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October 10, 2012
Josef Helfenstein Walter De Maria: Trilogies Exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012. 88 pp.; 38 color ills. Cloth $50.00 (9780300175783)

Exhibition schedule: Menil Collection, Houston, September 16, 2011–January 8, 2012

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Walter De Maria. Bel Air Trilogy (detail) (2000–11). Stainless steel rod with 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air two-tone hardtop. Rod: 4 inch (dia.) x 12 feet; automobile: 5 x 6 x 12 feet. (c) 2012 Walter De Maria. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

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The Walter De Maria: Trilogies exhibition at the Menil Collection is a sparse, elegant, and highly controlled experience. Despite this, the show manages to play nimbly with the essential premise of a retrospective, offering three series of new works that are each complete on their own, but reprise and revise older pieces, just as the Menil mines its own institutional legacy.1 The exhibition begins in the museum’s foyer, where viewers are surrounded by three large...