The highly anticipated Menil Drawing Institute will not open as originally scheduled this fall. But plans are continuing to celebrate the Menil Collection's 30th anniversary with a special exhibition next month and other activities throughout the rest of the year.
Officials announced on Wednesday that the October 7 opening of the new building dedicated to works of art on paper has been delayed "due to the need for ongoing construction work and a revised estimate for building completion."
“Over the past few weeks, it has become clear that we will need more time to complete the Menil Drawing Institute and the other exciting projects on our campus, such as the new public greenspaces, in a manner that meets our exacting standards. Rather than rush to open the Menil Drawing Institute in early October, the trustees and I have decided to delay the festivities, to ensure that everything is perfect," Menil director Rebecca Rabinow said in a statement.
"We apologize for any inconvenience this change of date may cause, especially for those who have factored an early October celebration into their fall plans.”
Officials still expect staff to move into the new building before the end of year, with a public opening in 2018. It is currently being constructed adjacent to the Cy Twombly Gallery on the Menil campus.
The opening of the $40 million, 30,000-square-foot building, designed by the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee, was expected to be among the biggest fall art happenings in Houston.
However, The Menil Collection will still have a lot to celebrate surrounding the 30th anniversary of the opening of the acclaimed Renzo Piano main museum building in 1987. The celebration kicks off August 11 with Thirty Works for Thirty Years, an exhibition of key paintings, sculptures, and drawings in the permanent collection that will be shown throughout the 30-acre Menil campus.
The exhibition, which will run through January 28, 2018, will include Native objects from the Pacific Northwest and Africa, Byzantine icons, Surrealist works, and contemporary art from the United States and Europe. It includes major works by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, John Chamberlain, Mark Rothko, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Barnett Newman, Trisha Brown, and Robert Rauschenberg.
A major exhibition of the work of acclaimed artist Mona Hatoum opens on October 15 and an anniversary fundraising gala — only the fourth in the Menil's history — will take place on December 2.
Previously announced exhibitions planned for the opening of the Menil Drawing Institute, including The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns; Think of Them as Spaces: Brice Marden’s Drawings; and Roni Horn: When I Breathe, I Draw, will be rescheduled to a later date.
Once the Menil Drawing Institute officially opens next year, the main Menil Collection building will be closed for an eight-month period for the installation of a fire detection system and refinishing of the pine floors.