You’ve got a good reason to go to Fort Worth: the New Works exhibit by Ron Mueck, on display at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth through May 6. For our upcoming Art Issue–arriving in mailboxes this June–I spent some time exploring Fort Worth. The New Works exhibit blew my mind, but it’ll be over by the time our June issue comes out. So here’s a sneak peak at it so you can go before it’s gone.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth offers a wealth of post-World War II art. The expansive permanent collection includes works by Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, Morris Louis and a lot more, in addition to special exhibitions like New Works.

Ron Mueck’s frighteningly realistic sculptures are clay models cast in silicone or resin and finished down to the hair follicles by hand. Mueck’s process can easily take over a year. And yet, the six sculptures are not conventionally beautiful. The defeathered chicken hanging from the ceiling–Still Life (2009)–is frankly disturbing. Mueck, who according to the museum, began his career as a puppeteer and puppet maker, has a unique ability to capture the minute, even unflattering details of life.

Woman with Shopping (2013) is a tired piece, smaller than the viewer with grocery bags full of cans that strain toward the ground. Her tight ponytail and weary eyes, plus the young baby cradled in a sling on her chest emote her gentle sense of stress and love.

Untitled (Seated Woman) (1999), is based on his wife’s grandmother, according to the Modern’s records. It’s part of the permanent collection and one of the first sculptures of this nature that Mueck produced.

But nothing is more stunning, terrifying or tender than Couple under an Umbrella (2013). The elderly husband and wife are the largest sculpture the Modern displayed. It’s the sort of thing you’ve got to see to believe.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

The exhibition runs Feb 16 – May 6

Museum Hours:

  • Mon | Closed
  • Tues–Thurs | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Fri | 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Sat–Sun | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: 3200 Darnell St, Fort Worth