I always suspected that when general managers and curators finally realized that huge stadiums are perfect venues for displaying contemporary art, it would be in Berlin, Milan, Barcelona, or some such place where art and professional sports aren’t the polar extremes on the cultural continuum, as they are in America. Nevertheless, Gene and Jerry Jones, co-owners of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, just announced that by the time their team plays the New York Giants in their season opener (September 20), their new arena (Cowboys Stadium, pictured) will feature some 14 commissioned pieces as well as an undisclosed number of existing artworks the team has acquired.
Artists to be featured at main entrances, atriums and walkways throughout the stadium include: Franz Ackermann, Annette Lawrence, Lawrence Weiner, and Olafur Eliasson, Doug Aitken, Wayne Gonzales and Jacqueline Humphries. Appropriately, everything will come in Texas-sized portions, with some pieces being over 100 feet long. Whatever your qualms about art that relies on spectacle to get viewers’ attention, this is pretty awesome. New York rarely needs to catch up to Texas on any front, especially art, but in this case we’re clearly way behind. Yankees and Mets: forget all the self-aggrandizing memorabilia, stick some art in your shiny new showboxes!