Making Waves: Becky Kolsrud TACA Silver Cup Awards At Home With Nino Mier Marfa Invitational Rona Pondick’s Human/Tree
MARK DI SUVERO
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Portrait Tim Boole, Styling Jeanna Doyle, Stanley Korshak
April / May 2021
TERRI PROVENCAL Publisher / Editor in Chief firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram terri_provencal and patronmag
When the Texas redbuds bloom they usher in a season redolent with art, both unleashing displays of color to herald the spring. After a long, hard winter, area galleries and museums are mounting a plethora of socially distant, maskwearing exhibitions for art lovers. To get you in the mood, this issue’s cover and fashion feature display commissioned paintings by Los Angeles–native Becky Kolsrud for the Karpidas Collection. For Sea Legs, photographed by Elizabeth Lavin, with onset management by Sara Hignite, creative director Elaine Raffel chose breezy, unencumbered, head-to-toe looks from luxury brands and area boutiques. Catch the wave with the American artist’s large-scale works—a precursor to a fall show curated by Sadie Coles that Patron will exclusively cover. Unless you’re traveling by jet, there is simply no easy way to get to Marfa from Dallas, though collectors know the experience is worth it. Known for Donald Judd and the Chinati Foundation as well as There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men, filmed simultaneously in the Chihuahuan Desert, this year the town receives the Marfa Invitational for the second edition. This boutique art fair from the mind of artist/founder Michael Phelan begins April 22 with an opening vernissage and continues through April 25. Steve Carter previews the tiny-but-mighty happening in The Little Art Fair That Could. Nino Mier Gallery is among the Marfa Invitational’s exhibitor lineup, but the art dealer is known best in Dallas for his participation in the Dallas Art Fair and TWO x TWO. In Nino Mier Makes His Moves, the international gallerist invites readers inside his Los Feliz home. It’s replete with a fantastic art and furniture collection he assembled with his wife Caroline Luce, a partner at Gladstone Gallery. Area collector Claire Gogel visits with Nino about his return to the Dallas Art Fair this November, his prescient collecting habits, the artists he represents, and discovering new artists. Though the Dallas Art Fair has moved to November, the minds behind the fair have not forgotten the art month they are distinctly part of, so they partnered with local galleries to present Dallas Gallery Day on April 17. Here’s your chance to see a coterie of local fair exhibitors and then some at their own art spaces. In other fair news, Half Gallery’s Erin Goldberger shares an interview with Ethan Cook, whose work will be on display in a spring show. Participating in Dallas Gallery Day, Back to the garden, drawn from Joni Mitchell’s lyrics, brings a group show to CADD Space. It’s a spring healing from artists who address the toll of humans on the environment and the pressing need to come together. Opening days before Earth Day, the show points to emerging from isolation, awakening, finding strength through seclusion, and resiliency in the face of a violent and unhealthy year. We’ve marveled at the Nasher Sculpture Center’s inventiveness over the past year, from Nasher Windows to Nasher Public—brilliant minds creating brilliant programming through adversity. Nasher Mixtape is no exception. Rona Pondick’s Head in Tree is presented among multiple micro-exhibitions curated by Catherine Craft. In this issue, Catherine interviews the artist on her tree/ human sculpture and practice. Other stories of note include coverage of Chris Schanck’s Curbed Vanity, on view at the Dallas Museum of Art; Nancy Cohen Israel’s overview of Erin Cluley’s new art space, Cluley Projects, plus her look at the extraordinary manuscripts within the Bridwell Collection; and Chris Byrne’s interview with artist Keith Mayerson, co-author of a forthcoming two-volume tome featuring the best of cartoonist Frank Johnson. Finally, TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) will celebrate two longstanding patrons with this year’s TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon. Celebrating the multi-hyphenates Sam Self and Donna Wilhelm’s generous contributions and volunteerism, this will be the first event that will bring the arts-passionate together in over a year. It’s always the benevolent side of humanity that breaks through. And art in, its myriad forms, illustrates that best. – Terri Provencal
HOUSTON • DALLAS • ATLANTA
To o t s i e s . c o m
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Te m p o r a r y L o c a t i o n a t 8 416 P r e s t o n R d .
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FEATURES 48 SPRING INTO ACTION Two hardworking arts patrons, Sam Self and Donna Wilhelm, receive his year’s Silver Cup from TACA. By Lee Cullum 52 HEAD FOR THE TREES Rona Pondick’s tree/human sculpture combines ancient wisdom with the supernatural in Nasher Mixtape. By Catherine Craft 56 NINO MIER MAKES HIS MOVES Newly married, a new house, and a new gallery in Brussels, this Dallas Art Fair exhibitor is anything but idle, and we love it. Interview by Claire Gogel 64 THE LITTLE ART FAIR THAT COULD All roads lead to Marfa for Michael Phelan’s Marfa Invitational, taking wing in April for edition two. By Steve Carter
68 SEA LEGS Becky Kolsrud’s commissioned paintings make waves at the Karpidas Collection. Photography by Elizabeth Lavin; Creative direction by Elaine Raffel
52 On the cover: Becky Kolsrud, Figure, I (detail), 2020, oil on canvas, 84.25 x 60.12; ETRO scarf-print shirt, maxi skirt, print scarf, and rope etc. detachable shoulder strap, all at ETRO, Highland Park Village.
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DEPARTMENTS 6 Editor’s Note 12 Contributors 22 Noted Top arts and culture chatter. By Anthony Falcon Of Note 34 THE FEMALE FIGURE FROM A CANADIAN LENS Informed by their northerly roots and kinship, Keer Tanchak and Janet Werner show concurrently at 12.26. By Anthony Falcon Fair Trade 36 THE BODY CONSCIOUS Ethan Cook considers Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s “Eye and Mind” essay for his spring show at Half Gallery. Interview by Erin Goldberger. Openings 38 SYLVAN SEQUEL Erin Cluley opens second art space featuring work by Xxavier Carter. By Nancy Cohen Israel
40 BACK TO THE GARDEN Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock lyrics inform a spring show for CADD Space. Contemporaries 42 A VANITY AFFAIR Detroit-based Booker T. grad Chris Schanck returns to Dallas to create a contemporary foil inspired by the Martelé dressing set at the DMA. By Terri Provencal 44 PRESENCE AND ABSENCE The MAS: Meadows/ARCO Artist Spotlight introduces Ignasi Aballí’s reflections on opposites. By Nancy Cohen Israel 46 KEITH MAYERSON’S AMERICAN DREAM The LA-based artist tells of his upcoming show with Karma, teaching, and Frank Johnson. By Chris Byrne
Atelier 78 HOUSE OF STYLE Holly Dear transforms her iconic space on McKinney Avenue, unveiling a new brand. By Elaine Raffel Furthermore 80 TREASURES IN OUR MIDST Bridwell Library brings out hidden gems as part of Fossils to Film: The Best of SMU’s Collections. By Nancy Cohen Israel
ARDMORE CERAMIC ART
the Ardmore studio, in the natal midlands of South Africa,is home to over 70 African artists where family values and authenticity exist at the heart of every piece of artwork.
ardmore ceramic art has proudly earned a reputation for its iconic indigenous african imagery and have been recognized as modern day collectibles by Christies and Sotheby’s.
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W W W. S H O P E L E M E N T S D A L L A S . C O M
John Sutton Photography
CHRIS BYRNE is the author of The Original Print (Guild Publishing) and the graphic novel The Magician (Marquand Books), included in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University; Rare Book/Special Collections Division, Library of Congress; Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago; Thomas J. Watson Library; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is co-authoring the “Best Of” Frank Johnson’s comics for Fantagraphics with Keith Mayerson and co-founded the Dallas Art Fair.
STEVE CARTER invites readers on a road trip. No better time, no better destination than the Marfa Invitational, a human-size art fair experience enjoying its second iteration April 22-25. In this issue, Carter takes a look at the intentionally smallscale fair and the man behind it all, artist/ founder Michael Phelan. “I really enjoyed getting to talk to Michael about the upcoming fair,” Carter says. “He’s every bit as singular as the town of Marfa and the art fair itself.”
NANCY COHEN ISRAEL is a Dallas-based writer, art historian, and educator at the Meadows Museum. For the current issue, she enjoyed writing about exciting and refreshing local openings, from Erin Cluley’s muchanticipated new space, Cluley Projects, to the bouquet of collections featured in Fossils to Film. Looking ahead, she is also delighted to preview the work of Ignasi Aballí, whose exhibition as the first MAS: Meadows/ ARCO Artist will be next spring.
LAUREN CHRISTENSEN has over two decades of experience in advertising and marketing. As a principal with L+S Creative Group, she consults with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations and businesses in many sectors, including retail, real estate, and hospitality. Lauren is a Dallas native and a graduate of SMU with a BA in advertising. Her clean, contemporary aesthetic and generous spirit make Lauren the perfect choice to art direct Patron.
LEE CULLUM is a Dallas journalist who has worked in radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. She was a regular commentator on what is now called the PBS NewsHour as well as All Things Considered on NPR, and, more recently, has interviewed CEOs for the public TV affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth. For the current issue she talked with Donna Wilhelm and Sam Self, faithful, indefatigable supporters of the arts and winners of this year’s TACA Silver Cup Award.
SERGIO GARCIA formerly from Dallas, is a Los Angeles– based photographer and the go-to source in the entertainment industry tasked with capturing the personalities of actors, musicians, and those seeking the unexpected; he keeps his lenses close at hand. Tapping his prowess frequently, Sergio captured the stunning home, art, and furniture collection of international gallerist Nino Mier and his wife Caroline Luce in Nino Mier Makes His Moves.
CLAIRE GOGEL is a Dallas-based investor and former hedge-fund manager of 25 years who, with her husband Brian, passionately collects work by underrepresented artists. She is active in the community and is currently involved in the Contemporary Art Initiative (CAI) at the Dallas Museum of Art. With a brilliant mind and an eye for art, Claire interviewed international gallerist and Dallas Art Fair exhibitor Nino Mier for Patron. Drawn to Mier’s roster of painters from his native Rhineland and the US, Claire takes readers inside his Los Feliz home.
ELIZABETH LAVIN moved to Texas in 2004 after graduating from the University of Colorado. An expert storyteller, her internationally renowned work has documented important social and environmental issues. In the past year, she covered protests and showcased the doctors and nurses on the front line in the UT Southwestern COVID Unit. For Patron, in concert with creative director Elaine Raffel, she turned her eye to fashion in Sea Legs, a feature combining a suite of eight paintings by Becky Kolsrud with spring looks of the season, also shown on this issue’s cover.
ELAINE RAFFEL blames her obsession with designer fashion, opulent jewels, and design on her years as creative head for the crème de la crème of retail: Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Stanley Korshak. For Sea Legs, Elaine teamed up with Dallas photographer Elizabeth Lavin and hair and makeup maven Lisa Martensen to harness spring’s high-fashion with paintings by Becky Kolsrud. The newly commissioned paintings for the Karpidas Collection seemingly come out of the frame, washing ashore in an interplay of fashion and art.
CATHERINE CRAFT is curator at Nasher Sculpture Center who curated the acclaimed exhibitions Melvin Edwards: Five Decades and The Nature of Arp. She a scholar of Dada, surrealism, abstract expressionism, and Neo-Dada. She is the author of An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada, and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism (University of Chicago 2012) and Robert Rauschenberg (Phaidon, 2013). For Patron, she interviewed Rona Pondick, whose Head in Tree is among the work she selected for Nasher Mixtape. JOHN SMITH flexes his degree in architecture to photograph homes of distinction by the best in the trade. He is also noted for his portrait photography in contemporary spaces. For Spring Into Action in this issue, John captured the 2021 TACA Silver Cup Award honorees in architecturally significant institutions: Sam Self at the Meyerson Symphony Center and Donna Wilhelm at the Winspear Opera House. He also connected with visionary Holly Dear, who is rebranding Dear Clark into House of Dear.
The art you collect, the car you drive, the restaurants you frequent … each speaks volumes about your impeccable taste and uncompromising standards. Does your current home? Finish making your personal statement at
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The inauguration of the building in 2001 was a defining moment for the Meadows—join us as we celebrate this milestone and take a look back at the achievements made possible by this vital structure. View the permanent collection of Spanish masterpieces that brought a king and queen to Dallas, newly reinstalled to feature highlights from the 250 exceptional works the Meadows has acquired over the last two decades, and enjoy the companion exhibition Fossils to Film: The Best of SMU’s Collections, which shines a light on more campus treasures.
This exhibition has been organized by the Meadows Musuem. A generous gift from The Meadows Foundation has helped make this exhibition and technical study possible.
MEADOWS MUSEUM | DALL AS
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This limestone stunner in Old Highland Park is as much a work of art as it is a comfortable contemporary home. Built by notable builder Steve Hild and designed by prominent architect David Stocker, this impressive home sits on a sizable corner lot on a prestigious street and offers exquisite materials artfully combined throughout its 8,156 square feet. From its impeccable finish-out and insightful floor plan to its host of modern amenities, this home’s every detail was chosen with both beauty and function in mind. Diane DuVall | email@example.com | 214.725.1451 • Faisal Halum | firstname.lastname@example.org | 214.240.2575
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THE LATEST CULTURAL NEWS COVERING ALL ASPECTS OF THE ARTS IN NORTH TEXAS: NEW EXHIBITS, NEW PERFORMANCES, GALLERY OPENINGS, AND MORE.
01 AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM The Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition highlights artists of African American descent from all over the country, through May 10. Dynasty: The Peculiar Search for Totality Featuring Artist Missy Burton explores the timeline of one family’s search for freedom, through Jun. 5. Tears: Weaponized, Devalued and Reconciled? continues through Jul. 24. Confederate Currency: The Color of Money investigates the importance of slavery in the economy of the South, through Jul. 24. aamdallas.org
04 DALLAS CONTEMPORARY Through Aug. 22, Dallas Contemporary’s career survey of Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara will bring together a large selection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures from 2006 to the present, many of which are being exhibited for the first time in I Forgot Their Names and Often Can’t Remember Their Faces but Remember Their Voices Well. Image: Yoshitomo Nara, Real One, 2020, printed on 80 lb. classic linen solar white cover, 25 x 29 in. Limited edition release by the Dallas Contemporary. dallascontemporary.org
02 AMON CARTER MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART Meditations: Eleanore Mikus at Tamarind brings together rarely seen prints that Mikus created at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1968, through Apr. 18. An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain surveys the work of Vietnamese-American photographer An-My Lê. Featuring photographs from the artist’s five major bodies of work, the nationally touring exhibition considers the nearly 25-year career exploring the edges of war and recording these landscapes of conflict. Photography Is Art shares American photographers’ journey from the late 19th century. Both shows run Apr. 18–Aug. 8. An Expanding Vision: Six Decades of Works on Paper revisits key moments in the museum’s history of collecting works on paper, highlighting the museum’s path to becoming one of the finest collections of American art in the country. Apr. 24–Aug. 22. Image: Fidelia Bridges (1834–1923), Pink Cyclamen, ca. 1875, transparent and opaque watercolor heightened with gum glaze and graphite on paper, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 1982.49. cartermuseum.org
05 DALLAS HOLOCAUST AND HUMAN RIGHTS MUSEUM The Fight for Civil Rights in the South, through the end of the year, combines two prestigious photography exhibitions covering the African American struggle for Civil Rights and social equality in the 1960s:Selma to Montgomery: Photographs by Spider Martin and Courage Under Fire: The 1961 Burning of the Freedom Riders Bus. dhhrm.org
03 CROW MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS The Crow showcases Divine Spark: Kana Harada through Sep. 5, which features new works created during this time of a global pandemic that embody the artist’s wishes for a peaceful and bright future for all. Harada expresses the light that can be found in the dark and continues to push sculpture, foam, and acrylic and watercolor painting to new heights in her practice. Additionally, Born of Fire: Contemporary Japanese Women Ceramic Artists, and Vishnu: Across Time and Space continue through May. Image: Kana Harada, Divine Spark (Detail), 2020, foam sheet and mixed media, 53 x 7 x 9 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Makoto Takemura. crowmuseum.org 22
06 DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART My|gration highlights the contributions of artists who immigrated to the US, through Oct. 31. In For a Dreamer of Houses, contemporary artworks evoke personal spaces and consider the politics of places, through Jul. 4. Dalí Divine Comedy showcases wood engravings from Salvador Dalí’s most ambitious illustrated series, through May 16. Moth to Cloth: Silk in Africa, drawn from the permanent collection, explores the production of silk and silk textiles in Ghana, Nigeria, and Madagascar, through Oct. 24. For his first solo museum presentation, Dallas-native artist Chris Schanck created a contemporary work inspired by the late 19th-century Martelé dressing table in the DMA’s collection, Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck, on view through Aug. 29. Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico continues through Jan. 2, 2022. The first US exhibition in over 35 years dedicated to the Spanish artist Juan Gris highlights his revolutionary contributions in Cubism in Color: The Still Lifes of Juan Gris, through Jul. 25. Opening May 2, Concentrations 63: Julian Charrière, Towards No Earthly Pole presents the Berlin-based French-Swiss artist’s work bridging the realms of environmental science and cultural history, through Aug. 8. Image: Julian Charrière, Tropisme, 2016, installation view, For They That Sow The Wind, Parasol Unit, London. Copyright Julian Charrière. dma.org
On view to August 29, 2021
Visit dma.org for tickets and more
NOTED: VISUAL ARTS
07 GEOMETRIC MADI MUSEUM The MADI features an exhibition focused on Tunde Odunlade through Apr. 25. geometricmadimuseum.org 08 GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL CENTER Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants presents George Bush’s paintings of immigrants, through Jan. 3, 2022. bushcenter.org 09 KIMBELL ART MUSEUM The Kimbell’s next exhibition, Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society, will present nearly 70 of the finest examples of Asian art in the United States. Jun. 27–Sep. 5. kimbellart.org 10 LATINO CULTURAL CENTER Latino Cultural Center remains open by appointment only. lcc.dallasculture.org 11 THE MAC Finding Our Way, a photographic installation designed to serve as the catalyst for conversations on women’s issues in Texas and photography as a medium of self-expression, continues through May 10. the-mac.org 12 MEADOWS MUSEUM Building on the Boulevard: Celebrating 20 Years in the Meadows Museum’s New Home features architectural drawings and renderings as well as commemorative installations and materials celebrating the impressive international loan exhibitions, innovations in educational programming, and other milestones for the museum. Fossils to Film: The Best of SMU’s Collections celebrates the museum’s unique association with SMU. For the first time, the Meadows will host highlights from nine distinct campus collections concurrently, including the Underwood Law Library, G. Williams Johns Film and Video Collection, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, the Shuler Museum of Paleontology, DeGolyer Library, the Department of Anthropology, Bridwell Library, and the noted University Art Collection. Through Jun. 20. Image: Outside view of Meadows Museum showing Jaume Plensa, Sho, 2007, painted stainless steel, 157.5 x 157.5 x 118.125 in., Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Museum purchase with funds from The Pollock Foundation, the family of Mr. and Mrs. Richard R. Pollock, and the family of Lawrence S. Pollock, III, in honor of Mrs. Shirley Pollock. meadowsmuseumdallas.org 13 MODERN ART MUSEUM OF FORT WORTH Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again surveys 30 years of the 24
artist’s video works and photography, investigating her passionate engagement with ancient and recent Iranian history. The experience of living in exile and the human impact of political revolution are also explored by Neshat, through May 16. Opening Apr. 2, FOCUS: Wael Shawky presents a film from his ambitious trilogy Cabaret Crusades along with new and related drawings and sculpture. Shawky explores the ambiguities between history and myth in a multimedia presentation in order to challenge the authority of history. Through Jun. 20. Image: Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades II: The Path to Cairo, 2012, high-definition video, color, and sound, with English subtitles, 1 hour, 57 seconds. © Wael Shawky, courtesy Lisson Gallery. themodern.org 14 MUSEUM OF BIBLICAL ART Currently on view, Line Upon Line: Jorge Cocco’s Sacrocubist Images of Christ and Simon Waranch: From Earth to Light, investigating the young artist’s exploration in glass sculpture, continue. biblicalarts.org 15 NASHER SCULPTURE CENTER Nasher Mixtape offers a compilation of “tracks,” micro-exhibitions focused on the Nasher’s permanent collection installed throughout the museum, through Sep. 26. The 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz exhibition presents part of his series of sculptures and his film The Ballad of Special Ops Cody, ends Apr. 18. Nasher Public is a two-pronged public art initiative that aims to generate access to public art by North Texas artists at the Nasher and throughout the greater Dallas community. Image: Alberto Giacometti, Swiss, 1901-1966, Small Standing Woman (Petite femme debout), ca. 1945, gilded bronze, 1.43 x .43 x .43 in. Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. Photograph by Kevin Todora. nashersculpturecenter.org 16 PEROT MUSEUM Through Sep. 6, the Perot invites patrons to experience The Science of Guinness World Records. perotmuseum.org. 17 TYLER MUSEUM OF ART Since 2005, the annual juried competition has offered senior-level art students throughout the region with their first opportunity for a full museum exhibition. The 17th Annual High School Art Exhibition will continue through May 16. tylermuseum.org Please visit museum websites for any closings and date changes due to the ongoing pandemic. All the listed museums are adhering to strict CDC guidelines and require masks.
Through May 16
Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again is organized by The Broad, Los Angeles, and curated by Ed Schad, Curator, The Broad. The presentation in Fort Worth is generously supported by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, with additional support from the Fort Worth Tourism Public Improvement District. Shirin Neshat, Bonding, 1995. Ink on RC print. 34 x 51 1/2 inches. © Shirin Neshat/Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth 3200 Darnell Street Fort Worth, Texas 76107 817.738.9215 Follow the Modern
FOCUS: Wael Shawky
April 2–June 20
Cabaret Crusades II: The Path to Cairo, 2012. High-definition video, color, and sound, with English subtitles; 1 hour, 57 seconds. © Wael Shawky; Courtesy Lisson Gallery
NOTED: PERFORMING ARTS
01 AMPHIBIAN Amphibian Stage currently has interactive virtual events, including acting classes, on their website. Additionally, the company will present a live cast of Hansard on Apr. 21–24. Image: Alex Jennings and Lyndsay Duncan in Hansard. Photograph by Catherine Ashmore. amphibianstage.com 02 AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Art Heist invites guests to meet characters involved in the theft of thirteen great works of art, valued at half a billion dollars, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Interact with security guards, museum staff, investigators, and suspects to gather clues to discover what really happened, through Apr. 18. Forgotten Space celebrates the Grateful Dead Apr. 24. From Broadway, Waitress takes the stage May 4–9. ABBA the Concert will play May 5. America 50th Anniversary Tour stops in Dallas May 6. Image: Wyly Theatre exterior at night. Photograph by Carter Rose. attpac.org 03 BASS PERFORMANCE HALL BPH will stream Thurgood Marshall: Civil Rights Champion through May 31. basshall.com 04 CASA MAÑANA For more than 30 years the denizens of Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas, have been making us laugh in this comedy about small-town morals; see Greater Tuna through Apr. 4. Always...Patsy Cline, chronicles the friendship between the singer and a fan that began when the two met at the Esquire Ballroom outside Houston. Apr. 15–25. casamanana.org 05 CHAMBER MUSIC INTERNATIONAL Chamber Music International presents an evening of strings with Dohnányi’s virtuosic Serenade and the Quintets of Mozart and Mendelssohn on Apr. 10. Next, three superstars perform the music of Schubert and Korngold followed by one of the greatest works of Johannes Brahms on May 16. chambermusicinternational.org 06 DALLAS BLACK DANCE THEATRE #DBDT: At Home offers a series of educational and digital events from the DBDT dancers. DBDT: ENCORE! presents a virtual performance of Rising Excellence Apr. 17–18. The annual Spring Celebration mounts May 22. dbdt.com 07 DALLAS CHILDREN’S THEATER Currently, DCT is streaming The Raven and Andi Boi. dct.org 08 THE DALLAS OPERA Viva Diva! Starring Joyce DiDonato will take the stage May 10. 26
02 Additionally, new subscription sales are available beginning May 17 for the 2021/2022 season. Image: Joyce DiDonato. Courtesy of The Dallas Opera. dallasopera.org 09 DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS DSM will return with the start of the 2021/2022 season on Aug. 4 with Wicked. dallassummermusicals.org 10 DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Fabio Luisi Conducts: Luisi & Buchbinder Apr. 1–3. An American View: Copland & Amram is onstage Apr. 9–10. Emanuel Ax & DSO Musicians Chamber Concert entertains on Apr. 13, leading to Ax Plays Mozart Apr. 15–17. The next installment of OPUS 100 | Lay Family Concert Organ Series takes place Apr. 18. Gemma New conducts Hadelich Plays Tchaikovsky Apr. 22–25 followed by Mendelssohn & Ravel Apr. 29–May 1. The Music of Sinatra livens up the stage May 7–9. Guest conductor John Storsgãrds combines his violin prowess with Principal Oboe Erin Hanagan to lead Beethoven, Mozart & Sibelius May 13–16. Paul McCreesh conducts, with organist Bradley Hunter Morgan, Handel, Haydn, & Mendelssohn May 20–22. The Firebird: Suite closes out the month May 28–30. Image: DSO’s Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New. ©Roy Cox Photography. Courtesy of Dallas Symphony. mydso.com 11 DALLAS THEATER CENTER Something Grim(m) is an outdoor, site-specific work of performance art through Apr. 4. Cake Ladies, Apr. 3–May 15, is a worldpremiere comedy from play wright-in-residence Jonathan Norton. The Scott County Community Playhouse is the pride of Cedar Oak, Texas, a city ravaged by the second largest drugfueled HIV outbreak to ever hit small-town America. When COVID-19 shuts down the playhouse production of Angels in America, the loss is devastating to the city. As the virus spreads, Cedar Oak’s dark past comes to the surface, and “cake ladies” LeAnne (Sally Nystuen Vahle) and Tweedy-Bird (Liz Mikel) must confront their buried secrets. dallastheatercenter.org 12 EISEMANN CENTER ’Til Death Do Us Part: Late Nite Catechism 3 will take the stage Apr. 10. The Richardson Symphony’s Season Finale Concert will take place on Apr. 17. eisemanncenter.com 13 FORT WORTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Two Broadway and symphonic pops favorites join the Fort Worth Symphony for an evening of classic songs from the Golden Age and beyond in An Evening of Classic Broadway Apr. 13–15. Vivaldi: The Four Seasons & Mozart will take the stage May 11–13. fwsymphony.org
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0102 14 KITCHEN DOG THEATER Craft: Art of the Hooch and Pooch is a virtual pop-up, including a Q&A with the artists, on May 20 and Jun. 17. kitchendogtheater.org 15 LYRIC STAGE Lyric Stage remains dark. Check the website for information on the next season at lyricstage.org 16 MAJESTIC THEATRE The Majestic Theatre is currently dark. majestic.dallasculture.org 17 TACA The TACA Silver Cup Award Luncheon takes place on May 14 at Strauss Square and will honor Donna Wilhelm and Sam Self for extraordinary volunteerism and contribution to the arts. taca-arts.org 18 TEXAS BALLET THEATER TBT’s Mixed Repertoire I offers a digital experience through Apr. 9 followed by Mixed Repertoire II, Apr. 15–30. Beauty & The Beast streams May 14–23. texasballettheater.org 19 THEATRE THREE Love & Kindness in a Time of Quarantine, a compilation of songs and monologues about life during COVID, will be on view Apr. 7–18. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is tentatively scheduled for Apr. 8–May 2. theatre3dallas.com 20 TITAS/DANCE UNBOUND Alonzo King LINES Ballet presents unforgettable dialogue between movement and music on Jun. 12. titas.org 21 TURTLE CREEK CHORALE TCC will resume concerts at a later date. turtlecreekchorale.com 22 UNDERMAIN THEATRE Whither Goest Thou America?: Festival of New Plays takes the stage Apr. 7–25. Next, Blake Hackler adapts a classic masterpiece of realism that permanently changed the face of world drama. Hedda Gabler is the story of an extraordinary woman trapped in a conventional life of secrets and lies that fuel her own personal explosion, May 26–Jun. 13. undermain.org
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23 WATERTOWER THEATRE WTT presents Finding Your Space through Apr. 19. The new masterclass series is for performing artists of all levels to help find their way back onto the stage. watertowertheatre.org APRIL / MAY 2021
01 12.26 Karla García: I Carry This Land With Me closes Apr 3. Next the gallery will host Keer Tanchak and Janet Werner in Romantik Apr. 17–May 22. gallery1226.com 02 500X GALLERY Established in 1978, 500X provides one of the best exhibition spaces to up-and-coming artists in the city of Dallas. The group has exhibitions by gallery artists through May. 500x.org 03 ALAN BARNES FINE ART ABFA belongs to a family of British art dealers, conservators, and restorers whose roots reach back to London during the reign of King George III. alanbarnesfineart.com 04 AND NOW A group show curated by Leslie Martinez of represented artists continues through Apr. 3, including Genesis Baez, Felipe Baeza, Dannielle Bowman, Jonathan Chacón, Justine Melford-Colegate, Kathryn Kerr, and Johnathan Payne. Next, the gallery will host a solo exhibition of work by Michelle Rawlings, Apr. 17–May 22, followed by a solo exhibition for Oshay Green, May 29–Jul. 03. andnow.biz 05 ARTSPACE111 A Space Between Time, featuring new large-scale artwork by Carly Allen-Martin and Jim Woodson, continues through May 8. This exhibition underscores the mutual transference of creativity and inspiration that is inherent to the teacher/student relationship. artspace111.com 06 BARRY WHISTLER GALLERY ICONIC, featuring Richard Serra, Alicia McCarthy, Tom Orr, Jonathan Cross, Allison V. Smith, Matt Kleberg and others, will be on view Apr. 3–May 22. barrywhistlergallery.com 07 BEATRICE M. HAGGERTY GALLERY Here, There; Now, Then: In Between Journeys features eight ceramic artists exploring traditional and contemporary, nature and artifact, displacement and belonging through their cross-cultural understanding of culture in China and the US; closes Apr. 8. Exhibition of works by Elisa Lendvay and Sara Cordona will be on view Apr. 19–May 25. udallas.edu/gallery 08 BIVINS GALLERY Kindness Not Canceled is meant to challenge its viewers and get people thinking about art within its social and historical context. With 28
11 works by Russell Young and Maria De Campos featuring iconic figures in history along with positive messages displayed in the works of Patrick Rubinstein and WRDSMTH, Kindness Not Canceled is on view through May 9. Image: Russell Young, Audrey Hepburn, screen print on linen with diamond dust. bivinsgallery.com 09 CADD/CADD SPACE CADD Space mounts Back to the garden opening on Dallas Gallery Day, April 17. The show addresses the urgency of climate change and our own emergence from the pandemic and a turbulent year. What have we learned? Where will we go from here? Image: Joan Winter, Lighted Crossing, 2010, steel and cast resin, 32 x 68 x 75 in. Courtesy of Holly Johnson Gallery. caddallas.org 10 CHRISTOPHER MARTIN GALLERY Celebrating 26 years, the gallery presents the reverse-glass paintings of American artist Christopher Martin; the Rodeo series of Dallasbased photographer Steve Wrubel; the color-field paintings of New York–based painter Jeff Muhs; the acclaimed work of Dutch image maker Isabelle Van Zeijl; the acrylic constructions of Dallas artist Jean Paul Khabbaz; the large-format paintings of Dallasbased painter Tom Hoitsma; the abstract work of California-based painter Chris Hayman; and the organic paintings of Atlanta artist Liz Barber; as well as the work of rotating artists in the recently expanded gallery. christophermartingallery.com 11 CONDUIT GALLERY Conduit Gallery will open three new exhibitions Apr. 10: Robert Jessup: New Paintings from the Whidbey Series; Erin Curtis: Feeling Like An Abstraction; and in the Project Room, Susie Phillips: Embroideries. All three exhibitions will be on view through May 15. Image: Robert Jessup, Whidbey 89, 2021, oil on canvas, 58 x 60. conduitgallery.com 12 CRAIGHEAD GREEN GALLERY Shows for Peter Burega, Jackson Hammack, and Mark Smith close Apr. 3. The work of Arturo Mallmann, Tom Pribyl, and Simon Waranch will mount in the gallery, Apr. 10–May 15. Heading into the summer, May 22–Jul. 3, work by Tracey Harris, Jeri Ledbetter, and Winston Lee Mascarenhas will be installed in the gallery. craigheadgreen.com 13 CRIS WORLEY FINE ARTS Cris Worley will host Celia Eberle in Reanimation Project Apr. 3– May 8. Joshua Hagler will show congruently in Drawing in the Dark. Image: Joshua Hagler, Brother, 2020, ink, oil, wax on polyester film mounted on wood panel, 10 x 8 in. crisworley.com
13 14 DADA The Dallas Art Dealers Association is an affiliation of established independent gallery owners and nonprofit art organizations. dallasartdealers.org 15 DALLAS ART FAIR PROJECTS Dallas Art Fair Projects is an arts and special-projects space located in the Dallas Design District, formerly known as 214 Projects. This additional venue allows international galleries and Dallas Art Fair exhibitors to present more ambitious art installations and special projects on a year-round basis. dallasartfairprojects.com 16 DAVID DIKE FINE ART David Dike will showcase large-scale abstract works from the 1950s by Jennie Haddad through May. Image: Jennie Haddad (Am. 1906 - 1996), Untitled (After the Rain), oil on canvas 80 x 54 in. Estate stamped on verso. daviddike.com 17 ERIN CLULEY GALLERY Kevin Todora’s 7head will close on Apr. 3. On Apr. 17, the gallery will showcase rostered artists in NO FAIR, on view through May 8. erincluley.com 18 EX OVO Ex ovo is a contemporary art exhibition space and features artists’ books in the Tin District. Ida Badal’s Set continues through Apr. 6. Anh Yēu Em by Xxavier Edward Carter will be on view next, Apr. 11–Apr. 25. exovoprojects.com 19 FWADA The Fort Worth Art Dealers Association funds and hosts exhibitions of noteworthy art. fwada.com 20 GALERIE FRANK ELBAZ. Josh Reames: Reclaiming the Moon continues through Apr. Born in Dallas and known for his large-scale paintings, in his work Reames investigates signs, text, objects, symbols, and pop culture iconography. Check the website for upcoming shows. galeriefrankelbaz.com 21 GALLERI URBANE Don’t Worry Baby, featuring work by Liss LaFleur, will be on view Apr. 3–May 8. Galleri Urbane will also host B. Chehayeb’s Only the Very Young during those same dates. Image: B. Chehayeb, on the day you were born, 2020, oil on canvas, 36 x 30 in. galleriurbane.com
APRIL / MAY 2021
NOTED: GALLERIES K ittrell/Riffkind Art Glass Gallery
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09 22 GINGER FOX GALLERY Open by appointment, the gallery features paintings by Ginger Fox. gingerfox.myshopify.com 23 HOLLY JOHNSON GALLERY Through May 8, The Skies Window displays a selection of fifteen oil-on-paper and -canvas paintings created during the past year by Eric Cruikshank. Taking landscape as an initial starting point, Cruikshank’s paintings are not about literal presentation; instead, the focus is on the emotive qualities of place. Recent Paintings by David Aylsworth opens Apr. 3. Aylsworth has spent decades cultivating his painting practice, with exuberance, quirkiness, and imperfections embedded in his method. Through Jun. 19. Image: David Aylsworth, Sometimes Joy Has a Terrible Cost, 2016, oil on canvas, 20 x 24.5 in. Holly Johnson Gallery. hollyjohnsongallery.com 24 KIRK HOPPER FINE ART Chaos and Mayhem, featuring Charmaine Locke and James Surls, continues through Apr. 3. Next the gallery will hold a group show from gallery artists from Apr. 10–May 15. Charles Mary Kubricht is in the gallery May 21–Jul. 10. KHFA’s online magazine, Passage, serves as a forum for insights, dialogues, and connections at passagevision.com. kirkhopperfineart.com
DAVID PATCHEN “Parabola”
25 KITTRELL/RIFFKIND ART GLASS Kittrell/Riffkind offers an array of sculpture, goblets, jewelry, scent bottles, paperweights, platters, wall art, and other treasures large and small, and displays a rotating selection of outstanding work by over 300 contemporary glass artists. kittrellriffkind.com 26 LAURA RATHE FINE ART Over the Rainbow features new works by Gian Garofalo and Jane Waterous showcasing their spirited paintings. Both Garofalo and Waterous use art as a metaphor for overcoming life’s obstacles and knowing that a better future lies just over the rainbow. Apr. 3–May 8. laurarathe.com
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27 LILIANA BLOCH GALLERY Work by Vince Jones fills the gallery through Apr., followed by Alicia Eggert through May, and Austin-based artist Bogdan Perzyński, who works with sound, video, sensors and body-based interactivity, will close out May and lead into the summer. lilianablochgallery.com
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28 MARTIN LAWRENCE GALLERIES Martin Lawrence Galleries specializes in original paintings, sculpture, and limited-edition graphics. The gallery is distinguished by works of art by Erté, Marc Chagall, Keith Haring, and many other artists. martinlawrence.com 29 PHOTOGRAPHS DO NOT BEND We congratulate PDNB on their new location at 150 Manufacturing St., joining other prominent galleries at River Bend and the Dallas Art Fair. pdnbgallery.com 30 THE POWER STATION The Power Station is a nonprofit initiative dedicated to providing a platform for contemporary art projects. powerstationdallas.com 31 RO2 ART Ro2 Art’s Jeff Parrott: Arcadian Kaleidoscopic Propagation continues through May 9. Natalie Sirett’s show Kevin, Wishes & Charms and Krista Chalkley: a thin place will be on view at The Cedars location Apr. 17– May 15. ro2art.com 32 ROUGHTON GALLERIES Featuring fine 19th-and 20th-century American and European paintings. roughtongalleries.com 33 SAMUEL LYNNE GALLERIES Impossible Knots by Brandon Boyd continues through the fall. Boyd is recognized as the lead singer of the rock band Incubus, though he has been creating visual art since he was a child. This new body of work focuses on his continuous exploration of the nature of lines. samuellynne.com 34 SITE131 SITE131 proposes as its core pursuit to spotlight the concept of pairing—presenting new art from America and abroad side-by-side with new works by Texas artists. By coupling bright, mostly young talents who deal with similar issues, the gallery presents novel connections. site131.com 35 SMINK A showcase of fine design and furniture, SMINK has become a purveyor of quality products for living. The showroom also hosts exhibitions featuring Robert Szot, Gary Faye, Richard Hogan, Dara Mark, and Paula Roland. sminkinc.com 36 SMU POLLOCK GALLERY 2021 M.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition featuring Usama Khalid, Matthew Maher, and Jennifer Wester will be on view through Apr. 32
16 10. Riso Bar continues through May 21 and explores the Risograph as a tool for learning and experimentation. smu.edu/Meadows/AreasOfStudy/Art/PollockGallery 37 SOUTHWEST GALLERY Southwest Gallery is looking forward to new beginnings by celebrating Spring Blooms, highlighting Roberto Ugalde’s large, vibrant-colored paintings through the month of May. swgallery.com 38 SWEET PASS SCULPTURE PARK Sweet Pass Sculpture Park is an artist-run exhibition space located on an acre lot in West Dallas. An open studio for artist-in-residence Francisco Josué Alvarado Araujo takes place Apr. 10. sweetpasssculpturepark.com 39 TALLEY DUNN GALLERY Paintings, Arely Morales’ first exhibition with the gallery, features six monumental oil paintings, a large-scale drawing, and intimately scaled studies by the Nacogdoches-based artist. The subjects of these portraits, deftly grand and stately with pathos, are immigrants and manual laborers—among them, the artist’s friends and family. Running concurrently, Pia Fries’ picklock manual investigates the dynamic possibilities of painterly intervention. Both shows continue through May 1. Image: Arely Morales, Guadalupe, 2017, oil on canvas, 65.5 x 60 in. talleydunn.com 40 VALLEY HOUSE GALLERY David A. Dreyer: Cold Mountain Observatory will be on view through Apr. 17. Work by Allison Gildersleeve will be on view Apr. 24–Jun. 5. valleyhouse.com 41 WAAS GALLERY Curated through a lens of sustainability, W.A.A.S. empowers world-renowned artists to connect to their communities and facilitate societal change, while offering an interstellar sanctuary to communicate artistic expression and immersion. waasgallery.com 42 WEBB GALLERY New work by Powell St. John and Esther Pearl Watson will be on view through May 9. Image: Rayward Powell St. John, Alien Landscape, 1994, colored pencil on paper, 12 x 9 in. webbartgallery.com 43 WILLIAM CAMPBELL CONTEMPORARY ART Accession will run through May 15 and feature new work by venerated gallery artists such as Otis Jones and J.T. Grant, as well as new work by new gallery artists. williamcampbellcontemporaryart.com
23 AUCTIONS AND EVENTS 01 DALLAS AUCTION GALLERY DAG’s Spring 2021Auction will be held in May, though the exact date has yet to be set. dallasauctiongallery.com 02 DALLAS GALLERY DAY PRESENTED BY DALLAS ART FAIR On Saturday, Apr. 17, local galleries and the Dallas Art Fair are partnering to present Dallas Gallery Day in celebration of the spring exhibition season. Taking place between the hours of 12-8, Dallas Gallery Day is an opportunity for the community to support Dallas galleries and their respective artists and programming. Spaces will be activated by artist talks, refreshments, and more. Masks are mandated for all participants and limited capacity will be closely monitored by gallery staff. Participating galleries (as of press time) include 12.26 (Keer Tanchak and Janet Werner: Romantik), And Now (Michelle Rawlings), Barry Whistler Gallery, Conduit Gallery, Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas Art Fair Projects, Erin Cluley, ex ovo, Galerie Urbane, galerie frank elbaz, Holly Johnson Gallery, Kirk Hopper Fine Art, Liliana Bloch Gallery (Vince Jones), Ro2 Art, and a group show at CADD Space @ SieMatic. 03 HERITAGE AUCTIONS HA slated auctions for Apr/May are: Urban Art Monthly Online Auction on Apr. 7, The Art of the Disney Theme Park/ Disney Storybook Art Collection on Apr 8–10, Fine & Decorative Arts Monthly Online Auction on Apr. 8, Friday Night Jewels Online Auction on Apr. 9, Photographs Signature Auction on Apr. 12, Photographs Monthly Online Auction on Apr. 14, Jim Davis: The Art of Garfield Special Online Auction on Apr. 15, Erté Art & Design Monthly Online Auction on Apr. 16, Prints & Multiples Monthly Online Auction on Apr. 21, Prints & Multiples Signature Auction on Apr. 22, Design Signature Auction on Apr. 27, and Illustration Art Signature Auction on Apr. 30. May kicks off with Spring Fine Jewelry Signature Auction on May 3, Urban Art Monthly Online Auction on May 5, American Art Signature Auction on May 7, Photographs Monthly Online Auction on May 12, Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction on May 13, The Art of Anime Signature Auction May 14–15, Fine & Decorative Arts Monthly Online Auction on May 14, Prints & Multiples Monthly Online Auction on May 19, Silver & Vertu Signature Auction on May 20, and the Texas Art Signature Auction on May 22. ha.com
APRIL / MAY 2021
THE FEMALE FIGURE FROM A CANADIAN LENS Informed by their northerly roots and kinship, Keer Tanchak and Janet Werner show concurrently at 12.26. BY ANTHONY FALCON
Keer Tanchak, Movie Version, 2021, oil on aluminum. Photograph by Kevin Todora.
n April 17, timed with Dallas Gallery Day, 12.26 will open Romatik, a two-person exhibition featuring Canadian-born artists Keer Tanchak, who now works in Dallas, and Janet Werner of Montreal. Having found friendship and similarities in each other’s work, the two artists have continually explored and discussed the significance of being female figurative painters. Each offers her own unique perspective on female portraiture and pulls imagery from fashion magazines, pop culture, and history. “What really attracts me to both Tanchak and Werner is that the women they depict are the protagonists of their own story. They aren’t muses or sexual objects—they have control of their own narrative, and it’s refreshing to see,” gallery co-founder Hannah Fagadau remarks. “It’s very much, for lack of a better word, a ‘girl power’ show. The women are not oversexualized or victims of circumstance.” Co-founder Hilary Fagadau continues, “What I am most excited about is seeing how their continuous conversation over the last couple of years has had this amazing cross-pollination effect on their work. They’ve brilliantly weaved in and out of each other and produced an incredibly dynamic conversation.” Romantik marks the second two-person, two-woman exhibition at the gallery; the first featured Alex Olson and Nancy Shaver in Waters. When asked if the sisters see a reflection of themselves in the artists, Hannah responds, “Yes, we stand behind and totally believe in every artist that we show. I do think that it’s important that we also 34
Janet Werner, Orange Chair, 2021, oil on canvas, 31 x 24 in. image courtesy of 12.26.
work with artists that we can learn from, even if we can’t immediately identify with them or their experiences. That’s how we grow as gallerists and more importantly, as human beings.” Hilary follows, “I do think Hannah and I are inspired by that relationship between the two artists. Witnessing Tanchak and Werner work together to bring us this show over the course of almost two years shares many parallels to Hannah and my working relationship. Because my sister and I often have different viewpoints, we are always growing and expanding so we can open ourselves to other ideas.” In Romantik both Tanchak and Werner examine the idea of the male gaze, traditional female roles, and women as subjects through the lens of contemporary and historical canons. “In Werner’s paintings, she generally deconstructs her women and subverts the viewer from gazing upon her subjects in the traditional way,” Hilary says. “In contrast, Tanchak paints her subjects in a more traditional style of portraiture, but then places her figures in these unexplored worlds or voids, which gives power to the subject as they, and the artist, are the only ones who hold the key to unlocking these unknown spaces.” Hannah observes, “There is something about Werner’s women that is very confrontational. They are confident, self-assured, and unapologetic in who they are. It feels as though they are daring the viewer to impose judgement or make assumptions. Tanchak’s women, though still confident, have a bit more vulnerability or humility to them.” Romantik will be on display April 17–May 15 at 12.26 in River Bend. P
Photography by Danny Piassick
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The Body Conscious
Ethan Cook considers Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Eye and Mind essay for his spring show at Half Gallery. INTERVIEW BY ERIN GOLDBERGER
alf Gallery, an ongoing Dallas Art Fair exhibitor, will exhibit a spring solo show for New York–based abstractionist Ethan Cook. Cook’s Associated Bodies examines interconnectedness through the body. Here, Half Gallery director Erin Goldberger interviews the artist for Patron. Erin Goldberger (EG): Your upcoming exhibition at Half Gallery will be called Associated Bodies—can you expand on this title? Ethan Cook (EC): Associated Bodies is from Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Eye and Mind essay. It speaks to the relationship of not only the works in the show, but also the works to past works, all works, the world at large, and the body. Merleau-Ponty’s central thesis is that the body is the primary site of knowing the world: “Since things and my body are made of the same stuff, vision must somehow take place in them; their manifest visibility must be repeated in the body by a secret visibility. Quality, light, color, depth, which are there before us, are there only because they awaken an echo in our body and because the body welcomes them.” My work begins and ends with the body. EG: What is the thinking behind using multiple panels for each piece? Is that a recent development? EC: Each work is a logical proposition, a problem to solve. I’m
Ethan Cook, Ice, 2020, handwoven cotton and linen, acrylic on aluminum, 60 x 80 in. (framed). Courtesy of Mier Gallery.
always introducing (slowly) new restraints and barriers to overcome and “solve”. The breaks in the panels insert a straight line into the grid and provide a cadence to the work, a break from the action. In the overall-ness of the work, they provide a resting point for the viewer. EG: Albers once said “If one says ‛Red’—the name of color–and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.” Do you find that your idea of a certain color is different from others’? What are some colors or shades you are playing with now? EC: Color is highly subjective, as are memory and memories of color. I love the Proustian idea of the past being a blanket enveloping the present. A red can’t exist as an island in your consciousness; it relates to every red or feeling of red you’ve ever had. There are colors and shapes I constantly revisit, places of memory or experience that need revisiting for one reason or another, be it safety or exploration. The concept of a color can completely envelop you and make you whole. I want the works to be a place people can revisit physically or mentally, like a favorite place or memory. EG: Do you tend to have an exact layout before you begin or do sizes and shapes of the handwoven cotton and linen change as you are making the work? EC: I lay out a battery of pieces on the stretcher and switch them out over and over again until it’s “right”. I liken this process to those
Ethan Cook, Feast, 2021, handwoven cotton and linen, 60 x 135 in. (framed). Photographs by Shark Senesac, courtesy of Half Gallery.
Ethan Cook. Photograph by Shark Senesac.
Watch the DSO whenever, wherever you like... used by Matisse and Bridget Riley in choosing compositions. I walk around the laid-flat canvas and will look at it from different angles for days until I finally decide to make it final. Then the pieces are sewn, stretched, and framed. For our exhibition I’ve started with curved lines that are drawn in chalk on the handwoven canvas, cut, and sewn. They are semicircles that are then cut again, creating a multiplicity within the piece. EG: What, if anything, are you listening to when you are weaving the work? Do you find it meditative or difficult? EC: It is both meditative and tedious. I see it as a labor job, like laying bricks. It’s repetitive, but you are always building something, line by line. Here is a short list of what’s on heavy rotation at the studio right now: RuPaul, Lime, Magazine 60, Philip Glass, Moondog, Terry Riley, Drake, Three Six Mafia, DJ Screw, Haydn, Handel, Kim Petras, Talking Heads, George Jones, Alan Jackson, Bob Dylan, Kate Bush, Hootie & the Blowfish, Alice Coltrane, Sade, Gram Parsons, Metallica, Ozzy, Sun Ra, Waylon, Whitney. EG: You have started to incorporate aluminum into your pieces—how does your relationship with this material compare with the cotton and linen? EC: I want to create a space that is at once focal and multifocal. If the eye goes to a circle of painted aluminum it will immediately bounce out to the woven canvas, then back to the line created around the aluminum. It’s a way of moving the eye and the body and of inserting (straight or circular) lines into the grid. It’s a way of putting bodies together and seeing how they join and interact in terms of flatness, surface, line, and form. It’s a way of manipulating the architectonic space of the picture plane. The painted aluminum is a contrast to the expressive negative space of the woven canvas. I want to make an equally expressive negative and positive space, creating a restless equilibrium that denies fixity. EG: Since you are originally from Texas—if you had to make one work to represent the landscape of the area where you grew up, what colors/shapes would it include? EC: I’d make a fifty-foot-long landscape of greens and blues to mimic the pine trees and lakes of the area. It would be titled Nature. P
Enjoy concerts virtually with our new digital concert series, Next Stage presented by PNC Bank.
Watch at dallassymphony.org/NEXTSTAGE
APRIL / MAY 2021
Erin Cluley opens second art space featuring work by Xxavier Carter. BY NANCY COHEN ISRAEL
Gallerist Erin Cluley with Cluley Projects gallery director Nell Langford. Photograph by Larsen & Talbert.
pring is the welcome season of new growth. After our long winter of sheltering in place, the opening of a new art space brings with it a particular mix of excitement and anticipation. When Cluley Projects opens its doors in mid-April, it will represent another flowering on the West Dallas art scene. The Sylvan Avenue space dedicated to promoting regional artists will debut with an exhibition of works on paper by Xxavier Carter. “I have been thinking about how I can be more innovative and shake things up a bit,” says owner Erin Cluley. As spaces throughout West Dallas are becoming more desirable, Cluley secured the 1100square-foot gallery, big enough to show large work but small enough to allow for experimentation. “We will be showing artists without representation and giving them a place to show under our guidance and under the umbrella of Erin Cluley Gallery,” she explains, adding, “It will also be a place where my regular roster of artists can show once or twice a year.” Cluley tapped Nell Langford to be the director of the new art space. An artist herself with 20 years of experience working with luxury houses, Langford anticipates broadening her unique perspective. “I will finally be able to marry my love of art and business in one package,” she says. In addition to fostering an international clientele, Langford also looks forward to nurturing the work of artists from around the world who have made Dallas their home. Immigrants, she says, “Bring culture, flavor, resources, and stories that we haven’t heard at a granular level.” As an artist of Black and Native American heritage, Xxavier Carter exemplifies, in many ways, the mission of Cluley Projects to tell a wider array of stories. “I was relatively familiar with Xxavier’s work, particularly his cross performance,” Cluley says, citing Carter’s 2018 performance piece, Sweet Jesus. He earned attention for this work as he walked over ten miles in summer’s heat carrying a cross nearly twice his size. More recently, Carter’s work on paper, Start Livin in the New World, was featured in the Nasher Window Series. “I saw his work on paper and there was a beautiful delicacy to it,” Cluley notes. For this exhibition, Cluley says, “He will present seven new works on paper investigating the experience of abstraction as seen through themes of legacy, luxury, nature, and society. By collaging financial documents, legal paperwork, wastepaper, newspaper, and magazines, Carter carefully obscures the traces that give these documents meaning. After doing so, what is left are layers of redactions, color fields, and erasures creating a pattern of recognizable but unknowable shapes.” Carter’s work spans a variety of media. In addition to exploring what he calls “abstract utilitarianism,” he is also a transdisciplinary artist. “Transdisciplinary is more interested in movements across mediums. Interdisciplinary is more concerned about connecting points. I’m still interested in end points, but I’m also interested in paths between disciplines because they’re very specific,” he explains. As an example, he cites how the written word can be transformed into a book, a podcast, or a film. For the new venue, Carter’s works on paper are comprised of the detritus of daily life or, what Carter calls, “traces of commerce.”
Xxavier Carter stands before work he created for the Nasher Windows series last May. Courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center.
Similar to the work that he created for Nasher Windows, these offer “a picture of suburban life and the numbers and accounting that come with that,” he says. Since the work will be viewed up close, the scale will be smaller and details sharper. Carter, however, is also keenly aware of the environmental impact associated with his work. “There is so much paper. It’s like an ecological nightmare. Everything I have has an ecological tag to it. It breeds this kind of anxiety that you need to accrue in order to feel security.” A concurrent exhibition for Carter will be mounted at ex ovo projects. A microgrant from the Office of Arts and Culture will help fund the installation, which includes drawings and sculptural elements as well as two performance pieces. Cluley hopes that this will be the first of many partnerships with other art spaces. Langford and Cluley also plan to invite independent curators, particularly women and people of color, to bring their visions to the gallery. “Curators have an ear to the ground in a different way,” Cluley suggests. Leslie Moody Castro will be the first to bring her curatorial chops to Cluley Projects. Her exhibition is slated to coincide with the rescheduled Dallas Art Fair in November. Cluley Projects will serve as a physical and symbolic connection node between the gallery’s Design District space and the blossoming West Dallas scene that Langford and Cluley hopes will lure visitors across the Trinity. “We want people to come and see the other side of the city—this secret, tucked-away jewel,” Langford concludes. P
Above: Xxavier Edward Carter, The Promise (Gold Clouds), 2021, acrylic, sumi ink, tape, watercolor on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Cluley Projects. Photograph by Kevin Todora. Below: Xxavier Edward Carter, The American Exception (If There Is A Prison In It, It Is A Prison, Not A City), 2021, acrylic, sumi ink, tape, watercolor on paper. Courtesy of the artist and Cluley Projects. Photograph by Kevin Todora.
APRIL / MAY 2021
imed with Dallas Gallery Day presented by Dallas Art Fair on April 17, an exhibition takes Joni Mitchell’s lyrics as its point of departure. Featuring work from the artists of CADD member galleries, the show embraces the collective need for spring healing. Shedding a year of turmoil and upheaval brought on by the pandemic and unspeakable acts of violence, the need to nurture all humans and protect Mother Earth is interpreted through the work of the artists shown. In a concert in front of a live audience in Worcester, Maryland, on December 12, 1969, Joni Mitchell introduced her now emblematic song Woodstock: “It was really something, that people could be so good to each other. Even if it was only for three days. All those people being good to each other for three whole days. Fantastic.” Woodstock I came upon a child of God He was walking along the road And I asked him, “Where are you going?” And this he told me I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm I’m gonna join in a rock ‘n’ roll band I’m gonna camp out on the land I’m gonna try an’ get my soul free
Back to the garden Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock lyrics inform a spring show for CADD Space. BY TERRI PROVENCAL
We are stardust We are golden And we’ve got to get ourselves Back to the garden Then can I walk beside you? I have come here to lose the smog And I feel to be a cog in something turning Well, maybe it is just the time of year Or maybe it’s the time of man I don’t know who l am But you know life is for learning We are stardust We are golden And we’ve got to get ourselves Back to the garden By the time we got to Woodstock We were half a million strong And everywhere there was song and celebration And I dreamed I saw the bombers Riding shotgun in the sky And they were turning into butterflies Above our nation We are stardust Billion year old carbon We are golden Caught in the devil’s bargain And we’ve got to get ourselves Back to the garden
Clockwise from top left: Simon Waranch, Green Murrine Cylinder, 2021, glass, 18.5 x 5.5. x 5.5 in. Courtesy of the artist and Craighead Green Gallery; Dornith Doherty, Crosswind, 2019, archival pigment photograph, edition of 3, 60 x 32 in. Courtesy of the artist and Holly Johnson Gallery; Jeanine Michna-Bales, Amber Waves of Grain, Montana, 2019, photograph from the series: Standing Together: Inez Milholland’s Final Campaign for Women’s Suffrage, 66 x 44 in. Courtesy of the artist and PDNB Gallery
© October 22, 1969; Siquomb Publishing Corp
Opens April 18
Virtual Artist Talk: An-My Lê SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 1 P.M. Join the artist to learn more about her work and the exhibition; visit our website for details.
CARTERMUSEUM.ORG/ LE From top: Anna Membrino, Shade, 2019, acrylic and oil on canvas, 72 x 54 in. Courtesy of the artist and Erin Cluley Gallery; Anthony Sonnenberg, Dionysus (Self-Portrait Pillow), 2015, found fabric, semiprecious stones, crystal beads, fringe, and batting, 70 x 36 x 3 in. Courtesy of the artist and Conduit Gallery; Anna Elise Johnson, Earthworks (Sand Cove I), 2020, earth, plaster, matte medium, pastel, oil pastel, 60 x 46 in. Courtesy of the artist and Cris Worley Fine Art.; Denise Brown, Una Vita Ancora Sola (A Life Still Alone), 2020, carved wood and carved, painted tarpaper 40.5 x 32 x 2.5 in. Courtesy of the artist and Craighead Green Gallery.
An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain is organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art. Major support for this exhibition is provided by Lannan Foundation and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation. The Carter’s presentation is generously supported by Lannan Foundation. An-My Lê (b. 1960), Colonel Greenwood (detail), 2003–2004, gelatin silver print, Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago, Gift of Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM; 2011:88, © An-My Lê. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, and London
APRIL / MAY 2021
Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck installation view. Courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art.
A VANITY AFFAIR Detroit-based Booker T. grad Chris Schanck returns to Dallas to create a contemporary foil inspired by the Martelé dressing set at the DMA. BY TERRI PROVENCAL
hris Schanck wants “to make things people can interact with and use.” Born in Pittsburg, raised in Dallas, and a 1994 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, the Detroit-based designer has ingeniously succeeded, developing his unmistakable “Alufoil” technique. For his first museum solo exhibition, Sarah Schleuning, Dallas Museum of Art’s Interim Chief Curator and The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, commissioned Schanck to interpret the extraordinary Martelé Gilded Age dressing set produced by the Gorham Manufacturing Company within its silversmithing holdings first shown in the 1900s at the Paris World’s Fair. Schanck’s interpretation, though every bit as silver, trussed with aluminum foil and resin, is constructed from detritus and found objects unearthed near his Detroit studio neighborhood, making Curbed Vanity a regal urban jewel. The two works are presented opposite one another in DMA’s Focus Gallery in a historic conversation. Schanck’s father worked in an aluminum factory in Dallas, where a young, curious designer-in-the-making observed him. Aptly, below the Christmas tree, presents were wrapped in aluminum foil by his clever, resourceful mother. From these roots and education, Schanck says of his “Alufoil” technique, “I developed it at the tail end of 42
William C. Codman (designer), Joseph Edward Straker (silversmith), Robert Bain (chaser), Carl Lindall (chaser), Christopher Clissold (chaser), Joseph S. Aspin (chaser), Gorham Manufacturing Company, Martelé dressing table and stool, 1899, silver, glass, fabric, and ivory, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Dr. Charles L. Venable. Courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art.
CONTEMPORARIES leaving Cranbrook [Academy of Art], and my graduate piece was the first.” But the road was long and winding before getting there: a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York; a three-month stint at Central Saint Martins in London; and an MFA in 3-D design from Cranbrook in Detroit, from which Soundsuits artist Nick Cave graduated. It is, perhaps, his time at Saint Martins, where he realized he wanted to be a maker versus other fine art disciplines, that shaped his career. “I unofficially moved departments into industrial design and got found out. You couldn’t ‘make’ in their fine arts department, so I snuck in. The British invented bureaucracy, and you can’t just go and do anything. I was told I had to officially transfer to that department, so I dropped out and worked for a wonderful artproduction company that made world-class works. We were making Rachel Whiteread’s work—which turned into a wonderful education in a massive warehouse in East London.” The company also worked with Damian Hirst. “I was building Damian Hirst tanks, and I had kind of an epiphany. Someone had to climb inside the tank and mount the glass in place with a padded two-by-four as the epoxy set up, the silicones. I was literally just a human wedge inside this tank while the adhesive set up.” Describing the experience as both “ridiculous” and “exhilarating,” he says, “I was temporarily the subject of one of his works, I felt like. And I realized I had to go back to school. I needed to apply all of this and go make stuff that people can interact with.” In a very general, abstract way, he says, design represented that opportunity. Moving back to the US, he applied to Cranbrook. “Cranbrook worked out because they are very friendly to people who don’t have design experience. They wanted students who could make, so I expressed a desire, prepared a portfolio, and got into the 3D Design department.” With one professor (an artist-in-residence) per department, he says he learned from his peer group. “I was the only one with a fine arts background, so I was peculiar to them. And they were all peculiar to me. There were fine woodworkers and material specialists from Nike, product designers. They spoke a different language, and I had no idea what they were talking about.” They were a good group, he says, “competitive in the best sense,” and eager to help. “So I said to myself, I can find a place here. I can fit in here. I was immersed in trying to catch up to their world and their way of talking; it was like starting my education all over again.” Free rent for sweat equity. The new Cranbrook MFA 3-D-design graduate had a friend who owned a house in Detroit with a 600-squarefoot corner store attached to it. It was there Schanck worked off his rent in exchange for restoring the house and the little neighborhoodstore-turned-studio. “It was completely run-down,” but he had his first studio. Eventually his friend took a job in New York, leaving the home and studio in the designer’s care. They worked out an arrangement for Schanck to buy it outright, and he sent what little he could for five years. “Funny enough, I was teaching and trying to start the studio at the time. My work was slowly selling better and better, and my friend said he would take a dining chair in exchange for the mortgage, and we’d be done. So I had a house and a studio through the generosity of a supportive friend. I’ve been really good at picking people to surround myself with.” Ultimately, he added 15 studio assistants, working out of his house and studio over five years. “This show is kind of like the 10year anniversary of the studio starting.” He employs people from his Detroit neighborhood. “I was new to Detroit. It seemed like a good place to make a go of it. My studio was in a neighborhood not in a commercial area. In the summer I would work from my corner studio with the door open, so there was always lots of foot traffic. My neighbors would pop in and ask What are you doing here? And in my studio there would be some sort of giant silver thing I was working on.”
Happenstance sometimes presents the best opportunities. “Eventually I needed help. The process is so labor-intensive and time-consuming. It’s not a one-person job. So I started asking my neighbors.” In his neighbors’ living rooms, conversations ensued over tea. “They were looking for work, and the options were limited— mostly factory work at night.” Living in a predominantly Bangladesh neighborhood, he created jobs within the community. He says it was a “very natural organic process. I said, ‘This is what I can pay you. Can you help me?’ ” The women who help him now run the finishing part of his studio. “They come to me already highly skilled from Bangladesh, having worked in textile factories.” Today he has a larger studio down the street, as well—a 5,000-square-foot building. It is from here he prepared his seminal work for the DMA show Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck, working with his neighbors. “They are so kind,” he says. “It’s like hiring your aunts to work with you.” P Chris Schanck. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
Chris Schanck, Curbed Vanity, mixed media, aluminum foil, and resin. Photograph by Clare Gatto.
APRIL / MAY 2021
PRESENCE AND ABSENCE The MAS: Meadows/ARCO Artist Spotlight introduces Ignasi Aballí’s reflections on opposites. BY NANCY COHEN ISRAEL
Ignasi Aballí will be the first Meadows: MAS/ARCO visiting artist in 2022. Photograph by Luis Asín; Ignasi Aballí, (Spanish, b. 1958) Palabras Vacías (Empty Words), 2020, 27 galvanized iron sheets, 11.87 x 39.36 in. Photograph by Luis Asín.
gnasi Aballí is a Barcelona-based conceptual artist whose work has been shown from Beijing to Bogotá as well as across Europe and throughout the Middle East. Featured in galleries and museums such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Fundació Joan Miró, his practice includes painting, photography, and installation. Next year, Aballí will represent Spain in the 59th Venice Biennale—his second Biennale appearance. His exhibition history in this country, however, is slimmer. Most recently, Aballí’s work was seen over a decade ago in a 2009 group exhibition at the Krannert Art Museum, and his last one-person exhibition in this country was at Boston’s Howard Yezerski Gallery in 1989. For this reason and many more, Aballí is the perfect candidate for the inaugural MAS: Meadows/ ARCO Artist Spotlight. MAS, established in 2019, is part of a six-year partnership between the Meadows Museum and Fundácion ARCO, which oversees the prestigious ARCOmadrid contemporary art fair. The initiative is designed to biennially present the work of a contemporary Spanish artist with limited recognition in the United States at the Meadows Museum. For the spring 2022 exhibition, Aballí will present Palabras Vacías (Empty Words), first seen in Madrid in 2020. It features 27 galvanized iron plates, each of which has a word, in English, cut out from the 12 x 40-inch panel. Palabras Vacías (Empty Words) is a double entendre. On the one hand, Aballí selects words that share a common denominator in their inability to be visually depicted. It is impossible, for example, to create an image from the words on these panels such as voided, secret, immaterial, discarded, and unthinkable. Additionally, absence is punctuated by the negative space created by the cutout. The void left between plate and wall further animates the notion of emptiness. “To talk about things by their trace and not by their direct presence, in my opinion, is more interesting than showing them explicitly. I think it’s good to leave a space for the imagination of the spectators, who must complete the work. The less there is to see, the more we want to see,” Aballí explains. The idea of time and its passage are other critical elements to his practice. “It is a topic that, in a more or less evident way, is always present in my work,” Aballí says. These themes have taken on new meaning during this time of crisis. “The pandemic has generated a new, slower perception of time. It seems that we have temporarily stopped the speed and the feeling of constant acceleration that we lived with before,” he says. While each piece creates tension between presence and absence, its single line installation creates an elegant horizontal continuum, bisecting supporting white walls into planes above and below the panels. The negative space between panels also pulses with energy. Aballí looks forward to coming to Dallas next spring, stating, “I’m sure the exposure at the Meadows will be a very exciting experience. And I hope my work is also interesting for the Dallas public.” P
KEITH MAYERSON’S AMERICAN DREAM The LA-based artist tells of his upcoming show with Karma, teaching, and Frank Johnson. BY CHRIS BYRNE
Keith Mayerson at Elaine de Kooning House. Photograph by Katherine McMahon.
eith Mayerson has exhibited his paintings and drawings in prominent galleries and museums across the U.S. and abroad. For the past decade, he has been creating a nonlinear narrative of works entitled My American Dream. Mayerson is the co-editor of the forthcoming publication for Fantagraphics, tentatively titled Frank Johnson: Pioneer of American Comics. He is also currently working on a graphic novel about the life of James Dean with same publisher. Chris Byrne (CB): You recently established a new Visual Narrative Art minor at the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design... Keith Mayerson (KM): Yes, I’m now a tenured full professor and chair of Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Before coming here in 2016, I lived in New York City as a professional exhibiting artist teaching fine art at all the top schools (Columbia, Yale, NYU, Brown, and others) while also teaching comics and illustration as the lead comics instructor and “cartooning coordinator” at the
Keith Mayerson, My Prometheus: E de K and her JFK’s, 2019, oil on linen, 82 x 56 in. Photograph by Tom Powel.
School of Visual Arts, which began and is historically known as the best comics school in the country—perhaps the world. I came from Colorado and growing up, my access to art was through comics. I was always the “comics kid” on campus, from kindergarten through my undergraduate days at Brown University, where I wrote and drew the daily comic and did much of the graphic work on campus while also creating paintings and drawings as a studio art and semiotics major. It wasn’t until my first jobs in NYC in the early ’90s, working at great galleries and art magazines, that I realized you can “do this”, be an exhibiting artist, for a living. I went to grad school at the University of California, Irvine, where I realized I could make nonlinear narrative installations of paintings and drawings, making the best of all worlds while keeping true to comics. I also created, along with the writer Dennis Cooper, one of the first graphic novels, Horror Hospital Unplugged, which became, as we had hoped, a “cult classic”, which begat my teaching at SVA. Upon coming to USC, I taught comics and fine art for the first time under the same roof and realized that, with the Lucas Museum
CONTEMPORARIES of Narrative Art opening across the street from USC, teaching many of the students from the world-class Cinema Studies program in animation, gaming, and more, I could help create a narrative art program at USC Roski. There are no other comics-related programs associated with a research university anywhere in the USA. Hopefully I can help the world by helping to create a program that teaches future generations the kind of narrative work that the Lucas Museum will be celebrating. CB: During the past year we’ve been editing Frank Johnson’s comics for Fantagraphics’ forthcoming publication. How would you describe his work? KM: Frank Johnson is the epitome of a true artist who works in narrative form. Even though he wasn’t classically trained in fine art or comics, he creates, like artists since the late 1880s with Cezanne and the Modernists, art for his own pleasure from his own muse and vision. Predating independent comics by at least 50 years, Johnson is both the writer and artist for all his work, not looking at comics history or standards of his time, creating his own singular vision of a cosmological world with integrity. His work holds up aesthetically as much as any contemporary cartoonist who knows the formal skills of art history, and for his content, creating allegories that are impactful both to his own culture and today. CB: Your introductory essay is entitled “Pioneer of American Comics”... KM: What is most exciting is that I realized he very well may be the first comic creator in American comics history. If comics are longform strips of 22 pages or longer, his works predate the first printed comic of original material by years; and as long-form, serial, caper, narrative comics with a cavalcade of comic characters, he was a visionary for what comics would become for the 20th century, and the kinds of comics people of all ages still enjoy. CB: Can you tell us about the paintings from your residency at the Elaine de Kooning House? KM: When I was invited to the residency at the Elaine de Kooning House, I realized that Elaine was an important figure of the abstract expressionist movement and helped to define the artists and works of the movement. Like many of the women artists of her generation, she got less attention in that more sexist time, but she was one of the leaders for the group of amazing artists that helped to come up with a new art form for America. Although Elaine created amazing abstractions, she was a figurative painter primarily. She helped to influence her husband’s figurative work, and her portraits of JFK are still some of the best presidential portraits of all time and stand out at the National Gallery. She and the ab ex artists easily became a “chapter” for My American Dream, and also inspired a series of abstract paintings that I’ve done alongside my figurative works, and that come from a similar ideology of making the unconscious visible, that act as like “instrumentals” to my more lyrical storytelling works. CB: Do you have an exhibition planned with Karma in New York? KM: I’m pleased and proud to be now creating my My American Dream: This Land is Your Land exhibition planned for November at my new gallery, Karma. Following the trajectory I set out for myself, this show will primarily focus on important Civil Rights leaders that helped to beget the most important movements of our time, along with progressive cultural producers like Woody Guthrie, whose canonical song inspired the title of the show. Along with these figures, I will have landscapes that depict the beauty of America “from California to the New York Island” to show how “this land is made for you and me.” While staying true to narrative storytelling of all kinds, art history, and comics, I hope that this show will be a great celebration for the beauty and freedom we should all enjoy in an America that I find still beautiful, powerful, and a beacon of hope for the world. P
Above: Frank Johnson’s Wally’s Gang: Book 111 (n.d.) Photograph by Scott Newton. Below: Frank Johnson’s Wally’s Gang: Book 121, Page 39, 1953, Photograph by Daniel Huffman.
APRIL / MAY 2021
TACA Silver Cup Award recipient Sam Self enjoyed a 34-year career at Texas Instruments.
Spring Into Action TWO HARDWORKING ARTS PATRONS, SAM SELF AND DONNA WILHELM, RECEIVE THIS YEAR’S SILVER CUP FROM TACA. BY LEE CULLUM 48
any say the TACA Silver Cup Awards Luncheon last March was the final arts event they attended in 2020, before the world went on lockdown. But while Dallas patrons sheltered at home, TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) got busy urging the housebound to support the institutions that enrich the lives of so many, regardless of programming. We have learned over the past year what life is like without the arts, and this year’s May luncheon will at last see arts lovers and leaders gather in celebration of two committed individuals. About this year’s Silver Cup honorees, TACA’s Donna Wilhelm Family President and Executive Director Terry D. Loftis effused, “Donna Wilhelm and Sam Self represent the very best in arts and cultural advocacy in Dallas. Their ongoing support of our local arts organizations has continually elevated Dallas as a national contender in the arts scene, benefiting countless residents, families, and businesses over the years. We are most appreciative of their commitment to the arts in our community and are thrilled to honor them this May at the 2021 TACA Silver Cup Awards.” On moving to a new venue in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, Loftis says, “We are excited to present the TACA Silver Cup Awards at Annette Strauss Square, our first time to stage the annual event in a beautiful outdoor setting. As an additional first, we plan to make the event available by livestream and welcome a new, broader audience to join us in celebrating and supporting the arts safely.” If you want to understand Sam Self, look no further than Texas Instruments. That’s where he learned everything he knows about technology on the numbers side of every operation, examining analytics and reporting results, rising to chief accounting officer and corporate controller. He grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina, went to The Citadel and the Wharton School of business, and landed at TI just as transistors were coming along. Jack Kilby had invented the integrated circuit (the Nobel Prize in physics would come to him 42 years later—too late, one might say, to turn his head), and a whole new world was happening. “I rode the wave the rest of the way,” Sam tells me. Never isolated with his calculator (if handheld, it was co-invented by Kilby), this inquisitive accountant was involved in all aspects of the company, working in the defense area, mainly on radar; geophysical services (which means seismic exploration for oil); and semiconductors. In that area he reported to Rich, the current CEO. Sam recalls that he and his colleagues talked a lot about “how to get more electronics into automobiles.” So he rode a wave that carried TI far into the future, and when the moment arrived for him to run the TI Foundation, he had imbibed the elegant ethos of an elegant corporation. Founded by Eugene McDermott, Cecil Green, and Erik Jonsson (later mayor of Dallas) in 1951, it set the highest of standards across the board in its products, its operations, its connections to the community. “We must be leaders,” I heard Carl “Tommy” Thomsen, an early recruit to the company, say, and he wasn’t kidding. Nor was he talking about some superficial notion of “leadership” taught at business schools, drawing on the case-study method. He, like the founders, expected
TI people to think things through, think hard, and come up with workable, moral, creative ways to do what must be done. Then have the nerve to do it—and if other people don’t understand what you’re up to, try to bring them along. As Sam points out, “If you’re a leader, you can’t say we tried everything but it won’t work and stick with the status quo. You just turn that crank” and keep on going. Some speak of corporate culture as if it could be appliquéd onto a company with the help of the latest consultants. Not so. When culture is serious it also is organic and grows from the top and the bottom simultaneously. So Sam Self took over a foundation built on a base of enlightenment, never satisfied with the second-rate or the good-enough. He stepped into a tradition leading straight from the founders to Margaret McDermott and Mary McDermott Cook, who runs her family’s foundation today. Of course, Sam Self sits on that board. Sam Self learned philanthropy on the job, at TI. He and his board aimed their interests in carefully considered directions. Where his co-honoree Donna Wilhelm emphasizes mental health, equal opportunity for underserved youths and women, plus cross-cultural awareness and collaboration, both put great importance on the arts and education. For TI it was 50 percent to education and 25 percent each to arts and community needs, including United Way and the North Texas Food Bank. Sam never just sent a check, however. He wanted to “understand in depth their programs…We would go and visit with them,” he says, “finding out their needs and how TI could help from a grant standpoint…We visited them again and again later.” Teach for America was one of Sam’s enthusiasms. So was Urban Teachers DFW. He worked with Peter O’Donnell to lure more students into advanced placement classes at DISD schools. They offered $100 to all students who passed an AP course, and also to their teachers. The TI Foundation built the Engineering and Innovation Hall at the Perot Museum. And of course there was the University of Texas at Dallas, whose lineage goes right back to McDermott, Jonsson, and Green. Making no small plans, ever, they needed engineers and started a school to train them. It grew into much more, embracing arts and humanities as well as science. It is the arts that finally mean the most to Sam Self. He and his board funded many major cultural enterprises—probably all of them—but his home base has been the Dallas Symphony. Not only is he a lifetime trustee, now on the building committee, and former chairman of the Dallas Symphony Foundation, but he also ran the orchestra on an interim basis between presidents. Now, like everyone else, he has nothing but praise for Kim Noltemy, current CEO, and the way she has kept music alive on the stage of the Meyerson, testing musicians every day they play, distancing the audience in the hall, and staggering arrivals to avoid congestion. As for music director Fabio Luisi, Sam admires his work not only on the podium, where the maestro is much acclaimed, but also on the golf course. They have played together a couple of times and “he’s as fastidious” in his golf game, Sam reports, as he is with the orchestra. Chances are the same thing could be said of Sam Self.
APRIL / MAY 2021
Author of A50 Life of My Own, A Memoir, and TACA Silver Cup Award recipient Donna Wilhelm. PATRONMAGAZINE.COM
“ Donna Wilhelm and Sam Self represent the very best in arts and cultural advocacy in Dallas. Their ongoing support of our local arts organizations has continually elevated Dallas as a national contender in the arts scene, benefiting countless residents, families, and businesses over the years. We are most appreciative of their commitment to the arts in our community and are thrilled to honor them this May at the 2021 TACA Silver Cup Awards.” –Terry D. Loftis, TACA’s Donna Wilhelm Family President and Executive Director
If it’s new work, it must be Donna Wilhelm. Fearless, farsighted, and fated for an original life, she has taken raw experience, far removed from the expected circuit, and transposed it into a mainstream setting. Then slowly, and sometimes suddenly, as her confidence accelerated, so did she, revealing who she really is—a complicated woman with a hold on unifying principles. She has found, finally, a way to simplify herself. It could easily have been otherwise. Growing up in Hartford, Connecticut, in a boarding house run by an overbearing, abusive mother and a quiet father who worked at Pratt & Whitney, neither interfering nor interfered with, but harboring secret resentments. Her mother had reason to be belligerent. Having fled a privileged life in Poland, sent away by her family as a decoy to absorb the menace of the Bolsheviks, she arrived in America at 19, married a man she met in a photography shop, and used whatever means her parents supplied her—probably jewelry—to establish and ensure her own survival. Donna dodged repeated slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in Hartford and, as a teenager, moved to Arizona to live with a much older sister. When that sister proved to be as impossible as their mother, a generous friend offered Donna refuge, and the visitation of angels began. A still-unknown benefactor arranged for her to go to Arizona State University. But her parents moved to Phoenix and her mother began showing up on campus. So Donna took night courses at ASU and worked as a secretary at General Electric, plotting her escape. Once she had saved enough to get to New York, off she went. This was the most decisive thus far of the subtle rebellions that would shape her future as well as her character. Like her mother, Donna knew how to establish and ensure her own survival. She too was 19 when she left home for good. Life opened up for Donna in New York. She got a job at Booz Allen, took classes at CUNY’s Hunter College, flew for Pan Am as a flight attendant, then met and married Bob Wilhelm, a rising star at what would become Exxon. They took off for Colombia where he managed economics and planning at the age of 26. Before they left, however, Donna took Bob to Phoenix to meet her parents. Never to be outdone, her mother produced some drama of her own. Without warning she announced that she was not Donna’s birth mother. Instead, Donna had been carried to term by a young Irish woman who had turned up at the boarding house, pregnant, deserted by her boyfriend, and desperate. Donna’s mother delivered the baby girl, with help from her older daughter, and kept her at the request of the unlucky boarder, who left, never to return. The thing is, she turned out to be Czech, not Irish. This Donna learned when she tracked down her birth mother in Pittsburgh, hours before she died. All this is in Donna’s memoir, A Life of My Own. The title echoes A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, who wrote that a woman, to hold independent opinions, must have a little money and a room of her own. But those lay well down the road for Donna, along with
a lot of distress on the way. After family moves from Colombia, Baltimore, London, Miami, and New Jersey to Dallas, she left her marriage, long since over, to find that life of her own. Donna Wilhelm does nothing without elaborate and thorough preparation. Before writing her book she went to classes and groups and retained a couple of coaches. The result is characters vividly drawn, clarity in the story line, and uses of simile both clever and apt. Before funding causes attuned to her convictions (she had more than enough to finance a room of her own) she joined The Philanthropy Workshop started by the Rockefeller Foundation and learned how to do that well. “I train myself,” she says, adding later that hers has been “a lifetime of apprenticeship.” One of her first efforts was the Pluralism Fund, designed for women and girls in Iran and Pakistan. She also supported a teacher working in India with children living hard lives, introducing them via Skype to high schoolers in Dallas so the two groups could learn from each other. Art & Seek followed at KERA, along with the fund at TACA for new work which she “wanted to promote…especially for small- and medium-size organizations.” She seeks to “push boundaries and learn from all this adversity [wrought by COVID]. New work is a gem that comes out of toughness.” That is no distant observation. Then there’s the jewelry she designs and collects. This is no frivolous or incidental matter either, since it was hidden jewelry that saw her mother safely from Poland to a new life in the New World. While living with Bob in New Jersey, Donna studied studio art at Hunter (where she is being named to the Hall of Fame) and jewelry at Parsons School of Design. She has made some marvelous pieces herself and bought others at galleries in Santa Fe or wherever she is traveling. “I don’t like precious stones,” she explains. She’d rather have pieces made of rubber and alternative materials, asymmetrical, “not too complicated or fancy, [but] different, versatile, not too heavy.” She loves necklaces and rings and has been wearing them at home during the pandemic to lift her spirits. Clearly she understands the meaning of style. Style mocks fate. Style keeps fate at bay. Like Kay Cattarulla, founder of Arts & Letters Live, who also came to Dallas with an Exxon husband, Donna Wilhelm has brought to the city a driven imagination that cannot not create. Maybe it was living all over the world, sometimes in demanding and difficult circumstances. Maybe it was the diplomatic effort the company required of her to represent with astute and appropriate flair an energy empire more powerful than many governments. Maybe, for Donna, it was a different kind of development, against the grain. Something brought forth in her profound powers of regeneration that have made her what Gail Sheehy called a triumphant personality. The Dallas Arts District continues to observe CDC guidelines. Loftis says of this year’s luncheon, “We are remaining mindful of health protocols and are planning a socially distanced luncheon that delights and entertains, properly honors the incredible contributions of our honorees, and showcases the best in local talent.” P
APRIL / MAY 2021
Rona Pondick, American, born 1952, Head in Tree, 2006–2008, stainless steel, 105 x 42 x 37 in. Nasher Sculpture Center. Gift of Antonio Homem. Photograph by Kevin Todora.
HEAD FOR THE TREES Rona Pondick’s tree/human sculpture combines ancient wisdom with the supernatural in Nasher Mixtape. INTERVIEW BY CATHERINE CRAFT
Rona Pondick. Courtesy of the artist and Nasher Sculpture Center.
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ather than presenting variations on a single overarching theme, Nasher Mixtape, on view at the Nasher Sculpture Center through September 26, offers a compilation of “tracks”— micro-exhibitions focused on the Nasher’s permanent collection installed throughout the museum. In the entrance, Into the Garden invites visitors into the Nasher’s sculpture garden with works inspired by nature, including Rona Pondick’s stainless steel sculpture Head in Tree (2006–2008). Rona Pondick recently discussed her works with Nasher Sculpture Center Curator Catherine Craft. Catherine Craft (CC): Since the late 1990s you’ve been making sculptures that incorporate elements cast from parts of your own body, such as your head,
as in the Nasher’s sculpture, or your hands. Often you combine these fragments with animals or plants. I’m struck by the range of effects such fusions can create, ranging from confrontational and disturbing to dreamlike and lyrical, and often some combination of all of these. How did you begin incorporating casts of your body into your work? Rona Pondick (RP): In the early ‛90s I was using rubber Halloween teeth. Since they were not popular they were discontinued. Pragmatically, I decided to make molds of my own teeth, and began to embed them into handmade ball-like shapes of varying sizes. I modeled these forms—which I referred to as heads—in plastics that were bubble gum pink, red, yellow, or made with brown earth, wax, and plastics, and piled them into mounds or scattered them on the
Mixtape: Into the Garden, installation view. Left to right: Raoul Hague, American, born Turkey, 1904–1993, Untitled, 1972, wood 66 x 54 x 41 in. Nasher Sculpture Center. Gift of The Raoul Hague Foundation; Rona Pondick, American, born 1952, Head in Tree, 2006–2008, stainless, steel, 105 x 42 x 37 in. Nasher Sculpture Center. Gift of Antonio Homem. Photograph by Kevin Todora.
floor. In 1998 I made a mold from my own head and combined it with a stylized dog’s body that I hand modeled. I had an epiphany: these hybrid animal/human forms go back to Neolithic times and appear through every period in history. At the same time, I began incorporating my hands, arms, and legs in these hybrid forms. Dog was my first animal/human sculpture, and Pussy Willow Tree was my first tree/human sculpture (with hundreds of bud-like heads). Head in Tree was the first tree/human piece where my head was life-size. While I have used the same casting of my head for over two decades, I have altered it endlessly by remodeling sections, removing my ears, hair, and neck, warping its shape radically, and dramatically
changing its scale, to change how viewers physically and emotionally perceive it. I want viewers to feel my work viscerally, in their own bodies. Like Kafka, who laughed whenever he read The Metamorphosis out loud, I want to combine absurd humor with the darkness in life. I love it when I see viewers respond to a sculpture by laughing, and seconds later others are horrified. CC: When I look at Head in Tree it brings to mind many stories and beings from the long tradition of human-animal and human-plant interactions in ancient mythologies, such as the sphinx, or the tale of Daphne, who was transformed into a laurel tree to escape Apollo’s pursuit. At the same time, Head in Tree seems very much in conversation with modern sculpture, such as Brancusi’s Sleeping Muse. How important is an engagement with art of the past to your work? RP: My biological family was so damaged and painful that I replaced it with an adopted art historical family. My art roots go way back and move in a lot of different directions, from Egyptian, Etruscan, Cycladic, Medieval, Gothic, and pre-Columbian, to African art. I look closely at Donatello, Bellini, and Bosch, and at Messerschmidt, who is an idiosyncratic artist in a class of his own. Then there are Brancusi and Giacometti… All are tremendous loves of mine. It is interesting that you bring up Daphne; Bernini’s sculpture Apollo and Daphne was a big influence on Head in Tree, in its metaphors and materiality. Both Saint Teresa and Apollo and Daphne are made in stone, but they look as though they are quivering, moving, and metamorphosing right in front of you—an amazing transformation of inert material. I remember the first time I saw Apollo and Daphne, someone turned to me saying, “Holy shit, what the f… is that?” and I thought that isn’t a bad reaction to a work of art; I would love a response like that! Bernini’s sculptures inspired both Head in Tree and Monkeys, two seminal pieces of mine that will be shown together for the first time, in London in 2022 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. CC: This sculpture is in stainless steel, yet you work in a wide variety of other materials. What is appealing to you about stainless steel as a material? RP: I am a materialaholic. There isn’t a material I haven’t used at some point to make a sculpture: cloth, lace, newspaper, comics, wax, clay, wood, stone, bronze, sheet lead, poured lead, shoes, baby bottles, chattering teeth… Stainless steel looks fluid—it feels like it is constantly in motion. In my animal/human hybrid pieces, I merge mirror-finished animal bodies with my skin-textured body parts. In my tree/human pieces, the matte and rough surfaces of the bark make a contrast with my smooth, shiny head. Playing on the concept of narcissism, the mirrored surfaces draw viewers into looking at themselves. I like the way these contrasting, contradictory surfaces come together and make metaphoric meanings. I have moved recently to working with acrylics and resins, introducing brilliant colors, playing light and translucency against opacity, and I am excited to find new visual and emotional contrasts. CC: At the Nasher we’ve installed Head in Tree near the entry to our sculpture garden. Is it important to you to have contact with nature as you make art? What role, if any, does nature play in your artistic practice? RP: When I was commissioned to make my first outdoor sculpture, I felt intimidated by nature—I never saw a sculpture compete with nature and win. I thought, “If you can’t beat them, why not join them?” I decided to engage nature directly and make it part of my subject. I love seeing my tree sculptures engage materially with daily light and seasonal changes, and as nature changes the context around them, that feels like magic. P
APRIL / MAY 2021
Nino Mier seated in a Togo chair next to a Knoll table complemented by enSoie vases. A Jansson Stegner portrait of a woman hangs to the left, adjacent to a large-scale painting by Madrid native Secundino Hernández. Sconces by the late French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand add to the ambience. On right: A painting by Jake Longstreth hangs below Serge Mouille chandelier.
NINO MIER MAKES HIS MOVES NEWLY MARRIED, A NEW HOUSE, AND A NEW GALLERY IN BRUSSELS, THIS DALLAS ART FAIR EXHIBITOR IS ANYTHING BUT IDLE, AND WE LOVE IT. INTERVIEW BY CLAIRE GOGEL PHOTOGRAPHY BY SERGIO GARCIA
ino Mier has a presence, and when Dallas art season is in full swing you will spot him here—Dallas Art Fair and TWO x TWO, he’s committed to both. Area collectors benefit from his knowledge; he’s eager to inform and zealous about the artists within his roster. Dedicated to the artists of his native Rhineland, he opened his eponymous Los Angeles gallery just six years ago. And the pandemic has not slowed him down. Today he still dedicates his art spaces—LA, a new Brussels gallery, and a residency in Cologne—to artists of the picturesque region, augmented by US painters and sculptors. His appetite for art is evident within the new Los Feliz home he shares with his wife Caroline Luce, a partner of Gladstone Gallery. CG: You have participated in the Dallas Art Fair several times now. We appreciate your commitment to the fair and Dallas. We so look forward to seeing you back here. Do you have any thoughts on which artists you will exhibit this year? NM: Due to the recent pandemic my initial plan was to do a group presentation of gallery artists, but we had to divert those works into viewing rooms and other group exhibitions due to the delay because of the pandemic. My plan for November is introducing some of the new positions of the gallery, especially young artists such as Marin Majic, Nel Aerts, Andrew Dadson and Jorge Galindo, as well as Nevin Aladag and Cindy Phenix.
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Opposite: An aubergine sectional by Mario Bellini anchors the room with a painting by Carroll Dunham and Albert Oehlen above the fireplace. A Jangada chair by Jean Gillon adds interest to the room. Above: A Nicola Tyson painting and Jon Pylypchuk sculpture are on opposite sides of the sectional, an Arthur Umanoff bar cart roosts next to the bookcase, and an Atelier MVM lamp is mounted in the corner. Below: Beyond the Jon Pylypchuk sculpture in the dining room, from left, is a Julian Schnabel plate painting and Nathan Lerner dining chairs.
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A William N. Copley painting from the artist’s X-Rated series.
CG: We look forward to seeing their work. What advice would you give new collectors regarding best practices? NM: I work a lot with young or new collectors, and I guess my best advice is to take one’s time. There is so much information out there when you are new to the art world, and I think establishing what one truly responds to and then looking, learning, and more looking is the strategy I would recommend. It can be overwhelming to pull the trigger, and I always recommend honing in on a few galleries one feels comfortable with and taking it slow. CG: Please tell us about your own collection. When did you begin collecting? What, who, and why? NM: I began to collect in 2008 when I was 26—the weirdest year to do so as it was in the financial meltdown and I barely had any money. But I had an itch for it, and so I started, head in first. I always just went with my gut, from day one. I began with photography, as it was the least intimidating to me, but soon bought my first painting, which at the time was a small fortune for me and had to be paid in rates. That artist was André Butzer. I have continued to follow my gut ever since and collect both from my program and what I feel is important and relevant and truly speaks to me. CG: Is there a particular work that was a pivotal, defining acquisition for your personal collection? NM: I remember I loved Gunther Förg’s work and asked a lot of gallerists and fellow collectors what they thought. Everyone, and I mean everyone, rolled their eyes and said that his career never went anywhere, and it was not going to either; I pulled the trigger
regardless, and since the artist’s passing and market surge, the very people who told me not to now applaud the painting. It goes to show that you should always follow your instincts and listen to yourself. CG: If you reflect on your years of your collecting, is there a work you wish you had purchased that got away? NM: Yes, many times a day, LOL. I passed on a Maria Lassnig painting because it meant a zero balance on my art-buying budget, and I regret it every day. It is a painting where the artist, most often portraying herself, was at an older age, and her body was suspended by two crutches. I think it is one of the most wonderful works, and I stare at it often on my phone. CG: What artists are you most excited about today? Which artists should Patron readers be watching/buying now? Who is on your wish list? NM: I know this sounds self-congratulatory, but I really do believe in everything I show. Otherwise I would not. I would urge readers to not only look at a gallery’s past success but also their new positions, and support younger artists in a program you are drawn to. Understand that everything and everyone starts as a new or unknown artist at one point in time. CG: Are there any trends in the contemporary art world that we should be paying attention to? NM: I don’t believe in trends because one is usually too late if it’s a trend. I am curious where true abstraction is headed in the future and how the new generation of artists deal with history painting in a more interesting way. We are going through odd times, and I am quite surprised that not many tackle narrative painting as it relates to one’s emotions and feelings and psyche in a world where media, politics, a pandemic, and the wealth gap are at such a level. Two separate directions I suppose, but neither feels present to me on a larger scale. CG: We love the painting above your fireplace by Carroll Dunham, as well as the work installed above the white sofa. He is represented by Gladstone Gallery, where your wife is a partner. Will you tell us about combining your collections? NM: Caroline and I truly connected because of Carroll Dunham. We both adore the work, and he is an important part of our collection not only because she works with him directly at the gallery, but because it was the artist that we first really spoke about in depth. My wife is not only brilliant but also has very strong opinions, and that has really helped me in building the collection with her—the way she thinks about things I would never even think of. CG: Sculpture can be overlooked at an art fair unless it is large scale. Jon Pylypchuk’s bronze-and-enamel I have pink eye too is currently installed in your home. The clean lines seem to be quite a departure from the artist’s collaged works that explore frailty. Will you tell us more about this work/series? NM: Jon is one of the most intuitive, intelligent, and funny artists I know. He has the ability to take anything and make it something else; with Jon it’s not only about the physical but also the titles. The work is self-deprecating, tender, and pokes at your sensibilities. CG: You have a fantastic painting by Jake Longstreth, whose work continues to be in high demand, proving that landscape painting is not dead. What can you tell us about this mid-career artist? NM: I would not call him a mid-career artist, but he has been working hard for fifteen years or so for sure. Jake captures something about California light and the strangeness of the landscape that is both beautiful but also heavy and odd—the definition of living in California. CG: André Butzer created quite a bidding war at the last TWO x TWO, which you’ve supported for a few years now. What can you tell us about his wideeyed figures? NM: There isn’t enough time or pages in this article to even start. He is unafraid and simply brilliant at using color, light, and line better than most. I urge you to buy the book by Christian Malycha entitled
A drawing wall features work by William N. Copley, Carroll Dunham, Martin Kippenberger, Brian Calvin, Arnulf Rainer; Atelier MVM lamp; chair Kindt Larsen.
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A painting by Carroll Dunham hangs above a Mario Bellini sofa; a Vico Magistretti lamp is on the right; Kofod- Larsen for Selig 1950s Penguin Rocking Chair.
A painting by Ellen Berkenblit shows the artist's interest in lines.
In the primary bedroom, a painting by Swiss artist Louise Bonnet shows her interest in exaggeration of the human body.
Being and Image; it’s all in there. CG: I’m a big fan of Louise Bonnet. Her career is very exciting right now. I believe you were the first gallery to represent her? How did you meet? NM: Louise and I met via a mutual friend, the same year the gallery opened its doors, and have been working together ever since. She is truly a remarkable person and a rare painter, and besides our professional collaboration our families have become good friends. It has been a true pleasure to watch such a talented painter become more and more recognized and respected. CG: I think you are especially skilled at installing your art collection and relating it to the interiors of your home. What can you tell us about your furnishings and how they relate to your art collection? NM: I have started to learn more and more about design, but it is very challenging because I am usually drawn to certain designers more
than a period per se. It’s a very personal thing and, like in art, we collect what we love and try to balance it with the art. We are such homebodies; it makes total sense to both of us to learn more about that world, and we are at the early stages, I would say. CG: Can you describe the experience of opening your Brussels gallery during a global pandemic? NM: When a rock comes rolling down a hill you can do two things: run away or run towards it. I ran towards it. I always wanted to expand to Europe, and Brussels was the perfect place because of its incredible collecting and art-making history. When the space fell into my lap neither a pandemic nor a crisis could have stopped me. It was a perfect opportunity to grow the footprint of the gallery and introduce my program to a whole new continent. P
APRIL / MAY 2021
Founder Michael Phelan on the grounds of the Marfa Invitational. Courtesy of Marfa Invitational.
THE LITTLE ART FAIR THAT COULD ALL ROADS LEAD TO MARFA FOR MICHAEL PHELAN’S MARFA INVITATIONAL, TAKING WING IN APRIL FOR EDITION TWO. BY STEVE CARTER
here is only one Marfa, the tiny, fabled art oasis blooming in the Chihuahuan Desert of far West Texas. So it follows that the town’s international contemporary art fair, Marfa Invitational, celebrating its second edition April 2225, would be just as singular. The brainchild and “labor of love” of artist/founder Michael Phelan, Marfa Invitational disregards art fair conventional wisdom in eschewing exhibitor overpopulation and overstimulation, opting instead for a human-scale, doable, experience. It’s a breath of high desert air. “I like to say that Marfa Invitational is the ‘antidote to the quotidian’ of the traditional art fair,” Phelan says. “Having experienced all the major fairs, from Frieze to Basel, Miami Basel, etcetera, they just became overwhelming…not only the amount of art, and people, but the experience in general.” The second Marfa Invitational stakes its claim when it kicks off with a vernissage on Thursday, April 22 (5–8 p.m., Saint George Hall), followed by a VIP Vernissage Cocktail Soirée and Dinner (8–11 p.m., Hotel Saint George pool and gardens), and continuing at the spacious Saint George Hall on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.). 2019’s successful inaugural year set the template moving forward: Marfa Invitational involves about two handfuls of invited top-tier galleries, from emerging through blue-chip, each showcasing the work of one to three artists. The result is an intimate, immersive adventure that makes a strong case against “bigger is better”—little is the new big. This year’s invitees, along with their featured artists are: Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles and Brussels ( Jake Longstreth and Nikki Maloof); Night Gallery, Los Angeles ( JPW3, Wanda Koop, Grant Levy-Lucero); Half Gallery, New York (Alex Becerra); Natalia Hug, Köln ( Jana Schröder); Bill Brady Gallery, Miami ( Josh Sperling); Ochi Projects, Los Angeles (Alexandra Grant); Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin ( Jong Oh); 12.26, Dallas (Alex Olson); Bill Arning Exhibitions, Houston (Michael St. John). Phelan explains, “The idea was to select galleries and artists who are the most considered and consequential of the moment. And when I say ‘of the moment,’ that spans several years. And not necessarily market darlings, but art that’s very relevant now.” Dallas’ contemporary gallery 12.26, although relatively young, is already a veteran of several art fairs, both in-person and online. Cofounders/sisters Hannah and Hilary Fagadau are psyched. “This is going to be the first in-person art fair for most of us in over a year, so there’s definitely this excitement,” Hilary says. “It’s almost like going back to school. I think everyone is really excited to see artwork in
From the 12.26 booth, Alex Olson, Nest, 2020, oil, modeling paste, and grease pencil on canvas, 71 x 50 in. Photograph by Robert Divers Herrick. Courtesy of the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco. From the 12.26 booth, Alex Olson, Other Logics, 2020, oil, modeling paste, and grease pencil on canvas, 71 x 50 in. Photograph by Jeff McLane. Courtesy of the artist and Altman Siegel, San Francisco.
Jake Longstreth, Sand Canyon (Pine 3), 2020, oil on muslin, 84 x 120 in, 85 x 121 x 2..5 in. (framed). Courtesy of the artist and Nino Mier Gallery.
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Nino Mier Gallery 2019 exhibitor booth featuring the work of Berlin-based Anna Fasshauer, created during her Marfa Invitational Residency. Courtesy of Marfa Invitational.
person, and the fact that it’s in Marfa—it’s so different.” The Fagadaus jumped at the invitation to exhibit. Similarly, deciding which artist to show was an easy call. LA-based Alex Olson is one of the first artists they exhibited, and her work is pivotal to 12.26. “She’s a phenomenal painter who’s having a wonderful career,” Hilary says. “Her paintings are so precise, so well rendered—to see them in person is to just fall in love with them.” Hannah adds, “And Alex really took a chance on us too. We were this brand-new gallery in Dallas, not New York or LA, and we didn’t have much of a reputation. She took a big chance on us and we’re grateful. She really helped set the tone for our programming.” Hilary enthuses, “We’re just excited to ‘take the show on the road,’ for lack of a better term. There’s so many of these galleries we’re friends with…” Another cause for celebration is the formation of Michael Phelan’s new nonprofit, the Marfa Invitational Foundation. Pushing the boundaries of contemporary art and design, avant-garde fashion and film, digital media, and more, Phelan’s vision is as wide as the Marfa sky. “I wanted to create a foundation where we could have year-round events and exhibitions,” he offers. “The mission was to build a foundation where we can not only hold the Invitational annually, but have solo and group exhibitions, surveys, lectures, and artists-in-residence.” An AIR program was established in 2019, but this year there are two prizewinners: Jana Schröder and Peter Schuyff. The work they create in residence this year will show at next April’s iteration. The foundation’s new home features twin 7,500-square-foot exhibition halls with roll-up doors, spectacular vistas, and the promise of wide-open creative horizons. The fair’s all-inclusive VIP tickets open doors to a wealth of events. A particular highlight is an alfresco “Tour de Force Dinner” under the night sky at Marfa’s historic Brite Mansion. Other perks include cocktail receptions and private dinners, artists and collectors talks, studio tours, private receptions, a BBQ feast at the home and collection of Phelan and his wife and foundation board member Melissa Bent, a “Texas High Tea” at the home and collection of Terry Mowers and Lindy Thorsen, and the list goes on. The first Marfa Invitational drew around 38,000 visitors, and attendance estimates for 2021 hover at 45,000 or better. Phelan is feeling ebullient about this year’s prospects, and his excitement is palpably contagious. “I will say I’m most grateful and fortunate that everything worked as planned, and better, in 2019—I mean it was an unknown!” he crows. “Fortunately the experience was magical for everyone. [Gallerist] Marianne Boesky was just overwhelmed, as was everyone else. They said it was the most incredible experience they’ve ever had in a fair context.” Looking back, Phelan’s governing concept of scaling down the footprint of the art fair experience seems prescient, coming as it did pre-pandemic. But the niche notion of an artisanal, by-invitation-only curation of galleries may well be a new art fair model. “I like to say that in Marfa, time is dictated by the rising and setting of the sun; it’s as though time stands still here,” Phelan reflects. “It’s both immersive and transportive, and it gives you a very singular experience, this special relationship to the work and the artists who created it. You’re really able to contemplate it, to talk about it, and to really get back to what I think is important to art, and that is heightening of our human experience.” P
From left: Brian Scott Campbell, Float, 2020, Flashe on canvas, 20 x 16 in. Courtesy of the artist and MI Projects; A work on paper by Peter Schuyff, Macloud, Amsterdam, 2016, the co-recipient of the 2021 Marfa Invitational Air Prize; Work by 2021 Marfa Invitational Air Prize winner Jana Schroeder, Kadlites L6, 2018, acrylic, graphite, lead, and oil on canvas 94.5 × 78.75 in. Courtesy of the artist, Natalia Hug, and Marfa Invitational. Right: Bill Brady Gallery’s 2019 installation view featuring the work of Tomoo Gokita. Courtesy of Marfa Invitational.
APRIL / MAY 2021
Becky Kolsrud, Figure, I, 2020, oil on canvas, 84.25 x 60.12 in. x 1.5 in., ETRO scarf-print shirt, maxi skirt, scarf, and rope detachable shoulder strap, all ETRO, Highland Park Village. Opposite: Becky Kolsrud, Figure, III, 2020, oil on canvas, 84.25 x 60.50 x 1.75 in., Dolce & Gabbana blue sequin lingerie set at Dolce & Gabbana, NorthPark Center.
SeaLegs BECKY KOLSRUD’S COMMISSIONED PAINTINGS MAKE WAVES AT THE KARPIDAS COLLECTION.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELIZABETH LAVIN, RR&CO CREATIVE DIRECTION & STYLING BY ELAINE RAFFEL, RR&CO HAIR & MAKEUP LISA MARTENSEN, KIM DAWSON AGENCY ON SET MANAGEMENT, SARA HIGNITE, KARPIDAS COLLECTION
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Becky Kolsrud, Double Figure (detail), 2020, oil on canvas, 74.25 x 90.12 x 1.36 in. Veda Frankie silk dress at Elements, Lovers Lane; silk scarf at Brenda Schoenfeld, Oak Lawn Avenue; Nan Fusco front-facing white gold-and-diamond hoops, Carefully Curated Luxury.
n 2019, Pauline Karpidas commissioned eight paintings from Los Angeles–based artist Becky Kolsrud after discovering a similar body of the painter’s work that reminded the legendary collector of Greek mythology, an interest the two discovered they shared. The resulting series will be shown in the fall at the Karpidas Collection as part of an exhibition curated by Karpidas and London gallerist Sadie Coles. Kolsrud, whose great-grandparents migrated from Japan to Los Angeles, is known for her surrealistic depictions of imaginary women, specifically her ominous gate paintings in which women appear behind or framed by industrial gates. The patterns of these metal barriers obscure the figures to varying degrees, sometimes creating close to total abstraction of the body. The artist has since moved away from chain link in favor of undulating blue waters,
which also serve as a device for framing and veiling figures. Says Kolsrud, “Female bodies are both nude and covered by the landscape and [water] they sit on/in. They do not have the same effect as traditional bathers. Neither demure nor delicate, their bodies occupy a flattened, fantasy space.” Kolsrud continues, “They are not portraits, but rather signs for how women might be represented, going against the way they have been symbolized in the canon of art both before and after modernism…We are left alone with the allegorical nudes themselves—to be considered on their own terms, as opposed to as allegories for something else.” The exhibition Private Passions, featuring the work of Xinyi Cheng, Becky Kolsrud, Katja Seib, and Issy Wood, will open this fall at the Karpidas Collection. By Sara Hignite
Becky Kolsrud, Figure, II, 2020, oil on canvas, 84. 25 x 60.12 x 1.60 in. Mary Katrantzou floral-print halter-neck jumpsuit at Carla Martinengo, Plaza at Preston Center; Turquoise and sterling silver necklace with pave diamond ladybug, Carefully Curated Luxury.
APRIL / MAY 2021
This page: Becky Kolsrud, Inscape, I, 2020, oil on canvas, 84.25 x 60.12 x 1.5 in., Louis Vuitton, Graphic Writing A-line minidress and Puffy platform pump, Louis Vuitton NorthPark Center. Opposite: Becky Kolsrud, Group Portrait, 2020, oil on canvas 72.25 x 90.12 x 1.36 in. Tom & Linda Platt hammered-silk column gown at Tootsies, Plaza at Preston Center.
APRIL / MAY 2021
This page: Becky Kolsrud, Double Figure (detail), 2020, oil on canvas, 74.25 x 90.12 x 1.36 in., Rochas Radio sheer silk gown at Carla Martinengo, Plaza at Preston Center; Nan Fusco Australian boulder opals-and-diamond earrings, Carefully Curated Luxury.
Becky Kolsrud, Double Figure (detail), 2020, oil on canvas, 74.25 x 90.12 x 1.36 in., Alexis Fortunia long silk dress at Elements, Lovers Lane; Nan Fusco natural tanzanite-and-diamond earrings, Carefully Curated Luxury.
APRIL / MAY 2021
Becky Kolsrud, Inscape, II, 2020, oil on canvas, 84 x 60 x 1.5 in., Carolina Herrera silk minidress with back bow at Carolina Herrera, Highland Park Village.
Becky Kolsrud, Inscape, III, 2020, oil on canvas, 84 x 60.12 x 1.36 in., Akris, long, sleeveless Blue Angel print blouse at Akris, Highland Park Village.
APRIL / MAY 2021
HOUSE OF STYLE Holly Dear transforms her iconic space on McKinney Avenue, unveiling a new brand. BY ELAINE RAFFEL PORTRAIT BY JOHN SMITH
ust over a year ago, hair salons shut down due to the coronavirus. But for Holly Dear, it was anything but downtime. Instead, the enterprising master hair artist used the time to rebrand her illustrious, awardwinning business. “We found ourselves in the middle of COVID with no end in sight and thought, let’s use the time to create something beautiful,” she says. “And then we got to work.” The result is House of Dear, a concept 100-percent focused on self-care. The singular vision: Clean beauty. “Our goal is to help lead the charge in the hair care industry, which is way behind in this area,” says Dear. At the forefront are revamped, gender-neutral products. Taking their cue from the skincare industry, formulas are comprised of all-natural ingredients like Rose of Jericho, aloe vera, and sunflower seed oil. Sleek black-and-gold packaging is designed to look good in every shower. “The new line is essential to the message. We make luxury hair care that performs. It demonstrates that we walk the walk,” Dear says. Creating a multisensory experience was key. The bottles have a satiny feel, calming to the touch. The enticing, uplifting signature scent is a blend of clove, mandarin orange, tangerine, clary sage, jasmine, and bergamot. Hand-in-hand with the product line is House of Dear’s commitment to empowering clients to make informed decisions. “Taking care of yourself in a positive and healthy way is essential to wellness. In our evolving world, it’s taking the time to center ourselves and regenerate. Beyond that, we want people to feel connected again and to slowly create an environment of community.” Along with the experience, the space itself is receiving a transformative makeover. Practicing the art of feng shui, Dear’s intent is to provide nurturing surroundings that evoke harmony and balance. Every element—from color scheme to lighting to layout—was thoughtfully selected to promote well-being and positivity. Existing customers are already hooked. A diverse clientele (think free-spirited bohemians, jet-setters, business professionals, even trendy teens) all call the salon a second home. With the rebrand Dear hopes to attract new patrons interested in a multidimensional haircare plan that goes beyond cuts and color. “Everyone’s mentality has changed. People want experts to help them achieve the best hair possible,” she says. What’s next for House of Dear? A VIP launch is in the works, offering complimentary hair and scalp analyses plus targeted in-salon treatments. “We are creating a new experience; one where you can foster your best self from the inside out,” says Dear. “Clean beauty benefits us all. Our goal is to be the leader.” P
78 before PATRONMAGAZINE.COM Holly Dear stands her rebranded salon, House of Dear.
THE ROAD TO REOPENING STARTS WITH RESILIENCE. Ready to connect with your favorite arts organizations again? Donate to TRI – TACA Resiliency Initiative – and help us bring back the community you love.
To donate, text TRI2021 to 41444
Clockwise from left: Qur’an, illuminated manuscript in Arabic on paper, Persia, ca. 1600. Gift of Mrs. Frank A. Schultz in memory of her husband, 2002; Geoffrey Chaucer (d. 1400), The Works, 1896. Hammersmith, London: The Kelmscott Press. Edition: 425 paper copies; 13 vellum copies. Copy: vellum.; Lewis Carroll (1832–1898), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 12 illus. with original woodcuts and an original etching by Salvador Dali, 1969. New York: Maecenas Press. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shallot, manuscript on parchment, illuminated by Alberto Sangorski, c. 1910. London: For the Grolier Society. Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
TREASURES IN OUR MIDST Bridwell Library brings out hidden gems as part of Fossils to Film: The Best of SMU’s Collections. BY NANCY COHEN ISRAEL
id you know that the oldest fragment of scripture in Texas, written in the sixth century on papyrus and featuring text from Romans 1:1-16, is part of the Bridwell Library collection on the Southern Methodist University campus? Or that the same collection holds a 17th-century Chinese Torah scroll from the once-thriving Jewish community in Kaifeng? Or that a library at a Methodist university owns a richly illuminated Persian Quran from that same time period? Bridwell, in fact, is home to roughly 50,000 objects that span centuries and cultures. “People tend to think of us as the Bible library,” says R. Arvid Nelsen, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Librarian for Special Collections at Bridwell. In addition to being an institution for theological texts, the library’s original mission was, Nelsen states, “to be a premier rare-book library.” He credits Bridwell’s first director, Decherd Turner, for striving to fulfill this mandate. “My goal,” he says, “is to highlight what we have, because it is a rich resource in North Texas that people aren’t aware of.” These precious documents are among ten from Bridwell to be included in Fossils to Film: The Best of SMU’s Collections, a monumental exhibition at the Meadows Museum presenting highlights drawn from nine campus collections. It is the first time that many of these objects will be on view outside of their home departments. In addition to religious texts, Bridwell is loaning treasures such as Andreas Vesalius’ seminal 16th-century medical treatise, De humani
corporis fabrica libri septem. Another unique volume that will go on display is William Morris’ The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, now newly imprinted. Published at the Kelmscott Press in 1896, the hand-printed book features 87 woodcut illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones. “The books that we have are not just studied for their verbal content. People study our books for the paper, typography, and binders,” stresses Nelsen. In another nod to medieval source material, The Lady of Shalott written in the 19th century by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski, will be as intriguing as the jeweled binding encasing it. An edition of Salvador Dalí’s illustrated Alice in Wonderland will perhaps be the most at home at the Meadows. Nelsen is delighted to show these works at the museum. “It is important to reach an audience that might not get to Bridwell otherwise,” he says. And while the library is currently undergoing renovation, he emphasizes that when it reopens in the fall, the Bridwell collection will be open to the public by appointment. This exhibition, as well as the concurrent Building on the Boulevard: Celebrating 20 Years in the Meadows Museum’s New Home, honors the museum’s anniversary in its current building. Since 2001, the Meadows has doubled the size of its collection and worked with distinguished international collections to mount groundbreaking exhibitions, most with accompanying scholarly publications. Here's to a historic anniversary collaboration. P
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