To much ado, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has opened its Nancy and Rich Kinder Building to the public, and the leviathan new building, which includes an astonishing 237,000 square feet of dual exhibition and selfie space, completes a decade-long expansion and enhancement of the museum’s Susan and Faye S. Sarofim Campus.
The stunning structure is a veritable pleasure dome of Insta-worthy space designed by Steven Holl of Steven Holl Architects.
Not surprisingly, selfies taken in the new building, which is dedicated to displaying the museum’s comprehensive international collections of modern and contemporary art, are likely to flood your social media timelines. If you check out the new Kinder building soon, your carefully curated museum selfies will be in the first wave of the building’s incoming selfie deluge.
Here, for example, is a chance to change your Tinder profile pic to a photo of yourself being enveloped by the seductively neon rays of the building’s Cromosaturacion MFAH by Carlos Cruz-Diez, or the first to change your LinkedIn profile pic to a stoic (but still cultured and fun) photo of yourself in a stock image-worthy pose in front of the decidedly scholarly Scholar’s Way by Byung Hoon Choi.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the nine most Instagrammable locales in the MFAH’s new Nancy and Rich Kinder Building.
Cromosaturacion MFAH by Carlos Cruz-Diez
A series of three chambers inside of a tunnel connecting the Kinder Building to the Museum gallery building across the street, this subterranean feast of light sports a deliciously neon ambience that will likely make it one of the chief selfie spots in the new building.
Once inside the tunnel, visitors are immersed in the artist’s signature color environments, also known as “Chromosaturations.” What color will you pick? Or will you snap photos in all three of the chambers?
Casper, Salmon into White by James Turrell
Is there anything more grammable than a Turrell? No, in the entire earth there isn’t. This installation, which deals with atmospheric themes derived from Turrell’s affinity for aviation, is a home run when it comes to grammability, although it is somewhat difficult to photograph. Like most Turrells, it is best observed while in a quiet state of contemplation. But don’t let that stop you from snapping a quick photo before sliding back into a meditative state.
Color Flash for Chat and Chew, Paris Texas in Seventy-Two by Trenton Doyle Hancock
This 10-by-22-foot tapestry by Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock resides in the Museum’s restaurant and depicts a multi-hued, color-saturated forest.
Created in the spirit of Picasso’s legendary Tricorne curtain, this piece, created in close collaboration with world-class rug company Obadashian, is likely to inspire many with its vibrancy.
Inner Landscape (the lithosphere, the roots, the water) by Christina Iglesias
This 50-foot-long sculptural pool resides immediately in front of the main entrance to the Kinder building and is topographically shaped and cast from bronze.
In addition to looking like a marine habitat for Björk, the pool alternates between being filled with rushing water and being drained throughout the day to evoke the rhythms of an ocean tidal pool.
Sometimes an underground movement is an illuminated bridge by Ólafur Elíasson
This subterranean tunnel connects the Kinder Building to the Glassell School of Art and sports 19 yellow light sculptures that hang from the tunnel’s beautifully domed ceilings that bathe the tunnel in a yellow light that limits spectral perception to yellow and grey tones.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would be like to experience a monochromatic film in real time, this is your spot, as all you’re able to see are shades of grey. The piece provides visitors with a refreshing tonal break before they’re returned to the prismacolor of the global pandemic.
Dragon Reflection by Ai Weiwei
A monumental “kit” sculpture by Ai Weiwei, this piece, composed of silk, bamboo, aluminum, and mirrored surfaces, holds court in an atrium of the Glassell School of Art at the end of the Elíasson tunnel.
Suspended from the ceiling, this piece dwarfs anyone who happens to find themselves below it. Strike a power pose beneath this aerial behemoth and see who can take up the most space.
La ciudad hidroespacial (The Hydrospatial City) by Gyula Kosice
Consisting of 19 hanging “habitats” that present a utopian vision of architecture in space, this installation by Argentinian article Gyula Kosice critiques modern functionalist architecture and the human destruction of the environment.
It’s also a great place in which to take a photo of yourself, especially if you’re going for a retro-futurist vibe. Snap a photo in this installation wearing your favorite Barbarella or Logan’s Run inspired getup — just make sure you’re drawing your sartorial inspiration from the fully clothed portions of those films.
Scholar’s Way by Byung Hoon Choi
This piece is composed of three sculptures that derive their form from Suseok, traditional Korean scholar’s rocks. Constructed from unpolished Indonesian basalt, the 10-foot-tall sculptures stand grouped together in one of the reflecting pools on the perimeter of the building.
The abstract, gently torqued forms could provide a perfect backdrop for many a LinkedIn photo, their unpolished state a perfect juxtaposition to your polished business acumen.
One of the best parts about the new Kinder Building is that the building itself is highly grammable from almost every angle, and the building’s atrium is no exception.
Pose beneath Alexander Calder’s International Mobile, which holds repose in the center of the Atrium, when you first enter the museum, and then venture out to photographically explore the rest of the space.