Some may think the Kimbell Art Museum should be above celebrating something as frivolous as fashion, but the rest of us will be at the museum’s new blockbuster show Balenciaga in Black, showcasing the classic designs of Cristóbal Balenciaga, the Basque couturier whom Christian Dior once referred to as “the master of us all.” His dramatic, sculptural dresses and coats caught the eye of the Spanish royal family when he was a teenager, and after the end of World War II, they went global. His tailoring skills gave him unusual control over his products, attracting celebrities from all over the world to his Paris atelier.
If you do want some higher art, though, the companion show Goya in Black and White should give it to you. The prints and drawings on display include some of his greatest creations, such as the Disasters of War and The Sleep of Reasons Produces Monsters series. The stark black-and-white images show Goya’s talent for both the phantasmagoria of the supernatural and the savage realities that war leaves behind. At the Kimbell, two Spanish masters take a color that’s often thought of as basic and show its expressive possibilities.
Balenciaga in Black and Goya in Black and White run Sun thru Jan 6 at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Tickets are $14-18. Call 817-332-8451.