There’s nothing else in the world quite like the Chinati Foundation (1 Cavalry Row, 432/729-4362, www.chinati.org , open Wed.–Sun. for twice-daily tours, $10 adults, $5 students and seniors, 11 and under free).
This unconventional art museum and artists’ compound is housed in nearly a dozen historic structures (barracks, artillery sheds, prisoner of war compounds) of the former Camp D. A. Russell army base. Based on the ideas of minimalist artist Donald Judd, Chinati features an amazing array of artwork, from Judd’s large-scale pieces—most notably, a mammoth artillery shed containing stark metal boxes of varying size—to patterned fluorescent light sculptures, to sketches and paintings, to a large metal sculpture by famous Swedish-born artist Claes Oldenberg.
Judd’s vision for the foundation was to blend art, architecture, and nature in an environment far different from traditional metropolitan art spaces. Artists and art lovers from across the world journey to this spectacular location to experience this fascinating confluence of elements, perhaps best represented by the compelling dichotomy presented in the barrack buildings: On one end of the room you’ll find a bright pink fluorescent light sculpture, while the window on the opposite wall reveals the rugged beauty of the West Texas desert landscape.
Chinati offers two tours daily from Wednesday through Sunday. The 10 a.m. tour features the foundation’s permanent installations by Judd, John Chamberlain, Ilya Kabakov, Richard Long, and David Rabinowitch. The 2 p.m. event showcases permanent installations by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Roni Horn, Claes Oldenburg, and John Wesley, as well as the museum’s current temporary exhibition. Visitors who arrive more than 10 minutes after starting time will be asked to wait for the next scheduled tour.