Stirring the soul

Art, at its best, enlivens both the senses and the intellect. I recently had the privilege of viewing a new installation by Houston artist (and MFAH co-worker) Bert Samples that succeeds at just that. Manu Languidly Stirs Songs in the Grip of Shadow and Light is a multilayer glass installation that is full of contradictions. Manu (as I understand him, a sort of Hindu Adam/Noah/Jesus figure) seems to stir here both whirling cyclone and languid lily pad. The images, which themselves have no fixed color but change with viewer movement and fluctuating light, seem a sort of Gaudi icon for the canvas – cloud formations, hurricanes, spirals and flames. The effect is an expanded point of view and a sense of humankind at a quiet, still point in the midst of the universal dance.

Samples’ work can be found in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. See Manu Languidly Stirs Songs in the Grip of Shadow and Light at the University of Houston-Downtown, W.I. Dykes Library.

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