, Volkswagen's own front-wheel drive Golf hatchback succeeded the Beetle. In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Beetle, in 1998 introduced the "New Beetle", built on the contemporary Golf platform with styling recalling the original Type 1, it remained in production through 2010, was succeeded in 2011 by the Beetle, more reminiscent of the original Beetle. In the 1999 Car of the Century competition, to determine the world's most influential car in the 20th century, the Type 1 came fourth, after the Ford Model T, the Mini, the Citroën DS; the originating concept behind the first Volkswagen, the company, its name, is the notion of a people’s car – a car affordable and practical enough for common people to own.
Hence the name, "people's car" in German, pronounced ). Although the Volkswagen was the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche and Adolf Hitler, the idea is much older than Nazism, existed since mass-production of cars was introduced. Contrary to the United States, where the Ford Model T had become the first car to motorize the masses, contributing to household car ownership of about 33% in 1920 and some 46% in 1930, in the early 1930s, the German auto industry was still limited to luxury models, few Germans could afford anything more than a motorcycle: one German out of 50 owned a car. In April 1934, Hitler gave the order to Porsche to develop a Volkswagen; the epithet Volks- "people's-" had been applied to other Nazi-sponsored consumer goods as well, such as the Volksempfänger. In May 1934, at a meeting at Berlin's Kaiserhof Hotel, Chancellor Hitler insisted on a basic vehicle that could transport two adults and three children at 100 km/h while not using more than 7 litres of fuel per 100 km; the engine had to be powerful enough for sustained cruising on Germany's new Autobahnen.
Everything had to be designed to ensure parts could be and inexpensively exchanged. The engine had to be air-cooled because, as Hitler explained, not every country doctor had his own garage; the "People's Car" would be available to citizens of Germany through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte, at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle. Ferdinand Porsche developed the Type 12, or "Auto für Jedermann" for Zündapp in 1931. Porsche preferred the flat-four engine, selected a swing axle rear suspension, while Zündapp insisted on a water-cooled five-cylinder radial engine. In 1932 three prototypes were r
A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small to large. The primary vertical motion is upward. Dust devils are harmless, but can on rare occasions grow large enough to pose a threat to both people and property, they are comparable to tornadoes in that both are a weather phenomenon involving a vertically oriented rotating column of wind. Most tornadoes are associated with a larger parent circulation, the mesocyclone on the back of a supercell thunderstorm. Dust devils form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather coming close to the intensity of a tornado. Dust devils form when a pocket of hot air near the surface rises through cooler air above it, forming an updraft. If conditions are just right, the updraft may begin to rotate; as the air rises, the column of hot air is stretched vertically, thereby moving mass closer to the axis of rotation, which causes intensification of the spinning effect by conservation of angular momentum. The secondary flow in the dust devil causes other hot air to speed horizontally inward to the bottom of the newly forming vortex.
As more hot air rushes in toward the developing vortex to replace the air, rising, the spinning effect becomes further intensified and self-sustaining. A dust devil formed, is a funnel-like chimney through which hot air moves, both upwards and in a circle; as the hot air rises, it cools, loses its buoyancy and ceases to rise. As it rises, it displaces air; this cool air returning acts as a balance against the spinning hot-air outer wall and keeps the system stable. The spinning effect, along with surface friction will produce a forward momentum; the dust devil is able to sustain itself longer by moving over nearby sources of hot surface air. As available hot air near the surface is channeled up the dust devil surrounding cooler air will be sucked in. Once this occurs, the effect is dramatic, the dust devil dissipates in seconds; this occurs when the dust devil is not moving fast enough or begins to enter a terrain where the surface temperatures are cooler. Certain conditions increase the likelihood of dust devil formation.
Flat barren terrain, desert or tarmac: Flat conditions increase the likelihood of the hot-air "fuel" being a near constant. Dusty or sandy conditions will cause particles to become caught up in the vortex, making the dust devil visible, but are not necessary for the formation of the vortex. Clear skies or cloudy conditions: The surface needs to absorb significant amounts of solar energy to heat the air near the surface and create ideal dust devil conditions. Light or no wind and cool atmospheric temperature: The underlying factor for sustainability of a dust devil is the extreme difference in temperature between the near-surface air and the atmosphere. Windy conditions will destabilize the spinning effect of a dust devil. On Earth, many dust devils are small and weak less than 3 feet in diameter with maximum winds averaging about 45 miles per hour, they dissipate less than a minute after forming. On rare occasions, a dust devil can grow large and intense, sometimes reaching a diameter of up to 300 feet with winds in excess of 60 mph and can last for upwards of 20 minutes before dissipating.
Dust devils do not cause injuries, but rare, severe dust devils have caused damage and deaths in the past. One such dust devil struck the Coconino County Fairgrounds in Flagstaff, Arizona, on September 14, 2000, causing extensive damage to several temporary tents and booths, as well as some permanent fairgrounds structures. Several injuries were reported. Based on the degree of damage left behind, it is estimated that the dust devil produced winds as high as 75 mph, equivalent to an EF-0 tornado. On May 19, 2003, a dust devil lifted the roof off a two-story building in Lebanon, causing it to collapse and kill a man inside. In East El Paso, Texas in 2010, three children in an inflatable jump house were picked up by a dust devil and lifted over 10 feet, traveling over a fence and landing in a backyard three houses away. In Commerce City, Colorado in 2018, a powerful dust devil hurtled two porta-potties into the air. No one was injured in the incident. In 2019 a large dust devil in Yucheng county, Henan province, China killed 2 children and injured 18 children and 2 adults when a bouncy castle was lifted into the air.
Dust devils have been implicated in around 100 aircraft accidents. While many incidents have been simple taxiing problems, a few have had fatal consequences. Dust devils are considered major hazards among skydivers and paragliding pilots as they can cause a parachute or a glider to collapse with little to no warning, at altitudes considered too low to cut away, contribute to the serious injury or death of parachutists. There is an endemic disease in some arid areas, such as the southwestern United States, northwestern Mexico, Central America, South America, called Valley fever. “Cocci” fungus grows in alkaline soil and the fungus spores that lie dormant and can be picked up by dust devils, are blown around. When a person or animal breathes these spores in, they cause fungal pneumonia. While not a serious threat, this disease is still dangerous to some people and animals if they are old or young. Dust devils small ones, can produce radio noise and electrical fields greater than 10,000 volts per meter.
A dust devil picks up small dust particles. As the particles
Documenta is an exhibition of contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. It was founded by artist and curator Arnold Bode in 1955 as part of the Bundesgartenschau which took place in Kassel at that time, was an attempt to bring Germany up to speed with modern art, both banishing and repressing the cultural darkness of Nazism; this first documenta featured many artists who are considered to have had a significant influence on modern art. The more recent documentas feature art from all continents; every documenta is limited to 100 days of exhibition, why it is referred to as the "museum of 100 days". Documenta is not a selling exhibition, it coincides with the three other major art world events: the Venice Biennale, Art Basel and Skulptur Projekte Münster, but in 2017, all four were open simultaneously. The name of the exhibition is an invented word; the term is supposed to demonstrate the intention of every exhibition to be a documentation of modern art, not available for the German public during the Nazi era.
Rumour spread from those close to Arnold Bode that it was relevant for the coinage of the term that the Latin word documentum could be separated into docere and mens and therefore thought it to be a good word to describe the intention and the demand of the documenta. Each edition of documenta has commissioned its own visual identity, most of which have conformed to the typographic style of using lowercase letters, which originated at the Bauhaus. Art professor and designer Arnold Bode from Kassel was the initiator of the first documenta. Planned as a secondary event to accompany the Bundesgartenschau, this attracted more than 130,000 visitors in 1955; the exhibition centred less on "contemporary art“, art made after 1945: instead, Bode wanted to show the public works, known as "Entartete Kunst" in Germany during the Nazi era: Fauvism, Cubism, Blauer Reiter and Pittura Metafisica. Therefore, abstract art, in particular the abstract paintings of the 1920s and 1930s, was the focus of interest in this exhibition.
Over time, the focus shifted to contemporary art. At first, the show was limited to works from Europe, but soon covered works by artists from the Americas and Asia. 4. Documenta, the first to turn a profit, featured a selection of Pop Art, Minimal Art, Kinetic Art. Adopting the theme of Questioning Reality – Pictorial Worlds Today, the 1972 documenta radically redefined what could be considered art by featuring minimal and conceptual art, marking a turning point in the public acceptance of those styles, it devoted a large section to the work of Adolf Wolfli, the great Swiss outsider unknown. Joseph Beuys performed under the auspices of his utopian Organization for Direct Democracy. Additionally, the 1987 documenta show signaled another important shift with the elevation of design to the realm of art – showing an openness to postmodern design. Certain key political dates for wide-reaching social and cultural upheavals, such as 1945, 1968 or 1976/77, became chronological markers of documenta X, along which art's political, social and aesthetic exploratory functions were traced.
Documenta11 was organized around themes like migration and the post-colonial experience, with documentary photography and video as well as works from far-flung locales holding the spotlight. In 2012, documenta was described as "rdently feminist and multimedia in approach and including works by dead artists and selected bits of ancient art". Documenta gives its artists at least two years to conceive and produce their projects, so the works are elaborate and intellectually complex. However, the participants are not publicised before the opening of the exhibition. At documenta, the official list of artists was not released until the day. Though curators have claimed to have gone outside the art market in their selection, participants have always included established artists. In the documenta, for example, art critic Jerry Saltz identified more than a third of the artists represented by the renowned Marian Goodman Gallery in the show; the first four documentas, organized by Arnold Bode, established the exhibition's international credentials.
Since the fifth documenta, a new artistic director has been named for each documenta exhibition by a committee of experts. Documenta 8 was put together in two years instead of the usual five; the original directors, Edy de Wilde and Harald Szeemann, stepped down. They were replaced by Manfred Schneckenburger, Edward F. Fry, Wulf Herzogenrath, Armin Zweite, Vittorio Fagone. Coosje van Bruggen helped select artists for the 1982 edition. Documenta IX's team of curators consisted of Jan Hoet, Piero Luigi Tazzi, Denys Zacharopoulos, Bart de Baere. For documenta X Catherine David was chosen as the first woman and the first non-German speaker to hold the post, it is the first and unique time that its website Documenta x was conceived by a curator as a part of the exhibition. The first non-European director was Okwui Enwezor for Documenta11; the salary for the artistic director of documenta is around €100,000 a year. 2012's edition was organized around a central node, the trans-Atlantic melding of two distinct individuals who first encountered each other in the "money-soaked deserts of the United Arab Emirates".
As an organizing principle it is a commentary on the romantic potentials of glob
Byzantine Fresco Chapel
The Byzantine Fresco Chapel is a part of the Menil Collection in Houston, near the University of St. Thomas. From February 1997 to February 2012, it displayed the only intact Byzantine frescoes of this size and importance in the entire western hemisphere; the Byzantine frescoes had been taken from the church of St. Evphemianos in Lysi, Cyprus in the 1980s. In September 2011, the collection announced that the frescos would be permanently returned to Cyprus in February 2012, following the conclusion of a long-term loan agreement with the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus; the frescoes had been presented at the museum by agreement with the Church of Cyprus, their owners, but the church decided not to extend the loan further. They will not return to their original home as Lysi is now in Northern Cyprus, but will be displayed at the Byzantine Museum in Nicosia. On March 4, 2012, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel closed, but re-opened in 2015 for the first in a series of site-specific projects; the chapel was opened in February 1997, displayed masterworks from the 13th century—a dome with Christ Pantocrator and an apse depicting the Virgin Mary the Panayia.
The frescoes had been stolen from a chapel near Lysi in the Turkish-occupied section of Cyprus in the 1980s, cut into 38 pieces, shipped to Germany by thieves to sell them in the arts black-market. The 38 fresco fragments were bought from the thieves by the Houston-based Menil Foundation on behalf of the Church of Cyprus, the rightful owner of the frescoes; the Menil Foundation funded a careful restoration of the paintings. These intact frescoes were unique in the western hemisphere; the major part of the collection consisted of the frescoes of the apse. According to the guide to the museum, "the Lysi dome represents Christ Pantokrator,'All sovereign', it defines a space with no beginning and no end." The depiction of Christ gazing directly forward "has driven time out of space. His gaze is transworldly: not looking but all-seeing." By not depicting the Lord below the bust, he is "universal and ubiquitous." Surrounding the figure of Christ is a double row of angels moving towards the throne prepared by God the Father for the Second Coming of Christ.
The throne is guarded by two seraphim. The Virgin Mary leads one line of angels to the throne. In the apse, the Virgin was depicted as flanked by the two archangels with a medallion on her breast of the infant Christ, symbolizing the Incarnation of Christ. Exhibits in the Chapel have included The Infinity Machine; this rotating work by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller incorporates an array of antique mirrors suspended from above, accompanied by sonic elements made from NASA recordings of solar winds interacting with planetary ionospheres. The 4,000-square-foot $4 million building was designed by architect François de Menil; the interior combines rough stone, opaque glass, rich woods, to create a space, both art museum and spiritual space. The suspended-glass "walls" are not replicas of the chapel that the frescoes were removed from, but created a new context for displaying the icons. In order not to replicate the original chapel, de Menil designed "a mediating external building with an embedded steel structure – a'reliquary box' – which forms a neutral enclosure for a freestanding chapel," according to Christine Slessor in The Architectural Review.
"The Byzantine Chapel Museum is a religious building whose purpose is to restore spiritual significance and function to two thirteenth-century Byzantine Frescoes, a dome and an apse and restored by the owner... The materiality of the original chapel is shattered and made ephemeral through the fragmented, freestanding sandblasted laminated glass structure, an abstracted evocation of the original chapel; the infinite is evoked through the play of darkness and light." François de Menil, May 1997 The Byzantine chapel is oriented to face the cardinal directions – the facades face directly north, south and west. The enclosed space measures 116,000 cubic feet. There are no windows on the surface area of the building, except for a skylight of 1,012 square feet of clear, double glazed glass, which permits natural light to pervade the interior. A rough limestone wall on the outside of the building evoked the rough construction of the original chapel in Cyprus. John de Menil Dominique de Menil Official website Menil Collection information page