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The TX13 group survey exhibition was presented at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, September 5 – November 9, 2013. During the month of September, CentralTrak–The Artist Residency of the University of Texas at Dallas hosted a TX13 artist-in-residency. Throughout the run of the exhibition, a TX13 artist project co-commissioned with Ballroom Marfa was presented at Ballroom and Blue Star.



TX13 Commissioned Artist Project DALLAS COLLECTIVE


Arguably, at the heart of the Texas Biennial is a desire for exchange. The instigators of the Biennial were a group of artists based in Austin, where they found themselves working among an active local artist community but longing for more connections with peers in other communities, and hoping for more of the kind of infrastructural support that comes with established contemporary art museums, commercial galleries, and a collector base. In 2005, they put out a call open to every artist in Texas, recruited jurors, and installed a show. Rather amazingly for a project that started almost as a joke (“Hey kids, let’s put on a biennial!”), there was a second Texas Biennial, and then another. The fifth iteration of the exhibition took place in the fall of 2013, organized under the auspices of Big Medium, a small nonprofit based in Austin. Big Medium is directed by one of the founders of the Biennial, Shea Little, who has served as director or co-director for most editions of the show. Also closely involved since curating the 2011 exhibition is Virginia Rutledge, who returned for 2013 as Curator-at-Large to continue exploring the potential of the platform. The Biennial’s format has varied over the years, and various special projects have been added to the menu for particular editions. But the central feature of the Texas Biennial has remained the open call, established as an exhibition opportunity available to all artists living and working in the state. The result is an “independent survey of contemporary art in Texas”, selected in previous years by either a panel of jurors, or a solo curator. The basic idea was and is to provide a forum for artists in Texas to have their work seen and discussed in relation to the larger community across the state, and perhaps beyond.

survey at nonprofit arts venues in those cities, though the largest concentration of works continued to be on view in Austin. There, the exhibition again was spread between several locations, including both established galleries and temporary spaces created from vacant office suites in a downtown commercial property and an empty home on Austin’s east side, where a significant portion of the city’s artist community is based. In 2013, the Biennial organizers pursued several different experiments. For the first time in the history of the project, the group survey exhibition was installed in a single venue beyond Austin, at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio. Another first was a special TX13 project co-commissioned with Ballroom Marfa and presented in both San Antonio and Marfa. And in an effort to showcase possible avenues of support for more ambitious installation and performance work, the Biennial also partnered with CentralTrak–The Artist Residency of the University of Texas at Dallas, which hosted a monthlong artist residency and an evening of performance as part of the exhibition programming. As the project has grown and interest in each iteration of the Texas Biennial builds outside of the state’s borders, the organizers have invited dialogue with other efforts to mount regionally-focused survey exhibitions and with other biennials in the U.S. and around the globe. The flip side of this catalog documents some of the history of the Biennial’s collaborations and forays, as well as the TX13 special exhibitions at Big Medium in Austin and Lawndale Arts Center in Houston, which celebrated the project’s fifth anniversary.

This interest in reaching and connecting audiences for contemporary art inspired the participating organization initiative, introduced in 2011. Essentially this is a grouppromotion effort, intended to help highlight the ecosystem for contemporary art in Texas. During the run of the Biennial, participating nonprofit arts organizations and artist-run collectives statewide join in promoting their own independent programming focused on Texas-made contemporary art. This aspect of the project was repeated in 2013 with the participation of over 70 arts organizations throughout the state, from large museums to artist co-ops.

The idea of exchange is particularly present in TX13, as this fifth edition of the project invited thirteen curators (including one artist duo) to select the work of the 69 artists and artist teams or collectives that are included in the group survey exhibition. In the spirit of open exchange, Kurt Mueller, a longtime observer of the Biennial, an artist participant in the 2007 exhibition, and an editorial colleague in producing three special features for the journal Art Lies in connection with the 2011 exhibition, 1 was asked to organize a “conversation” with the curators of TX13 about the exhibition specifically and the project in general.

The Biennial’s commitment to collaboration is also demonstrated by its approach to exhibition venues. The first three shows—openly DIY and sometimes quite scrappy affairs—were each distributed across multiple venues in Austin, a mix of nonprofit arts organizations and alternative spaces. In 2011, generous partners in Houston and San Antonio enabled placing portions of the group

These features by Richard R. Brettell (“Sited and Situated: A Brief Account of Art Spaces in Texas”); Margarita Cabrera, Alison de Lima Greene, Trenton Doyle Hancock, David Pagel, Virginia Rutledge and Richard Shiff (“Like a Whole Other Country? The State of Contemporary Art in Texas”); and Benjamin Lima (“Biennials and Texanicity in Contemporary Art: A Survey of Surveys”) are available as pdf downloads along with the entire TX11 catalog on www.texasbiennial.org.



CATS, DOGS, BIENNIALS: A CONVERSATION WITH THE TX13 CURATORS What follows is a virtuality, in that it is composed of many conversations that took place over several months with different configurations of participants, some inhabiting the same physical space, others connected telephonically, and most in communication over email. Nevertheless, through the ebb and flow of the overlaps, circlings, and tangents below; in the many very thoughtful and critical observations and insights; and following the invitation to dip in or dive in as interest dictates, this conversation represents where the Texas Biennial is, and maybe points to some places it could go.

Kurt Mueller: I’d like to start by asking Virginia to explain why and how the 2013 Biennial curatorial team was formed. Virginia Rutledge: It was an experiment driven by pragmatism. As the solo curator for 2011, I enjoyed the challenge of selecting work that I thought represented the spectrum of the entries, and which hung together in terms of accomplishment. But it was also a horrific time challenge because of the sheer number of entries that came in. Michael Duncan, the brilliant independent curator who put the 2009 show together and encouraged me to accept the invitation to curate the next one, had to do some handholding. After the increased attention the 2011 show generated, it seemed prudent to expect even more entries for 2013. Leaving aside the question of whether it would be desirable, it simply wouldn’t have been reasonable for a single curator to review all the work, unless that was her full-time job. One of the best features of the Texas Biennial is, I believe, its willingness to tinker. Given the numbers potentially involved—and it turned out artists submitted almost 5,000 works to the open call—it seemed clear that multiple curators was a good idea, but also that curation by consensus was unlikely. Not that I’d say that selection by unanimity is ideal, regardless. So it was decided to form a team in which each curator could exercise an independent voice but had no veto power. Gary Sweeney, Are You a Psychopath? (2012); paint, routed wood, plastic signs; 38 x 26 x 2” Kurt Mueller is a writer, curator, and artist living in Los Angeles. Virginia Rutledge is an art historian, advisor, and attorney living in New York and Texas.


Primordial Garden (2013); installation of flex neon, cold cathode fluorescent lights, LEDs, various plastics, computer sources; presentation variable

AdELA ANDEA Born 1976 in Romania Lives in Conroe, TX BFA Painting, University of Houston, TX, 2009 MFA New Media, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2012 Teaches at Lone Star College, Kingwood, TX Represented by Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX and Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX

KM: That configuration is rather unusual, as is the decision that each curator’s individual choices would be anonymous to each other and remain so to the Biennial artists and audience. VR: Yes, and that came about by request from several curators—who shall remain nameless. Interestingly, the group was content to go along with that request. I think everyone saw there were pros and potentially cons to identifying the specific picks of each curator, and my personal belief is that this team came together in the first place because they are curious about the larger experiment, the Texas Biennial itself, and wanted to help figure it out. So there wasn’t any pushback on the question of curatorial anonymity. The entire process was very collegial and largely drama-free. KM: Largely? VR: A discreet silence will be maintained. KM: Who selected, or curated, this curatorial super team? And what were they looking for? VR: You and I have talked previously about how loosely the word “curate” is used these days, so sure, we can say I curated the curators. But it was really a crowdsourced solution. Shea agreed we should include artists as well as a range of others involved in putting art before an

The title “Primordial Gardens” is a contradiction in itself. It comments on the aspiration to create a natural, primordial state. I use man-made materials to create artificial environments that suggest a “beauty” equal to that assigned to natural landscapes. The formal aspect of my work is subversive to the actual message; the transformation of inorganic material into visually organic forms participates aesthetically in the antithetic perception of the natural versus the artificial.


Three Years (2013); video projection, 14:39 minutes, silent; presentation variable Three Years was projected on the facade of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum during Texas Biennial opening festivities, September 5, 2013.

SKYE ashbrook

Born 1975 in Bay City, TX Lives in Austin, TX BFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2012

audience, all across the state. And, looking for some additional perspective, we wanted to include a few people who had some knowledge of the Texas scene but are based elsewhere. I did a lot of canvassing, and the potential group recommended by colleagues both in and outside the state got big, fast. So we settled on thirteen. Get it? KM: I actually didn’t notice the significance of the number thirteen until you just pointed it out. VR: Good, because it was super corny. KM: How did having such a large number of curators work out? VR: These are very busy but also very professional and engaged individuals. Not surprisingly, they were all generous with their time, and gave the works entered an impressive amount of consideration. From my inside view facilitating the process, in which I was not charged with making any selections myself, they did a remarkable job of reviewing entries. The selections were deeply thoughtful and often, to me at least, unexpected—something I do feel was lost to the public eye, because of the anonymity of the choices. KM: What exactly was the selection process for TX13?

“Three Years” is my inquiry into the condensation of a personal era into a moment. Composed of thousands of frames montaged into a single work, this ongoing project serves as an abstract diary in which I explore repetition and perception as conditions of shared existence. By creating works that break the photographic verisimilitude of traditional videos and move into the realm of abstraction, I activate the projection surface and the viewing space, creating an environment that invites a shared experience.


Doors Slamming Left to Right (2012); oil on canvas; 30 x 30�

DAVID Aylsworth

Born 1966 in Tiffin, OH Lives in Houston, TX BFA Kent State University, Kent, OH, 1989 Represented by Inman Gallery, Houston, TX and Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas, TX

VR: As is common these days, it was based on online review. That can be OK, but in the future I would hope to find a way to facilitate more studio visits and subsidize travel for curators around the state. As it happened, several curators told me they contacted artists whose work they never would have known about had they not seen it in the database of entries submitted to the open call. Artists could include multiple images per entry, as well as a bio or C.V. and any statement or other documentation they elected to provide. Curators were free to select any work from the entire database. The only constraints on selection were feasibility and the realities of the available space: Could the artist maintain a complicated technological setup that on-site venue staff could not? Could the ceiling support hanging elements of a certain tonnage? Etc. Major constraints, in other words. The group did admirably well in coming to terms with the inevitable limitation on the number of artists each could include. We aimed for an initial target of up to ten artists each, expecting there might be some shared picks—as there were. Ultimately, most curators opted for a single work each by a handful of artists, which surprised me a bit. For what it’s worth, I probably would have chosen to show more works by just one or two artists; but that’s easy to say since I didn’t have to make those tough calls. The selection process was iterative. Curators made their individual reviews of the database, and

Songwriter E. “Yip” Harburg once said that “Words make you think a thought, music makes you feel a feeling, but a song makes you feel a thought.” Painting, for me, comes from the same source as sex, desire, and identity. It is a personal activity that involves responding both to my own previous actions on a canvas as well as the physical qualities of paint. It is almost exclusively nonverbal, drawing on images that surround me and inhabit my space. A finished painting is an expression of a felt thought.


Porsche Party (2012); 1975 Porsche 914 door, steel mount, pennants, balloons; installation variable

DeBRA Barrera Born 1984 in Corpus Christi, TX Lives in Houston, TX BA Painting, University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2006 BA English, University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2006 MFA University of Houston, TX, 2010 Represented by Moody Gallery, Houston, TX

then in order to make sure that every entry received attention, each curator was tasked with specially reviewing a randomly designated chunk of entries and flagging the works they found most interesting, even if they didn’t intend to select them. These assignments were overlapped, so many eyes ended up seeing each entry. We circulated this first round of selections and flagged entries, maintaining each curator’s anonymity. Then there was a second round in which each curator reviewed the selections so far and all the flagged entries. The last phase of coming to a final decision took much longer for some curators than others, but we wanted everyone to feel they had time to fully consider the work submitted. Quite a number of curators changed their final selections, but a few stuck with their initial choices all the way. And some curators strategized by hanging back until seeing others’ final choices, which we made available anonymously throughout the process, and then making their own selections. KM: Did the curators talk amongst themselves during this process? VR: Probably more than I am aware, since this wasn’t done in a group chat room. We did facilitate anonymously passing along some information such as, “I’ve seen that work in person, and you might like to know that ———”. It was interesting that a number of curators took that option to communicate.

For Dorothy Levitt (2012); 1986 Pontiac Firebird rearview mirror, automotive enamel; 6 x 8.5 x 8”

My interests in temporality, history, and poetry conceptually inform an ongoing investigation of the human voyage. Our ability to document the passage from one plane of existence to the next is central to my work whether ordinary, like driving for the first time, or historically significant, like boarding a rocket ship to space.


Uncle Corky (2011); graphite on paper; 36 x 64�


Born in 1976 Flagstaff, AZ Lives in Houston, TX MFA University of Houston, TX, 2005 Represented by Moody Gallery, Houston, TX

KM: In hindsight, would you have changed the selection process at all? VR: Not much, given the parameters of the situation—the available resources and team setup. Most curators seemed to think the iterative process was a plus, even though it took longer and caused some time lags between stages. The curatorial team format itself has some distinct advantages, primarily that it avoids the possibility of getting a singular view that is skewed in an uninteresting way. Of course it also has disadvantages. This experiment certainly makes it that much easier to imagine several other models worth investigating. One possibility would be to set up several smaller teams with different areas of focus. Chiefly, I would hope that future iterations of the Texas Biennial are able to involve curators more deeply overall, and specifically in the actual presentation of the work. For example, resources didn’t allow bringing the curatorial group to San Antonio to participate in installing the show. Of course that would have been a quite a process itself, and maybe even a bit odd given the condition of anonymity. So TX13 was installed with the help of a terrific exhibition designer, Ren Waung, working primarily with me and Shea. KM: The open call system is a ready target for thinking about the Biennial’s scope and impact. Some would defend the egalitarian intentions of the call,

My work consists of large-scale graphite drawings that combine autobiographical narrative with labor-intensive attention to detail, creating a disorienting relationship between personal psychology and formal picture making concerns.


Untitled 3-15 (2012); oil on canvas; 42 x 42 x 2�

MICHAEL BLAIR Born 1979 in Lubbock, TX Lives in Denton, TX BFA University of Mary Hardin, Baylor, TX, 2002 MFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2012 Teaches at University of North Texas, Denton, TX Represented by Cohn Drennan Contemporary, Dallas, TX

but others would question how open the call actually is; some would argue an invitation-only model like the Whitney Biennial is best. To me, a hybrid model that ostensibly allows anyone to be considered via an open call, while also not limiting participation to the self-electing, likely by incorporating a parallel invitation process, seems most productive. Where do you fall on this spectrum? VR: I’m for hybridization in this case, and also for continuing to mix it up and remain flexible. There are many ways the Biennial could be structured to retain the opportunity of the open call, which I think is compelling and important, but also involve invited artists. There have already been some moves in this direction: in 2009, the now late Kelly Fearing was given a tribute exhibition; in 2011 certain site-specific works around the state by Margarita Cabrera, Mary Ellen Carroll, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Annette Lawrence—one of the 2013 curators—and James Magee were designated as part of the exhibition; and this year the Biennial and Ballroom Marfa invited Michael Corris to produce a commissioned work, a project that ended up including the formation of a group called The Dallas Collective. But even more than the open call, the “Texas” part of this project can strongly appeal or strongly turn off. The “why” of that is fascinating to me. Cats or dogs—Gary Sweeney’s work in this exhibition kept popping up on my mental screen as this conversation was taking place.

I paint in order to explore possible connections between objects and ideas. I work specifically with abstraction because it seems to me the most direct way to question the basic idea of a picture. Pictures aren’t only objects we make but also ideas and rules we cultivate for creating meaning from information stored in those objects. I set up my studio to discover new meaning and enumerate new possibilities by manipulating that information in unexpected ways.


A Part of Us (2012); acrylic on canvas; 40 x 40 x 2�

MatthEW BOURBON Born 1970 in Newport Beach, CA Lives in Denton, TX BA Studio Art, University of California at Davis, CA, 1993 MFA School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, 1999 Teaches at University of North Texas, Denton, TX Represented by Darke Gallery, Houston, TX

You know, most biennials identified by the name of their location aren’t about “place”, but some of the most powerful art in biennial or festival situations anywhere is the truly site-specific work—“site” in the most comprehensive sense. I think “Texas” should be a point of reference—ideally connected to many others. Some biennials structure their exhibitions around a theme. There are so many possibilities… I would like to see more established artists alongside more emerging artists, and there are lots of ways that could happen. It could be interesting to set up a structure of deliberate, thoughtful change for the next several iterations.

Of Two Minds (2013); acrylic on canvas; 30 x 30 x 2”

KM: I agree there are a lot of directions and places the Biennial could go—the horizon seems particularly wide. I bet the other curators have some thoughts. Let’s open this up by asking some of the TX13 curators what they feel were the successes and limitations of the curatorial model and method for this exhibition. David? David Pagel: The drawbacks are pretty typical: having to review the work online and taking “forever” to get through the number of submissions, especially the video entries. These problems are the same for single- or multi-curator open call exhibitions. But this is the first time I’ve been one among many in the multi-curator selection moshpit. It changes things radically. From the very beginning I gave up

David Pagel is an art critic and Associate Professor at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.

My art is about an intimate process of identification with things familiar and things alien. Addressing the nuance of human behavior—I fixate on what people do to other people, or what people fail to do. I do not, however, illustrate predetermined themes; I lack the requisite faith in clearly defined stories. Yet, I do purposefully use the framework of narrative painting as a place to ruminate about the pinball effect of interacting images and the inevitability of storytelling.


Florezca (2011); a for-profit corporation

Margarita CabreRA

Born 1973 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico Lives in El Paso, TX BFA Hunter College of the City University of New York, NY, 1997 MFA Hunter College of the City University of New York, NY, 2001

on the fantasy of trying to organize a coherent show. I also limited myself to fewer choices. Knowing that others were making selections, I tried to zero in on a smaller number of candidates I felt strongest about. I simply made selections based on what I thought were the best works, the ones that struck me as most nuttily ambitious, original, complex, demanding, and satisfying. In a sense, that’s exactly what I do when I am the sole curator. The big difference, then, was when I saw some of the other works my colleagues selected. In many cases, I thought, “Wow, that’s terrific.” In others, I thought, “I wouldn’t be caught dead putting that in a show.” So, for me, the main difference was tolerating other views. I actually like shows when ideas and works collide, so I went along with everyone else’s selections. What I was surprised to find was that some curators argued against other curator’s selections—including my own! I detected a whiff of control-mongering, micro-managing, my-way-isbest egomania there. Anyway, I felt much less attached to, or invested in the ultimate look of the final show than I would have felt if I had done it all myself. I am deeply interested in the look of the final show, however, given the model that was followed. I think it’s an exciting approach that produces results that are true to, and resonate against, the digital phase of the Information Age, which we all inhabit.

Rooted in a conceptual art practice, FLOREZCA is a multi-national corporation that functions both as business and art, with an online presence at www.florezcacreativa.com. Working within local communities, it creates, exhibits and sells original works of art that address urgent immigrant and migrant issues. Fundamentally, “to incorporate” means to include. The corporation’s goal is to bring into the exclusive circles of art and commerce those who have often been excluded in terms of voice, culture, and certainly economic benefit.



Breakin’ Is a Memory (2012); installation of fabric, enamel paint; presentation variable

Bernardo CANtu Born 1977 in Weslaco, TX Lives in Denton, TX MFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2010 Teaches at University of North Texas, Denton, TX Represented by 500X Gallery, Dallas, TX

I enjoy working with the contrasts of brute and delicate, low brow and high brow. In previous work, primarily paintings, I witnessed formal and material issues that I felt could be explored via an installation. “Breakin’ is a Memory” is a reflection of this investigation. The title and color of this installation is a tongue-incheek reference to an 80’s skater kitsch movie called “Thrashin’”.


The Wrong Perspective with The Dirty Rainbow (2011); installation of wall drawing, wood, silk thread, electrical outlets; presentation variable

Rebecca Carter Born 1971 in La Jolla, CA Lives in Dallas, TX BA Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, 1993 MFA School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 2005 Teaches at Eastfield College, Mesquite, TX Represented by RE Gallery, Dallas, TX


At the molecular level, silk thread and piano wire have in common that their particular crystalline structures render disproportionally high tensile strength. These crystalline structures are also what give them their respective capacities to refract light and resonate sound with force, brilliance and clarity. “The Wrong Perspective” and “The Dirty Rainbow” collectively form a study of line and space simultaneously embracing and discharging personal reference, narrative and fantasy.


The Widening Gap (2012); ongoing accumulation of plastic shopping bags sewn together; presentation variable

Teresa Cervantes

Born 1987 in Austin, TX Lives in Austin, TX BFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2010

KM: Do you feel there is a “TX13 point of view”? Or that the number of curators shaped the selection process and exhibition significantly? DP: Thirteen is a lot. The number borders on excusing responsibility altogether, although I think all of us are too earnest to allow that. I do not think that thirteen unique viewpoints are represented by the show. Nor do I think that there is a shared perspective. Yes, there are probably lots of overlaps and shared sensibilities. But unless the wall labels indicate who chose what and how highly each curator ranked an artist’s work, such notions cannot really be understood or addressed by an audience. Giving each curator a section of the exhibition would be one way of highlighting that. But all in all, there’s something about the process that gives form to the world in which we now live. I think that makes it worthwhile, and worth exploring further. Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler: One limitation we sensed in the process is that it emphasized selection rather than curation, simply by the way that the process was structured. One idea could be to allow curators to select artists, and then work with them directly all the way through the exhibition. We believe this would have created more of a face or curatorial shape for the Biennial. The open call structure of the Biennial brings as many limitations as it does opportunities. There are a significant number of artists who would not

Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler are an artist team living in Austin, and faculty at Bard College, Annandale-onHudson, New York and the University of Texas at Austin.

“Widening Gap” is one of a series of works in which I re-use plastic shopping bags and the corporate logos and advertisements printed on them, to investigate other potential meanings and ideas that may surface from new arrangements of the materials. Sewing these bags together as I collect them allows the piece to grow over time. The “gap” in this work thus widens literally and metaphorically.


Burden of Painting (Green) (2012); documentation of an action painting created on an abandoned industrial site using concrete fragments, rebar, house paint, tarp; presentation variable


Born 1975 in Spokane, WA, USA Lives in Dallas, TX BFA University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1998 MFA Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, 2010 Teaches at University of Texas, Dallas, TX

consider applying to an open call exhibition, as they are much more interested in a curatorial direction or curatorial questions as a context for their work. On the other hand, the open call allows anyone’s work to have a chance to be viewed by the curatorial team. This year’s Biennial, with thirteen curators, has allowed a more pluralistic view that, theoretically, should result in the exhibition representing a broader range of artistic practices. We chose a few artists whose work we are familiar with and excited by, and we consciously chose a few artists whose work we were not at all familiar with, but who we felt have great potential. We share a very similar opinion with David regarding the artist selections by our fellow curators. A lot of the artists would have made our list, but some wouldn’t have. From the beginning we expected that there would be disparate choices and that’s OK. In the end, this disparity creates an opportunity for some artists who most likely would not have found consensus among a group of thirteen curators. Christina Rees: Certainly there’s a difference between this open call system and a truly curated one. We acted as jurors, really, and not curators. If we had each been asked to go out and invite our ten favorite Texas artists, the final list might look pretty different. Though of course there is some overlap, as some of my favorite artists did happen to enter. But some didn’t.

Christina Rees is a writer and independent curator living in Dallas.

Catalyzed by my burdensome relationship with painting and its perceived historical weight, this project is one in an ongoing series of works involving rocks, bricks and concrete fragments that aims to redefine painting while absurdly attempting to cast it off. Hucked clumps of concrete become new grounds for painting in an event that conflates media specific boundaries and champions process. Here, photographic and video documentation of site and process become monochromes of their own.


Proposition 360 (2012); pigment, diamond dust, and varnish on birch; 29 x 24 x 2.75�


Born 1982 in Houston, TX Lives in Houston, TX BFA Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, 2005 MFA University of Texas at San Antonio, TX, 2007

René Paul Barilleaux: To use the word “curate” in connection with this particular selection process is not only misleading, but inaccurate. By the way, I never use that word myself in referring to what other curators and I do—but that’s another topic. This Biennial is an assemblage or collage of stuff, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I selected examples by artists whose work I know firsthand. Some of these artists are almost unknown beyond a small, focused following. I took this opportunity to bring their work to a larger audience. My choices are highly personal, but isn’t that the nature of the occupation? I suspect some of my colleagues took a similarly subjective approach; perhaps not. But given the chance to give attention to work that I believe in, I’m going to take advantage of my role. However, bottom line, I would much rather see this type of survey exhibition left in the hands of a single curator, someone who creates a statement about the state of things through a singular, nuanced selection. DP: I too am loathe to say that curators curate. I prefer “organize” exhibitions or “install” shows. But that’s just because I’m more used to the noun form of “curate”—a clergyman in charge of a parish—than its secondary definition as a transitive verb. That aside, I completely agree that we have been acting as selectors or jurors or bricoleurs of stuff for the Biennial. René, I also like that you make no bones about making unapologetically personal choices.

René Paul Barilleaux is Chief Curator/Curator of Art after 1945 at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio.

“Proposition 360” serves as a prime example of my continuing efforts to explore the chromatic and physical natures of paint. The work presents my method of painting hundreds of layers atop one another with paint I make myself, that includes pigment, diamond dust, and varnish. Of great importance to me is the act of embracing the human hand and the physical activity of painting. I am deeply involved with the textures of a medium capable of universalizing so much lost intimacy.


John in Drag (2011); paper and matte medium on canvas; 30 x 22 x .5�


Born 1985 in New York City, NY Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK, 2007

My only disagreement may be with the notion that it’s more interesting to leave the selection to a single selector. Maybe I have had my fill of those sorts of shows. There must be some way to make this more multi-headed monster work. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I think the process we’ve all been involved in is some kind of first step, something that is not too-many-cooks-spoil-the-soup curationby-committee and also not a single-perspective survey. Annette Lawrence: Thirteen voices are certainly enough for the purposes of having a broad range of sensibilities, representation across the state, and a mix of arts professionals including artists, writers, and curators. In choosing work for the Biennial I was able to narrow my options down to thirteen artists that I would have selected if I were working alone. I was happy to see that other curators/jurors also selected nine of these. Knowing that makes getting to the five artists I finally “voted for” less daunting, though it was still difficult. TH / AB: Annette has a good observation about the selection process and how the effect of consensus plays a part within a large group. Her comment made us think about the importance of non-consensus, of finding something exciting in a work and supporting that work and that artist but having the possibility that no one else in the group agrees with you. This is

Annette Lawrence is an artist and Professor of Drawing and Painting at the College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas, Denton.

My collage portraits use found paper to evoke the complexity of the human spirit. Based on original photographs, my subjects—real and imagined—lead mysterious lives. I use paper rather than paint because of its ability to naturally build off the canvas, constructing a sculptural component to the work. This collision of layered patterns immediately affects perceptions of color, shadow, and texture.


Spitting Image (2013); video documentation of performance, 34 minutes, with sound; tobacco and spit on paper; 36 x 96�; installation presentation variable

Rachel Crist and Daedalus Hoffman

Rachel Crist Born 1984 in Gainesville, FL Lives in Austin, TX

Daedalus Hoffman Born 1984 in Philadelphia, PA Lives in Austin, TX

something that we think René is talking about when he mentions making highly personal choices. We think that gathering a group of professionals from the art community to be a curatorial team is a good first step for a biennial taking place in such a populous and geographically expansive region. We really like David’s description of a “multiheaded monster” as a possible curatorial model. It is perhaps the perfect embodiment of consensus and non-consensus. KM: I’m curious to hear your thoughts on maintaining individual, curatorial anonymity throughout the selection process and the exhibition, i.e., the decision not to reveal which monster heads chose which works. DP: I think art, criticism, and organizing exhibitions are almost always more charged when there’s no anonymity and full disclosure. Naked transparency might add a wallop to the jury process. But it would also take lots more time. I believe the process would also benefit from getting the gang of jurors together and hashing it out over a long weekend, making cases for specific works. That kind of horse-trading might have been fun and productive. That’s probably even less viable, simply for financial reasons.

“Spitting Image” documents the physiological reaction of a performer compulsively chewing dipping tobacco. Throughout the video, the performer spits tobacco onto paper, generating a codependent work that is presented as artifact in the installation. The performance confronts essentialist bias, ritual and initiation through hyperbole, transcending autobiography and investigating the boundaries of cultural practice. Harnessing the agony of the performer and the astonishment of the viewer, the work employs anguish and empathy to explore the space between transgression and transformation.


still from Cyclops (2012); digital video projection, looped, silent; dimensions variable

MATTHEW CUSICK Born 1970 in New York, NY Lives in Dallas, TX BFA Cooper Union, New York, NY, 1993 MFA Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, 2013 Represented by Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY

In lieu of that, and given the low-budget, virtual nature of the beast this time around, anonymity makes sense. It captures the anonymous nature of lots of Internet interaction. Yet it still demands somewhat more accountability than is often called upon online. The mixture, to me, is interesting, and timely. And it could be cultivated and developed in future iterations, although I don’t know how exactly, logistically speaking, that could be done. KM: It is interesting here that the desire to hash things out with the other curators, ideally in person, seems to be less the desire to champion specific artworks for inclusion, which is already guaranteed in this model, than the desire to exclude specific works, or edit the selection to thematic or contextual ends. AL: Although it is cost prohibitive to bring everyone together around a big table to discuss and argue for their choices, doing so would probably yield a different show than the one we have. As Virginia suggested, there is also the layer of interpretation inherent in the choices that are made in the physical installation of the show to consider. KM: David’s suggestion that the model followed is apt to our digital era is intriguing. Does this model specifically favor certain artworks being selected? DP: I don’t think any model necessarily favors any media. Although there may be a new category of art favored which we’d all do well to be wary of: “LOOKS GREAT ONLINE”.

“Cyclops” depicts an endless road from the driver’s point of view. While the driver repeatedly gazes into the rear view mirror, the car seems to be moving forward yet never advances, creating an unsettling, yet hypnotic state of stasis in motion. In this troubling illusion, the driver’s inability to reach his destination is linked to his constant reassessment of the past. The work is an infinite loop constructed from three scenes from two different movies, “Out of the Past” (1947) and “Death Race 2000” (1975).


Pain Series No. 23 (2012); deconstructed shirt panels, straight pins; 22 x 11 x 9�


Born 1973 in Mexico City, Mexico Lives in Dallas, TX MFA University of Texas at Dallas, TX, 2011 Represented by Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX; Zadok Gallery, Miami, FL; and Galerie Lot 10, Brussels, Belgium

Comparing the 2011 Biennial, which I also saw but did not jury, and this year’s exhibition, I feel this time around there’s more complex, confused stuff cooking. However, that just may have to do with my only having seen the final selection two years ago and this year seeing lots of the candidates, most of whom did not make the cut. I think the art in both years is generally continuous in spirit. But I also think that there may be more standouts this time around—stronger, stranger stuff. RPB: Selecting artists and their works through online review was for me no different than the former slide review process in that all works are viewed at a similar scale, some works photograph better than others, and much is left to the reviewer’s imagination. But I love David’s suggestion of a new category of art. If future Biennials are selected through an online process, then perhaps the exhibition itself should be viewed only online. That way, the audience will experience the work just as the curators do, and similarly find themselves second-guessing what’s visible on the screen. Pain Series No. 39 (2012); deconstructed vest, straight pins; 13 x 9 x 2”

TH / AB: For future Biennial iterations, we suggest that if the budget doesn’t allow for the curators to spend a day or two together, table-thumping, arguing

The “Pain Series” explores the power of transformation that pain has on every human being. An unavoidable ingredient of life, pain works as a catalyzing agent, and it’s up to the individual to seize the opportunity to foster change. These objects confront the viewers with their own vulnerability. The pins piercing the fabric taken from deconstructed clothing create an illusion of armor and protection; evidence of the pain endured which has become part of their identity.


De la Joven Irlandés y el Lobo Gris Mexicano, el Disfraz (of Irish Lassie and Mexican Gray Wolf, the Costume) (2012); acrylic, graphite, charcoal and transfer on wood; 48 x 36 x 2”

CLAUDIO DICoCHEA Born 1971 in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 1995 PBA San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA, 1999 MFA Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2009 Represented by Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

for and against work, developing thematic and conceptual twists for the exhibition, going out for a drink to talk about it some more, then the number of curators should be smaller in order to accommodate this important level of exchange. Unless the whole process of the exhibition can be played out online, on-screen, which in our opinion would be less interesting. KM: A significant part of the Biennial’s audience will only experience the work and exhibition through this catalog and texasbiennial.org, but as many of you suggest, there is nothing especially new about experiencing work via reproduction, except maybe regarding video and web-based artworks, which can often be fully experienced anywhere there is a screen. TH / AB: We’d like to add that as a roving, multilocation exhibition with no permanent or centralized institutional space, the Biennial offers a range of interesting opportunities and challenges. Within these spaces and temporary circumstances, of course some works fare better than others. The Biennial is faced with having to make some difficult choices, especially as they pertain to artists working in the fields of extended media, installation, and sculpture. It is unfortunate that more of these works ultimately could not be included, due to space and budget constraints. As long as there’s not a more developed infrastructure in place to support works that require specialized space conditions and equipment, these kinds of works have a particular

This piece is from a series of contemporary caste or “casta” paintings, a popular genre from 18th century colonial Mexico meant to record racial mixing. Similar to hip-hop, border techno and global mashups, this painting lifts and samples preexisting material in order to understand the processes and effects of re-appropriation. Specifically, this piece draws a rough parallel between the scientific inventions of race (for human subjects) and breed (for animals)— necessary concepts for domestication and control.


Aura (Death Valley Daze) (2012); graphite and tape on tracing paper and newsprint; 77.5 x 94”

KENT DORN Born 1977 in Greer, SC Lives in Houston, TX MFA University of Houston, TX, 2005 Represented by Freight + Volume, NY; McClain Gallery, Houston, TX; and Hans Alf Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark “Aura (Death Valley Daze)” depicts a fictional terrain informed by the idealistic pursuits of early American landscape painting and the hippie counterculture. Littered with debris, overgrowth and remnants of past inhabitants, the landscape depicted is clearly not idyllic, but instead a psychological terrain of isolation, loss, and mortality.

Zara Sequencia (2012); oil paint on canvas; 47 x 36 x 2�

TREY EGAN Born 1979 in Salina, KS Lives in Dallas, TX MFA Painting, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2013 Teaches at Richland College, Dallas, TX Represented by Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX

disadvantage versus other works. We currently see a substantial number of exciting artists working within these fields, but their positions are somewhat underrepresented in this Biennial due to the circumstances mentioned. KM: That is unfortunate, because when I think of Texas, I think of space, physical space but maybe also the freedom to venture and invent, a frontier mentality if you will, conditioned by undeveloped space.

Born Electric, We Are the Lucky Ones (2012); oil paint on canvas; 52 x 70 x 2”

VR: In some sense the Biennial actually is proof of concept. But as a practical matter, it’s worth noting that the exhibition this year occupied almost 7,500 square feet, and required some clever temporary wall and separate video gallery solutions —and still had some problems dealing with sound. And that’s not counting the outdoor space used for several performances and installations, as well as Blue Star’s façade, which served as the screen for Skye Ashbrooke’s enormous abstract video projection. Many venues don’t have that kind of exhibition space, so it’s something to keep in mind if a centralized show is again seen as a desirable option. Equipment and technological expertise are other challenges. Even very large organizations often don’t have the media equipment needed to present certain works, and don’t always have staff who can handle the tech if there’s some system fail.

My work exists between the relationship of the subconscious and physical space. It is about my emotional and reactive navigation of the canvas, engineered with a process of lavish marks, natural gesture, and shape integration. This process relies on seeing and feeling the signs before me that lead to the next move, utilizing a lyrical approach to abstraction. The forms derive from a primal recognition of my surroundings, where a fragmented system of shapes amplifies into a cascade of irrational space.


Views of the Lake (2012); digital UV prints on ceramic tile, lacquered pine displays; presentation variable

CASSANDRA EMSWILER Born 1983 in Dallas, TX Lives in McKinney, TX BA University of Texas at Dallas, TX, 2008 MFA University of Texas at Dallas, TX, 2011 Teaches at University of Texas at Dallas, TX

KM: Getting back to the beginning of the selection process, another obvious limitation to the Biennial is that entry was only open to Texas artists, defined as those “living and working in Texas.” What does the label “Texas artist” mean to you? Dario, did being a “Texas artist” yourself affect your selections for TX13? Dario Robleto: I never find myself reflecting on what makes me “Texan” and especially not a “Texas artist.” And it certainly played no part in my selection process for the Biennial. If there is a Texas aesthetic, then I can’t say I know what it is. I have always been suspicious of the types of bubbles that form around any regional identifiers. I just instinctually push back from us/them thinking. But that said, it in no way means I don’t feel an intense sense of pride and desire to support the community around me. In fact, over the years, I have considered myself a spokesperson for my hometown and I take the role quite seriously. Support is shown by constantly trying to have conversations outside your neighborhood or given field. The health and maturity of the “local”, for me, hinges on getting your community to constantly be engaged with others outside it. So I feel you can have a healthy suspicion of these types of labels while still being engaged and actively supporting your community. K8 Hardy: Initially, I was a bit disturbed that the Texas Biennial had the requirement that applicants “live and work” in Texas. There may now be a more

Dario Robleto is an artist living in Houston. K8 Hardy is an artist living in New York City.

Designing tiles has become a way for me to quietly combine traces of my personal mythology with concerns for the public built environment and photography’s relationship to faux veneer building materials. This work is part of an ongoing search for the ideological origins of all the banal motifs that find their way onto mass-produced flooring. Each tile presents snapshots of lakes in Michigan and Texas while quoting historic French formal garden plans.


Ideal Shelter (2013); water-based polymer-resin, gypsum, pigment; 66 x 60 x 90�

MIRIAM ELLEN EWERS Born 1977 in West Palm Beach, FL Lives in Denton, TX BFA Printmaking, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 2000 MFA Sculpture, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 2006 Teaches at University of North Texas, Denton, TX

welcoming atmosphere for artists in Texas, but that was certainly not the case in the past, and many Texan artists—myself included—had to leave to have a career, or a consistent audience. This kind of nationalistic rigidity forecloses the art community in Texas from connecting not only with other generations, but also with gay artists who leave because they have no legal rights in the state. AL: Although I didn’t grow up in Texas, my professional life has been based in Texas from the start, so I claim the state as home. The range of art and artists in Texas runs the gamut. And, yes, when traveling, it is quite common to run into artists from Texas far afield. KH: Anecdotally, I can list off a number of amazing Texan artists living and working in New York and think it would be mutually beneficial for these people to link together. This show is a possible location for that to happen. However, these issues are obviously bigger than the Texas Biennial, and there do need to be restraints on an open call application. CR: Texas is too big to get bogged down in any signifier of “Texas” art. It might as well be two or three or four states, because it’s a huge place cut into regions. If I had to characterize a successful Texas artist, I would use terms like resilient, resigned, cooperative, and self-driving, as well as frustrated, misunderstood—even by many in their own scenes— and resourceful.

Proceeding from wonderment with nature, this work is based on a Wenteltrap (a Dutch word meaning “winding stair”), a type of seashell. The sculpture is seven feet at its maximum length, and three feet at its aperture; almost thirty times larger than the seashell and big enough to produce a haptic sensation of a shelter. The emptiness of the shell makes the object ghostly like an empty house. The sculpture is an allegory of a home lost or abandoned.


Index Cards (2013); India ink, oil paint, and mixed media on printed index cards; presentation variable

VINCENT FALSETTA Born 1949 in Philadelphia, PA Lives in Denton, TX BA Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 1972 MFA Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 1974 Teaches at University of North Texas, Denton, TX Represented by Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX; Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX; Wade Wilson Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; and Sherry Leedy Gallery, Kansas City, MO

To me the various art communities throughout Texas are marked by several shared distinctions. To begin, the cultural environment of Texas is fundamentally anti-intellectual and unsophisticated, i.e., hostile to art. Any artists deciding to settle here have to be ready to face that. Artists live here because it’s cheap, there’s plenty of room, quite a few people are nice and interesting at the same time—unusual in many parts of the world. And the economy is holding up. The discrete art communities are often quite close-knit, or even cliquish, but that only makes sense when thinking about Texas at large. There’s often an “us against them” mentality while still trying, as Dario points out, to reach outside this insularity and communicate with the larger community. There is a desire to educate others, so to speak, though we all get very weary of repeating ourselves in the face of Rick Perry’s version of Texas. I still feel that if people are really interested in art, they’ll go looking for it— you can’t force them to “get” it. Texas, while being fundamentally conservative, is also fundamentally polite. This has really dumbed down the press and criticism and the dialogue around art outside of the immediate art communities or artists and their friends sitting around a bar or dinner table. No one wants to say this or that art is really bad, even when it is. This retards the growth and quality of the work. Everyone is a winner in his or her own backyard. Many artists will love this. The mediocre ones will. The really good artists hate it, though. They know better.

The “index cards” are a behind-the-scene activity that I have done since the 1980s. Each painting I make generates from two to ten cards, predominantly statistics or studio lab notes for the paintings, as well as journal entries that include questions on what I am investigating and other mental notes. The cards themselves are custom-made and archival. The text is written with a crow quill pen and the actual oil paint used in the paintings is used to record colors and compositions.


Pizzicato Porno (2013); performance with video projection, music and weather balloons; 20-25 minutes; presentation variable Video and choreography: Danielle Georgiou Music: Justin Locklear Pizzicato Porno was performed by Danielle Georgiou and Justin Locklear at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum on October 3, 2013.

DANIELLE GEORGIOU Born 1984 in Dallas, TX Lives in Dallas, TX BBA University of Texas at Arlington, TX, 2006 MA University of Texas at Arlington, TX, 2008 Teaches at Eastfield College Mesquite, TX and University of Texas at Arlington, TX

KM: I’m curious, since you all seem resistant to the label “Texas artist”, whether you feel the Biennial reinforces that identity, by promoting it as a distinction? Or does it obliterate it, as the lack of a cohesive aesthetic reveals “Texas artist” to be merely an administrative convenience? Is the tag useful, harmful, or insignificant?

still from Suck a Tit (2012–2013); video; presentation variable

DR: I don’t think having a biennial exhibition framed by a state or region is a harmful thing. It’s a useful contrivance for organizing an effort to bring different voices together within such a large area. There is a drama to a “state of the nation” type focus that gives us a useful framing device for conversations to start: to be surprised at what our similarities are or to recognize what we are excluding. So I am not opposed to them in principle. But what I think most of us are sensitive to is when the demarcation lines of these organizing guides become rigid and limiting rather than just a temporary framing device. And, perhaps, we are just a little more sensitive to the “Texas artist” label because of the unique associations our state conjures in the mind’s eye to the rest of the world. There is just no way around it: We have more baggage to deal with! I would even go as far as suggesting that in the past decade, where once the world’s cliched images of the behavior of the U.S. were filtered through a New York-centric lens, after 9/11 these cliche behaviors shifted to a Texas-centric lens, so dominate was George Bush’s demeanor on the world stage.

Combining video and live performance to create a mirror to examine the self, I incorporate pop culture references and mechanically mediated techniques to explore contemporary feminine gender dynamics and the intensely personal nature of identity. Influenced by Samuel Beckett’s search for the self, Diamanda Galás’ performances, Chris Marker’s editing, and Guy Bourdin’s highly sexual fashion photographs, the resulting mise-en-scénes are love letters: to myself, my lovers, you. They document my own selfdiscovery of dysfunction.


It Makes Me Cry Sometimes (2013); tape player, film with spools, rubber tube, shelf, wire, screw, paper, altered version of recording of “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys; installation variable


Born 1982 in Detroit, MI Lives in Dallas, TX MFA University of Texas at Arlington, TX, 2013 Represented by Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas, TX

I can only speak for myself here, but these complicated world dynamics about the image of our state have routinely made me evaluate what the “Texas artist” title means and how it can be played with in interesting ways. I will never forget the first time I showed in Europe after the U.S. invaded Iraq and how shocked some viewers were that my work did not reflect what they assumed a “Texas artist” would be making as far as a political message was concerned. That was a real revelation about the unknown baggage I carry with me because of where I am from. It made me realize what an interesting opportunity we have to play against type elsewhere and generate provocative discussions. All this is to say that there are complicated dynamics that I do think are unique to our state that make the question of how we label ourselves or our biennials something that needs to be scrutinized more carefully. But it is also because of our baggage that I find the idea of a Texas Biennial interesting. How it is perceived internally is one thing, how it is perceived outside the state is another equally interesting aspect. CR: To return to K8’s comment, if you’re going to have a Texas Biennial, you might as well limit it to artists who actually live and work in the state, even if they’ve just moved here. Isn’t that what we’re all interested in, when exploring this kind of mass location-based exhibition—how does an artist survive and thrive in Texas? As for whether it’s open to artists who are from Texas but living outside the state, good luck coming

I like books or movies in which the main character becomes secluded somehow, showing a “real” manifestation of an already present internal loneliness. They usually accept their fates, Just like the toys in “Toy Story 3”. Woody accepted his death. What does a child retain when they see something they love embrace mortality? It seems similar to putting a loaded gun in their hands. Dangerous, but sometimes completely necessary.


Failure 3 (2013); fabric, poster of The Cure, rubber band, shelf, brackets, screws, digital photograph; installation variable


Born 1985 in Dallas, TX Lives in Dallas, TX BS Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, 2006 MFA University of Texas at Dallas, TX (enrolled)

up with the conditions for a cutoff. Someone who was born in Odessa but left at age two and never came back? I don’t know. KM: Even though the individual choices of the curators weren’t revealed, how do you think the fact that the curatorial team included not only “professional” curators and museum directors, but also critics, art historians, and artists affected the final selection? Are differences of occupational perspective visible in the TX13 artist roster? AL: Due to the large size of the state and the format of the open call, the Biennial may function as a summary, rather than a focused read of work being produced in Texas at the moment. I wouldn’t make a distinction between artists, curators, and writers on the curatorial team. We were all faced with the task of culling through thousands of entries, which serves as an equalizer of sorts. Dario, Christina, and K8 have handily dealt with the “Texas artist” issue, so I will let it rest. K8’s point about artists who have left the state to live in New York linking together around their Texas identity is a testament to the strength of the ethos of coming from Texas. The cachet of having Texas identity in New York cannot be underestimated. Dario’s point of the difference between the perception of the Biennial from inside of the state and outside of the state resonates with me. It will be interesting to see both responses. I expect the response inside of the state will differ from city to city. Everything else does.

Through mediation and reconfiguration of found materials and photographs, this work suggests that the relationships we form with objects operate as surrogates for the relationships humans form with each other. Within “Failure #3”, previous histories, characterizations, and functionalities are re-presented as fresh, aesthetic propositions. By recontextualizing this material into a deliberate sculptural tableau, I want to prompt the viewer to question not only their intrinsic purpose or significance, but also what they can reveal to us about communication, connection, and human nature.


Painting For Budd Hopkins (2012); oil on canvas; 60 x 48 x 1.5�


Born 1969 Hobart, OK Lives and works in Houston, TX BFA from University of Texas at Austin, TX, 1997 Represented by Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX

KM: If the Biennial cannot, and shouldn’t resolve a definition of the contemporary “Texas artist”, what are your thoughts on who is represented by TX13, a self-professed “independent survey of contemporary art in Texas”? Does the open call and the selection process favor or exclude certain individuals and groups within the state? DR: One thing I found of particular note was how the Biennial artists are almost exactly evenly split along gender lines, a diversity in our state one would perhaps not immediately assume. Interestingly, this seems to be a consistent result in all the Texas Biennials to date. There is still a troubling gender gap in the arts, whether we’re talking about the underrepresentation of women in major museum collections or gallery representation. I’m not sure how to account for this even split in our state, but it deserves more thought and reflection. Christian Gerstheimer: Applying to participate in art exhibitions is a process that not all artists will endure. The fee, the technology, the deadline, and the required categorized data all rub artists the wrong way. Have that many new artists popped up to justify an open call exhibition? Or does the open call mainly identify those artists willing to jump through the hoops? To my eye, this Biennial represents artists working at a serious level, many of whom have been educated in university studio programs and others who are self-taught but have immersed themselves

Christian Gerstheimer is a curator at the El Paso Museum of Art.

Budd Hopkins was a celebrated American artist also known in the UFO community for his work with alleged alien abductees. The landscape formation refers to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, the backdrop for the final scenes of the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Government tests of new technology in remote desert areas beg the question: Are people having genuine sightings of an extraterrestrial origin? This mystery—and people’s passion on the subject—requires a true leap of faith.


stills from Whole (2012); HD video projection, 3:00 minutes, two-channel stereo sound; dimensions variable

Hillerbrand + Magsamen

Stephan Hillerbrand Born 1965 in Durham, NC Lives and works in Houston, TX MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1994

Mary Magsamen Born 1969 in Ft. Collins, CO Lives and works in Houston, TX MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, 1994

in recent contemporary art practice. I believe the Texas Biennial is open to all artists, but amateur or more “outsider” artists are most likely the ones to be excluded. To me that makes sense. We also could have seen a different show if the space had allowed curators to choose even more artists. I definitely have a list of about 20 artists that are what I might reluctantly call runners-up. CR: I often found myself surprised by who did and did not enter. There was no real pattern, other than that many of the nationally successful artists—and there aren’t that many in Texas—did not enter. Some of these artists were jurors for this Biennial, of course. Why is that? What about the Biennial turns them off or seems not worth their time? In this sense, the Texas Biennial, which is still very young, is not a complete survey of the best of Texas art at this moment. It is a snapshot of Texas art at a given time, but it’s a bit bottom-heavy. There are fantastic artists in this Biennial, to be sure. Veterans, too. And the idea of the Biennial is still taking hold in Texas. But many of the most remarkable Texas-based artists aren’t included. Of course, if all of these artists did participate, or if we had really curated it by handpicking, then the whole might have been too top-heavy. It would have been just all the usual suspects. The youngest or newest artists who are included in this company would be given new light, though, and probably more of a national spotlight. And what a show that would be.

Our collaborative practice as a husband-and-wife visual arts team expands our personal life into a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life and American consumer excess, which we call “suburban fluxus”. In Whole, we embark on an epic adventure shot entirely in our home with our children, creating new levels of interaction and exploration by cutting holes through our house to make a habitrail-like environment where we all go nowhere fast.


Untitled (2011), oil, enamel and wax on canvas, 84 x 64”

GEOFF hippenstiel

Untitled (2011); oil, enamel and wax on canvas; 84 x 64”

TH / AB: We are not entirely surprised that a greater number of established artists did not participate. For an established artist, it’s most often not such an interesting opportunity to be part of an open call exhibition. In our case, one of the most exciting components of participating in an exhibition is the conceptual inquiry and dialogue with the curator or organizer. A different structure, engagement, and relationship with the individual curators might have encouraged some of the more established artists to participate in this exhibition. We suggest that if the Biennial would like to see more established artists participating in future iterations of the Biennial, an approach in which curators work directly with a small number of artists be considered. CG: The Texas Biennial is still developing its identity, and that’s another reason artists may be hesitant to enter. A useful comparison to the Whitney Biennial might be that the Whitney exhibition usually includes several very established artists. Every emerging artist invited to be in the Whitney Biennial knows in advance that he or she will be exhibiting in that context, deemed similarly worthy by the exhibition’s curator. Including more established artists, even some by invitation, could serve several purposes. The Texas Biennial could also be more inclusive by requiring each curator to identify a specific number of artists according to discipline i.e., one painter, one sculptor, one video artist, one sound artist, one installation artist, one performance artist, one

Geoff Hippenstiel Born 1974 in Santa Monica, CA Lives in Houston, TX BFA University of Houston, TX, 2006 MFA University of Houston, TX, 2010 Teaches at University of Houston,TX and Houston Community College, Houston, TX Represented by Devin Borden Gallery, Houston, TX and Holly Johnson Gallery, Dallas, TX I try to disrupt a hurried digestion by thwarting recognition, challenging the shifting historical hierarchy of the materiality of paint and the image. The physicality of the paint reinforces the ephemeral nature of the image. The paintings elicit a response of unsure recognition. The source image is not exalted through a marriage with paint. Painting these images is an act of divorce. A new identity is established that for me is honest because of uncertainty.


Friskt kopplat, hälften brunnet. (Quickly connected, half burned.) (2013); installation of recycled IKEA furniture; presentation variable

HOMECOMING! Committee HOMECOMING! Committee is an artist collective established in Fort Worth in 2011. Currently the group includes twelve members: Christopher Bond, Bradly Brown, Ryan Goolsby, Courtney Hamilton, Timothy Harding, Shelby Meier, Devon Nowlin, Kris Pierce, Gregory Ruppe, Alden Williams, Briana Williams, and Tiffany Wolf. Their collaborative practice emphasizes the creation of interactive and participatory environments and developing networks for future collaborations. In Swedish, the title of this work is similar in meaning to the English phrase “haste makes waste”. For this project, the group involved the public in the collection of unwanted and broken IKEA furniture which was reassembled into sculptures that could also serve as shipping containers. Letters were sent to the Swedish Consulate in Dallas to offer this project to Sweden, whose waste-to-energy recycling program is reportedly so successful in generating alternative fuel that the country is running short on trash.


During the month of September, 2013, HOMECOMING! Committee were the TX13 artists-in-residence at CentralTrak–The Artist Residency of the University of Texas at Dallas, where this installation was presented.


Elijah and LaDonte (Jubilee) (2012); photographic pigment print on cotton fabric; 55.5 x 40�

LETITIA Huckaby Born 1972 in Augsburg, Germany Lives in Fort Worth, TX BA Journalism, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 1994 BFA Photography, Art Institute of Boston, MA, 2001 MFA University of North Texas Denton, TX, 2010 Represented by Liliana Bloch Gallery, Dallas, TX

printmaker, one new-media artist, one craft-media artist, etc., or one artist each from San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, El Paso, etc. That would ensure that the artists selected span across disciplines and regions. KM: I’m interested in pursuing this idea, raised by several of you, of the importance of differences within the state, of “regionalisms” within Texas, as distinct from any attempt to define the entire state though a regionalist view, as a singular locale. How do the composition and accessibility of TX13 reflect geographic biases within the state? Were you inclined to represent your immediate community in the mix? Clint Willour: I have been exhibiting and jurying work by Texas artists for 40 years, and curating with a near-exclusive focus on Texas artists for the past 23 years. As a curator of TX13, the choices I made were certainly meant to reflect on my institution. They were all artists who have or will be exhibited at the Galveston Arts Center. As I looked over the list of entrants, I realized that I had exhibited or juried into various competitions over 150 of those artists, that I can remember. I have given one-person exhibitions, some travelling, with catalogs, to dozens of them. As a result, I had strong commitments to them and their work. One of the works in the Biennial went directly from my institution’s walls to the walls of Blue Star. One of the chosen artists had a one-person exhibition

Clint Willour is the Curator of the Galveston Arts Center.

“Elijah and LaDonte (Jubilee)” is from a body of work entitled “Flour”, inspired by stories from my mother’s childhood in the backwoods of Louisiana. I remember tales of milking cows before dawn, swimming in ponds with snakes and riding hogs like horses. Her family grew, raised or made everything they needed except flour, which they “store bought”. My grandmother used the cotton flour to make dresses for the girls. This story made a huge impression on me. What strength and creativity!


Alissa Blumenthal, Sunset II, late 1930s (2013); oil on canvas; 42 x 42” Alissa Blumenthal, Small abstractions, 1950s through early 1960s (2013); oil on canvas; each 12 x 12” 300 Years of American Painting, by Alexander Eliot, art editor of Time, Time Incorporated, New York, 1957 (2013); altered book


Born 1977 in Irkutsk, Russia Lives in New York, NY; formerly Houston, TX Ph.D. Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2010 MFA Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY, 2011

at my institution concurrently with TX13. I will be having an exhibition for a team of chosen artists as my FotoFest exhibition next year. In my case it was exceedingly difficult to be objective. Jeremy Strick: Overall, the TX13 roster gives primacy to artists in key urban centers—Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, which is hardly surprising. Partly, I imagine this reflects the composition of the selection committee, but it must also reflect the relative sizes of those cities and their respective artist communities and importantly, the institutions that attract and sustain artists in those centers, especially art schools, above all. The schools are often more national than local in their outlook, in terms of faculty and the students enrolled, but by concentrating artists in certain areas, local interests and concerns can emerge. Whether there’s anything specific or distinct to Texas in any of this is unclear, even doubtful to me. But I do think a critical consideration of the work emerging from each of these four centers, perhaps using the Texas Biennial list as a springboard, might prove interesting. CW: Certainly the Core Program residency at the Glassell School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has had a profound impact on art in the state, and especially in Houston. VR: As has the Artpace residency program in San Antonio.

Jeremy Strick is the Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.

My practice explores history in its continuous transformation, as it is invented and re-invented. The ongoing “Blumenthal” project consists of abstract paintings produced by a fictional RussianAmerican artist, Alissa Blumenthal (1899-1995), and alleged documentation of that work. The project engages with the history of modernism and questions of authorship, authenticity and interpretation by contrasting the “evidence” of a dynamic process of painterly abstraction with the narrative of an obscure female artist, her biography and influences that might have shaped her work.


Star Child (2012); relief iron print and transfer print with found objects on apron; 38 x 24�

ANN JONHSON Born 1967 in London, England, UK Lives in Houston, TX AAA Bauder Fashion College, Arlington, TX, 1988 BS Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, 1992 MA University of Houston-Clear Lake, TX, 1994 MFA Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA, 2008 Teaches at Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX Represented by Hooks Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

CR: To echo Jeremy, I think it only makes sense that the majority of Texas artists, once they’ve chosen to work in the state, gravitate to the cities or areas with the most developed art infrastructure, those places with more artists, art schools, museums, galleries, collectors, studio spaces, residencies like the Core Program, etc. I’m not surprised if a majority of the artists chosen for this Biennial are based in these larger centers, or at least concentrate their careers in these kinds of places, even if they choose to live farther out. Also, I don’t know how I could have honestly leaned more toward the work of artists I don’t know or have never been exposed to. I’ve been very active in my own wider community in DFW off and on—mostly on—for 15 years. I have a much more profound understanding of the work by those artists working where I am. While I did select some artists from Houston and Austin and elsewhere, I felt more responsibility to make sure the deserving DFW artists were included. I should think that’s one of the reasons I was asked to participate. AL: Art and artists in Texas find a way between cities with fluidity. This constant motion characterizes art in Texas for me to a great extent. I frequently find myself traveling long distances to see work and to support artists. I would venture a guess that it is the norm for those of us in the field to drive for hours to see an exhibition or participate in one. There is a very high level of commitment inherent in doing that. If geography plays a role it is more likely to be in this regard than any other.

My grandmothers were domestics. Like many women of color, they spent their days taking care of white families and nights raising their own. Researching the history of domestics during slavery, I found intimate photos of black women and white babies. The look in the women’s eyes—was it pride, fear or despair? Amid the star-shaped patterns of scorched iron prints representing their backbreaking work, a ghostly image of a woman nestling a child represents the strength of “the Mammy”, the heroism of women.


Hdsn (2011); acrylic on canvas over panel; 53 x 53 x 3�

ANGELA KALLUS Born 1968 in Dallas, TX Lives in Fort Worth, TX BFA University of Texas, Arlington, TX, 1998 MFA University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, 2003 Represented by Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA and Marty Walker, Dallas, TX

Bill Arning: I would say that the isolation between cities is lessening and I am seeing more cross-city projects happening, although I must admit it rarely includes El Paso, probably for reasons of distance alone. CG: The Texas Biennial is one of those rare instances where a statewide project includes El Paso. Maybe distance is to blame. Then again, Marfa is frequently included and it’s only three hours away. Still, here in El Paso, I do feel there is a bit of a disconnect from TX13. This is probably due to the fact that no part of the exhibition will be presented in an El Paso venue. However, I did not feel the need to represent this community by selecting artists from this region. As a matter of fact I tried not to take any artist’s address into consideration while making my selections. VR: Marfa is just a unique situation in so many ways, but the main factor there so far as the Biennial goes is easy to identify. Ballroom Marfa co-founder Fairfax Dorn was a juror for the 2007 Biennial, and she and Virginia Lebermann, Ballroom’s other co-founder, both have been very supportive of the project. Speaking of geography most pragmatically, the fact that the Biennial currently does not subsidize shipping and other related costs must also effect the choice of some artists to enter, or not. In this regard, spreading more venues around the state might

Bill Arning is the Director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

Two years ago, I realized that I have seen glowing, colored, shifting halos around the visible edges of almost everything since I first got glasses in fifth grade. This is a barely perceptible perceptual phenomenon that only happens when I look at something peripherally, through glasses. It has been part of my vision since childhood, and part of my paintings for years, but I had never noticed it consciously. This piece is a result of that realization.



Cultivated Land (2013); found objects, water; installation variable

HIROKO KUBO Born 1987 in Hiroshima City, Japan Lives in Fort Worth, TX BFA Hiroshima City University, Hiroshima, Japan, 2009 MFA Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, 2013 Everything changes continuously like clouds reflected on rice paddies. Everything is impermanent like all small things around us.


Artifact/Souvenir (2013); installation of photographs; presentation variable


Lakes Were Rivers is an Austin-based artist collective founded in 2008. Its members are: Leigh Brodie, Elizabeth Chiles, Anna Krachey, Jessica Mallios, Sarah Murphy, Mike Osborne, Jason Reed, Ben Ruggiero, Adam Schreiber, Susan Scafati Shahan, and Barry Stone. As a group, their practice involves creating installations of images contributed by individual members, as well as publishing limited-edition books.


This installation considered the photograph as record, event, rendering, material, artifice, symbol, happenstance, and object. Drawing on the potential for oblique interrelationships among the photographs displayed, “Artifact/Souvenir� proposes an open experience of looking and association.


Culo de Oro/The Golden Ass (2011); performance with video projection and live music; approximately 30 minutes Accompanied by musician Erik Sanden, Landois performed Culo de Oro/The Golden Ass at CentralTrak–The Artist Residency of the University of Texas at Dallas on September 21, 2013.

Julia Barbosa Landois

Born 1979 in San Antonio, TX Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA University of Texas at San Antonio, TX, 2003 MFA University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2007

encourage more artists to enter—but that would also produce another set of selection and installation questions. CG: I like the idea of multiple but smaller exhibition sites. Some part of the show would at least then be seen by more people from a broader area, and this would also create more intimate viewing experiences.

still from Star-Crossed II (2013); video, 6:20 minutes, with sound; presentation variable

RPB: Yes, the real question about geography in relation to the Biennial is not where the artists live and work, but the cities in which their work will be presented. Since no artist really works in isolation— except perhaps those very few who choose to—it’s the public access to original work that is significant. Not only are artists rarely isolated, their work is often available 24/7 in some secondary form, now primarily online. However, the ability for an audience to see the work in person is often limited. Would the artists participating in the Biennial be better served if their work was split between multiple locations? Exhibited outside major Texas metropolitan areas? Circulated around the state? KM: Or outside the state? Let’s zoom out again: How would you locate the art in TX13 in relation to ideas, trends, and contexts beyond the borders of the state? Do the works in the exhibition offer some form of criticality , either as a barometer for the Texas scene, or by addressing national or global issues, whether social or aesthetic?

“Culo de Oro/The Golden Ass” is a multimedia performance mixing dialogue based on interviews and Internet testimonials about prostitution on the U.S./Mexico border with popular songs whose lyrics complement the text in unexpected ways. “StarCrossed II” employs a ranchera love song, “Se Me Hizo Fácil”, to narrate a woman’s break-up with Jesus. She sings in Spanish while accompanied by her own voice on a loop pedal, but soon the English subtitles diverge from the lyrics to reflect her thoughts on a dying romance.


EarthRover 1 (2012); solar-powered electric vehicle built of wood, metal, found, bought and fabricated parts In his performance persona as “Earthman�, Laurent brought EarthRover 1 to Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum for Texas Biennial opening festivities on September 5, 2013.


Born 1965 in Rockford, IL Lives in Houston, TX

CW: I think since exhibitions like “Fresh Paint: The Houston School” (1985) and the attempt at Texas Triennials in the late 1980’s, not to mention metropolitan-area focused shows such as the annual “Big Show” at the Lawndale Art Center and the “Houston Area Exhibition” every four years at the Blaffer Art Museum, and now with the five Texas Biennials, we have come to the realization that it is impossible to say that the art being produced in Texas is markedly different than art being produced in California, Illinois, New York, Florida, or any other state or region. As Jeremy mentioned, the large art schools all have students from many states and foreign countries, some of whom stay in Texas to work, others who leave upon graduation. DP: To echo Clint, there’s no way to think of any art being made today—along with anything that gets said about it—other than as being a part of a discussion that extends beyond the borders of any state. To me, contemporary artists seem to be well aware of what’s going on all over the globe. The ones who make the work I am most interested in seem to pursue whatever it is that they are after—call it a vision, dream, fantasy, delusion, commitment, conviction, or compulsion—with a level of intensity so extreme, focused, and even fanatical that it doesn’t much matter where they are from. Yes, I know that locality matters, but I think of it kind of like the materials artists use, as in paint, wood, aluminum, or whatever, as a medium, or

“EarthRover 1” is a hand-built, rolling sculpture. Like NASA’s Mars Rover, “Curiosity”, it has a fully articulated chassis on six wheels and a rocker-bogie suspension system. It also features a bioregenerative terrarium and algae oxygen supply system for fresh air and food. It is driven by EarthMan, who is outfitted with a solar powered bioregenerative plant and algae system, circulated and cooled for outings on foot. Mission: to explore planet earth.


Don’t Let Go (2012); acrylic on plexiglass; 44.5 x 24.5 x 11”

JONATHAN LEACH Born 1977 in Lexington, KY Lives in Houston, TX BFA The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 2000 Teaches at The Art League Houston, TX Represented by Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston, TX

mix of media, out of which meaning is made. That meaning is up for grabs. And it can’t be controlled. Or even foreseen. And it emerges out of discussion and debate, with oneself and others. And it goes far beyond the physical facts of a thing’s location on the space-time continuum. My negative answer to part two of the question has to do with a phobia of mine: I just can’t take the word “criticality” seriously. No offense Kurt, the word just makes my skin crawl. To me, it was made up by Sunday philosophers, a.k.a. second-rate art faculty, who wanted to sound serious without really doing the work of thinking for themselves. And then it got reified, by the same folks who were ferreting out the evils of reification in everyone’s work but their own. Now it’s shorthand for a sort of nudgenudge, wink-wink, secret-handshake, yes-you’re-aninsider-too glomming togetherness that, to me, is antithetical to art—or at least to what I love in art— rebelliousness, independence, uncomfortableness, doubt, uncertainty, and self-reflection. All art is critical. But it does not merely sit back and offer up critical commentary, like some knowit-all talk radio pundit. It actually does something about the shitty state—whatever that is, and I don’t mean only Texas—in which it finds itself. It makes that state better by presenting a vision of something different and then delivering an experience of whatever that may be. To me, every single artist looks at the world, finds it lacking, and then makes something to counteract that lack. Lots

My work is influenced by the architecture and pathways of our urban environment, and the systems and signals that direct us through life. Movement is explored within the composition, and the paintings on plexiglas also demand the viewer’s movement to experience the different aspects of the composition formed by moving around the object, animating a complex balance of form, color and line. The space created by these structures feels tangible, yet the painted surfaces keep the tension of the unreal at play and taut.


Underwater Live Shrimp Puppet Show (2011); performance with multiple puppeteers, live shrimp, aquaria, water, fire and various props; duration and presentation variable


Born in Ottawa, Canada Lives in Houston, TX MFA University of Houston, TX, 2012 PhD Rice University, Houston, TX, 2007

of times without knowing, exactly, what is lacking. As viewers, focusing overmuch on art’s analytical/ critical moment is unambitious. It nerds things up and overlooks art’s intransigent physicality, its experiential heart and soul. All exhibitions, like works of art, are implicit critiques of other exhibitions, scenes, stories, and schools. So in that sense, this one is no different.

Eternal Miss Texas Biennial (2013); performance with multiple actors and various props; duration and presentation variable

Bárbara Perea: These last couple questions reflect some of my own as I entered the selection process. I was curious to see if there are obvious regional concerns to be detected. While some artists are more influenced by local or regional issues, in general I tend to view the selection of works and artists included to be more concerned with wider topics. The implicit critiques in some works can be ascribed more to national, global, or transhistorical influences and concerns. As David pointed out, artists do not exist isolated from these conditions, and the works reflect them actively. For example, Jessica Pizaña-Roberts’ concern with female beauty as a cultural construct spans across many cultures, and Hillerbrand + Magsamen’s ironic use of film scores is also difficult to pinpoint to a regional or local source. Gary Sweeney’s extremely tongue-in-cheek work is far more influenced by West Coast Conceptualism than any regional concerns. But of course some artists speak more directly to their local conditions, like the play on the castas paintings by Claudio Dicochea.

Underwater Live Shrimp Puppet Show and Eternal Miss Texas Biennial were performed during opening festivities at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, September 5, 2013. Puppeteers: Katie Jackson Elisabeth Jackson Actors: Xavier Cantu (carpet carrier) Elisabeth Jackson (merchandise salesperson) Katie Jackson (announcer) Brian Owens (bodyguard) Charlie Jean Sartwelle (photographer) Louise Schlacter (personal assistant) Videographers: Louise Schlacter Brian Owens

Bárbara Perea is an independent curator living in Mexico City.

I create objects and situations as solutions to real and imaginary problems, with a fondness for contraptions, performances and puppet shows that sometimes involve fire and real animals. My work embraces human inaccuracy and alludes to needs or desires pertaining to the imaginary realm, where humor and absurdity start to make sense, where they become pure joy.


SANCTUM (2012); chromogenic print face-mounted to plexiglass; 45 x 72 x 1”

YSABEL LEMAY Born 1966 in Québec City, Canada Lives in Austin, TX AB Graphic Design, Ste-Foy College, Ste-Foy, Canada 1986 Represented by De Bellefeuille Gallery, Montreal, Canada; Living With Art Gallery New York, NY; Holly Hunt, New York, NY; Avant Gallery, Miami, FL; Artitled Contemporary Art, The Netherlands; and Couture Gallery, Stockholm Sweden

Rachel Crist and Daedalus Hoffman’s Spitting Image, in which a woman chews and spits tobacco to the point of physical pain, may be another work that is more specifically located in terms of social custom and gender expectations, at the same time that it participates in larger trends concerning performance art. Other artists are presenting very personal, coded views of the world, such as Vincent Falsetta’s installation of his studio notes in the form of an archive of index cards. Whether a survey exhibition is more a critique or a diagnosis of the condition of art-as-institution— that is, a way to more easily visualize and therefore examine how artistic process, curatorial process, and institutions interact—is debatable. KM: David, I also dislike the word “criticality”—and it makes my spell check crawl too. But I also love what you love in art. Maybe a better word is “friction”, which is more of a physical sensation. Who are the TX13 artists you are thinking of here? DP: Friction is a good word. The number one artist I was thinking of is Dion Laurent. His stuff strikes me as totally absurd, a crazy mix of renegade Tinkertoys, do-it-yourself NASA, rainy day kitchen table crafts, MacGyver inventiveness, and desert island survivalism. Angela Kallus’s circles have an insanely focused intensity to them; they’re both attractive and deadly, kind of like absinthe. Adela Andea’s light installations feel like curdled versions of 1960’s light-art optimism; they capture something dark about the present.

Nature. A simple word without pretension but oh such a mighty portal of wisdom and significance. It is here, there living, transforming, and it never ceases to enthrall and inspire me. By means of my camera, I attempt to capture her subtleties and beauty in its purest form as I interpret to you her divinity as I sense it. A leaf may appear commonplace at first glance, but when our eyes linger over it, the mundane becomes something of wonder.


Excellent Prismatic Spray (2012); epoxy and acrylic paint on wood panel; 48 x 51 x 1�

daniel mcfarlane Born 1983 in Houston, TX Lives in Houston, TX BFA Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, 2007 MFA University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2010 Teaches at Lone Star College, Woodlands, TX Represented by Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, TX

Trey Egan’s gooey, weird paintings are sufficiently dense to keep my eyes glued to them, and my mind troubled by all the creepy stuff that lurks beneath their surfaces, at least in my imagination. Ysabel LeMay’s photographs look too crisply realistic to be anything but devilishly deceptive traps. And regarding trends, ideas and all that, I feel stupid to say it but I can’t come up with any that aren’t horrible oversimplifications. I know it’s a cliche, but the whole messy stew feels like a messy stew to me—a little of this and some of that. Maybe there is some kind of reflection going on in lots of the works that has something to do with the relationship between individuals and the anonymous mass of humanity that each of us is a part of though we cannot comprehend or picture our relationship to it, a kind of belonging together but not fitting in dissonance, or something. CG: Thinking about borders, and the facts that Texas is the U.S. state with the longest border adjoining a foreign country, Mexico, and that issues of immigration and profiling are so present in the media, I expected there to be more artwork dealing with the topic of identity. I do not have an explanation for that missing element in the stew. Does anyone? Is identity no longer a pressing topic for artists? BA: The question of identity was central to at least one of the included artists, but yes, not as dominant as it could have been.

I believe in a beauty that exists at the edge of our perception. Will I ever see it or will I have to be satisfied with the briefest encounters?


Brawling Bodies (2013); oil and spray paint on canvas; 60 x 58 x 2�

marcelyn mcneil Born 1965 in Wichita, KS Lives in Houston, TX BFA Pacific NW College of Art MFA University of Illinois at Chicago, IL Teaches at the University of Houston, TX Represented by Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX and Conduit, Dallas, TX

RBP: For what it is worth, there was virtually no portraiture either. The outstanding example is Sara Vanderbeek’s painting of artist Trenton Doyle Hancock. KM: I’d agree that while “identity” as we saw it investigated and, sometimes paraded, throughout much of the ‘80s and ‘90s was not a focus in this exhibition, there were a number of individual works that took up the theme in personal, that is to say, not overtly politicized, ways. And not surprisingly, I suppose, several of them involved performance. VR: I agree. I’ll guess Bill is thinking of Madsen Minax’s video, or rather series of videos, in which we see and hear the artist directing and recording someone else in a private striptease, with the only audible soundtrack being their verbal exchanges. The work can be viewed as an open meditation on performing one’s self in relation to another. Barbara mentioned Jessica Pizaña-Roberts’ work, which is a video documenting a pole dance the artist performed in “hooker heels” and a kind of Venus of Willendorf suit stuffed with cheese puffs. In a completely different vein, Carrie Schneider’s Dress is a video of the artist attempting to mimic the poses in life-size images of her mother projected on the wall behind her. We could even say that Tatiana Istomina’s installation of abstract painting attributed to a

The paintings are about identifying simple forms that embody assertiveness, a kind of awkwardness, and vulnerability all at once. The masses or shapes are both oddly flat and sculptural and are a hybrid of structure, architecture, and human anatomy. I want to make a bodily connection and establish familiarity with the viewer.


stills from Three-Way Call (2012); HD video, 2:02 minutes, with sound; presentation variable

ROBERT MELTON and ROBERT BOLAND Robert Melton Born 1980 in Baytown, TX Lives in Austin, TX BA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2003 MFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2010 Teaches at University of Texas at Austin, TX

Robert Boland Born 1974 in New Orleans, LA Lives in Austin, TX BFA Texas A&M University at Commerce, TX, 1998 MFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2007 Teaches at University of Texas at Austin, TX

fictional historical female artist is really more about identity as an artist, than painting per se. There’s a different feel to this work, but it is still caught up in questions of “identity”. Noah Simblist: I don’t want to throw out “criticality” as a term so quickly. The term implies a political or social criticism of and through visual and spatial culture—something that has been brought to the forefront in recent years through movements connected to the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, Taksim Square in Istanbul, and other social protests. Although it must be noted that Texas has not been a space where protests like these are common. In any case, I see this criticism at the root of criticality— going back to the Frankfurt School’s notion of critical theory, just like the term “reification”—both of which evolved out of a Marxist critique of society through the culture industry. Sorry, David, I’m sure this last sentence triggered your phobia and probably also some allergies to a political philosophy of culture. Ironically though, it seems like your definition of what criticality should be rhymes somewhat with Adorno’s dictum of autonomy, using art to produce a distinct alternative to the culture industry. Maybe it’s the LA connection? I’m interested in a related trend I noticed, both within and outside the selected artists of TX13: collectivism. Organized artists like Lakes Were Rivers, The Bridge Club, or HOMECOMING!

Noah Simblist is an Associate Professor of Art, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

In this video we construct a tense narrative that lasts but a couple of minutes. Adding to the tension, we amplify the frequency of bass in the audio to make the work more visceral and experiential. Oftentimes, strategic camera angles prevent the viewer from fully revealing the identity of the actor, who has little or no dialogue. Instead, we focus on the actor’s actions, and just before the tension breaks, the scene is cut, leaving the viewer without resolve.


Melencolia (2013); two-channel video projection, looped, with sound; dimensions variable

ABINADI MEZA Born 1976 in Chicago, IL Lives in Austin, TX BA University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, 1999 MFA University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MI, 2004 MA Architecture Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles, CA 2009 Teaches at University of Houston, TX

“Melencolia” is a continuously looped video installation made from news footage of the crowd at the 1986 Challenger space shuttle launch. The installation suspends the envelope of time leading up to but not including the explosion; it focuses on small reactions and gestures in the face of the unknown and the wondrous. The intention is to explore the emotional dimensions—the psychological consequences, of a monumental technology.


still from (No)Show Girls (2012); HD video, 12:15 minutes, with sound; presentation variable

MADSEN MINAX Born 1983 in Petoskey, MI Lives in Houston, TX BFA School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 2005 MFA Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2012 Core Fellow, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX

Live Nude Genitals (2012); neon mounted on plexiglass; 36 x 36 x 6”

Committee—and there are many other Texasbased collectives whose work is not represented in the exhibition—are making work that can engage with the dominant art culture of commodity-based objects, but are also challenging the singular genius as the only model of art authorship. This relates to an international trend, but since the 2008 crash more artists have been making their own way in Texas, together, unperturbed by a tepid local art market. I’d say one of the unique instances of criticality that I saw exists somewhere at the intersection between ethnicity, nationalism, and gender with artists like, again, Jessica Pizaña-Roberts, and Julia Barbosa Landois, both of whose videos in this exhibition feature Spanish language songs. I think that this points to the question of the borders of Texas and rather than addressing this question through the lens of what is inside or outside borders, their work addresses Texas as a borderland where hybrid identities rise to the surface, producing work that is provocative, beautiful, and strange. VR: It’s an interesting and expansive point. As it happens, the songs in question are in Landois’ video a classic Mexican ranchera, and in Pizaña-Roberts’, a track by a popular group from Puerto Rico whose work has been identified with questioning gender stereotyping, and also with expressing nationalist sentiment.

My artistic praxis manifests largely in media-based practices, including video, performance, and installation works that examine collaborative practices, notions of belonging, and the politics and erotics of (trans)gender variance. These works encourage viewers to question the ideological and paradigmatic structures that they occupy, in particular those that prescript attraction and repulsion.


Box City (2013); installation of recycled cardboard boxes with paint and other media; presentation variable Mitra worked with the students of the MOSAIC program at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum and other San Antonio artists to realize a public installation of Box City at Blue Star on November 1, 2013.


Born 1967 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India Lives in Houston, TX PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maine, Orono, ME Represented by Hooks Epstein Galleries, Houston, TX

DP: Noah, I think that you and I probably are interested in the same sort of art, works that are smart about their social contexts and aesthetic machinations and keen on having consequential relationships to various spheres of life outside the art bubble. With the C-word, my main objection is to academics who treat it as a formal feature or end in itself, something to be sniffed out in works, which, when found, absolves them of all responsibility for having any actual consequences. It’s a peculiar form of formalism. I have seen it used to describe works that haven’t even left the studio, that haven’t even had a chance to do anything other than be labeled. To me, consequences are unpredictable and uncontrollable and never known in advance. They are integral to art’s unruliness, art’s capacity to rearrange perceptions, beliefs, and identities, not to mention power relationships. I’m fine with Adorno; I just have trouble with his half-baked acolytes. And I’m less worried about the so-called culture industry than the administrative industry—the professionalized managerial elite that seems to be spilling from overspecialized graduate programs. And I love what you say about the Texas borderland. But to me, using the term “criticality” blandifies the accomplishments of those artists. BP: I too very much like your concept of Texas as a borderland where hybrid aesthetics emerge, particularly because those works also resonated with me as strange and provocative.

“Box City” is an ongoing participatory project that uses the “box” as an elemental architectural form freighted with contemporary history—the reality of people and entire populations living in shelters that are themselves little more than boxes. Over the last four years, I have realized the project in India, France, Germany, Italy and at multiple sites in the U.S., using discarded materials like cardboard and wood boxes and collaborating with local artists and others to highlight the plight of those without adequate housing.


Hurricane Allen (2012); stop animation video, 3:30 minutes, with sound; custom monitor and sculptural elements; 18 x 22 x 12�

SETH MITTAG Born 1974, Newport News, VA Lives in Houston, TX BFA Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX, 1997 MFA University of Houston, TX, 2003 Teaches at Glassell School of Art, Houston TX

I’ve also noticed the capability of artists to selforganize, especially in the San Antonio community that is most familiar to me. Indeed, the lack of an art market in San Antonio has made a community of artists that take matters into their own hands. The artist-run space scene is incredibly vibrant and healthy. And it’s been thriving since well before the 2008 crash. But to be sure, as a global trend, artist-run initiatives following the financial debacle have become increasingly important. I, for one, am glad that the era of grand narratives is at an end and that these smaller, more mobile initiatives are proving to have enormous impact not only in the art communities around the world, but also in so many movements such as the ones Noah mentioned. VR: Thinking about the show overall, it was interesting to see that the only artist selected who is working with a specifically “Texan” subject was Nancy Newberry, whose photographs document the tradition of homecoming “mums”—elaborate, often homemade corsages worn by both female and male high schoolers. But we could easily say this peculiarly riveting work is more generally about “identity”, as we were discussing earlier. Also, while a number of viewers commented on the different approaches to landscape, if we can call it that, in works such as Cassandra Emswiler’s ceramic tiles with abstract patterns representing different lakes, Kent Dorn’s hallucinatory drawing, and Will Henry’s kooky and I think hilarious painting of a

UNCLE AL: (laughing) So you went down there and danced with him, didn’t ya! DAD: (between gulps of beer) Sure did and got some of that money. All I had to do was write down how much I make on a piece a paper. UNCLE AL: He bought it? DAD: Yep and we went down and picked up that trailer. Tricked his ass! UNCLE AL: (smirking) Seems like to me he tricked you. DAD: (confused) How you figure? UNCLE AL: (laughing) On account you’re still payin’ interest on a damn tree house you cain’t live in! DAD: Oh, I’m gonna live in it! You bet your ass.


stills from Fires (2013); 35mm film transferred to HD video, 14 minutes, with sound; presentation variable

MICHAEL MORRIS Born 1980 in Dallas, TX Lives in Dallas, TX BA Radio, Television and Film, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2006 MFA Moving Image, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, 2010 Teaches at University of North Texas, Denton, TX; Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; and Richland College, Dallas, TX Represented by Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas, TX

desert night sky complete with UFO, maybe what’s most striking here is the absence of traditional Western landscape tropes.

recurring subjects or shared formal concerns that we can point KM: Are there other

to in the selected TX13 works?

Iterations (2012); performance with choreography, film projection and live audio, approximately 15 minutes Choreography: Moving images: Live audio:

Danielle Georgiou Michael Morris Julie Mckendrick

Iterations was presented at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum on October 3, 2013, performed by Danielle Georgiou with live film projection by Michael Morris and live audio by Julie Mckendrick.

NS: One thing I did notice was a preponderance of videos that were about cars or motorcycles and the open road. Matt Cusick’s Cyclops, Liz Rodda’s Death Drive, and Gregory Ruppe’s Stubborn Practice all revolve around the mythology of the West and the unique way that the vehicle as mechanical appendage mediates our freedom, or the lack thereof. Another trend that I saw was very global and could be called an “unmonumental” aesthetic, “provisional painting”, or “slacker minimalism”. This stuff is everywhere. Some artists are better at it than others but this content/process has nothing particular to do with Texas. VR: True. We might define this aesthetic somewhat differently, but Brad Tucker is someone working a related vein with rigor, and whimsy. There is also a lot of abstract painting as well, practiced quite variously—just look at David Aylsworth, Michael Blair, Benardo Cantu, Geoffrey Hippenstiel, Jonathan Leach, Marcelyn McNeil, and Arthur Peña, to name a few. But this also has nothing particular to do with Texas.

The two works exhibited exemplify two related but distinct subsets of my practice: “Fires” is an essayistic video that juxtaposes fragments of personal narratives with panoramic views of landscapes to which many of these stories are tied. It is a meditation on the wide, cinematic canvas of Super 35mm film and an exercise in how far toward the personal the poetics of video can be pushed. “Iterations” is a collaborative performance with Danielle Georgiou and Julie Mckendrick, at once a multi-projector film that is made in real-time and a confrontational piece of music and choreography meant to activate the space between the screen and the viewer.


12 10 13 from the series Mum (2012); chromogenic print, 28 x 42�


Born 1968 in San Antonio, TX Lives in Dallas, TX BBA Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 1990

RBP: Joseph Cohen could be added to that list. KM: Among the painters, Geoffrey Hippenstiel and Daniel McFarlane are actively pushing up against the abstraction/figuration question, though working in completely different directions. VR: Compared to what I reviewed in 2011, this year’s submissions featured more work involving figuration and/or some form of narrative. Some utterly different but gripping examples are Michael Bise’s eerily meticulous drawing, Seth Mittag’s confidently geeky, hybrid sculptural installation/ video, and Matthew Bourbon’s paintings, which to me sometimes seem like stills from an animation a Kubrick on another planet might have made. AL: Letitia Huckaby’s Elijah and LaDonte (Jubilee) is another example of strong figurative work. VR: Indeed, and the title strongly suggests a narrative. Several of the video works also either depend upon or play off against expectations of conventional narrative. For example, the road-related works Noah mentions could all be characterized as anti-narrative. So could Robert Melton and Robert Boland’s Three Way Call, a video in which nothing much finally happens, in a hyper-dramatic way. Abinadi Meza’s video installation exploring a crescendo of crowd reaction that never arrives, or resolves, could be another example.

12 01 21 from the series Mum (2012); chromogenic print, 28 x 42” 12 01 22 from the series Mum (2012); chromogenic print, 28 x 42” 11 12 05 from the series Mum (2011); chromogenic print, 28 x 42”

Customs are vital in defining all cultures. “Mum” is a survey of my own backyard, exploring themes of self-representation and strange rituals of the everyday. The work is centered around a unique Texas custom, the Homecoming Mum, an elaborate corsage. The photographs investigate the interplay between individuality and social affiliation. I am interested in how ritual objects unite a community, help to shape personal identity, and become part of the unique landscape and language of a place.


The Rise and Fall (2012); found images and paper, acrylic paint, charcoal, graphite, glitter, string; diptych, each panel 40 x 64 X 5�

Kelly O’Connor

Born 1982 in San Antonio, TX Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA Studio Art, University of Texas at Austin, TX Represented by David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX


My work is, to a great extent, about exposing the duality behind the thin public facades that we readily embrace. It is derived from a combination of memory, fantasy, and popular culture, drawing on the allegory of American consciousness through the use of iconic characters and locations built around enduring western cultural ideals. The scenes I created are the calcified remains of a culture focused on production and destruction.


attempt 42 (2012); scorched pine, pine, CMYK color copy machine residue, holy death candle, hydrocal; 12 x 12 x 3”

ARTHUR PEÑA Born 1982 in Dallas, TX Lives in Dallas, TX BFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2008 Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 2010 MFA Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI, 2012 Teaches at University of North Texas, Denton, TX and Mountain View College, Dallas, TX

KM: Relatedly, but distinct from the question of identity that Christian raised, were there works other than Margarita Cabrera’s FLOREZCA project, which focuses on the economies of immigrant and migrant communities, that announced themselves as addressing current political issues or events?

attempt 50 (2012); scorched pine, gesso, finger prints, shop towel with scorched pine residue; 11 x 10.25 x 2.5”

VR: Not so directly. But there were a number of works that evoke ecological and related sociological and cultural concerns, or which could be interpreted in that way: Teresa Cervantes’ re-valued accumulation of discarded plastic shopping bags; Miriam Ewers’ gigantic, strangely “machined” shell; Hiroko Kubo’s poetic installation of water-filled containers of excruciatingly precise capacity; and Chris Sauter’s quietly sci-fi landscape. Natali LeDuc’s live shrimp puppet show—yikes, that one is so intense I’m still processing—and Dion Laurent’s performance as a barefooted, space-suited “Earthman” directly address ecology as a subject. HOMECOMING! Committee’s project enacted some of the social concerns around questions of certain economies of production, distribution, and redistribution… and there are probably others. KM: We have only glancingly addressed media, and the traditional categories of painting, sculpture, figuration, abstraction, etc. that art typically is grouped into—especially in juried exhibitions.

painting (a possible definition): occupied space within a stretcher that occupies space on a wall. example: there is no way that anyone would confuse a painting for a sculpture. a text message received from a friend on january 5, 2013: i’m getting a bunch of unfinished paintings from my dead mentor. i’m going to work on them. i’m not sure why but i felt like i needed to notify you of that. hope all is well down there.


Eternal Return (2012); www.eternalreturn.org

Katie Rose Pipkin

Born 1990 in Austin, TX Lives in Austin, TX BFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2013

CG: One of the observations I made during the selection process is that painting still reigns as the primary medium of artists, although many, maybe most artists do not define their practice any longer according to medium. That is the case nationally and internationally, so it was expected. BA: I don’t remember painting reigning supreme at all, but there are some really strong painters on the final list. RBP: Collage also made a strong appearance in various forms, in the extremely labor-intensive process of Shannon Crider, Ann Johnson’s use of found objects, Kelly O’Connor’s large diptych of cut paper, and Giovanni Valderas’ use of mixed paper and wood. KM: I was a bit surprised to see very little “traditional”/draftsman-style/representational drawing on the checklist, just Kent Dorn’s expansive, multi-sheet work and Mark Ponder’s much smaller pencil sketches, which despite their subject matter are presented as highly formal, almost academic compositions. As Teresa and Alexander suggested at the beginning of this conversation, two-dimensional work, smaller sculpture, and easy-to-install singlechannel video predominate over more complex installations in both the Biennial’s submissions

My work deals with fragments, remnants, memory, and detritus. Fundamentally, I’m interested in time, both on a micro- and macrocosmic scale. I make drawings with my hands, the Internet, and sometimes my words. I am interested in working along the fault lines. To endure the idea of recurrence; There are no hiding worlds, no other existences All existence breeds joy Joy wills eternity.


still from Atrevete (2012); video, 2:39 minutes, with sound; presentation variable

JESSICA Piza単a-Roberts Born 1984 in El Paso, TX Lives in Las Cruces, NM BFA University of Texas at El Paso, TX, 2007 MFA New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, 2012 Visiting Artist/Professor at The University of Texas at El Paso, TX

and selections. I would speculate this is because the former works are more .jpg friendly, i.e., David’s “LOOKS GREAT ONLINE” category, and they are logistically friendlier to the budgets, timeframes, and floorspace of exhibition venues. VR: And to artists. It was particularly exciting to see a lot of performance work entered and selected, because it demands so much more of the artist, logistically speaking, than shipping a domestically-scaled, wallhung work. Some of the accomplished performance artists included have already been mentioned. Two whose work can be especially complex to present because it involves multiple performers and other elements such as video projection and live audio are Danielle Georgiou and Michael Morris. Performance and multimedia, time-based works are so prevalent in contemporary art that not to present them in an exhibition that offers any survey of the terrain would be a terrible omission. But it can be tough to pull off, for logistical reasons and also because, as we are all aware, this programming doesn’t always work in the static white cube environment with regular gallery hours. Some audiences are more familiar with performance art in the visual art context than others. The Biennial tried this year to at least represent the one-time performances that were scheduled throughout the show with documentation in Blue Star’s galleries. The partnership with CentralTrak, which allowed HOMECOMING! Committee to occupy a significant amount of gallery space and develop

I consider myself a “Spanglish” artist because I am neither here nor there. I work in mixed media often bridging sculpture, performance, photography, and video installation. My work explores body politics associated with authenticity, identity, and culture. Through the embrace of mimicry and contradiction, I uncover the absurdities of social norms. I explore the fluctuation of the body and mind by creating and performing skin suits. Often times, I humorously showcase sexuality and popular surgical practices with food.


The Secret of the Golden Phallus (2013); graphite on paper; 22 x 30�

MARK PONDER Born 1981 in Port Arthur, TX Lives in Houston, TX BFA from Lamar University Beaumont, TX, 2005 MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL, 2009 Teaches at The Parish School, Houston, TX

their project over time, with public participation, was also intended as some acknowledgement that a lot of art is made and presented outside the box— meaning, outside traditional gallery confines, and outside traditional media categories.

My Happiness is Eternal (2013); graphite on paper; 30 x 22”

NS: The question of medium is something that I think about a lot in relation to my teaching. I’m interested in the tendency for many artists selected for TX13, as is true of much of contemporary art practice today, to move around and between media categories. For instance, Kristen Cochran, Sally Glass, Cassandra Emswiler, Kasey Short, Kevin Todora, and Brad Tucker all work between sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography. There are more formal and material connections that they are interested in making than media specificity. This has been going on for a long time but many MFA programs, including many in Texas, are still siloed into media categories. Perhaps this is why so many shows have to be categorized in terms of medium but in an expanded field; I’m thinking of the recent LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) show, “Painting in Place”. On the one hand, I think that this can better reflect the way that many artists are working today. But on the other hand, this might exclude the really interesting work that a group like Lakes Were Rivers is doing by probing the history and possibilities of photography as a medium. David, I think that you made a great point about the senseless navel-gazing that academics can fall

I create playful, self-reflexive drawings and installations that critically address the potential empowerment and perils that come from positive thinking. Often gaudy and sometimes slightly icky, the visuals seek to tease out the duality embedded in our deepest feelings and emotions.


Mourning Sleeves (2011); screenprinted record sleeves; 12”, 10” and 7”; presentation variable

Anne J. Regan Born 1980 in Peoria, IL Lives in Houston, TX BFA California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA, 2006 MFA University of Houston, TX, 2010 Teaches at Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX and Art League Houston, TX

into. And I totally agree that we need to make room for and support a kind of artwork that is unruly, that evades categories and rearranges our perceptions of ourselves and of the world. But as an academic myself, I’m so often stuck in an institutional role where good intentions can often result in the institutionalizing of rebellion. I have been accused of this on more than one occasion. This connects with the question of media categories as well as criticality as a problematic because when departments are divided by medium, they also get divided in terms of power and money. This might seem like a weirdly academic hole that I am falling into, but I think that young artists have to deal with these dynamics in MFA programs and carry the divisions with them when they leave. And they are only reinforced by museums that are also divided by medium. Thankfully most contemporary art spaces are not limited by such distinctions. And Bárbara, I’m glad that you brought up the vibrant artist run spaces in San Antonio. I have always been envious of the amazing energy that this scene has and bring it up constantly in Dallas. I think that we are just recently catching up. KM: Let’s talk about audience and reception a bit. What does the Texas Biennial project offer to the artists, curators, dealers, gallerists, writers, art workers, and art consumers living and working in Texas? And to similar individuals outside the state? Is this role best performed by a nonprofit institution? Do Texas art fairs offer a comparable engagement?

Music allows people, movements and memories to become deathless. A relationship with music is an intensely personal experience. With my “Mourning Sleeves”, when a beloved musician dies, you can replace any current paper sleeves protecting your records in your collection for as long as you felt the burden of the musician’s absence. You and your collection would simultaneously mourn the loss yet celebrate the place that the now deceased artist will always have in your life. Nothing ever goes away.


Death Drive (2013); HD video projection, 7:37 minutes, with sound; dimensions variable


Born 1982 in Sacramento, CA Lives in Austin, TX MFA Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, 2006 Teaches at Texas State University San Marcos, TX

In his essay “Beyond the Pleasure Principle�, Freud describes the death drive as a force that makes us behave in ways that counter Darwinian self-preservation. This work consists of two videos taken from Youtube shown side-by-side. On the left is a car driving smoothly through the Grand Canyon. On the right, a driverless car is stuck in reverse and circles continuously. The accompanying audio, sampled from a warped LP, suggests both decay and ceaseless repetition.


still from Stubborn Practice (2012); HD video projection, 5:18 minutes, with sound; dimensions variable


Born 1979 in Houston, TX Lives in Fort Worth, TX MFA Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX, 2012

still from Bigfoot (2012); HD video, 00:58 minutes, with sound; presentation variable

Structured around minimal panning shots and musical selections familiar to films such as those by Sergio Leone, “Stubborn Practice” employs implied violence and prolonged tension to established a dual persona that simultaneously works with and against itself, to no end. It is a system of trial and error doomed to ceaselessly repeat. “Bigfoot” references Paul and Marlene Kos’ 1976 classic video “Lightning” to question the effect of cultural myths on collective consciousness, and how the perpetuation of myth becomes its own reality.


Land Factory (2012); graphite, gesso, and spray paint on MDO panel; 40 x 48 x 1.5”

CHRIS SAUTER Born 1971 in San Antonio, TX Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, 1993 MFA University of Texas at San Antonio, TX, 1996 Teaches at St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, TX; Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, TX; Palo Alto College, San Antonio, TX; and Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

BA: Biennials in any form are a pulse-taking, allowing a perspective that our normal habits of concentrating on individual artists and projects do not. However, assessing the import of that perspective is only possible in retrospect. The same question two months after the show should provoke a different answer than the one we might develop now. NS: I agree with Bill and while art fairs allow for a kind of pulse-taking as well, they focus on a very particular kind of artist and artwork. Biennials like TX13 more often present artists that don’t have gallery representation. They also feature art that might be ephemeral, political, installation-based, or performative—works that art fairs can sometimes include but more often don’t since commerce is the main concern. For instance, Margarita Cabrera’s projects that deal with undocumented workers and the politics of labor are artworks more suited to a biennial than an art fair. We could say the same of Rebecca Carter’s installation of on-site, time-intensive drawing; Danielle Georgiou’s abject, visceral, and sometimes funny performances; Julia Barbosa Landois’ deeply earnest karaoke breakup song with Jesus; and Melissa Tran’s documentation of a Vietnamese American immigrant revealing his post-colonial past through dementia.

In “Land Factory”, tower cranes build an erupting volcano. The volcano is a place where new land is being produced. The cranes are man-made arms building and expanding civilization and culture. That which is natural is man-made and what is man-made, natural.


Care (2012); video projection at life-size, 5:13 minutes, with sound; presentation variable


Born 1987 in Houston, TX Lives in Houston, TX BFA Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD, 2009 Teaches at Sunblossom, Houston, TX

BA: The artists I pushed forward in the selection process are all working at the corner of drawing and performance—neither work well in the context of art fairs and both function very well here. NS: We live and work in a geographical context here in Texas that has an art market, but not one that has figured out how to commodify works that elide the autonomous object. I think that the highest levels of collectors in Texas are indeed willing to buy and support works that are not object-based, but such support is closely tied to a desire for the social capital of the globalized art world.

stills from Dress (2012); video projection at life-size, 24:03 minutes; presentation variable

CG: Noah makes a good point. The fact that commerce is not the raison d’etre of the Texas Biennial is one of the strongest reasons for it. Although contemporary art is part of what we present at my museum, it is not our central focus. The Texas Biennial provides an opportunity to feature projects that hopefully will expose the general public to aspects and works of contemporary art that are not as readily understood as art as a painting on canvas hanging in a gallery. Dion Laurent’s Earth Rover 1, for example, crosses over into the fields of automotive design, space and earth exploration, farm equipment, and environmental issues. Jeff Gibbons’ It Makes Me Cry Sometimes looks like a portable stereo cassette tape deck sitting on a shelf with audiotape spooling on the floor—something you might find in a variety of non-art settings such

These videos are from “Care House”, a memorial to my mom and the house that became her. Visitors drove out to the suburbs, parked in the driveway and used a code to enter the house on their own, through a back door. They experienced rituals I invented to grieve, which resulted in sound, video, and material interventions that considered the shifting roles of caregiving and caretaking, the enduring of terminal illness, and the being of a daughter.


Bounce (2013); installation of plaster, wood, paint; presentation variable


Born 1986 in Amarillo, TX Lives in Philadelphia, PA BFA Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, 2010 MFA University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (enrolled)

as a home, garage, workplace, office, etc. When one experiences this artwork and learns that it has been set up this way to play an obviously distorted version of a well-known song, it provokes thought on numerous levels. Raul Mitra’s participatory installation Box City presented a different notion of authorship to some visitors to the exhibition. There are many other examples. VR: Actually, we should note that the Biennial has always offered to facilitate sales of work in the exhibition, and takes a small commission on those occasions. This could be a nice thing for an artist with no gallery representation, but it’s hardly a revenue center, for anyone. CR: Sales rushes aside, I suppose two of the real services of the Biennial, and they’re good ones, are, one, it helps raise awareness cross-regionally. Texas-based artists, curators, dealers, collectors, enthusiasts, or really anyone following the Biennial will be exposed to a lot of artists they might not have known otherwise. We don’t all get around as much as we might. It makes the state seem both bigger and smaller all at once, which is interesting. Two, having a biennial this large with some decent national PR should raise awareness of the Texas art scene(s) for the rest of the country and beyond. This would likely grow as the Biennial itself grows and expands and develops its profile. Texas has for decades been an interesting case of a state

My work investigates ideas about urban society in different cultures, using transformations of objects and elements taken from urban landscapes. Isolated from their original context, these objects and their functions become metaphors for human experience. “Bounce” is inspired by the the Brazilian game “futsal”, a version of football typically played indoors I am inspired by the history of games and their rules, and the context in which they were created.


Are You a Psychopath? (2012); paint, routed wood, plastic signs; 38 x 26 x 2�


Born 1952 in Los Angeles, CA Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA University of California Irvine, CA, 1975 Represented by Parchman Stremmel Gallery, San Antonio, TX

that contains many art communities and scenes, often each self-contained, but it’s one hell of a sticky magnet for artists. TH / AB: Given the open call process, the Biennial is an exciting event. There are always discoveries and surprises, and some disappointments. We are always curious to see works by artists we are unfamiliar with and we think the experience of walking through a dense collage of artistic positions is absolutely worth a visit to the Biennial. It is an interesting exhibition for that reason alone: to see the complexity, contradictions, and sheer range of work being made by the participating artists. CG: I’d say TX13 is a source of excitement and discussion because of the juxtaposition of the works included. This is one of the most positive benefits of this exhibition. How else would works as varied as Danielle Georgiou’s provocative video and performance piece Pizzicato Porno, Katie Rose Pipkin’s poignant website eternalreturn.org, Prince Thomas’ quirky QR coding of celebrity, and Debra Barrera’s sculpture using an actual Porsche door and balloons all be brought together? It’s also interesting to see so many small-scale works with large-scale content, like Anne Regan’s Mourning Sleeves, designed as private memorials to the deceased artists in your personal record album collection, and Gabriel Dawe’s hanging sculptures made of scraps of cloth pierced by hundreds of straight pins.

It is estimated that 3% of the general population can be described as psychopathic. I’ve explored a series of tests and indicators in my artwork that will help the viewer determine if they fall into the 3% category. My guess is, you do.


The Trailer (2013); a mobile installation and touring series of live performance works centered around and inside of a vintage camping trailer The Bridge Club performed across the state of Texas in 2013, and was on site at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum during Texas Biennial opening festivities, September 5, 2013.


The Bridge Club is an artist collaborative founded in 2004. Its members are: Annie Strader, Christine Owen, Emily Bivens, and Julie Wills. An anonymous collective persona inhabits each of The Bridge Club’s interdisciplinary works, which investigate specific local histories, populations, and contexts to address change, continuity of gender and interpersonal histories, roles, expectations and behaviors.

I did not know of many of the artists that entered the open call and that is one of the reasons that I agreed to participate. I was very impressed by the level and diversity of the art submitted and selected. The Biennial shows just how strong Texas is in terms of the variety of art being produced here. NS: Returning to the kind of pulse-taking that biennials allow, I wonder about the metaphor. Are we doctors applying a scientific method to evaluate the relative health of the art being produced today in Texas? My first thought is, “No,” mostly because the methodology of this process is anything but scientific. As has been discussed, the pool of artists that choose to apply to an open call exhibition and pay a fee to enter is a highly specific class of artists. It leaves out the most successful who don’t want to pay or apply to be in a show as well as the most disenfranchised who either didn’t know about it or couldn’t afford it. I know many great artists in Texas that didn’t apply. Claims of comprehensiveness are always the fallacy of any kind of survey show. We can’t expect to have this Biennial be an exhaustive analysis of the situation of art in Texas. But we can see some patterns that emerge that are at once local and global and I think the visualization of these patterns has been interesting. While curators can’t really function as doctors of any kind, one method of analysis that critics and curators often use that approaches a kind of scientific method is classification, whether along morphological, historical, geographic, or other lines.

“The Trailer” project explores our simultaneous and conflicting desires for adventure, discovery, comfort and home. At each tour stop and through www.bridgeclubtrailer.com, audiences are invited to contribute stories in response to questions about significant objects, places and memories. Contributed stories and objects are incorporated into the trailer installation and into future performance actions.


Portrait of Stephen Colbert (2013); chromogenic print; 52 x 35�

Prince Varughese Thomas Born 1969 Lives in Houston, TX BA University of Texas at Arlington, TX, 1992 MFA University of Houston, TX, 1996 Teaches at Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

The relationship between local and global trends and the role of scientific analysis, especially within curatorial practice, has me thinking of Walid Raad’s Scratching on Things I Could Disavow. A History of Art in the Arab World, a recent project about the Artist Pension Trust. APT works with local artists and curators and uses complex algorithms to analyze the value of an artist’s work both in a local and global context. This would be a much longer conversation, but I wonder what it would be like to use APT’s methodology of ascribing value to artworks in relation to an exhibition like the Texas Biennial. CG: I have to say in jurying the Biennial I did not consider myself a metaphorical “doctor” taking the pulse of art in Texas. For the past ten years I have been learning of and meeting artists from all parts of the state as well as studying artists from earlier periods here. For that reason I knew that going into the selection process that what I would see could in no way be comprehensive. KM: Thinking about specific versus broad engagements, to what audience do you feel TX13 is directed? A local , as in Texas, crowd? Or can we say TX13 has national, or even global, aspirations in terms of audience? Can an exhibition do both well? BP: Any exhibition has to balance institutional, artistic, and curatorial interests in terms of its audience. Sometimes this balance is achieved

This work is from “Newsmaker”, a series of portraits of media personalities that represents my observations on contemporary journalism and the transition between reporting and biased editorializing. Elements of photographic portraits are combined with graphical QR Codes that when scanned will display a quote from each figure. For example, when “Portrait of Stephen Colbert” is scanned, the viewer can read the following quote: “In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant. Keep your facts, I’m going with the truth.”


Limes and Pink (2012); inkjet on gatorboard; 36 x 24�

KEVIN TODORA Born 1977 in Beaumont, TX Lives in Richardson, TX BA University of Texas at Dallas, TX, 2005 MFA Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, 2009 Teaches at Richland College, Dallas, TX and Collin College, Plano, TX Represented by Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas,TX

Untitled (grapes) (2012); inkjet on gatorboard; 36 x 24”

through direct dialogue between institutional agents and community members to discover specific needs. Often budgetary and other constraints have a direct impact on content, and determine how best to achieve significant contributions to the community within the resources available. Exhibition making is highly collaborative work. With such a diverse team curating TX13, I think there is a medley of insider and outsider voices, and some in between. I am one of those outsider voices, so I consciously made an effort to both speak from my perspective and try to address the Biennial’s audience. A partial answer can be found in how the team itself was selected to achieve a balance between global and local, a diversity of voices connected both to the Texas scene and to the rest of the world. The selection of a curatorial team from within Texas, from within the U.S., and from outside the U.S. does seem to indicate the Biennial wants to have a wider impact and exchange. Guest curating is rarely onesided; I can imagine most of the team publicized the Biennial to some extent, and each curator has been exposed to a great number of artists that may shape or be included in his or her future projects. There are many ways of engaging distant audiences and of course Web-based and social media are two ways. The Biennial is actively using social media, and this can be a really good and inexpensive strategy. If you see, for example, how much the FILE festival from Brazil uses social media to share their program, there is great potential for growth. But

For a while now, my work has acted against what I considered intrusive imagery in print media. My process has consisted of cutting, drilling, and painting onto appropriated material. Recently, I’ve become interested in the re-contextualization of everyday objects into photographic tableaux. I borrow from a language established by print media and advertising. Both processes stem from a desire to renegotiate the purpose of an image.


Part I: Collapse/Rise (2012) and Part II: I Want to Keep the Sleep in My Eyes (2012); two-monitor video installation, looped, with sound; presentation variable


Born 1989 in New Orleans, LA Lives in Dallas, TX BFA University of Houston, TX, 2012 MFA Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (enrolled)

there is a limit to what virtual media can achieve, and it cannot substitute for experiencing art or the exhibition directly. Ultimately it is the decision of the organization, how it wishes to expand its reach. As others have suggested, selections from the Biennial could travel. Another idea is some kind of prize, as other biennials award. JS: To give the example of my own institution’s relation to the question of audience, the Nasher Sculpture Center has a very precise mission and focus. This creates the responsibility, paradoxically, to seek a kind of universal relevance. We hope to serve the field of sculpture broadly, through historical research and a kind of laboratory approach to contemporary exhibitions, encouraging risk and experimentation, and using opportunities afforded by reference to our collection and the unique characteristics of our building and garden. We seek always to find ways to engage members of the local artist community, considering them a primary audience, a source of ideas, information, and inspiration. BA: At the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the local audience that does not have the opportunity to travel to see art is a top priority institutionally. Given the number of museums in Houston, we are always asking ourselves, “What have they not seen that they should have seen?” Learning of the generative impact of our efforts on our primary local audience—those that see all of our shows, that make art themselves,

An old man sleeps unconscious in a hospital bed, connected to machines beeping in concert with his soft snoring. The statement “without language, there is no thought” appears on his pillow, then meaning devolves through a series of translations into other languages. In parallel, the artist performs the slow transition from engagement with the viewer to the symbolic beginning of sleep. As text ascends over the artist’s face, the object and subject of mention becomes ambiguous. At what stage is someone alive?


Heavy Pets (2013); installation of acrylic-painted wood sculpture; presentation variable

BRAD TUCKER Born 1965 in West Covina, CA Lives in Austin, TX BFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 1991 MFA Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 2009 Teaches at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX Represented by Inman Gallery, Houston, TX “Heavy Pets� is part of an ongoing project in which I reimagine an everyday object, the extendable gate used to divide spaces in domestic and commercial environments, as abstract sculpture. Typically these gates are used as barriers or restraints, preventing passage of pets or people into one room or another. Similarly, I adopt an attitude of artistic restraint when I build the sculptures, only permitting artistic flourishes that follow the cross-hatched logic inherent in the original forms.

Reaching Divinity Together (2013); paper, canvas, wood, acrylic paint, charcoal, and duct tape on paper; 23 x 18.5 x 7�

GIOVANNI VALDERAS Born 1978 in Dallas, TX Lives in Dallas, TX MFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2012 Teaches at Mountain View College, Dallas, TX and University of North Texas, Denton, TX

or that support art makers—is one of the job’s great satisfactions. The Biennial’s first audience is not the art crowd per se. The show’s summarizing function is for people who don’t see everything and want to catch up and plug in. For those of us who, when we move among Texas cities for other reasons, always call upon our most in-the-know friends and find the new spaces and learn what’s going on, the possibility that we might get an alternative picture of the Texas art Zeitgeist is a side effect, not a prime motivator of making the exhibition happen. KM:





independent survey of contemporary art in

Texas”—operates almost as a mission statement. Is this organizational independence important to whatever the Biennial is able to achieve, or would the project benefit from having more formal relationships with institutions? Also, to give another medical metaphor, besides pulse-taking and side effects, is the two-year period of a biennial exhibition an adequate amount of time for a “check-up” perspective on Texas art? Bill, what do you feel consumers of the Biennial—those who see the exhibition, view the catalog, visit the website, or simply look at the artist list—expect to gain from that perspective, that catching up and plugging in? BA: Letting casual viewers with non-professional curiosity about what is happening in Texas see a broad range of art at once is a worthy goal in itself that

My most recent paintings reference my culture, history, and origins. Borrowing the frayed elements of the piñata, I depict ambiguous objects and figures, exploring memories and the tattered relationships of my Guatemalan ancestry. The use of varied materials gives the object a feeling of investigative freedom and also evokes mystery, while the muted color background contributes to a sense of physical space and anchors the piece.


Trenton Doyle Hancock (2012); oil on wood; 25 x 30 x 2�


Born 1980 in St. Louis, MO Lives in Austin, TX BFA Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 2003

is neither trivial nor easy and needs no justification from those of us that watch the scene constantly. I started imagining another viewer, a young artist exiting a grad program in Texas and using the show to judge if basing a studio practice here is viable, in terms of external stimulation, networked productions, and visibility. I have juried many state or city framed shows and have left with the conclusion that ambitious artists needed to get themselves to an international art center as soon as possible. This exhibition, based on the talent and ambition of the chosen artists, shows that a studio practice here is a viable option. NS: I like the idea of a key audience for the Biennial being young artists who can see the rich and diverse ecology that makes up the scene in Texas as a whole. While there is some crossover between cities, most artists in each scene stay to themselves. The Biennial gives a space for exchange, revealing an even greater range of work than might have been apparent only to some. Two years seems like a perfect amount of time. I shifted my base from Dallas to Austin for two years and as a result didn’t get to as many shows as I used to in Dallas. When I came back, everything had changed and I spent the last year catching up. CG: Two years is enough time between exhibitions, although the triennial format is a worthwhile change to consider just in terms of the time required for organizing and fundraising. I agree with Bill: the Texas Biennial is an event that can help demonstrate the viability of having an artistic practice here.

This painting is from a series of portraits of contemporary artists situated within depictions of their own artwork and environments. Here, the artist appears in front of his own painted universe: an imagined world of creatures and myths. Beginning with informal studio visits and interviews, I document my research of these subjects through photography, writings and paintings. The final portraits celebrate the artists and their work, and also reflect a kind of curatorial process.


Thinking of El Paso again, and your question about institutional affiliations, Kurt, it would be good if something collaborative could be organized by or with the University of Texas, which has campuses statewide. Or maybe it does not have to be a UT collaboration but rather a statewide university art department initiative. As we’ve touched on, it is largely the universities— University of Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Rice, University of Houston, Southern Methodist University, University of North Texas, etc.—that are responsible for the development of young artists in Texas. Others have mentioned this but I think it’s a question worth repeating: Would an institution in another part of the U.S. ever be interested in hosting the Texas Biennial? I am thinking about how the Bronx Museum of Arts is hosting the exhibition, “State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970”. California has been a viable option as a location for young artists to establish a studio practice. Texas is nearly twice as big as California, but California has a population of over ten million more than Texas. BA: There has been a lot of party discussion about the possibility of a “Texas Standard Time” trying to write the unique art history of a state bigger than many countries and encompassing a half-dozen cultural ecosystems. We just have to find the scholar with the experience and perspective to lead the charge and a funder like the Getty to support the six years of research.


KM: I think that’s an admirable goal, but yes, it is a project that faces leadership and logistical hurdles in terms of statewide collaboration, especially among the major institutions. “Pacific Standard Time” was contained within less space—essentially Los Angeles—and defined by a single institution with deep pockets. Virginia, you’ve been integrally involved in the Biennial’s development from an Austin-based event to a more statewide platform, with growing recognition beyond Texas. What insights can you share about the Biennial’s structure and trajectory ? How do you view the project in relation to all of the other biennial, triennial, and five-year exhibitions on the international art calendar, and what excites you most about the future of this one? VR: I’m amazed by the results of the effort so far. But projects like the Biennial need more than startup energy and goodwill to keep going. Personally, I believe the collaborative model that has grown the Biennial to date is worth developing for its own sake, especially among arts organizations, which surely have some common cause in our culture. It’s also a welcome counter to the scarcity model underlying the common but utterly wrongheaded pie metaphor—if we proceed as if there is one pie, only so big, there’s always going to be scrabbling over pieces. Make more pie! But collaboration is also hard work. In the short term, sometimes it can simply be easier to “do it yourself”.

There are many possible future directions for the Biennial. I’m most interested to see whether and how different audiences can be engaged. “Texas” is a potentially powerful brand in this regard—but branding what, exactly? I like Jeremy’s comment about relevance. Fundamental to the Texas Biennial project is the idea that being located matters. Focusing on this could be a way of addressing the big questions about the cultural role of art, while keeping those questions framed by a local reality. The Texas Biennial is at the same time a modest effort, and a wildly ambitious idea. It could and should look very different two years from now, and then two years from then, hopefully. The crucial factors for success are the usual ones: vision, infrastructure, adaptability. Time and resources will tell.



BILL ARNING is the Director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH). At CAMH, Arning has organized the exhibitions Matthew Day Jackson: The Immeasurable Distance (2009) and Marc Swanson: The Second Story (2011). Stan VanDerBeek: The Culture Intercom (2011), which he co-curated with João Ribas, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center, received the prestigious award of “Best Show Involving Digital Media, Video, Film, or Performance” from the United States section of the International Art Critics Association (AICA/USA). Arning was formerly Curator at MIT’s List Center for eight years where he organized such critically acclaimed exhibitions as America Starts Here - Ericson and Ziegler (2006). Other exhibitions include Chantal Akerman’s first American museum survey Moving Through Time and Space (2008) and Christian Jankowski - Everything Fell Together (2006). Arning was Director and Chief Curator at White Columns, New York’s oldest alternative art space, for over ten years. Currently, Arning with Elissa Author, Adjunct Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, is working on a survey of work by Marilyn Minter on view in 2014. As a writer on art and culture, Arning’s essays have been published in Time Out New York, Aperture, Modern Painters, The Village Voice, Art in America, Trans, Out, and Parkett. RENÉ PAUL BARILLEAUX is Chief Curator and Curator of Art after 1945 at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio. Previously, Barilleaux held curatorial positions at the Mississippi Museum of Art; College of Charleston, South Carolina; Madison Art Center, Wisconsin; and Museum of Holography, New York City. Barilleaux received a BFA degree from The University of Southwestern Louisiana and an MFA degree from Pratt Institute. Since joining the McNay in 2005, Barilleaux has organized exhibitions including solo presentations of work by Lynda Benglis, Judith Godwin, Jane Hammond, Joseph Marioni, Ernesto Pujol, and Sandy Skoglund, as well as American Art Since 1945: In a New Light, New Image Sculpture, and Andy Warhol: Fame and Misfortune. He has edited, authored, and contributed to numerous publications, including books accompanying New Image Sculpture and Andy Warhol. He has also initiated an ongoing video series and, most recently, commissioned a large wall installation by Lisa Hoke, the first in a series for the museum’s entrance lobby. Additionally, Barilleaux has added numerous postwar and contemporary works to the McNay’s collection, including examples by Radcliffe Bailey, Chakaia Booker, Lesley Dill, Valerie Jaudon, Alexander Liberman, Whitfield Lovell, Vik Muniz, Larry Poons, Susie Rosmarin, and Sandy Skoglund. CHRISTIAN GERSTHEIMER is a curator at the El Paso Museum of Art, where he focuses on projects involving cross-border dialogue and contemporary art. Gerstheimer received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BA and an MA in Art History from Michigan State University, and is currently completing an MFA in Creative Practice at the Transart Institute, New York and Berlin. He has organized one-person exhibitions for artists including Michael P. Berman, Margarita Cabrera, Carole Feuerman, Annabel Livermore, Linda Ridgway, Diego Rivera, Teodulo Romulo, David Taylor, and Camille Utterback. In 2012, Gerstheimer he curated the group exhibition Inquisitive Eyes: El Paso Art 1960 - 2012 for the El Paso Museum of Art. Several exhibitions curated by Gerstheimer have traveled to museums in Mexico and throughout the United States. Gerstheimer has written essays for The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Photography, Texas 100: Selections from the El Paso Museum of Art, Desert Modern and Beyond: El Paso Art 1960 - 2012 and the online art journal Arte al Día México, among other publications. He has also served as a grants reviewer for the Texas Commission on the Arts visual arts panel; a portfolio reviewer at Fotofest; and as a juror for the Hunting Art Prize and for photolucida’s Critical Mass photography competition. Prior to joining the El Paso Museum in 2003, Gerstheimer worked at The Detroit Institute of Arts; The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; The Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University, East Lansing; and The Field Museum in Chicago. K8 HARDY is a New York-based artist represented by Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York. She holds a BA from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts; studied at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program; and received her MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College, New York. Hardy is a founding member of the queer feminist journal and artist collective LTTR, and has directed music videos for groups including Le Tigre, Lesbians on Ecstasy, and Men. She has exhibited her work and performed internationally at numerous venues including MoMA PS1 and Artists Space in New York; The Tate Modern, London; Galerie Sonja Jünkers, Munich, Germany; Balice Hertling in Paris; and Dallas Contemporary, Dallas. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and was featured in the Whitney’s 2012 Biennial. Hardy’s artistic practice spans a variety of genres and media, including video, photography, sculpture and performance, and responds to issues surrounding identity, image commerce, branding, and gender power. TERESA HUBBARD and ALEXANDER BIRCHLER have been working collaboratively in video, photography and sculpture since 1990. Their work invites suggestive, open-ended reflections on memory, place and cinema. Hubbard / Birchler’s work is held in numerous public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian, Washington D. C.; Kunsthaus Zurich; Modern Art Museum Fort Worth; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Yokohama Museum of Art and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Their exhibition history includes venues such as the Venice Biennial; Tate Museum Liverpool; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Reina Sofia Museum Madrid and the Mori Museum Tokyo. Hubbard grew up in Australia and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Yale University School of Art, New Haven. Birchler grew up in Switzerland and studied at the Basel School of Fine Arts and the University of Art and Design, Helsinki. They began collaborating as artists-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts and later completed graduate degrees at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. Currently they are Graduate Faculty at Bard College, New York. Hubbard is a Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. Hubbard / Birchler are represented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zürich; Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin; Galerie Vera Munro, Hamburg and Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin. ANNETTE LAWRENCE is a visual artist who has been based in Texas since 1990. Her work is generally related to text and information, often in response to physical space and time, and is grounded in autobiography, counting, and the measurement of everyday life. Her subjects of inquiry range from body cycles, to ancestor portraits, music lessons, and unsolicited mail. Lawrence’s string installations are a response to architecture as monumental text. The string presents a visual lightness, balanced by the substantial physicality and scale of the work. References to lattice, woven vessels, suspension bridges, and musical instruments often emerge. Lawrence’s art is widely exhibited and held in museums and private collections including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Dallas Museum of Art; The Rachofsky Collection; ArtPace Center for Contemporary Art; Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin; and American Airlines. Lawrence has been an artist-in-residence at programs in Houston, Texas; Skowhegan, Maine; Johannesburg, South Africa; Tanera Mor, Scotland; and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She received a BFA from The Hartford Art School and an MFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art. Lawrence has taught as a visiting artist at American University, Washington, D.C., and Yale University School of Art, New Haven. Currently she is a Professor and Chair of Studio Art at the University of North Texas, College of Arts and Design, Denton. Her permanent installation for Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Coin Toss, was included in the 2011 Texas Biennial. DAVID PAGEL is an art critic who writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times. He is an associate professor of art theory and history at Claremont Graduate University and chair of the art department. He is also an adjunct curator at the Parrish Art Museum, in Water Mill, New York, where he

has organized EST-3: Los Angeles Art from the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Underground Pop, and, in collaboration with Terrie Sultan, Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion. Recent publications include “Ingenious Adaptation” in Decade: Contemporary Collecting, 2002-2012 (the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), “Inside-Outsider” in Ralph Humphrey (Gary Snyder Gallery), and “Ron Nagle, In His Own Context” in Nagle, Ron (Silvergate Publications). Pagel served on the editorial advisory board of Art Lies, the Texas-based journal of art criticism. He was educated at Stanford and Harvard. An avid cyclist, Pagel is a four-time winner of the California Triple Crown. On June 23, 2012 he completed his first triple century, in 21 1/2 hours. BÁRBARA PEREA is an independent curator and critic with a concentration in emerging media, sound, and video art. In 2001, with fellow curator Mariana David, Perea organized the international residency program David Perea, which included Pawel Althamer, David Castro, Jorge Macchi and Artur Zmijewski, and produced two major artworks by Santiago Sierra. From 2003 to 2006, she was director of MUCA Roma in Mexico City, a satellite art space sponsored by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). With curator Príamo Lozada, Perea served as artistic co-director of Plataforma Puebla 06 and co-curated the Mexican Pavilion at the 52nd Biennale di Venezia, presenting Some Things Happen More Often Than All of the Time, a solo exhibition by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Perea also served on the selection committee for the Berlin-based FAIR PLAY Video Festival in 2006 and the nomination committee for the Rockefeller Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute’s Media Arts Fellowships in 2008. In 2011, she was part of the curatorial team of Transitio mx, an international electronic art and video festival, and she is currently a collaborator in the summer program of SOMA, an artist-directed forum for contemporary art in Mexico City. In 2012, she was selected to be the inaugural resident curator for the Sala Díaz Casa Chuck residency program, in San Antonio. CHRISTINA REES has served as an editor at both The Met and D Magazine, as a full-time art and music critic at the Dallas Observer, and has also covered art and music for the Village Voice and other publications. A former resident of New York City and London, Rees currently lives in Dallas, where from 2006-2009 she was the owner and director of Road Agent gallery. At Road Agent, she organized numerous exhibitions including Ambush: Stand and Deliver; The Audience is Listening, and solo exhibitions by Ryan Humphrey, Elliott Johnson, Evan Lintermans, Margaret Meehan, Bradly Brown, Raychael Stine, and others. Rees was Curator of Fort Worth Contemporary Arts at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth from 2009-2013, where her exhibitions included Death of a Propane Salesman: Anxiety and the Texas Artist; Liam Gillick: ...and other short films; M: Let’s Build a Fort!; Michael Bise: Epilogues; Rufus Corporation: Yuri’s Office (with Noah Simblist); and Kevin Todora and Jeff Zilm: Gaffes and Informations. Her recent independent curatorial projects include Modern Ruin and Modern Ruin II: Quick and Dirty (with Thomas Feulmer). Rees is now an independent curator and critic, and writes regularly for Glasstire, the online journal of visual art in Texas, as well as other online and print publications. DARIO ROBLETO received his BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1997. Since 1997, Robleto has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California; the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Aldrich Contemporary Arts Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut. In 2008, a 10-year solo survey exhibition, Alloy of Love, was organized by the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Survival Does Not Lie In The Heavens, at the Des Moines Art Center, and The Prelives of the Blues at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Notable group shows include Whitney Biennial 2004, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and The Old, Weird America at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Robleto has been a visiting artist and lecturer at many colleges and universities including Bard College, New York; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. In 2009, his work was featured on the cover of Yo La Tengo’s album, Popular Songs. His awards include the International Association of Art Critics Award in 2004 for best exhibition in a commercial gallery at the national level. He is the recipient of a 2007 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and the 2009 USA Rasmuson Fellowship. In 2011, he was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow at the National Museum of American History. Robleto currently lives and works in Houston. NOAH SIMBLIST works as a writer, independent curator and artist. He is an associate professor of Art at Southern Methodist University and is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of Texas, Austin, where he was the 2010-2011 Curatorial Fellow at The Visual Arts Center. His curatorial projects include Yuri’s Office by Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Out of Place at Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin, and Queer State(s) at the Visual Arts Center. Simblist’s recent writing projects include “Setting Sail: The Aesthetics of Politics on the Gaza Flotilla” as well as interviews with Jill Magid, Walead Beshty and Nicholas Schaffhausen for Art Papers; “Trouble in Paradise: The Erasure of Memory at Canada Park” for Pidgin Magazine; and “The Art of Forgetfulness, the Trauma of Memory: Yael Bartana and Artur Zmijewski” for Transmission Annual. Simblist’s work was included in the 2007 Texas Biennial. JEREMY STRICK has been the director of the Nasher Sculpture Center since 2009. At the Nasher, Strick oversees collections, exhibitions, and operations at the 2.4-acre facility located in the heart of downtown Dallas’ Arts District. Opened in 2003, the Nasher is home to one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, formed largely by the late Raymond and Patsy Nasher. The Center comprises a 55,000 square-foot building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, and a two-acre sculpture garden designed by Piano in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker. Exhibitions organized by the Nasher during Strick’s tenure include Tony Cragg: Seeing Things (2011), Revelation: The Art of James Magee (2010), and Jaume Plensa: Genus and Species (2010). In addition, Strick initiated Sightings, a series of one-person exhibitions focused on innovative new work; Soundings: New Music at the Nasher, an acclaimed program of contemporary chamber music; and the monthly lecture series 360: Artists, Critics, Curators. Previously, Strick served as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) for nearly ten years. During his tenure, MOCA achieved international renown as the organizer of definitive monographic exhibitions and groundbreaking surveys, including such landmark shows as Dan Graham: A Little Thought (2009), Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective (2008), Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave (2008), ©Murakami (2007), WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (2007), Robert Rauschenberg: Combines (2005), Visual Music: Synaesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900 (2005), Robert Smithson (2004), A Minimal Future? Art As Object 1958-1968 (2004), and Andy Warhol Retrospective (2002), among many others. CLINT WILLOUR has been an arts professional for 40 years. From 1973-1989, he served as director of a commercial gallery in Houston. Since 1990, he has been the curator of the Galveston Arts Center, serving additionally as Executive Director from 1995-2005. He has curated over 400 exhibitions for that institution. In addition, Willour curates exhibitions and serves as a juror for numerous commercial and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States and abroad, as well as serving on selection panels for the Houston Arts Alliance, The Texas Commission on the Arts, The San Antonio Arts Commission and the Louisiana State Commission on the Arts. He currently serves on five committees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Board of Directors and two committees at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; the advisory board and the exhibition committee at the Houston Center for Photography; the traveling and changing exhibitions committees of the Holocaust Museum Houston; the board of the William A. Graham Artists’ Emergency Fund; the art board of Fotofest Houston; the system wide art acquisitions committee of the University of Houston and the Art Advisory Committee of Discovery Green. Willour was given the Arts Professional Legend Award by the Dallas Contemporary Art Center in 2001 and was named the Texas Art Patron of the Year 2007 by Art League Houston. VIRGINIA RUTLEDGE is an art historian, advisor and attorney focused on contemporary art, intellectual property, and cultural organizations. Formerly a curator for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and vice president and general counsel of Creative Commons, she is now in private practice and lives in New York and Texas. Rutledge received an M.Phil. in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a J.D. from the University of California School of Law, Berkeley. Her writing on art-related topics has been published in Art in America, Bookforum and Artforum. She speaks frequently on art and law, and is a past chair of the Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Rutledge has served as a consultant for numerous arts nonprofits and foundations. Her independent projects include Bunny Yeager LA, an alternative space that exhibited work by artists Lutz Bacher, Mike Bidlo and Boris Mikhailov, among others; At Home, an occasional salon hosted in domestic settings; and Specific Projects, a collaborative group that produces anonymous temporary art installations. Rutledge was the curator of the 2011 Texas Biennial, and the 2013 Curator-at-Large.


COMMISSIONED PROJECT Co-commissioned with

Open Studio: Every Person Is A Special Kind of Artist, with Baggage

The Dallas Collective Soraya Abtahi Braeden Bailey Jenna Barrois William Binnie Michael Corris Nina Davis Michael Deleon Kelly Kroener Elainy Lopez Alexandra Monroe Michael Morris Rhyanna Odom Ellen Smith Travis LaMothe Melissa Tran Hannah Tyler Dylan Wignall


The Dallas Collective is a collaborative practice that developed out of a studio art course held for the first time during the 2013 spring semester at the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas. As one of four core introductory courses for art students in the Division of Art, “Systems” aims to introduce students to a way of making and thinking about art that is conscious of the networks in which contemporary art is embedded. In this setting, emphasis is placed on understanding art media in terms of their technical and historical nature. The essential quality of the studio experience is collective, discursive, and reflective. By bringing to light the way art is embedded in the various networks of display, representation, meaning, and control, we raise the question, “what is creativity?”

The system that animates Open Studio defines the conditions of work for the participants in the project. One way to picture Open Studio is as a system that translates one form of visual cultural expression into another. As the system is enacted, a specific form of display—the archive, the banner, and the ubiquitous trademark-ridden tote bag— emerges to redescribe and destabilize the previous medium. The process that defined the work of The Dallas Collective was relatively uncomplicated:

The current project conceived and produced by The Dallas Collective—Open Studio: Every Person Is A Special Kind of Artist, with Baggage—references the historically unstable notion of studio practice in visual art, from the scriptorium to the workshop, the garret to the barricades, the Bauhaus to The Factory, and the enthusiast’s kitchen table to the street and the city.

• Each member of the collective selected a fixed number of images from the archive, half of which had to be images made by another member of the collective. • Every time an archive image was selected it was removed from the archive and replaced with another image. In this way, every member of the collective was confronted with a slightly different resource of visual images from which to make his or her selection.

Open Studio also riffs on contemporary notions of open source and commons culture, and incorporates as well ideas found in Ad Reinhardt’s 1943 manuscript, “Paintings and Pictures”. There, Reinhardt challenges the artist to consider how contemporary communication media impacts the making of art that seeks to address the public at large and presents an impassioned plea for an appreciation of the various kinds of creativity we encounter in everyday life. During the late 1960s/early 1970s, numerous Conceptual artists used forms found readymade in the public sphere: billboards, advertising hoardings, the advertising spaces of newspapers and magazines, mass produced commodities such as Coca-Coca bottles, or even negotiable currencies. These forms of communication or address defined the boundaries of the public sphere, which was imagined to be the property of the citizen rather than the property of a corporation or the State. The use of banners and bannerlike graphics has been extended in more recent practice to become paradigmatic of the work of other artists, such as Ken Lum, Barbara Kruger, Sylvie Fleury and Karen Carson.


• We began by assembling an archive of original visual and textual material created by each the members of the collective. All the images in the archive were scanned and were made available as digital files.

• The digital files of the selected images were compiled into a grid composition, which was then transmitted to banners. com and reproduced as a 4 x 8’ vinyl banner. • The banners were utilized as the raw material from which tote bags were constructed. The patterns used to make the bags were randomly distributed across the banners, so as to fragment the totality of any one composition. The archive—a collection of material ordinarily inaccessible to the public and fixed in its content—is thereby continuously altered and eventually transformed into a banner. The banner—a format intended for continuous public display and also a familiar artifact appropriated by contemporary artists—is transformed into a semi-public object: the tote bag. As the bag meanders through a day of shopping and errands, it takes on another character as an unpredictable odyssey of display. – The Dallas Collective

The tote bags produced as part of the Open Studio project were created as a limited edition of 50. Proceeds from the sale of the bags were donated to a charity designated by The Dallas Collective. The Dallas Collective was formed in the context of a studio art course taught by Michael Corris, Professor at the Meadows School of Art, Southern Methodist University. In addition to Corris, the group includes M.F.A. students William Binnie, Travis LaMothe (’13) and Melissa Tran, Dallas artists Kelly Kroener and Michael Morris, and undergraduate students Soraya Abtahi, Braeden Bailey, Jenna Barrois, Nina Davis, Michael Deleon, Elainy Lopez, Alexandra Monroe, Rhyanna Odom, Ellen Smith, Hannah Tyler and Dylan Wignall. Michael Corris is an artist and writer on art whose work is most closely identified with the critical practices and attitudes of Conceptual art; specifically, with the work of the collective, Art & Language.

Stills from Open Studio: Every Person Is A Special Kind of Artist, with Baggage, an 8 minute video documenting the project created by Melissa Tran and Michael Morris. (Available at www.texasbiennial.org.)


Participating organizations

The Texas Biennial is proud to recognize the arts organizations and artist collectives across the state that joined us in celebrating the excellence and diversity of contemporary art made in Texas by participating with their own independent programming. Throughout the run of the 2013 Biennial, participating organizations showcased exhibitions featuring work by artists living and working in Texas, highlighted contemporary works by Texas artists on display in their permanent collections, and presented special artist talks and lectures.

Anthony Sonnenberg, Totem (moldy pink), 2013; porcelain over stoneware, found ceramic objects, glaze; 20 x 18.5 x 11”

The Old Jail Art Center ALBANY Anthony Sonnenberg: Time after Time after Time September 28 – January 19, 2013 For his installation in the museum’s acclaimed “Cell Series” of exhibitions, curated by Patrick Kelly, Anthony Sonnenberg juxtaposed four new works with four selections from the museum’s permanent collection, investigating some constant themes in art over time: obsessions with life and death, joy and suffering, power and vanity, gender and sexuality.

Installation view of Erin Curtis’ Furthest West (2013) at The Gatehouse Gallery

The Contemporary Austin AUSTIN Furthest West: A solo exhibition by Erin Curtis September 5 – January 5, 2013 Marrying her interests in traditional craft and textiles, gendered labor, and modernist architecture and furniture, Austin-based artist Erin Curtis worked with curator Rachel Adams Miller to fill the Gatehouse Gallery at the museum’s Laguna Gloria site with a colorful, immersive installation that deliberately treads the line between fine art and decoration.

Abilene The Center for Contemporary Arts

Albany The Old Jail Art Center

Arlington The Gallery at University of Texas at Arlington

Austin Blanton Museum of Art City of Austin, The People’s Gallery at City Hall Co-Lab Projects Julia C. Butridge Gallery at the Dougherty Arts Center MASS Gallery Mexic-Arte Museum Pump Project Art Complex The Contemporary Austin Umlauf Sculpture Garden Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin Women & Their Work

Corpus Christi Art Museum of South Texas K Space Contemporary Weil and Islander Galleries at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Installation view of Asteroid Belt of Trash Blocking

The Art Foundation / The Reading Room DALLAS Transmissions of Love September 7 – November 2, 2013 Enacting themes of access, complicity and productive action/reaction, Dallas-based collective The Art Foundation (Andrew Douglas Underwood, Ryder Richards and Lucia Simek) built a temporary construction wall inside Karen Weiner’s acclaimed alternative space The Reading Room, pasted it over with broadsides layered with pop culture and more esoteric references (including to Chronic City, the Jonathan Lethem novel that inspired the installation and its coded dialogue with the Dallas art community), and tantalized viewers (who were invited to add their own graffiti) with peepholes through which a mysterious space could be glimpsed — but not entered.

Dallas Dallas Museum of Art Nasher Sculpture Center Richland College Galleries South Dallas Cultural Center The Art Foundation / The Reading Room The McKinney Avenue Contemporary

Vince Jones, Emblem (1999); oil on canvas, 18 x 14”

Richland College Galleries DALLAS Ex. 11 September 6 – October 4, 2013 “What is a good painting?”: Brazos Gallery Director Michael Mazurek polled fellow Texan artists about the state of painting and the resulting show, with its ironically scientific-sounding title, included works by Jesse Morgan Barnett, C.J. Davis, Randall Garrett, Vince Jones, Lucy Kirkman, Stephen Lapthisophon, Anna Membrino, Francisco Moreno, Lauralee Pope, Ludwig Schwarz
, Kate Shepherd, and Jeff Zilm and Sonja Lowrey.


Denton East | West Galleries, Department of Visual Arts, Texas Woman’s University University of North Texas Art Gallery in the College of Visual Arts and Design

El Paso El Paso Museum of Art Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts

Fort Worth The Carillon Gallery at Tarrant County College South Campus

Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts



Galveston Arts Center

State of the Arts: El Paso/Marfa/Juárez September 4, 11 and 18, 2013 Highlighting innovative practices and emerging opportunities for contemporary artists and their collaborators, the Rubin Center organized a series of informal networking events and panels with artists and arts professionals from three very different but uniquely connected cities: El Paso (Ben Fyffe, Carlo Mendo, Catherine Vanderbrink); Marfa (Tim Johnson, Erin Kimmel, Nicholas Miller, Caitlin Murray); and Juarez (Victoria Martinez Aguirre, Alejandro Morales, Gustavo Ruiz, Felipe Zuñiga).

Hector Hernandez, Hyperbeast: Yellow (2012); color photograph; 20 x 30”

FotoFest / Houston Center for Photography HOUSTON Moving/Still: Recent Photography by Texas Artists September 20 – November 3, 2013 FotoFest and Houston Center for Photography continued their ongoing collaboration with the co-presentation of the fifth installment of the FotoFest series “Talent in Texas”, an exhibition curated by Kerry Inman (of Inman Gallery, Houston) that featured work exploring our complicated relationships with “the natural”, created by a group of artists from across the state: Armando Alvarez Miguel Amat, Keliy Anderson-Staley, Megan Badger, Jessie Morgan Barnett, Susi Brister (TX11), Elizabeth Chiles (TX11), Hector Hernandez, Paho Mann, Linarejos Moreno, Barry Stone (TX09, TX11), and Jeremy Underwood.


Houston Art Car Museum Art League Houston Aurora Picture Show Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston BOX 13 ArtSpace Contemporary Arts Museum Houston DiverseWorks FotoFest Glassell School of Art, The CORE Program at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Arts Alliance’s Alliance Gallery Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Houston Center for Photography Houston Community College Central Art Gallery Museum of Printing History Orange Show Center for Visionary Art Project Row Houses The Menil Collection

Longview Longview Museum of Fine Arts

Lubbock Charles Adams Studio Project Farm 2 Markets Arts at the LHUCA Studio Projects Land Arts of the American West, College of Architecture, Texas Tech University Landmark Arts, Texas Tech School of Art, Texas Tech University Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts

Marshall Michelson Museum of Art

McAllen International Museum of Art & Science South Texas College Visual Arts Program Gallery

Midland Museum of the Southwest

San Angelo San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

Landmark Arts, Texas Tech School of Art, Texas Tech University LUBBOCK The New West Texas Sky Project August 26 – September 22, 2013 The original West Texas Sky Project began on November 12, 1957, under the shadow of the launch of Sputnik and the threat of nuclear war, as an artists’ movement to reclaim the sky. Hundreds of West Texas residents photographed the sky that day, selected one of their images, and presented them in photo albums that toured the local and regional museums and universities. This continued annually until 1965, when interest largely faded. Infighting over the future of the project and its records during the culture wars of the 1980s prefigured the catastrophic fire in June 2000 that consumed the documentation of prior sky surveys. Organized by artist Zach Nader, the New West Texas Sky Project is an exercise in collective image making, image ownership, and distribution. The current archive includes 642 images taken September 29, 2012 by anyone who was in west Texas on that date and responded to the open call for participation, the terms of which may be found on the project website, www.thenewskyproject.com. An exhibition of prints from the archive was presented at Texas Tech and is available for tour.


San Antonio Artpace McNay Art Museum Neidorff Art Gallery at Trinity University Sala Diaz San Antonio Museum of Art Southwest School of Art The Lullwood Group Unit B UTSA Art Gallery and Satellite Space X Marks the Art

San Marcos Lloyd Walsh, Untitled (2002); oil on canvas; 48 x 42”

San Antonio Museum of Art SAN ANTONIO

The University Galleries 1 & 2 at Texas State University

Temple Temple College Art Gallery

Spotlight on Texas Contemporary Artists in the SAMA Collection September 5 – November 9, 2013 During the run of the exhibition, San Antonio Museum of Art highlighted stellar examples of contemporary art by 25 Texas artists represented in its permanent collection, selected by The Brown Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art, David S. Rubin: Terry Allen, Albert Alvarez, Susan Budge (TX09), Raul Castellanos, Danville Chadbourne, Michael Ray Charles, James Cobb, James Drake, Jorge Garza, Adan Hernandez, Luis Jimenez, Marilyn Lanfear, Ken Little (TX09), Alberto Mijangos, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Katie Pell (TX09), Mario Perez, Chuck Ramirez, Dario Robleto, Angel Rodriguez-Diaz, Ed Saavedra, Gary Schafter, Henry Stein, Vincent Valdez, and Lloyd Walsh.

Victoria The Nave Museum

Wichita Falls The Juanita Harvey Art Gallery at Midwestern State University

Statewide Pastelegram Texas Sculpture Group

Rigoberto A. Gonzalez, La Guia (The Guide) (2013); oil on linen; 60 x 72”

Southwest School of Art SAN ANTONIO Alice Leora Briggs: La Linea, Rebecca Dietz: Wonder Worlds Rigoberto Gonzalez: Baroque on the Border (Barroco en la Frontera) September 5 – November 10, 2013 Southwest School of Art featured solo exhibitions of recent work by three Texas artists working in a variety of media, including Rigoberto Gonzales (TX11), whose unflinching portrayals of life on the U.S./Mexico border use a bold representational painting style combining references to vernacular culture and Baroque art and subject matter to address current social and political issues.



Art Car Museum

James Harithas, Noah Edmundson,

Art League Houston

Mary Forbes, Jim Hatchett

Vanessa Perez

McCalla, Michael Peranteau, Jennie Ash Art Museum of South Texas Joseph Schenk, Deborah Fullerton, Cindy Anderson Artpace Amada Cruz, Mary Heathcott Aurora Picture Show Mary Magsamen Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston Blanton Museum of Art


Claudia Schmuckli, Matt

Simone Wicha, Annette DiMeo

Carlozzi, Kathleen Stimpert, Adam Bennett BOX 13 ArtSpace Elaine Bradford, Mark Ponder Charles Adams Studio Project Chad Plunket Co-Lab Projects

Sean Gaulager, Chris Whiteburch, Austin Nelsen

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Bill Arning, Connie McAlister, Dallas Museum of Art

Daniel Atkinson

Maxwell Anderson, Jeffrey

Grove, Gabriel Ritter DiverseWorks Elizabeth Dunbar, Rachel Cook East | West Galleries, Department of Visual Arts, Texas Woman’s University Vance Wingate El Paso Museum of Art Michael Tomor, Farm 2 Markets Arts at the

Patrick Cable, Christian Gerstheimer

LHUCA Studio Projects Jeffrey Wheeler FotoFest Wendy Watriss, Galveston Arts

Jennifer Ward, Vinod Hopson, Annick Dekiouk Center

Glassell School of Art, The CORE Program

Clint Willour

at the Museum of Fine Arts Marie Jacinto


Joseph Havel, Mary Leclère

Arts Alliance’s Alliance Gallery

Jonathon Glus, Matthew Lennon,

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Julie Farr,

Kathryn Hall, Mary Headrick Houston Center for Photography Bevin Bering Dubrowski Houston Community College Central Art Gallery International Museum of Art & Science

Michael Golden


Garza, Ben Martinez, Gilbert Gomez Julia C. Butridge Gallery at the Dougherty Arts Center

K Space Contemporary

Melissa Bartling

Land Arts of the American West, College of

V. Michelle Smythe

Architecture, Texas Tech University Chris Taylor Landmark Arts, Texas Tech School of Art, Texas Tech University

Joe Arredondo

Longview Museum of Fine Arts

Renee Hawkins

Underwood Center for the Arts

Karen Wiley, Linda Cullum, Tonja

MASS Gallery



Xochi Solis, Jules Buck Jones

Mexic-Arte Museum

Michelson Museum of Art

Sylvia Orozco, Claudia Zapata

Museum of Printing History Museum of the Southwest

Burrows Earle

McNay Art

William Chiego, Melissa L. Castellon, René P. Barilleaux,

Melissa L. Castellon, Daniela Oliver-Portillo Spears

Louise Hopkins

Nasher Sculpture Center

Orange Show Center for Visionary Art Pastelegram

Wallace, Jonathan Beitler Houses

Brian Lee Whisenhunt, Wendy

Jeremy Strick, Jill Magnuson, Jed

Neidorff Art Gallery at Trinity University

Morse, Catherine Craft Jessica Halonen

Pump Project

Richland College Galleries

Debra Broz

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts



Project Row

Ariel Evans

Linda Shearer, Rick Lowe, Ryan Dennis

Art Complex


Amanda Stevenson, Keelin


Howard Taylor, Gracie

Fernandez San Antonio Museum of Art Katie Luber, David S. Rubin South Dallas Cultural Center

Victoria Meek

Visual Arts Program Gallery

William Buhidar Southwest School of Art Armstrong Kerry Doyle

Temple College Art Gallery

San Marcos Comfort Sessions by Katelena Hernandez September 17 and 19, 2013 As part of the group exhibition MPath, which explored emotional and empathic responses, The University Galleries presented Katelena Hernandez’ Comfort Sessions, a performance and installation project focused on the concept of comfort and the dichotomy of awkwardness and intimacy using a dress made from 100 yards of red polyester fleece, bound into bundles with ribbon surrounded by a “nest” formed of 180 pillows on which viewers may rest while Hernandez sings lullabies, for up to three hours at a time.

Michael Donahue


Gary Webernick, Steve Brudniak, Caprice Pierucci

The Art Foundation

The University Galleries 1 & 2 at Texas State University

Teri Hatch Aguilar, Kathy

Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts

Sculpture Group

Katelena Hernandez performing Comfort Sessions (2013), University Galleries 1 & 2 at Texas State University, San Marcos

South Texas College

Rachael Brown, Amanda Alejos,

Andrew Douglas Underwood, Ryder Richards,

Lucia Simek The Carillon Gallery at Tarrant County College South Campus Joshua Goode The Center for Contemporary Arts Darla Harmon, Jennifer Parks

The Contemporary Austin

Andrea Mellard, Rachel Adams Miller Texas at Arlington

Benito Huerta

at Midwestern State University

Louis Grachos,

The Gallery at University of

The Juanita Harvey Art Gallery Catherine Prose

The Lullwood

Group Connie Swann The McKinney Avenue Contemporary Lisa Hees The Menil Collection Josef Helfenstein,, Toby Kamps, Michelle White

The Nave Museum

Tom Jones, Patrick Kelly

Amy Leissner

The Old Jail Art Center

The Reading Room

Karen Weiner

University Galleries 1 & 2 at Texas State University Stump

Umlauf Sculpture Garden


Diane Sikes


Mary Mikel

Unit B


University of North Texas Art Gallery in the College of

Visual Arts and Design Tracee W. Robertson UTSA Art Gallery and Satellite Space Scott A. Sherer Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin

Jade Walker, Xochi Solis

Weil and Islander

Galleries at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi Jack Gron Women & Their Work Chris Cowden, Rachel Koper, Lisa Choinacky X Marks the Art Jimmy LeFlore



Director Shea Little

Curator-at-Large Virginia Rutledge

Media and Development Lauren Gehrig

Operations Jana Swec Jess Jones Anastasia Colombo

Program Associates Jon Windham Kevin McNamee-Tweed Jordan Gentry Camden Torres Roze Braunstein

Skye Ashbrook’s Three Years (2013) projected on the facade of Blue Star during opening festivities, September 5, 2013.

Volunteer Coordination Amy Barton Meagan Smith

Exhibition Design Lawrence Waung

Art Handlers Kevin McNamee-Tweed Rhett Radon Caleb Tracy Jorge Medina

Construction Team Jon Lawrence Mano Samayoa Michael (Star) Franklin

Documentation Amanda Winkles Skylar Evans Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

“Why a Texas Biennial?”, a public panel on the future of the Texas Biennial featuring (L-R) Noah Simblist, John Pomara, Annette Lawrence, Virginia Rutledge, and Christina Rees was hosted at CentralTrak on September 21, 2013.

Video Production Chad Nickle

Volunteers Adrián Mata Anaya Julia Champine Courtney DiSabato Jordan Gentry Myrriah Gossett Shawn Grona Adam Hilton Claire Lilly Melissa McGavock Ricardo Medina Joanna Moore Philip Nasday Joe Rizzo Rachel Rosenberg Mano Samayoa Brenda Schild Meagan Smith Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

TX13 commissioned artist Michael Corris discusses his project with The Dallas Collective, “Open Studio: Every Person Is A Special Kind of Artist, with Baggage”, at Ballroom Marfa, September 14, 2013.

Now in its twenty-seventh year, Blue Star Contemporary continues to be an incubator for contemporary art in San Antonio, hosting over twenty exhibitions each year within four on-site galleries and at multiple offsite locations within the community. Exhibitions feature both emerging and world-renowned artists hailing from both the Alamo City and from across the globe. Programs, community events, and the MOSAIC student education program at Blue Star Contemporary also contribute to the museum’s mission to inspire the creative genius in us all. www.bluestarart.org Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum receives major support from the City of San Antonio Department for Culture & Creative Development; the Lifshutz Family; the National Endowment for the Arts; and Ricos Products Co., Inc.

CentralTrak, The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency, provides space for eight artists to live, work and exhibit, and serves as a community center for broad intellectual discourse around the arts. While the Residency promotes artistic experimentation through its support of production, the companion Gallery encourages critical engagement with the local urban context through its exhibitions and related programs. By building on the forward-thinking intellectual resources of the School of Arts & Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, CentralTrak unites artists from a broad range of creative disciplines to extend and challenge contemporary notions of artistic practice, creative expression, and the role technology can play in these processes. www.centraltrak.net

Bill FitzGibbons Steven Evans Elizabeth Lyons Brittany Parker Pedro Luera Rigoberto Luna Alex Rubio Monica Grimes John Dean Domingue

Heyd Fontenot Laura Sewell Brian Scott Mona Kasra Spencer Brown-Pearn

Funding for CentralTrak is provided by the University of Texas at Dallas, and by private and corporate contributions.

Ballroom Marfa is a dynamic, contemporary cultural arts space that provides a lively intellectual environment where varied perspectives and issues are explored through visual arts, film, music, and performance. As an advocate for the freedom of artistic expression, Ballroom Marfa’s mission is to serve international, national, regional, and local arts communities and support the work of both emerging and recognized artists working in all media. www.ballroommarfa.org Support for the Ballroom Marfa presentation comes from the Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston; and generous contributions by Ballroom Marfa members

Fairfax Dorn Erin Kimmel Melissa McDonnell Luján Rosa McElheny Sam Winks Nicki Ittner Paige Phelps J.D. DiFabbio



The Texas Biennial is a program of Big Medium, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art throughout Texas, funded in part by the City of Austin, Cultural Arts Division. TX13 was also supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts and generous contributions from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth and other private donors, as well as grants from the Susan Vaughan Foundation, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and the City of Houston through the City’s Initiative Grant Program of the Houston Arts Alliance. Additional programming support was provide by Houston Arts Alliance and the City of San Antonio, Department for Culture & Creative Development.

Builders Circle Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth

Patrons Circle Anonymous Michael A. Chesser

Collectors Circle Sarah and Ernest Butler Will Dibrell Cabanne and Mary Gilbreath Rick Liberto Emily Little Scott and Stephanie Little Lester Marks Judy and Scott Nyquist Jane and Bob Rutledge Eddie Safady

Supporters Chris and Jim Cowden Ann Daughety Susan and Richard Marcus Steve Redman Terri Thomas and Randy Potts

IN-KIND Tito’s Handmade Vodka Treaty Oak Distilling Co. Saint Arnold Brewing Company Dos Equis CapRidge Partners, LLC T. Stacy & Associates Tenant Solutions Titan Datacom Webcore Technologies, Inc. Fine Blend Media PIPE Projects

Friends Sheila Buechler Annette Carlozzi and Dan Bullock Jereann Chaney Chris Cody and Nicole Blair Tres Davis and Paul Rogers Paula Fontaine-Haake Ross Grant T. Paul and Garou Hernandez Jon Lawrence Jennifer Perrell Lewis Shea Little lookthinkmake Philip Ward McKinley Melissa W. Miller Don Mullins William Nemir Desmond Ng and Donald S. Mason Jr. Joseph Phillips Peggy Phillips Greg Porter Jesse and Moira Porter Keva Richardson Fern and Jerre Santini Nancy Scanlan Joel and Elisa Sumner Jana Swec Barbara and Len Swec Wally Workman Gallery

Hotel Derek Hotel Havana W Austin Hotel

Contributors Anonymous Jason Archer Norman Bean Catherine Colangelo Bordelon Design Associates Anne K. Ducote Ginko Studios Jack King Claude van Lingen Chalda Maloff Karen Maness Chun Hui Pak Reza Shirazi Jade Walker and Robert Boland Alyssa Taylor Wendt

AmĂŠricas Biga on the Banks Bliss Hillside Farmacy Ocho at Hotel Havana Reef TRACE at the W Austin Uchiko FotoFest Houston Museum District Association Inman Gallery Crater Art Shipping Canopy Specific Type Dynamic Reprographics Vandamm Limo Service



The Texas Biennial could not exist without the support and collaborative spirit of many individuals and organizations. The dedicated team members, inspiringly engaged curators and jurors, wonderful partnering venues, and very generous sponsors involved in the project to date are identified in the preceding pages, and have our ongoing gratitude. Here, we recognize some individuals who made a special difference to the 2013 edition of the project and the celebration of our fifth anniversary focused on contemporary art in Texas. Thank you!

Suzanne Deal Booth, Rick Liberto, Emily Little, Lester Marks, and Judy and Scott Nyquist for hosting such extraordinary celebrations. Mike Chesser, Michael Duncan, Joseph Havel, Omar LopezChahoud, Laurence Miller, John Pomara, Dario Robleto, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, and Laura Wiegand for your excellent advice and counsel. Jonathon Glus and Felix Padron for your enthusiasm and commitment to the entire Texas art community.

We were excited to launch our participatory public performance project, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, during SXSW. ACWLP was made possible by some very generous Austin businesses and key people at each of them who saw the point of this demonstration of community: Tom Stacy of CapRidge Partners, LLC; Fredrick Cornelius at T. Stacy & Associates; Toby Bazarte at Tenant Solutions; Will Wood at Titan Datacom; Jennifer Hodgdon and JD Gutierrez at Webcore Technologies, Inc.; and Chad Nickle at Fine Blend Media.

 Bert Butler Beveridge, creator of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, for truly refreshing support of our arts community. (And Crystal Rios and P. Grant Portier for keeping logistics easy.) Matt Kramer and Megan Morrissey at Crater Art Shipping in Seattle for supreme professionalism.

And, of course, a very special thanks to all the terrific readers, local and remote—too many to list here!—who contributed by showing up with favorite texts or uploading videos and keeping us company late into the night. Our super volunteer cafe managers and bartenders did a great job of making everyone in the local audience feel they had found a good place to be. 

Daryl Kunik, Abe Zimmerman, Judy and Loyd Provost, and Michael Hsu of Canopy for giving us space (literally).  Mary and Bernard Arocha, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Fairfax Dorn, Nancy and Gary Fullerton, Kerry Inman, Virginia Lebermann, Stephanie and Scott Little, Arturo Palacios, and Leigh and Reggie Smith for your warm hospitality. Pamela Finkelstein, Jo Gordon, Riley Robinson, Stephen Shallcross, Nick Treviño, and Jason Tuggle and Cindy Salome for going above and beyond.

The occasion of our fifth anniversary prompted “Why a Texas Biennial?”, a series of public discussions about the biennial model and contemporary art and audiences in Texas. The talks were kicked off with the help of Joseph Havel and Mary Leclère at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and continued at our venue partners CentralTrak and Blue Star. Many thanks to everyone who joined the conversation and especially to our panelists: Steven Evans, Julia Barbosa Landois, Annette Lawrence, Mary Leclère, David Pagel, John Pomara, Christina Rees, Dario Robleto, David Rubin, Noah Simblist, Michelle White, and Clint Willour. 

Darren Bell, Jason Olson, Kristen Regina, and Sammy for your encouragement.  On the occasion of the opening of TX13, we had a blast touring the contemporary art scene in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio with some special guests, who experienced much of the best of Texas thanks to fabulous hosts: in Austin— Daryl Kunik and Shaady Ghadessy at W Austin Hotel and Charisse Sayers at Uchi Restaurants, Austin; in Houston—Jonathan Glus, Marie Jacinto, Matthew Lennon, and Diem Jones at Houston Arts Alliance; Holly Clapham and A.J. Mistretta at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Laurette Cañizares at the Houston Museum District Association; Stephanie Summerall and Micheline Stephens at Hotel Derek; and the amazing owners, chefs and staff at Américas and Reef; and in San Antonio—Felix Padron and Diana Hidalgo at City of San Antonio, Department & Culture and Creative Development; Krystal Jones at the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau; Sandra Puente at Hotel Havana; and the also amazing owners, chefs and staff at Biga on the Banks and Bliss. Thanks as well to friends and colleagues who spent time with us: Kathy Armstrong (Southwest School of Art, San Antonio); René P. Barilleaux and Daniela Oliver-Portillo (McNay Art Museum, San Antonio); Annette Carlozzi (The Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin); Julie Farr and Mary Headrick (Houston Center for Contemporary Craft); Louis Grachos (The Contemporary Austin); Mary Heathcott (Artpace, San Antonio); Josef Helfenstein and Vance Muse (The Menil Collection, Houston); Vinod Hopson and Jennifer Ward (FotoFest, Houston); Debbie Morgan and Kelly O’Connor (Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio); Andy Rihn (MASS Gallery, Austin); David S. Rubin (San Antonio Museum of Art); Claudia Schmuckli (Blaffer Art Museum at The University of Houston); and Jade Walker (The University of Texas at Austin Visual Arts Center).

Our curatorial and editorial colleagues are an incredible group—it has been an honor and pleasure to work with you all. Renewed thanks to the previous Biennial curators and jurors for their nominations of artists selected for our anniversary exhibitions, and particularly to Michael Duncan, Kate Green, and John Pomara for the interviews they conducted for this catalog. Kurt Mueller was an able and heroic editor of the conversation among the TX13 curators. Finally, we are indebted to some friends and colleagues who have been involved with the Biennial for multiple iterations: Chris Cowden and Rachel Koper at Women & Their Work; Bill FitzGibbons at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum; Fairfax Dorn and Erin Kimmel at Ballroom Marfa; Dennis Nance, first at BOX 13 ArtSpace and then again at Lawndale Art Center, with the incomparable Christine Jelson West; Steven Evans, in his roles at both Linda Pace Foundation and Blue Star; Debra Broz at Pump Projects; the OKAY Mountain collective; Megan Crigger at the Cultural Arts Division, City of Austin; and Laura Wiegand at Texas Commission on the Arts. And a very special thanks to Dr. Dennis M. Kratz, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, for bringing the Biennial to Dallas.  Catalog Concept Shea Little Specific Type Graphic Design Shea Little Jon Windham Photography All photography by the artists or Texas Biennial, except: p. 58 Eric Hester; pp. 83-84 Charlie-Jean Sartwelle; p. 156 Co-Lab Projects; pp. 158, 160 Elizabeth Lyons; p. 161 Dave Mead. Printing 360 Press Solutions




The Texas Biennial could not exist without the support and collaborative spirit of many individuals and organizations. The dedicated team members, inspiringly engaged curators and jurors, wonderful partnering venues, and very generous sponsors involved in the project to date are identified in the preceding pages, and have our ongoing gratitude. Here, we recognize some individuals who made a special difference to the 2013 edition of the project and the celebration of our fifth anniversary focused on contemporary art in Texas. Thank you!

Suzanne Deal Booth, Rick Liberto, Emily Little, Lester Marks, and Judy and Scott Nyquist for hosting such extraordinary celebrations. Mike Chesser, Michael Duncan, Joseph Havel, Omar LopezChahoud, Laurence Miller, John Pomara, Dario Robleto, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, and Laura Wiegand for your excellent advice and counsel. Jonathon Glus and Felix Padron for your enthusiasm and commitment to the entire Texas art community.

We were excited to launch our participatory public performance project, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, during SXSW. ACWLP was made possible by some very generous Austin businesses and key people at each of them who saw the point of this demonstration of community: Tom Stacy of CapRidge Partners, LLC; Fredrick Cornelius at T. Stacy & Associates; Toby Bazarte at Tenant Solutions; Will Wood at Titan Datacom; Jennifer Hodgdon and JD Gutierrez at Webcore Technologies, Inc.; and Chad Nickle at Fine Blend Media.

 Bert Butler Beveridge, creator of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, for truly refreshing support of our arts community. (And Crystal Rios and P. Grant Portier for keeping logistics easy.) Matt Kramer and Megan Morrissey at Crater Art Shipping in Seattle for supreme professionalism.

And, of course, a very special thanks to all the terrific readers, local and remote—too many to list here!—who contributed by showing up with favorite texts or uploading videos and keeping us company late into the night. Our super volunteer cafe managers and bartenders did a great job of making everyone in the local audience feel they had found a good place to be. 

Daryl Kunik, Abe Zimmerman, Judy and Loyd Provost, and Michael Hsu of Canopy for giving us space (literally).  Mary and Bernard Arocha, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Fairfax Dorn, Nancy and Gary Fullerton, Kerry Inman, Virginia Lebermann, Stephanie and Scott Little, Arturo Palacios, and Leigh and Reggie Smith for your warm hospitality. Pamela Finkelstein, Jo Gordon, Riley Robinson, Stephen Shallcross, Nick Treviño, and Jason Tuggle and Cindy Salome for going above and beyond.

The occasion of our fifth anniversary prompted “Why a Texas Biennial?”, a series of public discussions about the biennial model and contemporary art and audiences in Texas. The talks were kicked off with the help of Joseph Havel and Mary Leclère at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and continued at our venue partners CentralTrak and Blue Star. Many thanks to everyone who joined the conversation and especially to our panelists: Steven Evans, Julia Barbosa Landois, Annette Lawrence, Mary Leclère, David Pagel, John Pomara, Christina Rees, Dario Robleto, David Rubin, Noah Simblist, Michelle White, and Clint Willour. 

Darren Bell, Jason Olson, Kristen Regina, and Sammy for your encouragement.  On the occasion of the opening of TX13, we had a blast touring the contemporary art scene in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio with some special guests, who experienced much of the best of Texas thanks to fabulous hosts: in Austin— Daryl Kunik and Shaady Ghadessy at W Austin Hotel and Charisse Sayers at Uchi Restaurants, Austin; in Houston—Jonathan Glus, Marie Jacinto, Matthew Lennon, and Diem Jones at Houston Arts Alliance; Holly Clapham and A.J. Mistretta at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Laurette Cañizares at the Houston Museum District Association; Stephanie Summerall and Micheline Stephens at Hotel Derek; and the amazing owners, chefs and staff at Américas and Reef; and in San Antonio—Felix Padron and Diana Hidalgo at City of San Antonio, Department & Culture and Creative Development; Krystal Jones at the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau; Sandra Puente at Hotel Havana; and the also amazing owners, chefs and staff at Biga on the Banks and Bliss. Thanks as well to friends and colleagues who spent time with us: Kathy Armstrong (Southwest School of Art, San Antonio); René P. Barilleaux and Daniela Oliver-Portillo (McNay Art Museum, San Antonio); Annette Carlozzi (The Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin); Julie Farr and Mary Headrick (Houston Center for Contemporary Craft); Louis Grachos (The Contemporary Austin); Mary Heathcott (Artpace, San Antonio); Josef Helfenstein and Vance Muse (The Menil Collection, Houston); Vinod Hopson and Jennifer Ward (FotoFest, Houston); Debbie Morgan and Kelly O’Connor (Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio); Andy Rihn (MASS Gallery, Austin); David S. Rubin (San Antonio Museum of Art); Claudia Schmuckli (Blaffer Art Museum at The University of Houston); and Jade Walker (The University of Texas at Austin Visual Arts Center).

Our curatorial and editorial colleagues are an incredible group—it has been an honor and pleasure to work with you all. Renewed thanks to the previous Biennial curators and jurors for their nominations of artists selected for our anniversary exhibitions, and particularly to Michael Duncan, Kate Green, and John Pomara for the interviews they conducted for this catalog. Kurt Mueller was an able and heroic editor of the conversation among the TX13 curators. Finally, we are indebted to some friends and colleagues who have been involved with the Biennial for multiple iterations: Chris Cowden and Rachel Koper at Women & Their Work; Bill FitzGibbons at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum; Fairfax Dorn and Erin Kimmel at Ballroom Marfa; Dennis Nance, first at BOX 13 ArtSpace and then again at Lawndale Art Center, with the incomparable Christine Jelson West; Steven Evans, in his roles at both Linda Pace Foundation and Blue Star; Debra Broz at Pump Projects; the OKAY Mountain collective; Megan Crigger at the Cultural Arts Division, City of Austin; and Laura Wiegand at Texas Commission on the Arts. And a very special thanks to Dr. Dennis M. Kratz, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, for bringing the Biennial to Dallas.  Catalog Concept Shea Little Specific Type Graphic Design Shea Little Jon Windham Photography All photography by the artists or Texas Biennial, except: p. 53 (top) Don Mason; p. 54 (top) Steve Hopson; p. 55 Kenny Trice; p. 57 (top) Courtesy of Lawndale Art Center; p. 57 (bottom) Matthew Irwin. Printing 360 Press Solutions



DONORS Anonymous Paul and Ilene Barr Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth Sheila and Colin Buechler Lisa Burgess Eva Buttacavoli Annette Carlozzi Michael Casias Jennifer Chenoweth Michael A. Chesser John Christensen Jay Cowles and Katelena Hernandez Cowles Ann Daughety Ron Deutsch Will Dibrell and Beverly Bajema Till Richter and Catherine Dossin Frames of Reference Browne and Diane Goodwin Ann Graham Greater Denton Arts Council Deborah Green Sandra Gregor Ken Hale Dana Harper and Hana Hillerova Dana Friis-Hansen and Mark Holzbach Inman Gallery Jachacles Group Drew Johnson and Elizabeth Joblin Gay Fay Kelly Rhonda Kelly and Mike Lawrence Jeanne and Michael Klein Davey and Audrey Lamb Antonio LaPastina

Virginia Lebermann Emily Little Stephanie and Scott Little Camille Lyons Fran Magee Danny Martin Leslie Martin Patrick Martin Chris Mattsson Carl McQueary Melissa Miller Laurence Miller Moody Gallery Don Mullins Marissa and Chad Nickle Charles H. Oerter Steve Redman Michael and Virginia Riley Jim and Jan Roberts Sheila Rogers Jane and Bob Rutledge Jane Scott The Screamer Company Deborah Page Schneider Reza Shirazi Sherry Smith Robert and Hillary Summers Carmen Tawil Terri Thomas and Randy Potts Julie Thornton Carol Wagner Wally Workman Gallery Michael P. Windham David Windham Anne Elizabeth Wynn

IN-KIND SUPPORT 360 Press Solutions 816 Congress American Printing Art Lies Azul Bay 11 Studio BuildaSign.com Aldo Valdés Böhm Café Mundi Central Market Clown Dog Bikes Constructive Ventures Domy Books Glasstire Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors H-E-B Hill Country Springs Water Michelle Kapp-Cabaniss Design Omni Austin Hotel Downtown Opal Divine’s Parts & Labour Real Ale Brewing Company Republic Tequila Specific Type Studio 512 Sweet Leaf Iced Teas Tito’s Handmade Vodka Trailer Space Records W Austin Hotel Whole Foods Market Wildworld Graphic


2005–2011 SPONSORS

The Texas Biennial is a program of Big Medium, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art throughout Texas, funded in part by the City of Austin, Cultural Arts Division. The Biennial is proud to recognize the following sponsors who supported the project’s growth from 2005 through 2011.

PUBLIC FUNDING Art in Public Places, City of Austin Austin Parks and Recreation Department Cultural Arts Division, City of Austin Humanities Texas National Endowment for the Arts Texas Commission on the Arts

GRANT SUPPORT Art Alliance Austin Booth Heritage Foundation Fluent~Collaborative Humanities Texas Linda Pace Foundation Susan Vaughan Foundation The Buddy Taub Foundation

Lawndale Art Center develops local contemporary artists and the audience for their art. Lawndale is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art with an emphasis on work by Houston artists. Lawndale presents exhibitions, lectures and events, and offers an annual residency program to further the creative exchange of ideas among Houston’s diverse artistic, cultural, and student communities. www.lawndaleartcenter.org

Christine Jelson West Dennis Nance Emily Link Kelly Montana Daniel Bertalot Andrea Rodriguez

Programs at Lawndale Art Center are supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts; Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The City of Houston through the Houston Museum District Association; The Texas Commission on the Arts; Houston Endowment; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; and The John P. McGovern Foundation.

Big Medium produces visual arts programming that establishes an outlet for local and Texas artists to promote and exhibit their work, while fostering relationships with their surrounding communities. Current programming includes the East Austin Studio Tour, the West Austin Studio Tour, and the Texas Biennial. Big Medium also presents innovative, contemporary exhibitions throughout the year in two dedicated gallery spaces and provides affordable studio space to artists. www.bigmedium.org Big Medium is funded in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Big Medium is also supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts and by generous contributions from private donors.

Shea Little Jana Swec Jess Jones Anastasia Colombo Jon Windham Kevin McNamee-Tweed Jordan Gentry Camden Torres Roze Braunstein



DIRECTOR Shea Little

CURATOR-AT-LARGE Virginia Rutledge


OPERATIONS Jana Swec Jess Jones Anastasia Colombo

PROGRAM ASSOCIATES Jon Windham Kevin McNamee-Tweed Jordan Gentry Camden Torres Roze Braunstein

Christie Blizard creating one of her glow paintings for the opening of the Texas Biennial Invitational, August 23, 2013. (Visible in the background is Skywriting, a collaboration between Houston artists Daniel Anguilu and Aaron Parazette for the Lawndale Mural Project.)



ART HANDLERS Kevin McNamee-Tweed Rhett Radon Caleb Tracy Jorge Medina

CONSTRUCTION TEAM Jon Lawrence Mano Samayoa Michael (Star) Franklin

One of the quieter moments at the opening of New and Greatest Hits: Texas Biennial 2005-2011, August 24, 2013

DOCUMENTATION Amanda Winkles Skylar Evans Meredi Wagner-Hoehn


VOLUNTEERS Adriรกn Mata Anaya Julia Champine Courtney DiSabato Jordan Gentry Myrriah Gossett Shawn Grona Adam Hilton Claire Lilly Melissa McGavock Ricardo Medina Joanna Moore Philip Nasday Joe Rizzo Rachel Rosenberg Mano Samayoa Brenda Schild Meagan Smith Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

In addition to those identified in the preceding pages, there are numerous other people who have supported the Biennial in a variety of ways, writing catalog texts, constructing temporary walls, speaking at an event, offering advice, making a contact‌. We thank again:

Rachel Adams Jasmin Arce Kimberly Aubuchon Michael Auping Liliane Avalos Ryan Ayers Corey Baum Hollis Baxter Ron Berry Nicole Blair Jenna Blakely Haley Bonds Adrienne Breaux Richard Brettell Peter Briggs Jessica Bright Rhonda Brown Debra Broz Margarita Cabrera Adam Carnes Dara Carrillo Leslie Moody Castro Kelly Chambliss Aimee Chang Sarah Cobb Rachel Cook Matt Cowan Chris Cowden Megan Crigger Steve Cruz Maceo Dailey Lana Dietrich Kate Donegan Elizabeth Dunbar Kelly Eaton Monica Hernandez Eeds Daniel Escobar Laura Esparza Melissa Espinales Lindsey Ford Dana Friis-Hansen Kimberli Gant Mallory Garibay Christa Gary Sean Gaulager Theresa Gebhardt Dieter Geisler Michael L. Gillette Andrew Grimes Megan Van Groll Angali Gupta Trenton Doyle Hancock David Hermann Cindy Hill Kenny Hosch Tedra Hunt Leigh Hutchens Lisa Jenkins Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Jones Tonia Jones Dan Kaplan Michelle Kapp-Cabaniss Kelly Klaasmeyer Rainey Knudson Benjamin Lima Erin Lindley Spot Long Barbara Lugge Eric Lupfer Walter Maciel Gaye Greever McElwain Kevin McNamee-Tweed Happy Mercado Fiona Moran Adrienne Mountfield Kurt Mueller Giselle Munoz Jorge Munoz Elizabeth Murray Dennis Nance Doreen Nichols Jessica Nieri Matt Norris Patty Ortiz Julia Ott Adrian Page David Pagel Judy Paul Doug Pollard Nicole Portwood Meredith Powell Dave Rauchwerk Christina Rees Holly Reynolds Josh Rios Edith Rodriguez Gabriel Rodriguez Alli Rogers John Rosato Judith Gaskin Ross Danny Roth Stephen Ruback Jessica Nicewarner Rutledge Cindy Salome Manolo Samayoa Allison Sands Deborah Page Schneider Rebecca Scofield Katy Scull Kate Sheerin Richard Shiff Michael Sieben Noah Simblish Penelope Skliros Carissa L. Smith Tyler Stallings Terri Thornton Jason Tuggle Meghan Turner Jean Claire van Ryzin Chris Vestre Johnny Villareal Lawrence Waung Cherie Weaver Jason Webb Laura Wiegand Danny Witte Herlinda Zamora Erika Zanetti



Mary Ellen Carroll’s prototype 180 (2010) in Houston was one of five site-specific artworks around the state designated as part of TX11.

TJ Hunt Kathryn Kelley Dion Laurent Jessica Mallios Richard Martinez Marcelyn McNeil Brandon Miller Rahul Mitra Olivia Moore Kia Neill Tom Orr Brent Ozaeta Ricardo Paniagua Jason Reed Carin Rodenborn Abby Ronaldes Sam Sanford Anthony Sonnenberg Barry Stone Shane Tolbert Brad Tucker Cathie Tyler H. David Waddell Jade Walker

Joshua Bienko Matthew Bourbon Susi Brister Shannon Cannings Bernardo Cantu Elizabeth Chiles Kristen Cochran Catherine Colangelo Clarke Curtis Gabriel Dawe Esteban Delgado Cassandra Emswiler Jonathan Faber Laurie Frick Michael Anthony García Anthony Garza Lori Giesler Rigoberto A. Gonzalez Nathan Green Timothy Harding Nicholas Hay Hillerbrand + Magsamen Hana Hillerova Katy Horan



INVITED ARTISTS Christie Blizard Margarita Cabrera Mary Ellen Carroll Trenton Doyle Hancock Annette Lawrence James Magee

Our participating organizations initiative began in 2011, with over 60 arts organizations and artist collectives around the state joining in with their own programming focussed on contemporary art in Texas. During our opening weekend in Austin, April 15-16, many attended a conference sponsored by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Linda Pace Foundation. The collective Ryder Jon Piotrs Nomadic Gallery also brought their mobile venue to Austin that weekend and performed Unpacking Access, a demonstration of their portable gallery kit.

On April 16, 2011, the Blanton Museum of Art hosted “Like a Whole Other Country? The State of Contemporary Art in Texas”, a panel co-presented with the journal Art Lies and supported by Texas Humanities, featuring (L-R) Alison de Lima Greene, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Richard Shiff, David Pagel, Margarita Cabrera, and Virginia Rutledge.

CURATOR Virginia Rutledge

VENUES 1319 Rosewood Avenue (Austin) Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Austin) Big Medium (Austin) Pump Project Art Complex (Austin) The Visual Arts Center (Austin) Women & Their Work (Austin) BOX 13 Artspace (Houston) Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (San Antonio)

Toby Kamps Andrea Karnes Constance Lowe Laurence Miller Dennis Nance John Pomara Claudia Schmuckli David S. Rubin Wendy Watriss Clint Willour Charles Wylie

Joe Arredondo Kate Bonansinga Valerie Cassel Oliver Frances Colpitt Kimberly Davenport Fairfax Dorn Matthew Drutt Steven Evans Bill FitzGibbons Sue Graze Joseph Havel Benito Huerta




ARTISTS Christie Blizard Justin Boyd Leigh Brodie Susan Budge Marc Burckhardt Jeanne Cassanova Susan Cheal Catherine Colangelo Beau Commeaux Andy Coolquitt Paula Cox Adrienne Cullins Celia Eberle Heyd Fontenot Angela Fox Kana Harada Jeannette Hernandez Juan Hernandez Simeen Ishaque Jules Buck Jones Kathryn Kelley Natalie Kleinecke Helen Kwiatkowski Ryan Lauderdale Peter Leighton Anne Longo Ivan Lozano Christa Mares Mona Marshall Tom Matthews Carolyn Zacharias McAdams

S Mary Morse John Mulvany Katy O’Connor Dawn Okoro Kim Cadmus Owens Harmony Padgett Jamie Panzer Justin Parr Katie Pell Gladys Poorte Olga Nicolaevna Porter Anila Quayyum Agha William Rosshirt Winter Rusiloski Cody Scrogum Charlotte Smith Morgan Sorne Keith Allyn Spencer John Spriggins Mary Stengel Raychael Stine Barry Stone John Swanger James Talbot Terri Thomas Raymond Uhlir Paul Valadez Marilyn Waligore Jade Walker Vivian Wolfe


TX09 included four solo shows featuring several works by each artist. This is Lee Baxter Davis’ Sitter DeeBee from 2007 (ink wash, watercolor and collage on paper; 28 x 20”).

SOLO ARTISTS William Cannings Lee Baxter Davis Jayne Lawrence Kelli Vance

TEMPORARY OUTDOOR PROJECTS Co-commissioned by Austin’s Art in Public Places Ryah Christensen Bill Davenport Sasha Dela Buster Graybill Ken Little Colin McIntyre Jill Pangallo

With the support of Austin’s Art in Public Places program, the 2009 Biennial commissioned and presented seven works by Texas artists, including Homeland Security (2009) by Ken Little, which was installed at the Long Center, Austin.

TRIBUTE ARTIST Kelly Fearing (1918-2011)

CURATORS Michael Duncan Risa Puleo co-curator, Temporary Outdoor Projects

VENUES Big Medium (Austin) MASS Gallery (Austin) Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin) Okay Mountain (Austin) Pump Project Art Complex (Austin) Women and their Work (Austin)

Pioneering Texas modernist Kelly Fearing (1918–2011) was the subject of a tribute exhibition at Women & Their Work in Austin, where this photo of the artist with his Spirit Deer at a Yellow Edge (1970) was taken.



TX07 featured several outdoor sculptures, including Tom Matthews’ Surplus IV (2007).

In 2007, our multiple venue model included portable storage units used as exhibition space in a field near downtown Austin.

ARTISTS Andrew Anderson Frances Bagley Jarrod Beck Robert Bellini William Betts Candace Briceño Tiffany Carbonneau David Chien Mark Collop Erin Curtis Jeffrey Dell Peat Duggins Emilie Duval Corey Escoto Virginia Fleck Heyd Fontenot Buster Graybill Devon Grey Michele Grinstead and Nancy O’Connor Lily Hanson William Hundley Mimi Kato Baseera Khan Tom Matthews Charlie Morris Kurt Mueller Kelly O’Connor Tom Orr Linda Pace Matthew Roberts Soody Sharifi Noah Simblist Gary Sweeney Brad Tucker Michelle Gonzales Valdez Michael Velliquette Rebecca Ward David Ubias

JURORS Ursula Davila-Villa Fairfax Dorn Kate Green Valerie Cassel Oliver John Pomara

VENUES Bolm Studios (Austin) Dougherty Arts Center (Austin) Okay Mountain (Austin) Site 1808 (Austin)


ARTISTS William Betts Rosalyn Bodycomb Elaine Bradford Candace Briceño Richard Budd Serena Lin Bush Jerry Chamkis Susan Cheal Jonas Criscoe Patricia Donahue Peat Duggins Celia Eberle Chris Ferebee Ali Fitzgerald Heyd Fontenot Faith Gay Christine Gray Matthew Guest Joe Ives Lance Jones Young-Min Kang Barna Kantor Jimmy Kuehnle Janaki Lennie Jason Makepeace Jonathan Marshall Richard Martinez Seth Mittag Mari Omori Nina Rizzo Matthew Rodriguez Annie Simpson Charlotte Smith Debra Sugarman Daniel Tackett

JURORS Bill Davenport Ben Fyffe Benito Huerta Sara Kellner Rachel Koper Jon Lawrence Shea Little Arturo Palacios Jimmy Peña Joseph Phillips Allison Sands Michael Sieben Hills Snyder Jana Swec Jeff Wheeler

VENUES Bolm Studios (Austin) Camp Fig (Austin) Dougherty Arts Center (Austin) Eastside Artist Co-op (Austin) Gallery Lombardi (Austin)


How dare this show call itself the Texas Biennial? Well, relax. Despite the authoritarian title, this show is not run by big institutions or the government. No one gave the organizers of this show the right to be the Texas Biennial; they found it abandoned, and simply took it. Along with the name “Texas Biennial” comes a world of trouble. It gets everyone’s hopes up. It promises continuity, implies authority, and is inevitably seen as a summing-up of Texas art. Suddenly, your innocent sprawling juried show becomes a gripe magnet. This is really the third Texas Biennial, anyway. Dallas’ DARE had one in 1993, Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum had a Texas Triennial in 1998. Both were juried shows, each sought to present a snapshot of Texas art, neither was repeated. Now it’s Austin’s turn. It’s useful to think of the three shows, in 1998, 1993, and 2005, as a continuous tradition: a bipolar history in which peaks of ambition trail off into troughs of apathy only to regenerate again with new players. It’s the classic boom-and-bust cycle, and very Texas. Can this show present a perfectly balanced, complete and correct overview of Texas Art? Of course not. It’s more interesting than that. This third biennial draws the attention of the Texas art scene towards the burgeoning network of mostly new, mostly uncommercial artists and art spaces of Austin, making good use of the Biennial glamor to pull in over 600 entries, among them exciting new works and artists I’ve never seen before. In other art centers there’s a rigid hierarchy of prestige, wealth and tradition which confers the right to biennialize; here in Texas we have a hierarchy of energy: whoever will make the effort, gets the goods. The subterranean swell of Austin art has used the biennial idea to flex its muscles on a statewide stage, without any sanctions at all beyond the willingness to take the lumps. Bill Davenport Houston, TX



The Texas Biennial was started in 2005 by a group of friends based in Austin. In addition to myself, the group included Jon Lawrence, Arturo Palacios, Joseph Phillips, Jana Swec and Rachel Koper. For our first catalog, juror Bill Davenport wrote an essay describing the Texas Biennial as a gripe magnet. That has certainly proven to be true. But it has also been a magnet for some terrifically creative and community-minded people. Over the years, the project has made many more friends, and we are grateful to them all. To all of the Biennial’s supporters: thank you. This catalog documents what you have helped make possible. — Shea Little, Director


A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE Support for the launch of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place was

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is a public performance project of the Texas Biennial, launched March 10–12, 2013 in Austin, Texas and online at www.texasbiennial.org. From 6pm–midnight over three days during the SXSW festival—a time when Austin is focused on interactive media, film and music—the event staged an optimistic place for public conversation about visual art and art criticism. The performance venue was an empty street-level commercial space at 823 Congress Avenue, located in the heart of downtown Austin. Local participants including artists, critics, art historians, curators, arts administrators, educators, museum patrons, collectors and gallerists read selections from the texts they find most pertinent to their understanding of contemporary art. Readings and video of readings by remote participants were streamed live from www.texasbiennial.org. A continuous Twitter feed provided context and commentary. The project is titled after the short story by Ernest Hemingway published in 1933. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is a provocative, complex narrative about the desire and need for public spaces for conversation. It opens in a cafe, very late at night. The story provided the inspiration for the name that Dave Hickey gave to the art gallery he and then wife Mary Jane Taylor co-founded in 1967, in Austin. While short-lived, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, the gallery, was influential in bringing attention to contemporary art being made in Texas. Hickey later became an art critic known for his commitment to talking about beauty, and his withering denunciations of certain aspects of the artworld.

provided by T. Stacy & Associates; CapRidge Partners, LLC; Tenant Solutions; Titan Datacom; Webcore Technologies; and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Web streaming and production support was provided by Fine Blend Media and PIPE Projects.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is an ongoing project envisioned to exist occasionally, but always with both a physical and virtual component.

KATE GREEN: Your installations, and the objects you arrange in them, come off as playful. Do you give yourself rules in the studio? BRAD TUCKER: I remember showing at a gallery once and hearing my work described as “conceptual sculpture.” At the time, I had not yet settled on a category for my work and I felt pretty flattered by the term. However, time has passed, and when I think about it, my work is not very conceptual at all. I use loose ideas—like creating a coterie of bass players or making homemade TV trays—merely as a way to begin generating objects. I play with the language of the ideas and create new forms and eventually break the ideas because they are often flawed. If an idea still stands after I’ve abused it with clunky handiwork, then perhaps it will still be worthwhile. KG: Sometimes you perform “with” your installations and sometimes the objects in your installations invite people to do something with them. What about this performative element? BT: I use performance as a way of merging different aspects of my personality, and, in turn, my work. As much as I can, I want to put my whole self into my art. I go back and forth, though. I enjoy the private immersion I feel when I work alone in my studio and then the idea of performing in front of others is repellant. But sometimes, while I am working, some old musical idea returns to my imagination and I want to bring the music to life in front of other people and be, I don’t know, an awkward entertainer. When I include objects that invite interaction from viewers it is separate from my desire to perform. The invitation is not explicit so people seldom do physically engage my work. Even if they don’t, I want them to be aware of the suggestion and the potential use of the objects. And I want the objects to act in a way that suggests they are conscious of people. KG: Your work often involves records and instruments that are handmade or cast. Which band’s album cover would you like to design? BT: I would rather design the amps and speakers for a group like Three-Day Stubble, or any other appropriate nerdy rock group that wouldn’t be embarrassed by equipment that is more frumpy than cool. KG: If you could do a two-person show with any other person—living or dead—who would you choose? BT: I’ll go with Mondrian. His work is an inspiration to me. For some reason I feel it wouldn’t completely overpower mine. Can you make it happen? If not, put me with Malevich. KG: If you were not ridiculously busy as an artist, educator, and parent… dream side job? BT: I love what I do, and I am happy to keep on doing it. If I needed to add something to my list, I’d start a rock ’n’ roll camp for kids with disabilities. I think that might just be a good match for my own particular batch of peculiarities.

KATE GREEN is a doctoral student at the University of Texas, Austin. She has worked as a curator and educator for Artpace, San Antonio, TX, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, NY, and has written for numerous publications. Green was a juror for the 2007 Texas Biennial.



Body and Voice (2013); acrylic and enamel on wood, various fabrics, latex rubber, installation of 9 individual units; presentation variable


BRAD TUCKER works across media. His work has been widely exhibited at venues including P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and SculptureCenter, New York, NY; Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Old Jail Art Center, Albany, TX; Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; Arthouse, Austin; and Sala Diaz, San Antonio; in addition to numerous shows at commercial galleries in Texas, New York, and London. Tucker has also given multi-media performances in conjunction with exhibitions at Dallas Museum of Art; the 2007 and 2011 Texas Biennials; Bard College, New Annandale, NY; Texas Christian University, Fort Worth; Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, San Antonio; and Arthouse, Austin. He is represented by Inman Gallery, Houston, TX. Born 1965 in West Covina, CA Lives in Austin, TX BFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 1991 MFA Bard College, Annandale, NY, 2009 Teaches at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

JP: You found a new form in the mess or arrangements that followed. Were you conscious of these canonical artists and pushing past that? TO: I have not been as conscious of trying to go beyond all those artists as much as trying to make the work my own. I have sought to express myself as honestly and true to my nature as possible. JP: I recall being invited over to see these odd groupings of materials that seemed like rambunctious youth gangs hanging around the studio. How could you tell a work was finished? TO: The work tells me when it is finished. Sometimes that happens right away and sometimes it takes time. I do have a studio large enough to leave work up to look at and listen to. JP: Shortly after you started showing this new work you also began including abstract digital photos in the mix. TO: The digital prints are often altered images of my sculpture. I am drawn by the collaboration with the computer because in my case, I don’t have total control. My job is to know when to stop the abstraction and save the image. So the computer and I are breaking down the image of something I have physically made, into an abstract print. JP: A year or two ago you showed me a picture of one of your earliest works that you had rediscovered. It consisted of several panels of glass leaning against one another. Visually it seemed more related to your current work, almost like it was premature, perhaps even promiscuous for its time in your studio. TO: Those early seventies works are extremely important to everything I have done since. They came from a totally clear vision of what was and still is important and meaningful in my thinking. They were based on basic principles of light, shadow, line, reflection and materials, which I have never stopped thinking about. Since those early days my work has taken different tracks at different times, and has gotten more complex, but the same concerns have always been there. JP: I see that. Next time, I’ll ask about your titles, which I love.

JOHN POMARA is an artist whose work has been shown extensively in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles and London. He is based in Dallas, where he is a professor at the University of Texas, Dallas. Pomara was a juror for the 2007 Texas Biennial.


JOHN POMARA: About a decade ago I noticed there was a distinctive change in your work. The works began to appear more casually installed, with objects and ephemera seemingly randomly placed or stacked against a wall. It seemed as if four or five works were intermingling as one, existing freely, formed with little orchestration. What happened? TOM ORR: I began to be more interested in the collection of materials, objects and experiments in my studio than I was in the more finished, deliberate, completed pieces. I was missing the natural instinctive approach I began with as an artist. In those early years, I focused on shadow, light reflection and line, making temporary installations. So, I decided to stop building structures for a while and create loose arrangements by leaning, layering and balancing materials, in order to express a sense of immediacy and necessity. It took me awhile to exhibit these pieces. They are challenging to accept but very liberating. JP: Yes, as a viewer I felt you engaged your audience in a visual interaction in the structuring of form and its unpredictable outcome. It was like improvising as an artist, and being unsure of the destination. It appeared as if you combined the formalism you grew up with, artists such as Judd, Flavin and Andre, and added materials that mucked it up, and polluted its formalism. TO: I did grow up with Judd, Flavin and Andre as major influences, but I was also appreciating Alan Shields, Alan Saret and Lynda Benglis. Those artists added a more visceral level to concepts of the day. The way Shields combined sculpture and painting and his loose use of materials always stuck in my brain.


ZZZZZZZ (2012); mixed media; 120 x 60 x 19”

Ghost Story (2011); mixed media; 67 x 96 x 51”


TOM ORR makes works that often combine sculptural and imagistic elements. Throughout his career he has exhibited extensively in the United States and Japan, and has created site-specific works for several venues in both countries. His public art projects include large-scale wall installations in the international terminal at the Dallas Ft. Worth Airport; a station design for Dallas Area Rapid Transit; and a major sculptural installation for Love Field Airport in Dallas (2013). His work is represented in numerous private and public collections including the Foundation of Culture, Osaka, Japan; The El Paso Museum of Art; and the Utsukushi-Ga-Hara Open-Air Museum, Nagano, Japan. He was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2011. Orr exhibited in the 2007 and 2011 Texas Biennials. He is represented by Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, TX. Born 1950 in Dallas, TX Lives in Dallas, TX BFA Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 1973

Fingerprint 5 (2007); silkscreen on wood; 81 x 81 x 3.5�

Portrait (2013); mixed media; 37 x 44 x 23�


VIRGINIA RUTLEDGE: Where do your images come from? Do you see them in advance of their realization as paintings, or are they formed more through process? MARCELYN MCNEIL: The paintings are about identifying simple forms that embody assertiveness, a kind of awkwardness, and vulnerability at once. The masses and forms delineated are often lithe or bulbous, and subtly reference structure, architecture and human anatomy. I work with my canvas flat on the ground much of the time. This is because I pour paint directly onto the surface. I only use oils, with the occasional exception of spray paint, because of the type of staining and soiling I can get. Sometimes I pour shapes seven or eight times before I’m satisfied. VR: Many of your paintings are close to the same shape and dimension, which feels like something you’ve worked out with a particular aim in mind. How did you arrive at this format? MM: I’m trying to make a bodily connection or establish a familiarity with the viewer. This speaks to the scale of the work, roughly five or six feet, about our size as individuals.

VR: Do you see yourself as forwarding “abstract painting”? MM: A popular strategy in painting today is to introduce some type of intervention into the equation. I’m talking about the use of technology, foreign materials, objects, or by reconsidering how paint physically occupies space. For now, I am choosing to operate within a “traditional” format using oils. The pressure to make a relevant painting within traditional parameters is incredible, and honestly I don’t know that I succeed. I will say I present work that is both distilled and animated in a way that I don’t commonly see. My paintings read as bold and simple at a distance and are very vulnerable and nuanced up close. I want to suspend form between being sculptural, flat, and spatial. This is provocative to me, keeping me engaged. VR: Have you ever been asked to paint something to match a sofa? MM: Fortunately, no.

VR: When do you title the paintings? Have you ever changed a title or completely repainted a work? MM: Because I develop my work while painting, the titles most often come at the very end. For me, assigning a title is one of the most difficult parts of the whole process. And yes, if a painting is still in my studio I consider it fair game. I am fairly notorious for reworking work.

VIRGINIA RUTLEDGE is an art historian, advisor, and attorney who lives in New York and Texas. Her practice focuses on contemporary art, intellectual property, and cultural organizations. Rutledge curated the 2011 Texas Biennial and is Curator-at-Large of the 2013 Texas Biennial.


MARCELYN MCNEIL paints primarily in oils, using an abstract visual vocabulary. Recent exhibitions include the 2011 and 2013 Texas Biennials, and a solo show at the Galveston Art Center in 2013. McNeil has also exhibited her work frequently in Houston, Dallas and Chicago, and was selected for the Kansas Biennial in 2008. Her work has been published in multiple editions of New American Paintings. In 2011-2012, McNeil received the Milton and Sally Avery Award while in residence at the MacDowell Colony, NH. She is represented by Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX and Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX. Born 1965 in Wichita, KS Lives in Houston, TX BFA Pacific NW College of Art, Portland, OR, 1993 MFA University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, 1998 Teaches at the University of Houston, TX

Orange Like A Pro (2013); oil and spray paint on canvas; 63 x 58�

Nothing More Nothing Less (2013); oil on canvas; 62 x 58”

Red Herring (2012); oil on canvas; 60 x 58”


Christie Blizard performed two walks through Houston on Saturday, September 7, 2013 and Sunday, September 15, 2013.


MICHAEL DUNCAN: Where are “The Walks” going? CHRISTIE BLIZARD: Overall, they are not going anywhere in particular, I am just trying to have a different perspective on my surroundings while interacting with people in a more overt way. I am also gradually trying to increase the distance. My first one was about 16 miles, and the longest one so far was about 19 miles. I’d like to do one around 25 miles or more if I can make it. I view the walks in a very general way as showing a work of art to people when they are not expecting it. They are also about the burden one carries around, or even a kind of penance. I am not religious, but my dad’s side of the family is Catholic. I think I inherited something of that, and it is showing up here. I began the project by going around my driving route to work and back plus a few detours, but then I got a bit more ambitious and started exploring other parts of Lubbock, where I used to live until moving recently to San Antonio. Over the summer I did some walks in New York and in Indiana, where I grew up. I plan to go on. MD: Do your paintings change on the road? CB: Most haven’t really changed so far on the road, other than a few dirt marks and bumps. Perhaps the exposure to the West Texas sun has faded them a bit as well. But I have built a camera attachment for the paintings, so I can paint as I walk and document it every 30 seconds or so. MD: Is this land art? CB: I can see the project as land art in a certain way. It is dependent on the landscape for its meaning. The paintings are paintings, but other facets of the project, such as some of the photo collages and flip books I have made, explore not only the act of being seen in a place, but the landscape as a kind of unfolding panorama that changes me during various phases of the performance. By the end, I am definitely in a different state of mind, exhausted but pleasantly so. The walks make me feel embedded into the space, one that I often feel somewhat detached from, and whether people honk or don’t even notice what I am doing, something about the absurdity of it keeps me going.

MICHAEL DUNCAN is an independent curator and critic living in Los Angeles. His numerous exhibitions and publications include most recently Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent (2013) and Jess: O! Tricky Cad and Other Jessoterica (2012). Duncan is also a corresponding editor for Art in America. He was the curator of the 2009 Texas Biennial.


CHRISTIE BLIZARD works in a variety of media focusing on the convergence of painting and drawing and socially engaged practices. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include the 2009 and 2011 Texas Biennials; New American Paintings 96 West Edition and 108 West Edition; and solo exhibitions at Lawndale Art Center, Houston, and Women & Their Work, Austin. She has been a visiting artist at numerous universities across the United States. Recent residencies and fellowships include the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH; CentralTrak–The Artist Residency of the University of Texas at Dallas; and the SIM Artist Residency in Reykjavik, Iceland. Born 1978 in Indianapolis, IN Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, IN, 2001 MFA Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 2005 Teaches at the University of Texas, San Antonio, TX

Walk Project (visiting where I grew up in Columbus, IN), 7/4/13 (2013); video animation of performance documentation, looped


Walk Project (my last four weeks living in Lubbock, TX), 5/20/13, 6/1/13, 6/15/13, 6/22/13 (2013); photo documentation of performance; mixed media installation including acrylic paintings on canvas, nylon rope Glow painting (Lubbock facsimile) (2013); glow pigment on vinyl banner with black lights; 72 x 72�




The Texas Biennial Invitational was presented at Lawndale Art Center in Houston, August 24 – September 28, 2013.

Austin, Don’t Waste Your Waiting, Solemnly Sailing, Valentino, Cereal (2012); mixed media installation


Born in Austin, TX Lives in Austin TX Self taught

My art hasn’t changed much since I was three years old. I recently got a box from my dad of colored drawings and artful letters I made when I was three, four, and five years old. I discovered I was drawing all these things thirty years ago and signing them “Bonifacio”.


Storm Raining Down Love and Concern (2009); oil on PVC; 132 x 140 x 120� Reverse Mask Templates (2013); paper and varied media; 72 x 120�

KATIE PELL Born 1965 Wilmington Delaware Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 1987 MFA University of Texas at San Antonio, TX, 2010 Teaches at University of Texas at San Antonio

I am inspired by the boardwalk, congregating teenagers, hopeless (therefore all) love, furious disappointment, operatic and dramatic music, and the hilarity of playing it cool. You write your own creation myth out of your environment, your desire, and some justifiable fury aimed at your genetic mediocrity. I hope my work can describe the excitement of our pointless and forgettable lives and create a physical record of our gorgeous uselessness.

ARTRAPS, TehChing Hsieh (2009) and ARTRAPS, Lewitt, Sol (2010); video, with sound, looped; presentation variable (Private Collection) TX11 To Work (2013); video, with sound, 2:17 minutes; presentation variable

JOSHUA BIENKO Born 1978 in Dunkirk, NY Lives in Knoxville, TN MFA Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2008 Teaches at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN Collective member of Ortega y Gasset Projects, Queens, NY

I’m working on a quicker crossover. I’m also adjusting the position of my hands when I shoot. I think the ball gets too high, so I’m trying to bring it down closer to my forehead. I want a quicker release and a higher trajectory. I’m trying to play instinctively. It’s more difficult than it sounds.


Untitled (Networks of Light) (2013); watercolor on paper; 26”x 40” Untitled (Networks of Light 2) (2013); watercolor on paper; 26”x 40”

HANA HILLEROVA Born 1975 Prague, Czechoslovakia Lives in Houston, TX MGR Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 2000 MFA University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 2004 Represented by Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX

My drawings, sculptures and installations relate to complex, expanding networks in physical and spiritual dimensions. I am interested in the non-stop flux of energy and information in systems, the tipping point between order and chaos, and parallel non-linear spaces. How to express the total, vibrant connectedness between each particle of the universe?

Unvoiced Question (2010); fabric, epoxy resin, steel; 48 x 27 x 29” Braided Rug (2006); human hair in one continuous 644 ft. braid; 99 x 72” TX07

FRANCES BAGLEY Born 1946 in Fayetteville, TN Lives in Dallas, TX MFA Sculpture, University of North Texas, Denton TX, 1980 Apprenticeship in Ceramics, Michael Leach, Yelland Pottery, Devon, England, 1971-72 MA Art Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 1971 BFA Painting, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 1969

I find my voice in the process of searching. Informed by situations of social concern and experiences I have excavated from my past, I use all aspects of form, sometimes human, sometimes animal, to investigate questions of our relationship to each other, to other beings, and to our environment.


Mirror (2010); sodium chlorine solution on commercially dyed fiber; 79 x 79 x 1.75” TX11 Untitled (2) (2013); acrylic on canvas; 19 x 16” Untitled (5) (2013); acrylic on canvas; 19 x 16”

SHANE TOLBERT Born 1985 in Corsicana, TX Lives in Houston, TX BFA University of Houston, TX, 2008 MFA University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 2010 Represented by McClain Gallery, Houston, TX

Many artists claim to be democratic, but Shane Tolbert truly is a democratic artist. He understands the power of giving in to himself in order to give outward to others. In his most democratic moments, he indulges the sexier surfaces and raunchier moments of painting, and thus allows viewers to get off on the act without actually committing to it. – Keith J. Varadi

Blanket (2012); oil on canvas; 48 x 42.5�

JONATHAN FABER Born 1970 in New Orleans, LA Lives in Austin, TX BFA Alfred University, Alfred, NY, 1994 MFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2003 Represented by David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX

My work involves the paradox of memory and observation, seeking out subjects that co-exist between the expansive and the intimate, the recognizable and the ambiguous. Subjects are drawn from domestic and landscape settings as they manifest from memories of places or things observed, lived with, or passed through.


Breaking Ground II (2013); earth taken from private property sites, mirrors, photographs; installation variable


Born 1985 in Abilene, TX Lives in Austin, TX BFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2010

My work investigates what it means to self-identify as an artist in the current age of ever-expanding artistic pluralism. This extends to an interest in the intersection of daily life with the lofty and, by some perspectives, largely inaccessible qualities of much modern and contemporary art.

Custom House (2013); archival inkjet print; 16 x 20” (from the series Without Being Seen) Border (2010); HD video projection; 6:15 minutes; presentation variable TX11

JASON REED Born 1980 in Edmond, OK Lives in New Braunfels, TX BA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2003 MFA Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 2007 Assistant Professor, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX Represented by Galerie Reinthaler, Vienna, Austria My work is driven by a sustained fascination with the interplay between culture and the land, in particular the outlying spaces and places of West Texas and the U.S./Mexico border. This work is a part of an ongoing, long-term investment in picturing this complex social geography.

still from SUB ROSA (2013); GIF; presentation variable PAUL (FOR PETER AND LUKE) (2007); digital video projection, with sound, 3:32 minutes; presentation variable TX09

IVAN LOZANO Born 1981 in Guadalajara, Mexico Lives in Chicago, IL BS Radio, Television and Film University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2005 MFA School of the Art Institute Chicago, IL, 2011 Teaches at School of the Art Institute Chicago, IL I grew up in Mexico, where the colonially imposed Catholic faith was hijacked by native traditions. This creolized identity has provided me with a model for my investigations into the erotics of digital images and the scars that technologies of reproduction manifest on them.



Silent Witness (2012); oil on panel; 12 x 9� Evidence Field (2012); oil on panel; 16 x 26�

CAROLYN ZACHARIAS MCADAMS Born 1957 in Wichita Falls, TX Lives in Valley View, TX BFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 1996 Represented by Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX and LeMieux Gallery, New Orleans, LA I am a storyteller. My paintings are fantasy, rooted in the natural world. The most significant change in my work since exhibiting in the 2009 Biennial has been my palette. I have traded unnatural oranges and acid greens for the more subtle colors of nature that surround me.


One Square Block (2013); graphite on paper; 49 x 84” Huntress (2008); mixed media; 48 x 56 x 24” TX09

JAYNE LAWRENCE Born 1956 in Elmhurst, IL Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA University of Texas at San Antonio, TX, 1993 MFA University of Texas at San Antonio, TX, 2000 Represented by David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX My work continues to examine the social and cultural inconsistencies I find in the paradigms that affect identity and behavior. My visual vocabulary includes three recurring symbols: the insect, which represents our alter ego or instinctual behavior; the human form, representing our physical selves; and architecture representing location, structure and environment.


Big Lori/Big Tony (2007); tinted gesso and oil on canvas; 60 x 48” TX09 Justin After Rodin’s Stinker (2013); graphite and ink on paper; 24 x 18” Buck, After Courbet’s l’Origine du Monde (2013); graphite and ink on colored paper; 23 x 28.5”

HEYD FONTENOT Born 1964 in Lake Charles, LA Lives in Dallas, TX BFA Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA, 1986 Director of CentralTrak, University of Texas, Dallas, TX Represented by Inman Gallery in Houston and Conduit Gallery in Dallas, TX

It’s not my intention to make specifically erotic or non-erotic paintings. Intimacy is the focus, rather than titillation. Sexual expression is a metaphor for communication. Social politics, personalities and relationships, either actual or fictionalized—he concentration of the work is on the intricacies of human interaction.


Figure 7 (2012); exercise bike, fabric, pillow, thread, chair parts; installation variable

JADE WALKER Born 1977 in Tampa, FL Lives in Austin, TX BFA University of Florida Gainesville, FL, 2000 MFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2005 Director of the Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin, TX

My work is born of a personal struggle with spectatorship, binaries within gender, abstraction, narrative, desire, and the body as a temporal form. The macro of the body and the micro of organ or skin features are present in each work, evident in stuffed bulbous forms and small stitches.

Ancla (Anchor) (2012); oil on linen; 36 x 48”

RIGOBERTO A. GONZALEZ Lives in Harlingen, TX Born 1973 in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico BFA The University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX, 1999 MFA The New York Academy of Art, New York, NY, 2004 Represented by Gallery Rigoberto A Gonzalez Studio, Harlingen, TX

The sublime beauty of the West, of the frontier, of the border... “La Frontera”: its beauty hides many tragedies. My current work grapples with the genocide inflicted on its indigenous people and the victims of our current immigration policies.


Comb (2012); turtle shell; 8.5 x 6.5 x 3” (Collection of Karol Howard and George Morton, Plano, TX) Plenty (2012); bone, wire; 17 x 5.5 x 3.5” (Collection of Sherry Owens, Dallas, TX) Shadow (2008); bone, coral, jet; 7 x 4.25 x 3.5” (Collection of Pauline Hudel-Smith, Dallas, TX) TX09


Born 1950 in Sulphur Springs, TX Lives in Ennis, TX BFA Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX, 1974 Represented by Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX

Since my first appearance in the 2005 Biennial, my use of materials has evolved a great deal, while my core interest in the changeless aspects of the human condition has been reinforced by national and world events.

St. Boniface’s Last Day (2010); HD video projection, with sound, 8:22 minutes; installation variable The Gathering: II Evening (2003); acrylic on canvas; 72 x 100” (Collection of Nicole Blair, Austin, TX) TX05

PEAT DUGGINS Born 1977 in Omaha, NE Lives in Boston, MA Represented by Art Palace Gallery, Houston, TX In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Romantics emerged from a milieu of rapid industrialization to re-envision humanity’s relationship with nature, connecting their idea of wilderness to the sublime and the spiritual. My recent work investigates how their fetishizing of nature laid the framework for modern environmental discourse.


Captain Dirty Bear and His Dirty Cub Cadets Contemplate the Impossibility of Physical Permanence in the Merciless March of Time (2013); performance; duration and presentation variable Beauty is Not Benign (2010); bear skin rug, brass sheeting, brass piping; 24 x 67 x 60” (Collection of Bonnie Gammill, Austin, TX) TX11

ANTHONY SONNENBERG Born 1986 in Graham TX Lives in Seattle, WA BFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2009 MFA University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2012 Some people look at the annals of art history and marvel at how far we’ve come. All I can think about is how little we’ve changed. I transform items and ideas from the past with actions and craft in the present, and make work that firmly looks to the future.


Looking with Your Eyes Closed (2009); stop motion animation, 1:15 minutes; presentation variable

BASEERA KHAN Born 1980 in Denton, TX Lives in Brooklyn, NY BFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2005 MFA Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2012 Represented by Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Ruptures exist where identities merge, and art surfaces at these edges. Painting, writing, and moving images document and translate these rifts. Artwork fails when it is sequestered to the market of contemporary art; my work happens wherever I have the privilege to think. Its presentation occurs in what I find equitable.


Glasstire Write-a-Thon (2013); interactive public performance

BILL DAVENPORT Born 1962 in Houston, TX Lives in Houston, TX BFA Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 1986 MFA University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1990 Editor, Glasstire.com

“New and Greatest Hits: Texas Biennial 2005-2011” opened yesterday at Big Medium‘s slick new space at the Canopy building in Austin. As part of the opening festivities, Glasstire was there, inciting people to make snap judgments, write them down, and publish them for all the world to see via our Instagram feed. — Bill Davenport, “Everyone’s a (Glasstire) Critic at the Texas Biennial,” Glasstire.com

Nike, Adidas, Reebok (or, Little Bangs in a Big Bang) (2009); acrylic on paper mounted on panel; 46 x 84” (Private Collection)

JONATHAN MARSHALL Born 1981 in Morgantown, WV Lives in Brooklyn, NY BFA University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2003 MFA Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 2010 Represented by Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, NL

I left Texas in 2008, and now live and work in Brooklyn, New York. The years I spent as a young Texas artist encouraged me to pursue my work as a way of life and a way of making a living. I’m eternally grateful to the ever supportive Texas art community.


Black Trees (2012); archival pigment print on Hahnemühle photorag; 44 x 44”

SUSI BRISTER Born 1979 in San Marcos, TX Lives in Austin, TX BA Studio Art, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2001 BA Cultural Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, 2001 MFA Concordia University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, 2008 Teaches at St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX

These photographs depict anonymous figures covered in synthetic textiles and inserted into various landscapes as mysterious organic forms. Recent images from this series situate these ambiguous figures within unearthly landscapes of the American Southwest, enhancing the strangeness of the figure/environment relationship and introducing further slippage between the real and the imaginary.

Vibrational-1 (2013); bucket from beneath Roosevelt Bridge, sound of bells from Uzes Cathedral and English sparrows from Austin, brass bell from my mother, amplifier, speaker wire, transducers; installation variable

JUSTIN BOYD Born 1974 in Irving, TX Lives in San Antonio, TX BFA University of Texas at San Antonio, TX MFA California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, 2003 Chair of Sculpture and Integrated Media at the Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, TX

Through installations, sculptures, videos and sound pieces, my work explores rural and urban landscapes in search of moments of inspiration and manifestations of our collective spirit. My work hopes to expand upon our histories and the places we call home, seeking to highlight our exploration and participation in the landscapes we’ve created.


The Sound of Silence (2013); oil on canvas; 42 x 54�

KELLI VANCE Born 1983 in Garland, TX Lives in Houston, TX BFA University of North Texas, Denton, TX, 2005 MFA University of Houston, TX, 2008 Teaches at University of Houston, TX Represented by McCalin Gallery, Houston TX and Sam Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

I am interested in the emotions we experience as human beings and how painting can lend itself to the exploration of this psychological realm. The anxieties and uncertainties we live with are a catalyst for creating unstable and often nervous narratives where the story is never quite given whole.

Daedalus Nine: Peninsula Dead (2013); video, with sound, TV monitor, canvas, styrofoam, latex paint, PVC piping; 156 x 144 x 108�

JULES BUCK JONES Born 1981, Northampton, MA BFA Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 2005 MFA University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 2008 Teaches at TX State University, San Marcos, TX Represented by DUTTON Gallery, Austin TX; Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX; and McMurtrey Gallery, Houston, TX

I make paintings, drawings, sculpture, and video. The works I create are attempts to simulate, mirror, observe, and abstract the natural world. I draw inspiration primarily from biology and mythology. I am interested in the parallels and divergences shared by these two fields of study.


Mirror Mirror (2007); mixed media; 48 x 102 x 102” TX07


Born 1945, San Antonio, TX (d. 2007) BA Trinity University, San Antonio TX, 1980 Founded Artpace 1993 Founded Linda Pace Foundation 2003

In an artist statement written in 2005, Pace noted: “I have always been interested in how the ordinary can become extraordinary.” According to Pace, this sculpture “employ[s] mirrors as a metaphor for reflection and the multifaceted nature of self.”





New and Greatest Hits: Texas Biennial 2005–2011 was presented at Big Medium in Austin, August 24 – September 28, 2013.

Ten years ago, a group of friends and colleagues set out to promote the thriving but underrecognized arts community in Austin by providing an exhibition opportunity open to all Texas artists. From the start, this project has aimed to help connect artists with audiences, and to connect arts communities within the state, and beyond. There have been attempts by more established organizations to mount a statewide survey of contemporary art, but this Texas Biennial began as a grassroots effort. Put “Texas” and “Biennial” together and things begin to happen—with a lot of help and hard work. The Biennial continues to explore its role in the art community, but upon the occasion of the fifth edition of the project, some celebration and a look back seemed to be in order. We were truly thrilled to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Texas Biennial in 2013 with a range of programming across the state, including special exhibitions, performance events, panel discussions, and artist talks. And looking forward, we are honored and excited to continue to help bring more of the outstanding work of Texas artists and arts organizations to a growing audience. — Shea Little, Director

STATE OF THE ART-STATE After TX09, I returned to Los Angeles excited about the mind-blowing art I’d encountered across the state. Artists like Lee Baxter Davis, Katie Pell, Kelly Fearing, Celia Eberle, Heyd Fontenot, Jayne Lawrence, Jules Buck Jones, Christie Blizard, and Kelli Vance had defied all expectations. Happy with the contrast to the hype of LA and its Eurotrash invasion, I enthused to everyone about the fresh inventiveness and earnest creativity of what I had seen in the Lone Star State. But when I opened my mouth, I could see the eyes of artworld colleagues glaze over and a glass dome descend. They had stopped listening at the Capital T. (Thank Bush, Perry, and the State Congress for creating this behemoth of a PR problem.) I realized that my idea of organizing a traveling show called “TEXAS!!!” wasn’t likely to debut any time soon at the Whitney. Most American museums and public art spaces were more likely to take an exhibition of work by Blind Uzbekistan Photographers. Meanwhile, Texas artists go on—and that’s the point of the grassroots, low-budget, now-expanded extravaganza called the Texas Biennial. The show at Big Medium in Austin, New and Greatest Hits, presented recent and previously exhibited works by twenty-six alums nominated by former curators and jurors. The Texas Biennial Invitational at Lawndale Arts Center in Houston presented four radically different approaches to abstraction in new works by stellar Biennial artists from Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

These two fifth anniversary exhibitions celebrate great artists from the first four Texas Biennials who prove that in terms of quality, an art-state is a perfectly good substitute for an art-world. A state might not have the money or press that a world gets but it has its own rewards. States rights advocates preach the benefits of thinking locally and addressing the real interests and needs of constituents. Which is not to say that Texas artists don’t speak of things relevant to everybody. But the Texan artists we are highlighting operate on the ground, this ground, without the market, illusions, or copycat-global-speak of New York, Berlin, London, and LA. For the most part, they do their thing in order to do their thing, not to be on trend or to address the dialogue. Spreading the word in venues all over the state, TX13 affirms the unflappable presence of art against the mainstream grain, surviving despite all odds for the sake of the making. The Lone Star is a symbol of independence. And given the current state of the art world, that’s a good thing.

– Michael Duncan



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