What’s On View at the MFAH’s Kinder Building?

A quick peek into the Museum’s permanent collection.

By Amarie Gipson September 24, 2021

El Anatsui, Visitation, 2020, found aluminum and copper wire and Martin Puryear, Aso Oke, 2019, bronze, edition 2/3, Museum commission and purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund

This November will make a year since the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, opened the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building to house its world-renowned collection of modern and contemporary art. With immersive installations, tunnels and innovative architectural design, the Kinder Building has made the MFAH one of Houston’s artsiest hotspots. 

As you make your way from street-level up the Guggenheim-inspired staircase, you can get a closer look at a kinetic sculpture by Alexandar CalderThe second floor is dedicated to the Museum’s various collection areas, from the salon-style hang of works from the photography department to dimly lit print galleries brimming with light-sensitive works on paper. In addition, the Museum’s Latin American art collection shines with archival documentation and holdings from the modern era.

The building’s third floor is dedicated to thematic exhibitions and on view now through spring 2020 is their inaugural show Connecting Currents: Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This five-part exhibition spans painting, video, craft with works from the 1960s to now. From sculptors to printmakers, here are five artists to seek out on your next visit to the MFAH. 

Frank Stella

American minimalist Frank Stella provides a humbling experience for viewers with his sprawling, ten-foot sculpture entitled Damascus Gate (Stretch Variation III), 1970. Located in the 3rd-floor atrium. 


This brilliant diptych by Venezuelan sculptor Marisol demonstrates how the artist often used casts of her own body and images of her face in the making of her work. In the spirit of the MFAH’s unique collecting practices, this work on paper is a departure from the artist's usual focus on three-dimensional, life-sized works. Located in Gallery 207. 

Guanyu Zu

The Dining Room, 2018 by Beijing-born, Chicago-based artist Guanyu Xu captures the result of intricately-layered photographic installations, staged in his childhood home while his parents were away. Xu’s guerilla-style, interior takeovers are a statement of reclamation. Located in Gallery 208. 

Nick Cave 

Revel in the craftsmanship of one of Nick Cave’s illustrious "soundsuits." Born in Missouri, Cave is an American fabric sculptor and performance artist who creates surrealistic sculptures, drawing from human interactions and merging his interests in fashion and art. Located in Galleria 314.

El Anatsui

Made in Nsukka, Nigeria and commissioned specifically for the Kinder Building, El Anatsui's 20ft aluminum sculpture is sure to stun you, as it's made entirely out of bottle tops. Yep, you read that right. The Ghanaian artist enlists the help of local communities across West Africa to collect and repurpose scrap metal. Located in The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building Arrivals Hall. 

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