Striking New Sculptures to Boost Fort Worth’s Already Robust Downtown Arts Scene — Welcome to Art City
It's Good to be Friends With The ModernBY Courtney Dabney // 08.09.22
Chance Meeting by George Segal is one of three new sculptures now installed at First on 7th in downtown Fort Worth for all to enjoy.
The plaza has been home to Noguchi sculpture ever since the building opened in 1961. Photo courtesy First on 7th.
Downtown Fort Worth has some new artsy installations arriving this week. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is partnering with First on 7th to add some significant sculptures to the site for the public to enjoy. Thanks to The Modern, three artworks from the museum’s permanent collection will be on loan indefinitely.
They are being installed at 500 West Seventh, across from one of downtown Fort Worth’s most notable works. That would be Jonathan Borofsky’s iconic, steel cut-out called Man with Briefcase, 2002, which is situated in Burnett Park.
Now three more sculptures on loan from The Modern Art Museum will take their own places, situated on the tree-lined triangle adjacent to the 20-story First on 7th building and its Cantey Hanger Plaza. The plaza, in front of Buon Giorno Coffee, is also home to the triptych Isamu Noguchi sculpture, which was commissioned in 1960 to help shape the urban core of downtown Fort Worth. It was all about connecting art to the modernist, mid-century architecture of the day.
The building itself was designed by the world renowned architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in 1961, and housed the First National Bank of Fort Worth for many years.
The ambitious First on 7th redevelopment currently houses Neighbor’s House Grocery, also on its ground floor, and a soon-to-open restaurant called 61 Osteria from the same ownership group as the Grace and Little Red Wasp restaurants.
But let’s take a closer look at Fort Worth’s new public art:
Park Avenue Departure, 2019
Park Avenue Departure was first exhibited in Midtown Manhattan along the median strip of Park Avenue. So it will be right at home returning to an urban setting. The eight-foot cutout depicts the artist’s wife Ada from behind as she is walking.
Jesús Bautista Moroles
Texas Shield, 1986
This granite sculpture’s two vertical slabs are woven together at a 90-degree angle down a central spine. It is part of Moroles’ “granite weaving” series. Texas Shield should relate well to Noguchi’s 1960 work.
Chance Meeting, 1989
Chance Meeting depicts a street corner with three life-size figures, who apparently have unexpectedly run into each other at the intersection of two city streets. Something that happens every day in downtown Fort Worth. The figures have a dark green patina, with each dressed in modern clothing.
“We were delighted when the First on 7th team suggested installing sculpture from our collection on this site,” Marla Price, The Modern’s director, says in a statement. “Our sculptures joining the artwork currently on view create a wonderful entrance to Fort Worth’s downtown area.”
Fort Worth’s love of art knows no bound. Not even museum walls.