The Sensation of Space

One day, in my bedroom, I was looking at a napkin left on a chair and I suddenly realized that not only was each object alone, but that it had a weight — or actually a weightlessness — that kept it from weighing on any other. The napkin was alone, so alone that I felt I could take away the chair without changing the napkin’s position. It had its own place, its own weight, even its own silence. The world was light, light… — Alberto Giacometti

In his essay on artist and friend Alberto Giacometti, French writer Jean Genet describes a conversation in which Giacometti discusses his understanding of objects as existing in a kind of spatial solitude, apart from their surroundings, with the ability to generate a new awareness of space around them. In this brief exchange, the artist offers his impression of the complex and poetic relationship we share with the material, physical world. It is through the act of making a sculpture that Giacometti — and the artist in general — imbues each object with its own place or weight, or as Genet describes, “the sensation of space” that surrounds it.

Taking Genet’s description as its title, this exhibition looks at the ever-expanding ways artists create sculptures that generate, activate, and occupy space in all its physical and psychological manifestations. At its foundation is a dialogue between the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, one of the world’s finest collections of European and American modern and contemporary sculpture, and The Rachofsky Collection, a post-WWII collection of art from around the world with focuses in identity, process, and conceptual work. The Sensation of Space explores the material, formal, and thematic connections in works dating from the mid-19th century to the present and illustrates how artists continually seek out new ways to redefine traditional notions of sculpture.

The Sensation of Space is co-organized by The Warehouse in partnership with the Nasher Sculpture Center. The exhibition features works from The Rachofsky Collection, the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Collection of Marguerite Steed Hoffman, the Collection of Deedie Potter Rose, and the Collection of Christen and Derek Wilson.

Dr. Leigh A. Arnold & Thomas Feulmer

Exhibition Curators


Leigh Arnold joined the Nasher Sculpture Center in 2013. She has curated exhibitions with such artists as Kathryn Andrews, Theaster Gates, Isa Genzken, Piero Golia, Sheila Hicks, Ana Mendieta, and Mai-Thu Perret. Most recently, Dr. Arnold curated Elmgreen & Dragset: Sculptures, the first major US museum exhibition of work by the artist duo, and Sightings: Anne Le Troter, the French sound artist’s first exhibition in North America and her first work in the English language. Dr. Arnold is currently working on a historical reinterpretation of Land art that focuses on women who were involved in the movement. She received her doctoral degree in aesthetic studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she wrote on Robert Smithson’s unfinished projects in Texas.

Thomas Feulmer is an artist, curator, and educator in Dallas. Since 2004, he has worked for Cindy and Howard Rachofsky (at The Rachofsky House and The Warehouse), working on both educational programs and curatorial projects. Among his curatorial projects outside The Warehouse is the February 2011 exhibition Modern Ruin (co-curated with Christina Rees), which was a two-day exhibition in a never-used WaMu bank building abandoned after the 2008 financial crisis. Feulmer received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000.