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The Menil does us proud

OK, gang: in addition to the strong gallery shows on view right now in Houston (Bise at Moody; Tom of Finland at Inman; Flood at DBHB; Downes at Texas), the Menil Collection has vigorously thrown down the gauntlet with the Bruce Nauman show. While they admittedly didn't put it together (Constance Lewallen at UC Berkeley has that honor), they got it here, and many in the crowd at last night's opening agreed that it was the best thing they'd seen at the Menil — ever. Huge, huge kudos go to Brooke Stroud for an installation that doesn't look like anything you've ever seen at the Menil, and that simply and unpretentiously incorporates all the video, sound and holographic elements in the show. If you don't live in Houston, you've got until January 13 to get there and see this; if you do, run, don't walk: this is one of those art experiences that make us care about art in the first place.

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