Last week I was surprised to learn of the passing of Max Neuhaus, and was a bit dismayed at the lack of coverage. The Houston Chronicle seemed to be the only paper covering the death of this important artist. But this morning I felt a bit better as the New York Times is out with their piece, and it’s a nice overview of his career.

Here, I thought I’d recount my first experience with a Neuhaus installation. I had been in New Hampshire to conduct the marriage of a good friend from college. On the way up, I learned of the death of my friend Alberto Mijangos, whose gallery I was running, and who in many senses had introduced me to art (I had attended his wedding in the Rothko Chapel at the age of five). Now I was headed back to San Antonio, a bit exhausted, trying not to think too much about this looming sadness.

My flight out of Manchester was delayed for hours. By the time it finally left, I had missed my connection in Newark, and the airline said it wasn’t their fault, so no hotel room. I decided not to pay for a hotel, to either sleep in the airport, or get in touch with a friend in the city. The one friend in New York I was able to reach was packing for a trip the next day, and didn’t have time for a visit. She helped me figure out how to get into Times Square, where I had heard there was a Max Neuhaus installation. By the time I made it into Times Square, it was about 11:30, still busy, but not too chaotic. I walked across the pedestrian islands until I heard a low ringing rumble flow up from the grates. As I stood there, transfixed in this invisible oasis, watching people and taxis wash over Broadway, I felt as if I was being enveloped by another world, which was really just an idea about perception. I rocked back and forth, listening as the sounds rippled and creased and rubbed, an infinitesimal percussion. Eventually, I made my way back the airport, and found a place on the floor to rest.