|Front view, The Rachofsky House|
I had the pleasure to visit The Rachofsky House in the city of Dallas, TX a few weeks ago and boy was I in for a treat. Personally I am from a city outside of downtown Dallas and never knew about this hidden gem, it is definitely a must see if ever in the area. I visited The Rachofsky House with no expectations and was blown away. In the past they have had open house events every afternoon and fridays but currently that option is not available.
To visit the home you will have to make an appointment two weeks in advance and also have a group of 10-15 people, but on the bright side you receive a tour guide to show you the home and explain the current exhibition pieces and the whole experience is absolutely free. You might be thinking well what exactly is The Rachofsky House? Well it first started with Howard Rachofsky who commissioned architect Richard Meier in the mid 1990’s to design a home that would serve first as a bachelor pad, then as a private gallery and made very accessible to the public. Then the home would eventually become part of the Dallas Museum of Art, which the Rachofsky’s have already directed along with their art to the DMA.
|Bruce Nauman, Shadow Puppet Spinning Head, 1990|
Wax, sheet, video projector, video monitor, videotape player
The Rachofsky Collection consists of artwork by international artists working in the last century. The collection focuses on two general themes: artwork that explores the nature of sculpture and painting, with special emphasis on Minimalism and Italian art associated with the Arte Povera movement, and contemporary work that explores notions of identity and the self. Of particular importance to the collection are works by Italian artists Piero Manzoni, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Alighiero Boetti, Giulio Paolini, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giuseppe Penone, and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Other artists with significant holdings in The Rachofksy Collection are Janine Antoni, Robert Gober, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Robert Ryman, Donald Judd, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Tom Friedman, Kiki Smith, Jiro Takamatsu, Katsuo Shiraga, Richard Prince, Mona Hatoum and Mark Grotjahn.
|Interior View, The Rachofsky House|
When you first arrive to the site there is a small parking area and in front is a solid white gate, from there you walk towards the house following a concrete road that leads to the front of the house and straight to the entrance. When inside the house you are surrounded with white walls, white ceilings, and large white framed windows. It makes you want to take your shoes off considering it is a house, and not touch anything. Every feature in the home is very sleek and modern from the furniture and home appliances to every fixture on the wall and ceilings. The open space is great for displaying the artwork and I loved how you can see and appreciate the art from different angles depending where you are standing in the house.
|Rirkrit Tiravanija, Untitled (Passport), 2005|
Passports and chrome table
Another feature I enjoyed was the narrow spiral staircase located on one of the corners of the house because it reminded me of when I was younger and I wanted a hidden spiral staircase that lead to my own bedroom. Right before going up the staircase was the Passport Table display and I really liked the concept since I am a big traveler myself. Rirkrit Tiravanija moved to Thailand, Malaysia and Ethiopia before attending high school in Ottowa, Canada. His work is reflected on his experiences with all the changes he has encountered in his life. Tiravanija’s hand-painted passports are composed and reflect a particular time and context of his life.
|Backyard View, The Rachofsky House|
The backyard area is very lovely, there is large rectangular pool right in the middle and if you looked to your right standing from the patio there is beautiful lake. In my experience viewing art in a home is more intimate because we being the guest have an immediate response towards the art because we connect it with a person and a place. Every where you turned and behind every door was a completely different collection of art whether you where standing in the main living space or in a bedroom and even the restroom had some awesome features. One of my favorite features of the home was located on the first floor, between the foyer and the dinning room area there was what seemed to be a narrow strip of steel on the floor as if dividing the two areas but in fact the surprise was that it could be raised up and functioned as a room divider controlled by a remote control.
|Kiki Smith, Cave Bear Teeth, 2000|
Cast Bronze with Patina, 11 by 11 ft.
Howard and Cindy Rachofsky are great civic leaders and patrons of art and architecture. Every year this modern residence is home to a week of activities that raise an immense amount of money for AIDS and Art. The house is utilized for lectures, classes, educational events, tours and exhibitions. For the present, this modern home will continue to inspire as a private residence and serve as a gallery. Ultimately, this exquisite modern home will transition to a modern museum, retaining the point of view and legacy of Howard and Cindy Rachofsky.
- Clara Moreno