Arts & Culture

Beyond the Canvas: A Look at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art

Dallas' haven for abstract art packs a big punch.

Jennifer Simonson
Posted on Mar 4, 2019

Everyone has heard of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Crow Museum of Asian Art, but have you heard of the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art? If not, put down what you are doing and make a B-line straight to Uptown (or at the very least pencil in a time to go check it out soon).

If you have a shape obsession, this is the museum for you. If you have a color obsession, this is the museum for you. If you have an 80s fashion obsession, this is the museum for you.

The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art is the only museum in the country dedicated to abstract art and the MADI movement. What is the MADI movement you might ask? Carmelo Arden Quin founded the movement in the 1940s in Buenos Aires, Argentina when he began experimenting with carved wood, irregular shapes, and alternative concave and convex forms, Today it is an international art movement where artists use design, bold colors and geometric shapes to create fun and bizarre abstract works of art.


The museum opened in 2003 when art enthusiasts Bill and Dorothy Masterson moved their law firm to Uptown. They asked artist Volf Roitman to convert the first floor of the office into a small art museum to house their collection of MADI artwork from Europe, Russia, Japan, South America and the U.S.  Roitman's goal was to "transform a whole street into a living sculpture, a neighborhood into a state of perpetual creation." Today the funky, colorful two-story building with Arcadia spelled out in bright red lettering stands out on Carlisle Street.

The space is small – you can see the entire museum in less than an hour and it is quite impressive. The permanent collection features mind-bending colorful sculptures from artists across the globe. Because of its playful and colorful collection, it is a great museum to bring kids to.

The museum's permanent collection includes popular works from Iranian-born artist Fariba Abedin who explores geometric abstraction with an emphasis on color, James Allumbaugh a Dallas-born sculpture who is interested in the harmonics of expressive geometry and reductive structuralism, and even Carmelo Arden Quin one of the founders of the MADI movement.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum sponsors four exhibitions each year.  The two exhibitions for the beginning of 2019 are on display until April 21. "Exposition in Blue" by Ecuadorian artist Hernan Jara is a collection of geometric paintings that focus on varying interpretations of the square. Dallas' own Richard Paniagua's work "Art in Three Dimensions" uses psychedelic colors on his geometric sculptures, tondos and wall sculptures.

The museum also hosts Arcadia Salon discussion series featuring artists and art experts, creative workshops, and docent-led tours.

Admission to the museum is free, however, donations are accepted. The museum hours are Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


All photos credit The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art.