The Nasher Summer 2018

Page 1


Ivan Puni, Construction Relief, ca. 1915-16. Painted wood and tin on wood support, 22 7/8 x 18 3/8 x 3 1/2 in.

But this summer, visitors to the Nasher will have an opportunity to see considerably more of the collection than is normally on view at one time. A Tradition of Revolution, a show drawn from the collection, will occupy all of the Center’s public space, indoors and out. As important (and fittingly, considering the show’s title), A Tradition of Revolution will represent a considerable rethinking of the collection—the ways in which works in that collection relate to, and resonate with one another, across geography and across time. People sometimes ask why museums continue to collect art, Photo: Allison V. Smith

when they don’t have space to show what they already own. A Tradition of Revolution goes some way to answering that question. By bringing works into a collection, museums offer

At the Nasher Sculpture Center we often tell the story of the

present and future generations the opportunity to continually

origins of the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection. Patsy’s

reappraise and reinterpret the history of art. New generations

birthday gift to Ray of Jean (Hans) Arp’s Torso with Buds; Ray’s

of curators bring fresh ideas, and may challenge conventional

gift to Patsy in return of Barbara Hepworth’s Squares with Two

understandings. Works in a collection ground those ideas in

Circles. The travels, the friendships with artists and dealers,

physical objects, perhaps confirming, perhaps undermining

the assiduous research, the decision to place work not only in

conceptions old and new. Collections offer the foundation

the Nasher home but at NorthPark Center, where the broader

for understanding the history of art and culture, and their

public could see it. But at what point did Raymond and Patsy

depth and richness guarantee that this understanding will

first realize that the sculptures they had acquired constituted

never be static.

something more than a selection of works by great artists? At what point did they realize that they had begun to form what

Remarkably, A Tradition of Revolution will include works in

could be thought of as a collection?

the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection that have never before been exhibited at the Nasher Sculpture Center. And

If not before, that moment surely arrived when the young

interspersed throughout the exhibition will be a number of

director of the Meadows Museum, William Jordan, first

recent additions to the Center’s collection, some of which

approached the Nashers with the proposal that the Meadows

will be seen here for the first time. Those include sculptures

would organize an exhibition of their sculpture. In her tribute

by Phyllida Barlow, Louise Bourgeois, Bosco Sodi, and Julian

to Bill Jordan, in this issue of The Nasher, Nasher Curator

Hoeber. It will be fascinating to observe how these recent

Catherine Craft writes movingly of that discussion, and its

acquisitions simultaneously bring new elements of form

importance to the Nashers. And that discussion, it now

and meaning into the collection, while revisiting themes and

seems in retrospect, led inexorably to a series of exhibitions

formal strategies first explored in some of the Modernist

across this country, to Europe, and to the Middle East. It

masterpieces of the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection.

also led to a marked increase in the pace and ambition of

Time and again, we’ll discover ways the old is new and the

acquisitions. And 15 years ago, in 2003, it led to the opening

new is old.

of the Nasher Sculpture Center, conceived as a permanent home for that collection.

I’ll hope to see you at the opening of A Tradition of Revolution on May 11, and would encourage repeat visits to the show,

Now museum collections, it is sometimes noted, are like

as new encounters are sure to provide fresh insights.

icebergs. What is visible above the surface—on public display—often constitutes a small percentage of what lies below, hidden from public view—in storage. But for the Nasher Sculpture Center, that analogy applies imperfectly. It might surprise some to realize that The Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, extraordinary in quality and historical importance, is not—by sheer numbers—vast. While some of the larger museum collections number in the 10s of thousands, or even millions, our collection comprises about 300 objects. Even when the majority of our public spaces are occupied by special exhibitions of works not in the collection, still a significant

Jeremy Strick

percentage of the Nasher Collection is always on view, in our


galleries and garden.

Director’s Letter 1

SUMMER / 2018

THE NASHER Edited and designed by the staff of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas. EDITORIAL

Jeremy Strick Nasher Sculpture Center Director Leigh Arnold, Ph.D. Assistant Curator Catherine Craft, Ph.D. Curator Gail Host Marketing Manager Jill Magnuson Director of External Affairs Jed Morse Chief Curator Christopher Mosley Manager of Digital Content Lucia Simek Manager of Communications and International Programs DESIGN

Lindsey Croley Senior Graphic Designer WITH SUPPORT FROM

Colleen Borsh Manager of School and Family Programs Randy Guthmiller Manager of Visitor Experiences Jacques Haba Senior Manager of Emerging Technologies and Evaluation Lindsey James Manager of Strategic Events and Programming James Jillson Membership Manager Kirsten McIntosh External Affairs Coordinator Anna Smith Curator of Education Lynda Wilbur Manager of Tour Programs Printed by Ussery Printing Company

Contributors 2




Pierre Krause is a self-

Morehshin Allahyari is an

proclaimed post-lol

Iranian artist, activist, and

multimedia thing-maker,

educator living in New York.

exile writer, couch curator,

She is the recipient of

SoundCloud rapper, DJ,

the Leading Global

and full-time freak living an

Thinkers of 2016 award by

anonymous life in Dallas,

Foreign Policy magazine, and her work has been shown at

Texas. Their “conceptual_whatever” works have been exhibited

the Queens Museum, the Tate Modern, Venice Biennale di

locally as well as in New York, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland,

Archittectura, and Centre Pompidou, among many others.

Los Angeles, Mexico, and Japan.



Tauba Auerbach is an artist

Laure de Margerie is

living and working in New

the founder and director

York. Her work addresses

of the French Sculpture

topology, dimensionality,

Census, an archive of all

and symbology, probing

French sculptures in North

the structures and

America, which began

slippages therein. Though

in September 2009,

best known for painting, Auerbach works in a wide variety

in partnership with the University of Texas at Dallas; and

of media, including weaving, glass, photography, 3D

the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Institut national d’histoire

printing, book-making, and musical instrument design.

de l’art (INHA), the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Rodin, and

In 2013 she founded Diagonal Press to formalize her

the Ecole du Louvre, in Paris.

ongoing publishing practice. Auerbach’s work is included in the collections of MoMA, the Whitney Museum of


American Art, and the Centre Pompidou, among others.

Tom Orr received his BFA in sculpture at Rhode Island


School of Design and is

Frances Bagley received

represented in museum

her MFA in sculpture at the

collections in both the United

University of North Texas

States and Japan. Among his

after earning an MA and

public art projects are large-

a BFA from Arizona State

scale installations at DFW and Love Field Airports in Dallas.

University. Her work is

His work is represented by Barry Whistler Gallery.

in numerous collections, including the Dallas Museum of Art, The El Paso Museum,


and the National Museum of Women in Washington, D.C.

Ryder Richards lives and works in the Dallas area


as an artist and writer.

Geeta Dayal is a prolific

He co-founded the RJP

journalist and critic, writing

Nomadic Gallery, The

on experimental music,

Art Foundation, and is

art, technology, and

the founder of Eutopia

culture. She has written

Contemporary Art Review. Ryder has participated in many

for major publications,

exhibitions and residencies, continuing to explore power

including The Guardian,

structures and examine bias.

Wired, The Boston Globe, Frieze, Slate, Rolling Stone, 4 Columns, and the Wire, and is the author of a critically


acclaimed book on Brian Eno, Another Green World, which

Pedro Reyes studied

was published by Bloomsbury.

architecture but considers himself a sculptor, although his works integrate elements of theater, psychology, and activism. His work takes on a great variety of forms, from penetrable sculptures to puppet productions. He has exhibited

Special Contributors

throughout the world. He lives and works in Mexico City. 3

SUMMER / 2018

Contents 6 A TRADITION OF REVOLUTION For the first time in more than five years, the entire Nasher Sculpture Center will be dedicated to a permanent collection exhibition, exploring representations of revolutionary ideas in sculpture. 14 MOREHSHIN ALLAHYARI DISOBEDIENT OBJECTS New York-based Iranian artist Morehshin Allahyari describes her project Material Speculation: ISIS, 3D-printed sculptural reconstructions of ancient artifacts destroyed by ISIS. 20 SIGHTINGS: LUKE FOWLER Artist Luke Fowler uses the sounds of the Nasher Garden to create a unique artwork in this co-commission with the Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland. 22 GEETA DAYAL THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT SOUND ART 6

In advance of three sound works that will be presented this year at the Nasher, seasoned experimental music writer Geeta Dayal gives a brief primer on the art form. 26 NEW COLLECTION ADDITION: GUERRILLA GIRLS Assistant Curator Leigh Arnold considers a recent gift of posters by the all-female, gender equity-seeking, vigilante art collective Guerrilla Girls. 30 NEW COLLECTION ADDITION: JOSHUA NEUSTEIN Curator Catherine Craft highlights the recent gift of Paper Bales, by Joshua Neustein, which was on view in Paper into Sculpture. 32 NEW COLLECTION ADDITION: BOSCO SODI Chief Curator Jed Morse looks at the work by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi donated to the Nasher Sculpture Center—a section of Muro, a remnant of a performative installation about borders. 34 TWO HEADS, THREE EYES, AND A HAND LAURE DE MARGERIE


Director of the French Sculpture Census, Laure de Margerie, describes the way Marcel Jean’s

Contents 4

Specter of the Gardenia connects to Claude Cahun’s Object and Nancy Grossman’s Bust.

40 PLACES FOR SCULPTURE: JAPAN Artist Ryder Richards chats with legendary Dallas artists Frances Bagely and Tom Orr about their decades-long relationship with artists and institutions in Japan. 48 A NEW VIEW: HARROW BY ARTIST LINNEA GLATT Assistant Curator Leigh Arnold writes about Dallas 74

artist Linnea Glatt about her compelling work of public sculpture, Harrow. 54 IN THE STUDIO WITH TAUBA AUERBACH Wunderkind Tauba Auerbach shares a photo essay describing her glass-making process. 58 ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: VAGABON An interview with the Cameroon-born singer/songwriter Laetitia Tamko, aka Vagabon. 62


EX LIBRIS: FROM THE LIBRARY OF PEDRO REYES Celebrated Mexican artist Pedro Reyes digs into his outstanding home library to reveal some of his favorite monographs on sculptors. 66 THE CIRCLE PROJECT Artist Pierre Krause describes the thinking process behind a newly commissioned set of plates for the Nasher Store, highlighting the Nasher Artist Circle. 68 THE LEGACY OF WILLIAM B. JORDAN Curator Catherine Craft remembers the legacy of the beloved curator, scholar, and Nasher patron. 74 NASHER PRIZE DIALOGUES: HISTORY & SCULPTURE The Nasher highlights compelling takeaways from the Nasher Prize Dialogues panel discussion at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. 78 NASHER PRIZE MONTH AND AWARD GALA A recap of the celebrations for the 2018 Nasher Prize


Laureate Theaster Gates.





Jed Morse is the Nasher Sculpture Center’s chief curator. Ana Mendieta, Untitled (Maroya), 1982. Lifetime black-and-white photograph, 10 x 8 in. Nasher Sculpture Center, Acquired through the Kaleta A. Doolin Fund for Women Artists. © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC. Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York Photo: Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York XX


In a 1996 interview with Steven A. Nash, who would soon

Just as the Modernist impulse of Rodin and other artists

become the founding director of the Nasher Sculpture

who freed the figure from the duty of historic, narrative, and

Center, Raymond Nasher described the collection of modern

symbolic representation eventually yielded post-Modernist

and contemporary sculpture that he and his late wife Patsy

practices claiming performance, the physical landscape, and

had amassed as “a representation of revolutionary ideas in

even the artist’s own body as sites of artistic exploration and

sculpture.” Over the past 150 years, artists have continuously

significance, artists today continue to expand and question

reevaluated conventions and accepted practices in an extended

the boundaries of sculpture in an effort to create meaning for

period of cultural innovation, with each one pushing against

a world that continues to develop new definitions of identity,

the achievements of the preceding generation or striking out in

experience, and reality.

new directions altogether. Many of these advances in art have mirrored the simultaneous, rapid pace of change in science,

The Nasher Collection embodies a compendium of these

technology, and society—as new ideas flourished in the world,

far-reaching, richly varied ideas. This summer’s selection

artists responded with exciting innovative artistic forms. The

includes Medardo Rosso’s radical experiments with the

constant push to forge new paths expressing the human

casting process to express the ephemerality of experience

experience in the modern age can be seen most clearly,

at the dawn of the 20th century; the seismic shift caused

perhaps, in the medium of sculpture.

by Pablo Picasso’s development, along with Georges Braque, of the visual language of Cubism around 1909; Naum Gabo’s

In his 1990 book A Fine Disregard: What Makes Modern Art

use of newly developed, space-age materials to express the

Modern, renowned curator Kirk Varnedoe used as a model for

technological ethos of the age, effectively dematerializing

the kind of cultural innovation that occurred—and continues

sculpture; the ever-finer distillation of form to its essence

to occur—from roughly 1860 on, the inscription on a plaque

beginning with Brancusi and running through Minimalism to

commemorating the invention of the game of rugby, at the

the present moment; as well as the experiments of artists like

Rugby School in England in 1823. The stone marker honors

Ana Mendieta, who carved forms into the Earth itself, removing

William Webb Ellis, “who with a fine disregard for the rules

them from the refined confines of gallery and museum and

of football as played in his time, first took the ball in his hands

returning sculptural creation to its primal source. Artists working

and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the

today continue to pursue many of these developments, adding

rugby game.” This “fine disregard for the rules” of his time also

their unique, contemporary perspectives and broadening the

describes the impulse that serves the creation of important

potential meanings of the forms.

shifts in art. Varnedoe adopted this model of innovation because it highlighted not only bold, individual acts, but also

A Tradition of Revolution presents cross sections of the Nasher

rational responses to the context in which those actions were

Collection and sculptural innovations of the past 150 years

taken. Modern art has been shaped, Varnedoe argues, not “in

within the context of concurrent philosophical, scientific, and

the wholesale overthrow of all conventions and the protean

societal shifts. Ranging from the beginnings of Modernism in

creation of wholly new form, nor in the impact of alien influences

the work of Rodin, Gauguin, and others to radical experiments

from outside the Western world,” nor by “the grinding-wheel

in the present day, the exhibition also includes works never

of local social forces,” but, instead, by “individual decisions

before seen at the Nasher and several recent acquisitions.

to reconsider the complex possibilities within the traditions available to them.” It is this complex interweaving of individual ingenuity in response to personal and collective circumstances that continues to drive innovation in art.

Auguste Rodin, The Age of Bronze (L’Age d’airain), ca. 1876. Plaster, 71 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 21 1/4 in. Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. Photo: David Heald 8



Opposite Top: Alexander Calder The Spider, 1940 Painted sheet metal and steel rod, 95 x 99 x 73 in. Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo: David Heald Opposite Bottom: Medardo Rosso The Golden Age (L’Eta d’oro, also called Aetas aurea), 1886–87 Wax over plaster, 19 x 18 1/4 x 14 in. Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Photo: David Heald Paul Gauguin Tahitian Girl, ca. 1896 Wood and mixed media 37 3/8 x 7 1/2 x 8 in. Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Photo: David Heald




Naum Gabo American, born Russian, 1890–1977 Linear Construction in Space No. 1 (Variation), 1942–43 (enlargement ca. 1957–58) Plexiglas with nylon monofilament, 24 ¾ x 24 ¾ x 9 ½ in. Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas © 2018 Nina and Graham Williams Photo: David Heald Alberto Giacometti Venice Woman IV (Femme de Venise IV), 1956 Bronze, 45 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 13 1/4 in. Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas Art © Alberto Giacometti Estate/ Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York, NY



DISOBE DIENT OBJECTS In light of the themes found within A Tradition of Revolution, we thought it would be interesting to explore the technological and material ways that sculpture is changing at this moment. To that end, we asked the New York-based Iranian artist Morehshin Allahyari to describe one of her latest projects. Her modeled, 3D-printed sculptural reconstructions of ancient artifacts destroyed by ISIS, titled Material Speculation: ISIS, have received widespread curatorial and press attention and have been exhibited worldwide.


Morehshin Allahyari, Dark Matter (First Series): #pig #gun, 2013 3D printed plastic resin, 4 x 8 x 2 inches (approx.)

Sometime in 2011 and somewhere on the internet, I came

the forbidden and censored? Dark Matter then became an

across a video of an object getting 3D printed. I remember

inspiration for a three-year collaboration with writer/artist

being mesmerized by both the technological potential and

Daniel Rourke in building a movement called Additivism (a

poetic possibilities of a digital model becoming a physical

portmanteau of additive and activism). In 2015, we released

object layer by layer. Ever since, I’ve been working on different

a manifesto encouraging artists, activists, scientists, and

projects that explore the 3D printer as a metaphor, as a point of

engineers to “interfere, and reverse-engineer the possibilities

departure, as a machine for resistance, and as a tool in making

encoded into the censored, the invisible, and the radical notion

“disobedient objects.”

of the 3D printer itself. To endow the printer with the faculties of plastic: condensing imagination within material reality.”

In 2012, I started to work on a body of work called Dark

Then we published a book called The 3D Additivist Cookbook:

Matter, which was a series of combined, sculptural 3D-printed

a compendium of imaginative, provocative works from over

objects brought together to form humorous juxtapositions.

100 world-leading artists, activists, and theorists. It contains

These objects were all chosen because they are forbidden or

.obj and .stl files for the 3D printer, as well as critical and

taboo to own or use in Iran. What if one could 3D-print these

fictional texts, templates, recipes, (im)practical designs, and

objects by having a 3D printer in their house (as guerrilla/DIY/

methodologies for living in this most contradictory of times.

resistance acts)? How would that change our relationship to XX


Cover of The 3D Additivist Cookbook (published 2016) devised and edited by Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke. The Cookbook can be downloaded for free at XX


Research To begin working on this project, I started to do a lot of research (in Farsi, Arabic, and English) about the destroyed artifacts and their historical narrative. I got in touch with many historians, scholars, archivists, museums, and, finally, the former staff of the Mosul museum, which helped me greatly in gathering information and allowing me to compare resources. Perhaps

History and Concept

one of the most challenging aspects of this project was the lack of information and the mismatched resources—from

On February 26, 2015, ISIS released a video online showing

the names and stories told about these sculptures to finding

ancient artifacts at Mosul museum in Iraq being destroyed

images of them before destruction. Therefore, the gathering of

by its militants. As you watch the video, you see ISIS

these resources became a vital aspect of building this project,

members pushing, drilling, and hammering artifacts with

equal to the construction of the artifacts themselves.

performative and symbolic gestures. The video and the detailed documentation of the destruction by ISIS members was a big shock for archaeologists and archivists from and of the Middle East. ISIS takes pride in destruction, while for example, the U.S. military, which destroyed many historical and cultural sites in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade, the act of destruction is almost an incidental consequence of the larger, and spoken intention to bring “democracy” or “freedom” to these regions.

Reconstruction Process Using modeling software such as ZBrush and Maya, Rourke and I 3D-modeled and reconstructed the artifacts based Responding to the destruction of the artifacts in Iraq felt like

on a limited number of images we found of them. Then we

a relevant and natural position as it related to my previous

worked to correct errors and get the model ready for 3D

research and interest. Over the course of 18 months, I worked

printing in Meshmixer.

on reconstructing 12 destroyed statues from the Romanperiod city of Hatra and Assyrian artifacts from Nineveh. I was never interested in this work from a nationalistic point of view, but rather as a way to respond and activate an alternative space in a personal, political, and poetic way—a process for repairing history and memory in a space where plastic, 3D printing, Petropolitics, Technocapitalism, and Jihad meet to create dialogue around systems and realities around us that are nonbinary and complex. This is where I find thinking and working around a technology like 3D printing really important and exciting, when it’s about both functionality (how) but also criticality (why), and when it’s about both resistance and inclusion. Material Speculation takes different shapes in that realm.

All the sculptures were then 3D-printed in a resin clear material using Autodesk/Pier9 machines as part of my one-year artist residency with them.


Download Series Folder and Dead Drops After one year of reconstructing/remodeling, 3D printing, and post-processing the artifacts, the releasing of the information that was embedded inside of them became really important to me and how I thought about the extension of this work outside of the white walls of the gallery and into a more open/available space. In February 2016, I released a folder as part of Download series curated by Paul Soulellis on Rhizome, that contained all my research material and also the .obj/.stl file of King Uthal, which meant that anyone who has access to a 3D printer machine could re-create him. In a way, the more people who know or read about the history of these artifacts or have access to the 3D models, the more their aura is kept. The more people circulate them, the more we resist their erasure from our memories.

Then they were sanded, polished, and sprayed to accomplish a shiny surface.

King Uthal

In addition, I recently worked on three heads as part of the Material Speculation series that I didn’t get to work on before, and I think I was specifically interested in them as a way to bridge the physical and digital gap more practically. The dead drops (2017) are an extension of Material Speculation: ISIS series. The three heads in the series are reproductions of reliefs that were originally at the ruins of Hatra, an ancient city in Iraq in South Ivan. Hatra was one At the end of this process, I embed a memory card/flash

of the ancient sites targeted by ISIS, and in 2015 a video

drive inside of each object, which contains all the information

was released of a fighter shooting these heads with an AK-

I had gathered in one year, including PDF files, images,

47. These heads were above ground and visible in ancient

documentation of the process of making the work, my email

times. They survived for thousands of years in the open air.

correspondence with historians and scholars as well as .obj/

Gertrude Bell photographed them in April 1911 before major

.stl files that would allow for reprinting of the objects. I think

excavations took place at Hatra. Each dead drop that I have

about these 12 sculptures as time capsules.

made contains a USB drive, which the viewer can connect to in order to download my openly available research material and the 3D-printable object file of the piece King Uthal.



LUKE FOWLER This joint commission with the Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland, showcases the work of Scottish artist Luke Fowler. For it, Fowler draws on practices of focused listening and architectural acoustics to create multichannel sound installations at each institution. Using objects and acoustic environments unique to each site, Fowler has created compositions that subtly examine the material history of the two sites and their acoustic qualities. At Lismore, Fowler recorded the sounds of objects in the castle and used them to create a musical composition. For the Nasher, Fowler will use recordings of objects and architecture taken in the museum and its garden to create a new sonic composition, and will install the new sound composition in a resonant part of the Nasher Garden. SIGHTINGS: LUKE FOWLER will be on view at the Nasher May 12 – August 19.

Luke Fowler, Installation View, Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, Ireland, 2017




Thinking Critically About

SOUND ART This year, the Nasher will mount two exhibitions and one performance dedicated to sound works: Sightings: Luke Fowler, highlighting the sensitive listening of the Scottish artist, and the first sound sculpture ever to be showcased at the museum; Sightings: Anne Le Troter, which will consider the ethics of eugenics in a linguistic score and site-specific installation; and Grubnik + Suzanne, a piece by Dallas artists Jeff Gibbons and Gregory Ruppe, commissioned in partnership with SOLUNA. The various works will prove the vast terrain of the medium of sound and suggest the compelling ways that sound can be sited within an environment or combined with sculptural elements to challenge an array of perceptions. By way of laying a foundation for the museum’s foray into the aural realms, The Nasher tapped seasoned experimental-music writer Geeta Dayal to give a brief primer on what constitutes sound art and how institutions might better adapt to provide the best arena for it.


The term “sound art” is relatively young, but it has a long, perplexing history. Could Erik Satie’s “furniture music” from 1917 be thought of as sound art? Was Dada sound poetry sound art? Were the Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo’s noisemaking intonarumori devices sound art? We also shouldn’t forget that sound art often happens outside of the museum and gallery context. If you walk 15 minutes from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to Broadway between 45th and 46th Street, you’ll stumble into an ingenious public sound installation: the late sound artist Max Neuhaus’s Times Square, first installed in 1977 and reinstated in 2002. Contending with “sound art” means grappling with a tremendously interdisciplinary field. It means delving deeply into the history of 20th-century experimental music—a history that hasn’t been written into most art history textbooks. Was the late Pauline Oliveros—who was part of the exhibition that likely coined the term “sound art,” Sound/Art at the Sculpture Center in New York in 1984—a sound artist, or was she an experimental musician, theorist, improviser, and composer? Like many other sound artists, she encompassed all of those things, over a long, sprawling legacy. Similarly, a sound installation such as David Tudor’s magnificent Rainforest— which, in its debut version in 1968, included the talents of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, costumes by Jasper Johns, and silver Mylar clouds by Andy Warhol—illustrates sound art’s complexity: Contending with Rainforest meant contending with the history of technology, sculpture, dance, and so much more. For the past 15 years, I’ve been an arts critic, specializing in writing on sound, experimental music, and technology. The renewed interest in sound—and music—is welcome. But how can museums and galleries—which were generally designed with visual art, not the sonic arts, in mind—become better spaces for the public to have rich and meaningful experiences with music and sound? And how can sound art exhibitions be enhanced to improve the experience of the auditory? Over the past several years, there has been a particularly noticeable surge in sound art exhibitions across the world, including Soundings: A Contemporary Score (MoMA, 2013); Hacer La Audicion (Hear Here): Encounters Between Art and Sound in Peru (Lima Art Museum, 2016); The World Is Sound (Rubin Museum, 2017); Soundtracks (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2017); Sound Art: Sound as a Medium of Art (ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2012); and more. At the same time, many museums have become critically important music venues, hosting everything from the likes of the legendary electronic music group Kraftwerk (MoMA, 2012) to the late free-jazz legend Cecil Taylor (Whitney Museum, 2016.) Experimental music—which has a long,

complicated, and intertwined history with sound art—has also seen a boost over the past decade through numerous reissue projects, anniversary concerts, and retrospectives, which have illuminated the careers of living legends such as the composer Alvin Lucier, now 86 years old, and shed new light on departed composers such as Maryanne Amacher and John Cage, who was the subject of a massively ambitious yearlong global celebration in 2012, the centennial of his birth. Additionally, I want to revisit the provocative question that Max Neuhaus raised in his skeptical, slightly cantankerous essay “Sound Art?”, written in 2000. “From the early 1980s on there have been an increasing number of exhibitions at visual arts institutions that have focused on sound,” he wrote. “By 1995 they had become almost an art fad... In short, ‘Sound Art’ seems to be a category which can include anything which has or makes sound and even, in some cases, things which don’t.” Later on, he admonished: “These same people who would all ridicule a new art form called, say, ‘Steel Art’ which was composed of steel sculpture combined with steel guitar music along with anything else with steel in it, somehow have no trouble at all swallowing ‘Sound Art’.” One wonders what Neuhaus would write now, given the immense wellspring of interest in sound art in the 18 years following the publication of his essay (Neuhaus died in 2007), and the improved literacy and demonstrated commitment to sound among many informed curators and the public. Though great strides have been made, I think that it’s important that we continue to question—as Neuhaus did—what sound art is, and what it means. It is by constantly questioning and arguing for art’s value that we begin to understand art, and ourselves. The transitory, elusive, sometimes baffling nature of sound is part of its enduring mystery and power. But in another way, sound is also instantly approachable and accessible to all of us, beginning at a very young age. Our exposure to sound begins very early on, in the womb. As the noted sound designer Walter Murch—who worked on many major Hollywood movies, receiving an Oscar for his work on Apocalypse Now—mused in 2005: “Hearing is the first of our senses to be switched on, four and a half months after we are conceived. And for the rest of our time in the womb—another four and a half months—we are pickled in a rich brine of sound…” On a more practical level, sound and music-related events can generate enormous amounts of public interest, drawing massive crowds to museums. And even those of us who don’t profess a love for sound and music have an intuition for what sound waves feel like: Anyone who has experienced heavy bass booming from a passing car knows that sound is physical and visceral by its very nature.


Installation view The World is Sound June16, 2017 – January 8, 2018 Rubin Museum Art X

What follows is a list of 10 recommendations to improve the experience of sound art within museums, informed by conversations with several sound artists who have recently exhibited work in them.

1. Museums and gallery spaces are often not designed with acoustics in mind As some museums plan massive expansions, and new museums and mega-galleries continue to be built worldwide, particular concern should be given in the planning stages to supporting sound works in the architecture of the space. Particular attention should be given to reduce unwanted reverb, background noise, reflections, and other obstacles.

2. Employ dedicated staff to contend with sound works While it isn’t always possible, having a dedicated staff member who specializes in sound would be a welcome addition to every museum.

3. Pump up the volume One sound artist informed me that she was told to lower the volume of her installation, but not told by how much, which led to a confusing situation. All museums and galleries should have basic sound testing tools on site—at the very least, a decibel (dB) meter is necessary.

4. Use directional speakers and innovative acoustic solutions to reduce ‘bleed’ between pieces Directional speakers, while usually more expensive than typical speakers, have great promise for allowing museums to focus sound on a very small area, without “bleed” to the next room.

5. Raise the bass Another sound artist I spoke with was told by an institution to reduce the bass in this artist’s piece—a piece in which bass was a crucially important element—so as not to disturb a nearby Jeff Koons sculpture. But sometimes pumping up the bass is necessary to fully experience a sound work the way the artist intended. Trying to examine a sound piece at a low volume can be like squinting at a painting in inadequate light.

6. Take an open-minded approach to the growing sound art canon Incorporating the history of experimental music, jazz, electronic music history, underground music, and non-Western music are all essential to understanding sound art.

7. Integrate sound works into permanent collections It would be welcome to see sound art more formally integrated into the full museum experience, and not simply on display for a few months for a special exhibition.

8. Integrate sound art into visual art exhibitions—instead of ‘quarantining’ all sound works together Sometimes seeing a huge exhibition composed entirely of sound art can be fatiguing. Sound is part of everyday life, and the ear integrates with all of our other senses. Mixing and juxtaposing sound works with paintings, films, or sculptures can lead to unexpected connections and the occasional epiphany.

9. Don’t rely too much on the visual Conversely, experiencing a sound work with no visual element—a cluster of speakers gathered in a corner, for instance—can sometimes feel strange and unapproachable. But contending with pure sound, with no visual element, can be a vital and even transformative experience. Some curators who are deeply familiar with abstraction when applied to visual art may nonetheless run away screaming when encountering pure sine waves. But it’s important to have spaces where one can just listen, and learn to listen in different ways.

10. Expanding sound art to include a diversity of races, ethnicities, genders, generations, and perspectives It is critical that we emphasize diversity in sound art, and have a global and wide-ranging view. In this exciting and emerging field, we should avoid solidifying into a hardened canon. Instead, we should continually work to shape and expand our notions of sound, and sound art. 25



The Guerrilla Girls Gift of Portfolio of 110 Posters and Projects

Influenced by the feminist movement and motivated by the

to Make Nice: The Guerrilla Girls in the Art World and Beyond

desire to make the world a more equitable place, the all-female

(2012-2016). Recent exhibitions include Guerrilla Girls: Not

art collective who call themselves the Guerrilla Girls (1985–)

Ready to Make Nice, 30 Years and Still Counting, Abrons Arts

employ statistics and other data to reveal discrimination in

Center, New York (2015); Media Networks: Andy Warhol and

the art world. The group formed in New York City in 1985

the Guerrilla Girls, Tate Modern, London (2016); Art at the

as a reaction to the 1984 exhibition International Survey of

Center: Guerrilla Girls, Walker Art Center (2016); Front Room:

Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New

Guerrilla Girls, Baltimore Museum of Art (2017); and Guerrilla

York, in which work by women artists represented less than

Girls, The Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, CA (2017).

10% of the exhibition. The following year, the group began a poster campaign targeting museums, galleries, curators,

The Portfolio Compleat Plus Upgrade 1985-2016, which

writers, and artists who they felt were either responsible for

recently joined the Nasher Collection, includes 110 posters

or complicit in the exclusion of women and artists of color

signed by founding members of the Guerrilla Girls. A form

from mainstream exhibitions and publications. Members are

of institutional critique that has its roots in Dada, Pop,

anonymous and conceal their identities by wearing gorilla

Conceptual, and Feminist art, the Guerrilla Girls’s portfolio

masks in public and by assuming pseudonyms taken from

represents an important addition to the Nasher’s collection.

such important female artists as Frida Kahlo, Hannah Höch,

It expands the collection of works on paper and explores

and Käthe Kollwitz.

the effects of popular culture, mass media, and advertising in art, initially explored by Pop art predecessors in the

Since 1985, the group has completed more than 100 street

collection. The portfolio also documents the actions of an

projects, posters, and stickers all over the world, including

artist collective that has had a significant impact on the role

New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Mexico City, Istanbul,

of museums in the art world and provides a context for better

London, Bilbao, Rotterdam, and Shanghai. The Guerrilla Girls

understanding the impetus behind the creation of the Kaleta

have had retrospective exhibitions in Bilbao (2002), as well

A. Doolin Acquisitions Fund for Women Artists at the Nasher.

as a traveling exhibition that toured the U.S. titled Not Ready

Leigh Arnold, Ph.D., is the Nasher Sculpture Center’s assistant curator. Guerrilla Girls (1985–) Portfolio Compleat Plus Upgrade 1985-2016. A boxed portfolio of 110 posters and projects signed by founding members. Each poster 17 x 22 inches (43.18 x 55.88 cm), except as noted. Gift of Kaleta Doolin


Guerrilla Girls (1985–), Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum? 1989, screenprint on paper, 11 x 28 inches (27.94 x 71.12 cm), as part of Guerrilla Girls (1985–), Portfolio Compleat Plus Upgrade 1985-2016, 1985–2016, boxed portfolio of 110 posters and projects signed by founding members. Gift of Kaleta Doolin.

Guerrilla Girls (1985–), How Many Women Had Solo Shows At NYC Museums? Recount, 2015, screenprint on paper (10 x 26 inches; 25.4 x 66.04 cm) & sticker (2 3/4 x 7 inches; 6.98 x 17.78 cm), as part of Guerrilla Girls (1985–), Portfolio Compleat Plus Upgrade 1985-2016, 1985–2016, boxed portfolio of 110 posters and projects signed by founding members. Gift of Kaleta Doolin.


Guerrilla Girls (1985–), What Do These Artists Have in Common, 1985, screenprint on paper, 17 x 22 inches (43.18 x 55.88 cm) Guerrilla Girls (1985–), When Racism and Sexism Are No Longer Fashionable, How Much Will Your Art Collection Be Worth?, 1989, screenprint on paper, 17 x 22 inches (43.18 x 55.88 cm) As part of Guerrilla Girls (1985–), Portfolio Compleat Plus Upgrade 1985-2016, 1985–2016, boxed portfolio of 110 posters and projects signed by founding members. Gift of Kaleta Doolin.



Joshua Neustein New Collection Addition

A pioneer of Conceptual art, Land art, and Post-Minimalism,

Recently seen in the Nasher’s 2017 exhibition Paper into

Joshua Neustein has made drawing, in relation to painting,

Sculpture, Paper Bales, which first appeared in Neustein’s

sculpture, and architecture, a cornerstone of his practice and

1977 survey, consists of two bundles of shredded, bound

a recurring conduit for his actions. Neustein spent much of

paper. Rerouted from their journey to a recycling center that will

his early childhood displaced by World War II, going from

pulverize, soak, and reform them into sheets of paper anew,

Poland to Siberia, where his father was a forced laborer,

the bales’ recontextualization in a museum setting focuses

back to Eastern Europe, and eventually to the United States,

attention on paper’s economy, its comings and goings, and

where his family settled in Brooklyn. In 1964 Neustein

its production and regeneration. Neustein’s paper bales are

moved to Israel, where he lived and worked before returning

gathered and bound leftovers, the trimmings that remain when

to New York in 1980. He came to artistic maturity in Israel,

rolls and large sheets of paper are cut into smaller sizes. The

and the often contentious life of a young nation in a politically

artist has described Paper Bales as “a readymade in a sense

volatile region quickly infused his work, such as Boots (1969),

. . . an iteration of folded, ripped, turned, removed, replaced

in which he and two other artists filled a Jerusalem gallery

work on paper.” Formed by machines, Neustein’s bales

space with 17,000 pairs of boots from the different armies

nonetheless behave as sculpture, their hulking, snowy white,

that had traversed the region throughout the 20th century.

shaggy masses almost a parody of the language of Minimalist sculpture’s geometric modules. Temporarily displaced to a

Concurrent with such projects was Neustein’s ongoing

museum, the bales occupy gallery space as a provisional

investigation of drawing and the multivalent roles it assumes

stop on paper’s continued circulation. Each time the work is

in contemporary art, particularly as a practice that can

displayed, the bales are sourced anew, borrowed from local

move between and among other art forms. He has been so

paper mills, distributors, or recycling centers.

intensively engaged with paper that a 10-year survey in 1977 consisted entirely of works on and in paper. As the critic

Neustein lives and works in New York City and Tel Aviv.

Robert Pincus-Witten recognized in his catalogue essay for

In 1995, he represented Israel at the Venice Biennale. His

that exhibition, Neustein’s work with paper paralleled the

works are in the collection of numerous museums, including

activities of such New York artists as Sol LeWitt, Dorothea

the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Museum of Modern

Rockburne, and Mel Bochner, who were also moving

Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and

away from the premises of Minimal art to interrogate art’s

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, among others.

communicative and intellectual foundations.

Catherine Craft, Ph.D., is a curator at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Joshua Neustein, American, born Polish (1940), Paper Bales, 1976/2017, installation view, Paper into Sculpture, Nasher Sculpture Center. Two bales of shredded paper. Dimensions variable. Nasher Sculpture Center, Gift of the artist. © Joshua Neustein. Photo: Kevin Todora




Bosco Sodi New Collection Addition

Jed Morse is the Nasher Sculpture Center’s chief curator. Bosco Sodi, Mexican, born 1970. Wall (Muro), 2017. 25 clay timbers, each 19 3/4 x 4 x 4 in. (10 x 10 x 50 cm); overall 19 ¾ x 19 ¾ x 19 ¾ in. (50 x 50 x 50 cm) Gift of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York. © Bosco Sodi. Photo: courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery


Mexican artist Bosco Sodi creates wall-mounted and free-

Muro invoked diverse metaphors of separation and division, as

standing works of dense materiality. In his free-standing,

well as commonality, intersection, and community, activated by

three-dimensional work, Sodi applies the systematic approach

the public as they collectively disassembled the wall. Evoking

of Minimalism to traditional vernacular methods and materials.

echoes of the controversy over art in the public realm elicited

He extracts raw earth near his studio in Oaxaca, Mexico,

by Richard Serra’s Titled Arc (1981), Sodi’s project is a poetic

mixing it with water and sand to form clay that is then shaped

manifestation of political, social, and historical tensions in the

and smoothed by hand into solid cubes. After they air-dry and

current national conversation and expands upon his ongoing

cure in the sun, the cubes are fired in a traditional brick kiln

interest in organic processes beyond the artist’s control.

with wood, jacaranda seeds, and coconut shells, a process that imbues them with varied hues, streaks of green and black,

The section of Muro donated to the Nasher Sculpture

and surface fissures, giving each element a unique identity.

Center—a 5-unit-by-5-unit cube—stands as a document of this moving installation and performance, as well as an

Sodi considers these works living sculptures, the surfaces

important example of Sodi’s work in sculpture. The work

determined by the essential character of the materials and

enriches the collection’s holdings of Post-Minimalist objects

processes rather than the imposition of the artist’s will. His

by artists such as Joel Shapiro and Christopher Wilmarth,

work is informed by the Japanese aesthetic notion of Wabi-

and a subsequent generation, including Martin Puryear and

sabi, where beauty is expressed in imperfection, transience,

Anish Kapoor, that has continued to explore the legacy and

and simplicity. Each earthen cube represents an essential

consequences of these artists’ work. Muro also augments the

geometry and a primary unit of mass. Stacked in columns,

collection’s representation of works that document ephemeral

they imply a system of building that can be extended to myriad

performances, such as the recently acquired photographs of

structural possibilities.

Ana Mendieta. The assemblage of clay timbers is the fourth work in fired clay to enter the collection and thus continues

Wall (Muro) documents a performative installation by Sodi that

the investigation of innovative uses of the material by artists

took place in Garibaldi Plaza in Washington Square Park, New

of the avant-garde initiated in the 2013 exhibition Return to

York City, on September 7, 2017. On that day, Sodi erected

Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi,

a 2-meter-high by 8-meter-long wall constructed with 1,600

and Picasso, 1943–1963. The gift is accompanied by photos

unique clay timbers that he had fired by hand at his studio in

for the Nasher’s archive documenting the dismantling of the

Oaxaca, Mexico with the help of local craftsmen. Later the

installation in Washington Square Park.

same day, visitors were invited to remove one timber to take home with them. The artist intends the installation to endure

Sodi’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions

in its dispersed state as a communally co-owned work of art.

and is included in the collection of notable museums in Europe, Japan, and North America. The artist currently lives and works in New York, Barcelona, Berlin, Mexico City, and Oaxaca. 33



HEADS THREE EYES AND A HAND In the spirit of exploring revolutionary ideas in sculpture, we asked Laure de Margerie, the mastermind behind the French Sculpture Census, to highlight some of the Census’ most radical works, and their stories.

Laure de Margerie is the founder and director of French Sculpture Census. Hosted by the Nasher Sculpture Center and supported by a consortium of institutions in the U.S. and France, the French Sculpture Census in American Public Collections is the largest existing website solely dedicated to sculpture. Marcel Jean (1900-1993) © ARS, NY, Specter of the Gardenia. 1936. Plaster head with painted black cloth, zippers, and strip of film on velvet-covered wood base, 13 7/8 x 7 x 9 7/8”, including base 3” high x 7” diameter. D. and J. de Menil Fund. (229.1968) The Museum of Modern Art. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY





Claude Cahun (1894-1954) © Copyright Object, 1936. Wood, paint, and hair, 5 3/8 x 6 3/8 x 4 in. (13.7 x 10.7 x 16 cm). Through prior gift of Mrs. Gilbert W. Chapman, 2007.30. The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY


mong the many art revolutions of the 20th century,

The triggering event was when Jean found an old movie reel

Surrealism is certainly the one appealing the most to our

and a stand covered in red velvet at a flea market in Paris. He

fantasy. Born in Paris in 1924, it soon became an international

then took a plaster head of what he called a portrait of Madame

movement. Because of anti-Semitic laws in Europe and of the

du Barry by Jean-Antoine Houdon (French, 1740-1816) and

outbreak of World War II, several Surrealist artists moved to

covered it with black wool flocking, placing two zippers instead

the United States where they found a safe haven. Two heads

of eyes. Different positions given to the zippers could create

by French Surrealist artists now in American public collections

varying facial expressions. Tiny photographs (a star, a face)

are good examples of Surrealist sculpture.

inserted behind the zippers could then appear. He first intended to call the object The Secret of the Gardenia, as such was the

Painting and photography are the usual media associated

title of the old movie reel he had found at the flea market. He

with this new movement, and we can be thankful to the

then changed his mind and wrapped the neck with a movie

Centre Pompidou, Paris and to the Hirshhorn Museum and

given to him by Dora Maar when she came to photograph the

Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.2,

head. The movie was shot by her then-lover Louis Chavance

to each having organized important exhibitions about Surrealist

and represented her. A typo in the Ratton exhibition catalogue

sculpture. Valerie Fletcher, senior curator and organizer of

changed Secret into Spectre (Specter)5 and so it remained,

the Hirshhorn exhibition, identifies two trends in Surrealist

accordingly to Surrealist principles that chance was to be

sculpture: objects or assemblages, and organic abstraction,

followed. Chance had added a sinister element and this was

now known as biomorphism. Both share the goal of reaching

also welcome by Surrealists.


the marvelous: “A person experiences the marvelous as an instantaneous flash of recognition or revelation triggered

Thirty-six years later, in 1972, Marcel Jean decided to

unexpectedly by an external stimulus.” 3

reproduce his famous 1936 head in an edition of nine (36 years and 1936, is there a sign there?). Reproducing earlier works

This “unexpectedly“ brought Surrealists to the streets of Paris

was common among Surrealist artists. Marcel Duchamp, for

and the surroundings, looking for objects that could then be

example, reproduced in 1964-65 most of his readymades of

assembled. The Specter of the Gardenia (1936, Museum of

1913-16. From the edition of nine made by Marcel Jean, at least

Modern Art, New York4) by Marcel Jean (French, 1900-1933)

five are in public collections,6 in Bloomington (IN), Jerusalem,

certainly is partially a result of these scavenging expeditions.

Melbourne, Paris, and San Francisco.

Trained at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris, Marcel Jean

Upon checking, Houdon never sculpted a bust of Madame

spent two years in the United States working as a textile

du Barry. The plaster head could be another sitter by Houdon

designer. Back in Paris in 1926, he became close with the

or Madame du Barry by another artist, or just a commercial

Surrealist movement through its literary aspect, befriending

plaster cast of a woman’s head. The zippers are meant to be

writers André Breton and Paul Éluard among others. He

a pun explained by Marcel Jean: “The zip fastener (in French

joined officially in 1933. In 1936 he was part of the Surrealist

fermeture éclair – ‘lightning fastener’) is introduced as a plastic

Exhibition of Objects at Galerie Ratton in Paris. The same

translation of another current expression des yeux qui lancent

year he was also part of the seminal Fantastic Art, Dada,

des éclairs – “eyes flashing like lightning.” Pun or not, the result

Surrealism exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA),

of a face without gaze is disturbing. But by a mental mirage,

New York, a gathering of 700 works from medieval times to

we “reconstruct” the gaze, not bearing the blindness. We

the present. He was stranded by the war in Budapest, where

“see” the gaze, slightly lifted. The contrast of materials, black

he moved to direct a textile design atelier, and he ended up

flocking, celluloid film, and worn velvet, appeals strongly to the

spending seven years in Hungary. Back in Paris in 1945, he

sense of touch and herewith to the forbidden. The museum

was for the rest of his life one of the earliest scholars of the

distance prevents us from touching, only increasing our desire.

Surrealist movement, publishing in 1959 a Histoire de la peinture surréaliste (History of Surrealist Painting) and in 1978

The eye plays an important role in Surrealist mythology. One

Autobiographie du Surréalisme, an anthology of Surrealist

of the most famous images associated with Surrealism is the

writings. He frequently visited the U.S., meeting with his

opening scene of Un chien andalou, the 1929 movie by Luis

friends Kay Sage and Marcel Duchamp and giving lectures

Buñuel and Salvador Dalí: when a cloud passes through the

about Surrealism.

moon as a woman’s eye is being slit by a razor held by a man’s hand. Claude Cahun’s Object (1936, Art Institute of Chicago7)

The piece he showed at both 1936 exhibitions in Paris and

has several of the same ingredients: the cloud, the eye, the

New York was the Specter of the Gardenia, the very same

cloud slitting the eye/moon, the hand, assembled in a tiny

object MoMA acquired in 1968 through the Dominique and


Jean de Menil Fund. In 1961-62, the Specter of the Gardenia was included in an exhibition, The Art of Assemblage, in New

Claude Cahun (French, 1894-1954) is best known as a

York (MoMA), San Francisco, and at the Dallas Museum for

photographer. She was born Lucy Schwob and changed

Contemporary Arts.

her name for a gender-neutral one around 1919. Her lifelong partner, step-sibling, and art collaborator, Suzanne Malherbe 37

Nancy Grossman, Bust, 1968. Leather over wood, Overall: 18in. (45.7cm). Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas


(French, 1892-1972) changed her name to Marcel Moore.

Cahun’s Object leaves multiple interpretations open. As Valerie

Gender identity was an important component of their life and

Fletcher writes: “On a very basic level we cannot understand

art. A precursor to Cindy Sherman, Claude Cahun multiplied self-

why the Surrealists created works of art, nor how we perceive

portraits in various attires and attitudes, including impersonating

them today, unless we accept the premise that the subconscious

male figures, and she also created many photomontages. She

permeates our thoughts and actions. Conscious reality is limited;

grew close to the Surrealist movement, and took part in its

exploring the hidden mysteries of our unconscious enriches our

radical political branch. Marcel Jean met Malherbe and Cahun

lives and expands our minds.”16 No one interpretation is better than

at a meeting. Similarly to Jean, Cahun was at the 1936 Surrealist

the other. Let us all follow our fantasy on its unpredictable path.

Exhibition of Objects at the Galerie Ratton.8 Because of growing anti-Semitism, Cahun and Moore moved to Saint Helier, Jersey

On a final note, a counterpoint to those works would be Nancy

in 1937. When the island was occupied by German troops, they

Grossman’s Bust (1968), belonging to the Nasher’s collection.17

devoted themselves to anti-Nazi activism, printing fliers and

Avi Varma’s text published in The Nasher magazine, Fall 2016,

distributing them around in actions both political and artistic.

describes it beautifully:18

Arrested by the Gestapo in 1944, they were sentenced to death. Most of their house’s contents were destroyed, but the

“It often took Grossman a year to complete a single bust.

end of the war occurred before the sentence was carried out.

After carefully carving them in wood—often reclaimed

Cahun never fully recovered from her time in prison and died in

wood from found objects such as telephone poles—

1954. Malherbe died in 1972. They are buried together in Jersey.

Grossman would cover the visible portions of the heads

Cahun’s art was rediscovered only in the 1990s and she is now

in gleaming white enamel before adorning their surfaces

recognized as one of the important Surrealist artists in a mainly

with leather. She painstakingly took apart and repurposed

male-centered movement.

used leather, in the process yielding odd, striking shapes that she would use like lines in a drawing. Zippers, chains,

The Art Institute’s Object is the only remaining object created

belt buckles, harness strings, horns, fierce silver teeth all

by Cahun. The others are known only by the photographs

made their way into the busts. A new language took form,

Cahun made of them. But maybe their sole purpose was to

evocative of bondage and fetishism, yet more intuitively

be photographed? With a less refined rendering than most

expressive of an erupting psychic energy. For example,

of Cahun’s objects, Object is not listed in the 1936 Ratton

when she first decided to make these images of bound

exhibition catalogue, and not visible in the photographs of the

heads into sculpture, Grossman used the symbol of the

installation by Man Ray. It did belong to Charles Ratton from

upraised fist of the Black Power movement as the form

1936 to at least 1978 when he lent it to a Dada and Surrealism

for the heads. The leather-and-metal-clad heads also have

exhibition in London. The entry lists it as Anonymous, and

connections with African tribal art, such as Songye and

mentions it was part of the 1936 Ratton exhibition, information

Congolese Nkisi Nkondi figures. Though they read as male,

probably provided by the lender. It is only in a 1978 exhibition10

Nancy Grossman describes the busts as self-portraits.

at Zabriskie Gallery, New York, that it was attributed to Cahun.11

It is hard not to see the work as embodying a moment

Virginia Zabriskie recounts: “I bought an object from the

in which many firm categories of social identity such as

Charles Ratton sale. It was in my copy of the 1936 catalogue

gender, race, and sexuality began to become undone and

and I showed it as possibly being by Claude Cahun. François

fluid – exactly the condition [Judith] Butler would theorize

Leperlier, an author who was working on a book12 on Cahun,

two decades later.”


phoned and said it was definitely by her. He took me on a harrowing trip to the isle of Jersey with the plane bumping its way over the Channel…”. 13 The inscription on the base may be from Suzanne Malherbe’s hand. It reads: “La Marseillaise est un chant révolutionnaire. La loi punit le contrefacteur des Travaux forcés.” (« The Marseillaise is a revolutionary song. The law punishes the counterfeiter of/with hard labour. »). Steven Harris, in his book Surrealist Art and Thought in the 1930s, explains the origin of the two sentences. The first one was “a very well-known slogan at the time of the object’s making, since one of the Parti Communiste Français’ leaders, Jacques Duclos, had used it at the giant rally consecrating the Popular Front just the year before, on July 14, 1935.”14 The second phrase “has a quite precise source as well, which is the text inscribed on paper money that warns against the counterfeiting of legal tender15.” Cahun chose the text from Belgian money rather than French.

Le Surréalisme et l’objet, Curated by Didier Ottinger, Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, October 30, 2013-March 3, 2014; with exhibition catalogue: Dictionnaire de l’objet surréaliste, Edited by Didier Ottinger, Paris, Gallimard, 2013. 2 Marvelous Objects. Surrealist Sculpture. From Paris to New York, Curated by Valerie Fletcher, Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, October 29, 2015-February 15, 2016. 3 Valerie J Fletcher, « Surrealist Sculpture », in Marvelous Objects, op. cit., p. 14. 4 Marcel Jean (1900-1993), Le spectre du gardénia / The Specter of the Gardenia, 1936, plaster head with painted black cloth, zippers, and strip of film on velvet-covered wood base, 13 7/8 x 7 x 9 7/8”, including base 3” high x 7” diameter, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, D. and J. de Menil Fund, 229.1968. 5 Marcel Jean, Au galop dans le vent, Editions Jean-Pierre de Monza, 1991, p. 55-56. 6 Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University Art Museum, acc. no. 72.122, ed. 2/9, acquired 1972; Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, acc. no. B98.0494, The Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of dada and Surrealist Art in the Israel Museum; Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, acc. no. 2013.936, ed. 4/9, Yvonne Pettengell Bequest, 2013; Paris, National Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, acc. no. AM 2009143, purchased 2009; San Francisco, SFMOMA, 85/101, acquired 1985. 7 Claude Cahun (1894-1954), Objet / Object, 1936, wood, paint, and hair, 5 3/8 x 6 3/8 x 4”, The Art Institute of Chicago, Through prior gift of Mrs. Gilbert W. Chapman, 2007.30. 8 With two objects, Un air de famille, Souris valseuses, both destroyed, the former known through a photograph. See online accessible version of the 1936 catalogue: work/56600100858821. 9 Dada and Surrealism Reviewed, London, Hayward Gallery, January 11-March 27, 1978, cat. 12.1 p. 294, ill. 10 Surrealism 1936 – Objects, Photographs, Collages and Documents, New York, Zabriskie Gallery, 1986; the purpose of this exhibition was to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1936 Ratton exhibition. 11 Paris, Etude Guy Loudmer, December 10 and 11, 1985, no. 24. 12 François Leperlier, Claude Cahun : l’écart et la métamorphose, Paris, 1992, p. 216-217. 13 Martica Sawin, “Le surréalisme chez Zabriskie”, in Zabriskie: Fifty Years, New York, 2004, p. 62. 14 Steven Harris, Surrealist Art and Thought in the 1930s, Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 168. 15 Harris, op. cit., p. 169. 16 Fletcher, op. cit., p. 15. 17 Nancy Grossman (born 1940), Bust, 1968, leather over wood, overall H. 18”, Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, NC.1969.A.01. 18 Accessible online at article?id=52. 1





Sculpture Department Chairman Toshimitsu Ito, viewing students’ collaborative installation at Hiroshima City University, 2017.




Hidenori Oi’s red travertine sculpture at Yamaguchi Airport, 2009



Dallas-based artists Tom Orr and Frances Bagley have travelled

TO: The show consisted of artists from all over the world. Some

to Japan numerous times over the past several decades,

of the better-known ones included Joel Perlman, St. Claire

developing friendships, exhibiting work, and occasionally

Cemin, Tony Cragg, William Tucker, and Louise Bourgeois.

winning prizes. From the ties they have established there, they have brought over Japanese artists for exhibitions in Dallas,

FB: Tom researched most of the artists before we left.

coordinating events with Southern Methodist University, University of Dallas, Texas Christian University, and other Dallas

TO: Old school, at the library, using a card catalog.

institutions and galleries. Their relationship with Japanese sculptors has helped establish connections between Japanese

FB: One particular Japanese artist whose work Tom saw

and American artists, including Cam Schoepp, TCU Sculpture

in ArtForum made a strong impression on him. The artist’s

Department chair, and sculptor Toshimitsu Ito at Hiroshima City

work was very minimal, but in a whole new way.

University who, together after first meeting through Frances and Tom in 2007, organized Sons and Daughters of the Sun

TO: The artist was Yonekichi Tanaka. He did these things

and Star, a collaborative exhibition and student exchange from

that were very heavy cast metal cubes that looked like they


floated in midair. They were balanced on clear pedestals that you really couldn’t see… it was really pretty amazing stuff and I thought that I really need to meet this guy…thinking

RYDER RICHARDS: Let’s start from the beginning: How did your relationship with Japan begin? FRANCES BAGLEY: It started when Tom and I first started dating and he declared to me that he wanted to go to Japan before he was 40. TOM ORR: As a kid, I was always fascinated with Japan and I always wanted to go there. I was born on August 6, which is the day they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. I am reminded of it every birthday. FB: Tom was a little over 40 and I saw a call for artists, which was a biennale in Japan. Tom had just finished this maquette of a piece he wanted to build, but didn’t have the funds to build it, so I encouraged him to send it in for this competition even though the entry fee was very expensive. I remember we were asleep one night and we heard the fax machine go off. We jumped out of bed and Tom had not only been accepted in the show, he had won a prize. In the ‘90s the Japanese economy was booming, so in addition to the prize money, the organizers of the Fujisankei Biennale funded the fabrication of the sculpture, the shipping from Dallas, and all of our expenses for 10 days of organized festivities.

that he and I were probably about the same age. FB: It turned out that Yonekichi Tanka was in his 70s then and is in his 90s now. We have stayed close to Yonekichi for these past 23 years and just visited him again this past November. By establishing a friendship with him, we have been able get to know other Japanese artists either directly or indirectly through him. Those relationships have in turn offered us opportunities to exhibit in Japan. Hidenori Oi, one of Yonekichi’s former assistants and now a renowned stone sculptor who has a sculpture on the SMU Campus, told me to enter a certain exhibition in Tokyo with a particular maquette that he saw in my studio. The result of his suggestion was a total success. RR: Those relationships with Japanese artists have gone both ways, right? TO & FB: Oh, yes. TO: When I first met Yonekichi Tanaka, through a translator, we were able to talk to each other about our work, and so when Frances and I got back to the U.S. we focused on the fact that Dallas was planning the “Sun and Star Festival” for 1996 to celebrate the cultural and business relationship between Dallas and Japan at the time.


FB: Dallas put together this amazing festival. I haven’t seen

RR: There is something about the level of effort and

them do anything like it since, where all the museums

expenditure of you going to the biennial in Japan, and what

showed Japanese art, and every major cultural institution

they do for any visitor that comes to Japan, the way that

joined in to do something to contribute.

they treat guests. And for you to be able to reciprocate that in America where, I would hate to say it, but it doesn’t seem

TO: The Dallas Museum of Art brought an entire exhibition

to be as common to get that kind of reciprocal attention and

of artifacts that had never been outside of Japan before and


hosted one of the biggest parties of the Festival. FB: I am not sure that it could happen now. We didn’t have FB: At the time, I was working for Dallas Area Rapid Transit

any trouble getting people to open doors and to make this

(DART) and knew a lot of people who made things happen

happen in 1996.

in the city, so the minute I heard that Dallas was going to do something with Japanese artists, I thought “We’ve got to be

TO: It was the right time for it.

involved.” FB: The fact that the whole city was involved in this festival TO: My lovely wife!

made what we did even more visible and possible. From that point on our relationship with artists in Japan has continued

FB: I asked various people about how we could be involved,

to expand and as we remained close to Yonekichi Tanaka for

until one of the “power women” of Dallas said, “You’ve

all these years.

just got to do it yourself, Frances.” So, I went to the Belo Foundation to talk to Judith Segura, the director. She was enthusiastic about the idea, resulting in commissions for both Tom and Yonekichi Tanaka to build sculptures for the Festival as the Belo Corporation’s contribution to “Sun and Star.” At the same time, and just as graciously, Nancy Whitenack gave both men a joint exhibition at Conduit Gallery. For the Belo commission, Yonekichi Tanaka made a very large and complex sculpture that amazed us all. He came first for a pre-trip with a translator, and when he came back for the installation he brought his wife and an assistant and an art historian to give lectures on his work. In order to house everyone, take care of them, and talk to them, we had to line up translators and drivers and installation help. Cam Schoepp was teaching at University of Dallas at the time and through his help, UD provided apartments on campus for our Japanese guests. UD was wonderful, they rolled out the red carpet for this whole crew.


Yonekichi Tanaka’s recent mirrored stainless-steel sculptures in his studio, Yamaguchi City, Japan, 2017

Tom Orr’s Cascade, painted steel 7’x24’x 3’ at 21st Ube Biennale of Contemporary Sculpture in Ube, Japan, 2005





Tom Orr met Yonekichi Tanaka at the 2nd Fujisankei

Tom’s sculpture Cascade was chosen for the 21st

Biennale International Exhibition for Contemporary

Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture in Japan, Ube City

Sculpture Utsukushi-Ga-Hara Open-Air Museum, Nagano,

Museum, Japan.

Japan. (Prize for Excellence) 2009 Tom exhibited in the 6th International Osaka Triennial,

Frances Bagley won third prize in the 10th Kajima Sculpture

Osaka Foundation of Culture, Osaka, Japan. (Bronze Prize)

Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan, and her maquette was purchased.



Sun and Star Japan Festival, Large outdoor sculpture by

Hidenori Oi was commissioned to build a stone sculpture

Tom Orr and Yonekichi Tanaka, sponsored by the Belo

at SMU.

Foundation, at One Ferris Plaza Dallas. Toshimitsu Ito came to Dallas to view Hidenori Oi’s Yonekichi Tanaka brought Hidenori Oi as his assistant to

sculpture and met Cam Schoepp at TCU, since they are

install his sculpture at the Belo Building in downtown Dallas.

both head of sculpture at each of their universities.

Conduit Gallery hosted a two-person exhibition, of Tom Orr

Cam then began to accept some of Ito’s students at TCU.

and Yonekichi Tanaka. 2011 1998

Frances and Tom built a site-specific installation at Art

Tom exhibited at 9th International Osaka Triennial, Osaka

in Container International Competition, Kobe Biennial,

Foundation of Culture, Osaka, Japan.

Kobe, Japan.

Yonekichi Tanaka returned to Dallas to donate his Sun and

Frances and Tom visited Toshimitsu Ito at Hiroshima City

Star Sculpture to The University of Dallas.

University and advised that instead of sending student work back and forth between Fort Worth and Hiroshima, that he


and Cam Schoepp send the students to each campus to

Frances Bagley and Tom Orr exhibited in the Model

make the work and then exhibit it.

Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture, Cultural Affairs of Ube, Japan.

2012 – 2013 Sons and Daughters of the Sun and Star, a collaborative exhibition and student exchange between TCU and Hiroshima City University.

Ryder Richards is an artist, curator, and writer based in Dallas, Texas.

1. Yonekichi Tanaka with Frances and Tom in 1996 at the Belo Foundation’s installation for Dallas’s Sun and Star Festival. 2. Frances Bagley with Hidenori Oi and his sculpture at Ube Sculpture Biennial, Ube, Japan, 2011. 3. Lunch in Tokyo, 2009, left to right, Chikako Fukuda, Kimiko and Yonekichi Tanaka, Frances Bagley ,Tom Orr, and Hidenori Oi. 4. Bagley/Orr site-specific light installation at Art in Container, Kobe Biennial, Kobe, Japan, 2011. 5. Tom and Frances with Yonekichi Tanaka, November 2017 in front of his latest sculpture. 6. Artists and Faculty from Hiroshima City University who participated in the Sons and Daughters of the Sun and Star exchange with TCU, hosting Frances and Tom in 2017. 7. Artist Takashi Hasegawa at his studio with Frances and Tom in 2017. 8. The entrance to the Lee Ufan Museum designed by Tadao Ando on the Inland Sea Island of Naoshima, Japan, 2011. 46








8 47


A New View:

Harrow by artist Linnea Glatt

In the second installment of The Nasher’s series of essays

The A.H. Belo Corporation, the media company that owns

highlighting public sculpture in Dallas, we turn our attention

The Dallas Morning News and, at the time, also owned

to a work that has been on view in downtown Dallas for more

WFAA-TV, Channel 8, developed Lubben Park and Plaza in

than 25 years. In a shady plaza across from the Omni Hotel at

1986 on the occasion of the corporation’s sesquicentennial

the intersection of Young and Market streets, Linnea Glatt’s

celebration. As part of the plaza development, the corporation

large-scale Cor-Ten steel cone, titled Harrow, rotates around

commissioned Glatt and Houston-based sculptor George

a sand-covered circular track, completing one revolution

Smith to make outdoor sculptures to be installed in a former

every 24 hours. Resembling an enlarged rusty screw with

parking lot turned public park (the park and plaza were gifted

threaded edges that draw concentric rings into the sand with

to the City of Dallas in 1986, the time of commemoration; a

each rotation, Harrow—by its very name—alludes to a disc

third commission of a work by Jesús Bautista Moroles was

harrow, a farm implement used to till soil where crops are

installed in 1994). Glatt recalls fondly that the commission

planted. Likewise, the sculpture’s revolution recalls earth’s

came with little bureaucratic oversight; each artist was

daily orbit around the sun, tracking time through movement

encouraged to think expansively about what he or she might

in space. Harrow’s movement is nearly imperceptible—only

propose. Proposals were reviewed by a team comprising

with prolonged engagement are we made aware of the

Robert Decherd, Belo Corporation president and CEO;

sculpture’s progress. Surrounding the motorized cone and

Judith Segura curator of the corporation’s art collection; and

its circular, sandy track, Glatt installed seating as a way to

longtime Dallas art dealer and gallerist Murray Smither, who

transform the sculpture into an experience to behold and to

then worked with the artist to determine which proposal he

slow viewers down to spend time with it. Glatt collaborated

or she was most interested in developing. The artist was

with her husband, metal craftsman James Cinquemani, to

asked to respond to the setting where the sculpture would

design and produce the mechanical elements of Harrow,

be installed and encouraged to spend time in the area to

which comprises a motor with 1/40th of a horsepower—

get a sense of place. Glatt went a step further to link the

producing enough energy to light a 40-watt bulb—with three

commission and sculpture conceptually: In addition to

built-in safety mechanisms to stop the work from moving if

referencing the cyclical nature of life, Harrow likewise alludes

there is something in its path. Glatt credits Cinquemani as

to the news cycle and the daily printing of the newspaper.

the one who encouraged her to take the idea of a moving or kinetic sculpture from a drawing on paper to reality.

Linnea Glatt, Harrow (detail), 1992, Cor-Ten steel, motor, sand, western cedar, and cedar elm trees, Overall Dimension: 38 x 38 feet; Dimension of Circular Track: 30 feet in diameter. Collection of Parks for Downtown Dallas, formerly known as The Belo Foundation. Photo courtesy of the artist.



Linnea Glatt, Harrow, 1992, Cor-Ten steel, motor, sand, western cedar, and cedar elm trees, Overall Dimension: 38 x 38 feet; Dimension of Circular Track: 30 feet in diameter. Collection of Parks for Downtown Dallas, formerly known as The Belo Foundation.



The idea of prolonged engagement is at the heart of Glatt’s

In the 35 years since Glatt’s first work of site-specific sculpture in

many public sculpture projects. The artist is concerned with

1982, she has been involved in numerous public commissions,

creating a sense of place and involving the viewer in her work

notably in Phoenix, where she and Vermont-based artist

as a participant, rather than circumambulating from the outside.

Michael Singer transformed a nondescript municipal recycling

Glatt has a history of what she calls “placemaking”—creating

center into a civic building in the development of the Solid

situations that lend permanence to a site and establish places

Waste Transfer and Recycling Center—a project that became

for herself and others to experience her sculpture:

a model for public art projects for the way it incorporated artists in the planning from the very beginning through its final stages.

I am interested in the idea of placemaking, of which

The project required a 10-year commitment from the artists,

this [Harrow] is my most obvious manifestation. Of my

which Glatt felt removed her from focusing on her own work.

works, Harrow is the most active and on the contrary,

At a certain point, she decided to stop taking commissions for

the most serene and contemplative. The repetition and

public works and instead returned to the solitude of her studio

the constancy of the bands of the cone drawing in the

practice, where she determines the rate at which each work

sand symbolize for me the cyclical nature of life and


the balancing of life’s events. The gesture is meant to embrace, to settle, and to provoke thought. As with

In recent years, Glatt also shifted from working primarily on

my previous pieces, Harrow implies a human presence

sculpture to drawing with fabric. Glatt’s 2018 solo exhibition

and dialogue.

at the Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas showcased her recent fabric drawings, which the artist connects to the landscape

Glatt began making architecturally inspired enclosures in 1980

of her home state of North Dakota. Abstract and minimal, the

with works that evolved from a hut, to an archway, to cylindrical

drawings are the result of the artist’s interests in progressions,

enclosures that contained seating for two. By 1982, the artist

evolutions, and the passage of time. Though very different in

was ready to create a more permanent sculpture directly in

scale, medium, and material, there is a through line connecting

the landscape. Leveraging funds awarded to her by the Dallas

Glatt’s Harrow with her recent work: the idea of placemaking—

Museum of Art’s Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund, Glatt created

just as Harrow creates a place in a plaza in Downtown Dallas, so

her first site-specific sculpture on the grounds of Richland

too do her drawings create a place, an evocation of her native

College in North Dallas. Titled A Place to Gather, the work

landscape. One also feels the connection between time and

formally resembles one of Donald Judd’s 15 untitled works in

meditation. As one views her fabric drawings, one is filled with

concrete (1980–1984), or the geometry of Richard Fleischner’s

a sense of Zen-like calm. Likewise, seated in front of Harrow,

Courtyard Project for the Dallas Museum of Art (1981–1983),

the environment shifts subtly: The noise of the city is muffled

or the public sculptures of Scott Burton. Two parallel walls

by the walls enclosing the sculpture, light diffuses through the

measuring eight feet high and 20 feet across enclose a space

shade trees, and one is able to relax and focus on the almost

that contains two benches on opposite ends. Four-foot-tall

imperceptible movement of the great conical sculpture slowly

openings in either wall suggest doorways, thresholds, or

retracing the lines it made in the sand.

windows and while there is no roof to this dwelling, sitting inside it one feels protected, and yet completely within nature. Glatt purposely sited the work apart from the core of the campus activity between two parallel earthen berms that serve an environmental function to the sculpture, effectively completing the open ends of the “room” she built. As she would do with Harrow a decade later, Glatt focused on creating a place for gathering, meditation, contemplation, and reflection when she made A Place to Gather.

Leigh Arnold, Ph.D., is the Nasher Sculpture Center’s assistant curator. Linnea Glatt, Harrow (installation detail), 1992, Cor-Ten steel, motor, sand, western cedar, and cedar elm trees, Overall Dimension: 38 x 38 feet; Dimension of Circular Track: 30 feet in diameter. Collection of Parks for Downtown Dallas, formerly known as The Belo Foundation. Photo courtesy of the artist. Linnea Glatt, Harrow (detail), 1992, Cor-Ten steel, motor, sand, western cedar, and cedar elm trees, Overall Dimension: 38 x 38 feet; Dimension of Circular Track: 30 feet in diameter. Collection of Parks for Downtown Dallas, formerly known as The Belo Foundation. Photo courtesy of the artist.




The New York-based artist Tauba Auerbach works across many disciplines, exploring systems of language, ornamentation, topology, and dimension. In recent years, Auerbach has been working extensively with glass, creating objects that resemble tools and fabrics. Here for The Nasher, Auerbach shows the process of assembling a glass knit out of delicate bent rods. Hear Tauba Auerbach speak on August 25 at the Nasher’s 360 Speaker Series.

Photos by Andria Hickey Images courtesy Tauba Auerbach Š Tauba Auerbach



Photos by Andria Hickey. Images courtesy Tauba Auerbach. © Tauba Auerbach


Tauba Auerbach, Field Studio, © MOCA Cleveland, 2018.



Vagabon Vagabon is the name that musician Laetitia Tamko has given to the project for which she has composed, produced, and recorded since 2014. The 25-year-old multi-instrumentalist was born in Cameroon and lived there until her teens before moving to New York. After earning an engineering degree, Tamko worked her way into becoming a key part of Brooklyn’s endlessly bustling underground music scene. She had a breakout year in 2017 as critical think-pieces—more substantial than the typical record review—followed the release of her record Infinite Worlds, and she was included in a comprehensive roundup of musicians in The New York Times titled “Rock’s Not Dead: It’s Ruled by Women.” Tamko answered some questions for The Nasher ahead of her May performance at ‘til Midnight at the Nasher.



CHRISTOPHER MOSLEY: You learned to play by

LT: I kind of rejected the idea that I was going to do it

figuring out pop music tracks, but clearly moved into

full-time so soon. I knew when I made the decision

some different territory from there. What was your

to go full-time musician, it was a decision I refused to

entry away from pop music?

do too soon and down the road. I have to give up. I thought to myself ‘Well, This can’t be real, so tread

LAETITIA TAMKO: I didn’t really step away from that,

lightly.’ I actually kept my engineering job until the very

my scope of music and its consumption just expanded.

last second I could. I was working and coding on my

I didn’t have anyone in my life saying, “You should

40-day tours around the country, then going to sound-

listen to [blank]” or “Have you ever heard The Smiths?”

check and playing the show and doing merch, then coding again before bed.

No one talked to me about music, so I only listened to the things being played on the radio and my 3 CDs.

CM: You have worked as an engineer, programmer,

That only changed when I started making music and

and developer. How do those things play a role in your

performing it and meeting other musicians who were

creative life?

constantly talking about records and albums and bands; I’m still always very unknowledgeable in those kinds of

LT: Technically speaking, not very much. Work-ethic


wise, it’s playing a huge role.

CM: You’ve grown up in a few disparate places—

CM: In interviewing artists over the years, I’ve heard

Cameroon, Harlem, Yonkers. What did you take from

several say there is always a key point in their live set

each of them? How did each one change you?

when a moment or a lyric almost seems to make time stop for them. Do you have a moment, song, or lyric

LT: Yes, every place I have lived informs my character.

that does that for you?

Cameroon has taught me gratitude for the access I have to be able to even do this with my life. That is

LT: That moment would be when I close my set with

unmeasurable. There are much worse conditions in

“The Embers” and the whole crowd screams the

which to live, and I always cherish that lesson.

words. That moment makes me feel so close to the amazing people who come to my shows and it makes

CM: What are some things that influence you outside

me feel less alone up there spilling all my secrets.

of music? A particular experience, a film, or a piece of CM: If you could wave a wand and change one thing

visual art, for instance.

about the music industry today, what would it be? LT: Lately, it has been a lot of books — I’m currently rereading Fred Moten’s The Feel Trio, and a friend of

LT: Without getting too heady, I’d wave the wand and

mine, Griffin Irvine, just had a poetry book of his called

get rid of industry-manufactured competition between

Eye Dialect published, and I’ve been enjoying that.

artists. There’s enough space for everyone to have a lane.

CM: When did it click for you that music was going to

CM: If you could collaborate with any artist working

be your full-time job?

today, who would it be? LT: Hailu Mergia.

Christopher Mosley is the Nasher’s digital content manager. Vagabon performs in the Nasher Sculpture Garden at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 18. She will be co-headlining the bill with singer Julie Byrne. Details at X



Pedro Reyes is a contemporary artist based in Mexico City. 62

Sculpture has always been about the history of sculpture. In sculpture, forms are concepts, and my library is a tool just as the hammer and chisel. For the past five years, I’ve been buying monographs of sculptors to learn from them. Now it’s a big joy when I come across a volume of a lesser-known sculptor. For every sculptor, there are 100 painters. Because sculpture requires so much time and resources, it’s only natural that the opus of sculptors is smaller than other artists. Coming out of a conceptual art practice, there was a lot of sculpture that I looked at with disdain at a certain moment in my life. Now, my appreciation for other periods has grown. One day, we realize that those guilty pleasures that started as ironic were sincere joys that we had to let in.

BERNHARD HEILIGER Figuring out the eyes on a sculpted portrait is a big deal. I like how Bernhard Heiliger solves it. This is a resource I plan to use in the future.

OSCAR JESPERS A lot of the books I buy were former library books. In Oscar Jespers I found another interesting way to solve the eyes. Which is, to make a very vague insinuation without much depth or detail.

LUCIO FONTANA This is a book of works by Lucio Fontana before he started to make his “spatial concepts.” He had a full body of work that no one remembers now, like this woman with a mask from 1940. Would you consider this a spatial concept?


AGUSTIN CARDENAS I like the work of the Cuban sculptor Cardenas. His work is cartoon-like and afro-futurist. Just look at the title of this sculpture “Etre Lunaire.”

JACOB EPSTEIN This title makes me smile. Visiting the Tate Britain recently, I spent some time enjoying the massive slab called Sun God and its versal Primeval Gods. Its dimensions are 2134 x 1980 x 355 mm. This was an attempt to do a 20th-century Stonehenge. This stone made a big impression on me.

LES SCULPTEURS CELEBRES Isn’t it curious that sculpture monographs used to feature photos of the sculptor’s hands?

LES SCULPTEURS CELEBRES — HENRI LAURENS See? Being a sculptor is fun. Not like those sad conceptualists who will remind us one more time about the draconian conditions of the self in the late capitalist anthropocene.


FRANCISCO ZUÑIGA I love Zuñiga’s work, and I used to hate it. What I have realized is that sculptors from the nationalistic period were conducting a big decolonization enterprise. Before them, sculptors in Mexico were doing copies of the Parisian school (many have argued that Rodin is a dead end, but that’s a different argument). The generation of Zuñiga started to use indigenous women as models. In fact, it is more pleasurable to sculpt big bodies than skinny ones.

JOSE DE RIVERA I would love to own a sculpture by Jose de Rivera. He is futuristic, lyrical, calligraphic, elegant, whimsical, daring, impossible, silken, pure chrome lust.

JOANNIS AVRAMIDIS A confession. Most sculptors from modern times find a signature style. But before they arrive at it, they do a lot of great experiments. All those works are up for grabs, as very few people will be able to trace the source for such inspiration. And if you get caught, you can only hug them for being so scholarly.



Circle Project

The Nasher recently announced The Circle Project, an initiative

I dissect desire. Desire is political. Desire is a hunger.

that seeks to highlight the talent of the artists who are part of

Perhaps I am insatiable, love has a taste.

the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Artist Circle, an affinity group for practicing artists in the North Texas area, through a design

Words are inclusive.

partnership with Cerámica Suro—an established ceramics

Words are neutral.

studio based in Guadalajara, Mexico that is known for its

Words let the reader paint their own picture.

frequent collaborations with artists. Each year, the Nasher will

My words provide space for others to feel.

commission an artist from the Artist Circle to design a set of

It is what I bring to the table.

limited-edition dinner plates that will be produced by Cerámica

Sit with this feeling in your belly.

Suro and will debut at the Nasher Store in conjunction with the

Let it digest.

Dallas Art Fair each April. Proceeds from the sale of the plates will go toward enriching Nasher Sculpture Center’s exhibition

If desire was a shape, maybe it would be round.

and education programs, such as the Artist Circle. I am unlovable and call it Holy. The first Circle Project edition features the work of Pierre Krause, a self-described “post-lol multimedia thing-maker,

When I was in love, I was full.

exile writer, couch curator, SoundCloud rapper, DJ and full-time freak.” Krause’s work straddles various idioms and forms—

Now my plate is empty and I wait.

from sculpture to paintings to text-based interventions and

I long to be consumed.

music. Often carrying a confessional tone, Krause’s work can feel like an honest and lyrical running monologue, addressing

I hope people don’t feel alone.

lovers, friends, and political entities. For this commission,

I hope they are sharing a meal,

Krause has used the idea of a meal as the genesis for a series

talking and exchanging ideas with others

of text-based images that are tantalizingly suggestive—words

that make them feel loved,

and phrases that tease out ideas of desire, appetite, and

cared for and safe.

consumption. Pierre Krause’s “conceptual_whatever works” have been exhibited in Dallas as well as in New York, Denmark,

If you are alone, I am with you.

Sweden, Switzerland, Los Angeles, Mexico, and Japan.

Lick my words.

We asked Pierre to tell us a bit about the thought process for making this inaugural set of ceramics.

Want to lick your own set? Stop by the Nasher Store or visit Photography: Evan Chavez




WILLIAM B. JORDAN William B. Jordan (with umbrella) directing the installation of Mark di Suvero’s In the Bushes (1970-75) in front of the Owen Fine Arts Center, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 1978.





n January 22, 2018, Dallas and the larger art world lost

founding work of their sculpture collection—Jean (Hans)

a scholar and curator of great insight, warmth, and erudition,

Arp’s 1961 bronze Torso with Buds, which Patsy bought at

William B. Jordan, who passed away at the age of 77. His

the Sidney Janis Gallery as a surprise birthday gift for Ray, a

many accomplishments included important exhibitions

purchase quickly followed the next year with acquisitions of

ranging from an examination of Spanish still life paintings to

works by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. While their

Old Master drawings from Dallas collections. As founding

purchases of modern and contemporary sculpture continued

director of the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist

apace, it paralleled their continued acquisitions in other

University, he worked with collector and philanthropist

areas, including African and Oceanic art and Latin American

Algur H. Meadows to build what some consider “the best

antiquities and textiles.

collection of Spanish art outside of Spain”1 and extended to include the acquisition of modern sculptures by such

Over the decade that followed, the Nashers continued to acquire

artists as Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg,

sculpture, fueled especially by Patsy’s passion and curiosity. In

and David Smith. His scholarship in the field of Spanish art

the mid-1970s, the pace accelerated; in 1977 and 1978 alone,

reached a pinnacle with his private acquisition of a painting

the Nashers acquired more than half of the objects that would

that after many years of research he not only established as

be shown in Jordan’s exhibition, including Alexander Calder’s

a work by Diego Velázquez but then donated to the Prado

10-5-4 (1958), Anthony Caro’s Fanshoal (1971-72), Donald

Museum in Madrid. In addition to his post at the Meadows

Judd’s Untitled (1976), Jacques Lipchitz’s Seated Woman

Museum, Jordan served as deputy director of the Kimbell

(Cubist Figure) (1916), and Jasper Johns’s suite of lead reliefs

Art Museum and an adjunct curator at the Dallas Museum of

(1969). Clearly, they took their collecting seriously, yet Jordan

Art, where he also subsequently became a board member.

recalled that they hesitated at his proposal for an exhibition,

He touched many lives and profoundly shaped conversations

with Patsy reportedly saying, “I’m not sure you want to do

about art in North Texas and beyond.

that, Bill. Your job could be put in jeopardy if you show what we have. Because we don’t know that we have a collection.”2

Jordan also played a crucial role in the history of the Raymond

Reassuring them, Jordan proceeded, mounting an exhibition

and Patsy Nasher Collection and the subsequent establishment

that the Nashers retrospectively viewed as a transformative

and flourishing of the Nasher Sculpture Center. In the fall of

experience. As Ray later explained: “Our confidence was

1978, the modestly sized University Gallery—a gallery space

strengthened. . . . Our belief in ourselves was strengthened.

in SMU’s Owen Fine Arts Center, which was then home to

Patsy could now see that her instincts were right. Seeing what

the Meadows Museum—initiated its new season with an

we had in that small show was a stimulus to keep going and

exhibition of works from the collection of Raymond and Patsy

step up the pace.”3

Nasher. The small catalogue lists 24 works, all freestanding or relief sculptures, selected by Jordan: the very first public

The impact of seeing a group of their sculptures installed in

presentation of the Nashers’s sculpture collection, then just

the University Gallery—a world apart from the environments

over a decade old.

of their home and NorthPark Center, where larger sculptures were often on display—was clearly a powerful experience for

Born in Nashville, raised in San Antonio, and educated in

the Nashers, as would have been the reported visit of Henry

Virginia and New York, Jordan had come to SMU in 1967

Geldzahler, then New York City’s Commissioner of Cultural

after completing his Ph.D. in art history at the Institute of

Affairs, who gave a lecture on their collection shortly after

Fine Arts. In an extraordinary coincidence, the very year that

the exhibition opened. Beyond these undoubted milestones,

Jordan arrived in Dallas also saw the Nashers acquire the

Jordan’s exhibition had another, more lasting effect as well. In


Opening reception for 20th Century Sculpture: Mr. and Mrs. Raymond D. Nasher Collection, University Gallery, Owen Fine Arts Center, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 1978. Clockwise from top: visitors looking at, from left, Jean (Hans) Arp, Torso with Buds (1961), Isamu Noguchi, Gregory (Effigy) (1945), and Jacques Lipchitz, Seated Woman (Cubist Figure) (1916); Jordan, at right, speaking with a visitor, with Donald Judd’s Untitled (1976) and Joan Miró’s Moonbird (1944-46/1966) behind him; Roy Lichtenstein, Peace through Chemistry (1969) and Moonbird (1944-46/1966). Photographs courtesy of Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger.


Mark di Suvero’s In the Bushes (1970-75) installed in front of Owen Fine Arts Center, 1978. Photograph courtesy of Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger.

his catalogue essay, he not only praised “the search for quality

candor, made a lasting impression. Jordan remained close to

and the true joy of collecting” that formed the impetus for

the Nashers, and after Patsy’s death, as Ray made plans for the

the Nashers’s collecting activities but also offered a succinct

future of their collection, Jordan became a founding director

analysis of the collection’s historical structure. In doing so, he

of the Nasher Foundation and a member, until his death, of

identified a major strategy of their collecting—one they may

the Nasher Sculpture Center’s board. A regular presence at

not have been entirely aware of themselves until his clear-eyed

Nasher exhibition openings and a quietly influential presence

assessment. Jordan had a strong understanding of recent

in discussions of the Nasher’s program, Jordan was a crucial

sculpture, but his historical training enabled him to recognize

contributor to the Nasher Sculpture Center’s vitality and

larger issues and unexpected connections between artists

wider resonance. Whether offering his thoughts on drawings

born at different times, and he explained that the selected

by sculptors or discussing the challenges of balancing

works belonged “primarily to two generations of artists—

presentations of contemporary and historical works of art,

those born within a decade before or after 1900 and those

Jordan’s wry humor and soft-spoken manner belied a razor-

born within the decade after 1923.” Jordan included in the first

sharp sensibility for estimating the quality and significance of a

group such artists as Arp, Lipchitz, Moore, and Joan Miró, who

work of art. He will be missed by his friends at the Nasher, as

had each developed “his own highly personal and often radical

he is by many others.

sense of abstraction” but used mostly traditional materials and techniques, such as carving stone or casting metal. The second generation, which took in Judd, Oldenburg, Beverly Pepper, and Mark di Suvero among others, were heirs to their elders’ “revolutionary spirit” and “critical criteria” but reflected “the urgent exploration of both form and technique that quickened in the 1960s and 1970s.” Jordan identified what was to remain one of the most distinctive aspects of the Nasher Collection—its lively generational tension between sculpture past and present as well as tradition and innovation, exemplified in the exhibition’s installation by the dramatic juxtaposition of Miró’s large Moonbird with Oldenburg’s similarly monumental Typewriter Eraser. Jordan’s vote of confidence, made all the more convincing by his impeccable sense of quality, historical knowledge, and gentle 72

Rick Brettell and Joe Simnacher, “William Jordan, art historian and philanthropist who enriched Dallas-Fort Worth Museums, dies at 77,” Dallas Morning News, January 23, 2018, (accessed March 12, 2018) 2 Robert A. Wilson, Epitome of Desire (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004), 28. 3 Ibid., 29. 4 William B. Jordan, 20th Century Sculpture: Mr. and Mrs. Raymond D. Nasher Collection (Dallas, TX: University Gallery, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, 1978), n.p. 6 Described in Janet Tyson, “The Nashers unveil sculpture collection,” The Dallas Morning News, September 24, 1978, sec. C, p. 1. 1

Robert Brownlee and William B. Jordan at the opening of Tony Cragg: Seeing Things, Nasher Sculpture Center, 2011.






Alfredo Jaar, The Skoghall Konsthall, 2000, Skoghall, public intervention.

lauren woods, A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project, 2013. The fountain, the video activated, and a still from the video.

Left: Paul Ramírez Jonas, Alternative Facts (detail), 2017. Installation and performance. Courtesy of the artist. Right: Jill Magid, The Proposal, 2016, uncut, 2.02 carat, blue diamond with micro-laser inscription “I am wholeheartedly yours”


On March 6, the Nasher hosted one of its ongoing Nasher

skill set that we haven’t inserted into the conversation or we

Prize Dialogues series, titled Sculpture + History. Taking place

haven’t been asked to [insert] it. If we talk about here in Dallas,

in Dallas, a city marked profoundly by the 1963 assassination

when the Lee monument finally became a big public moment,

of President John F. Kennedy and racial inequality, Nasher Prize

there was a commission formed to determine what should

Dialogues: Sculpture + History considered the complex ways

happen at that site. The majority of people on that commission

in which sculpture tackles the past. Panelists included artists

were not artists. Artists were not consulted. I think that artists

Alfredo Jaar, Jill Magid, Paul Ramirez Jonas, and lauren woods.

have a knowledge of the technology and the power of these

The event was moderated by national art critic for Artnet

symbolic objects to be able to then put forth ideas of how to

News, Ben Davis, at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

actually deal with them.

Excerpts from this discussion are included below. It’s very personal what ties all my work together: performing Ben Davis: One thing happening right now, particularly with

“active witnessing,” as James Baldwin says, and materializing

memorials and monuments, is a huge discussion about

it. I’m still a little bit hesitant about what are we conflating? What

reconsidering what they mean and who they mean it to. It’s

are we empowering this alt-right to do? Alternative fact is not

a battle defining life in the USA at this point. There are artists

dealing necessarily in any form of fact. We all have our own truth,

inserting themselves into that conversation, and it’s funny

sure, but how does that relate to the structures we speak of?

for me to navigate where the arts sphere is helping this

And if we can’t come to consensus about actually examining this

conversation along and when it’s kind of containing it. It’s

structure then whatever, go write your story. I don’t feel then that

easiest to question where the stakes are the lowest, like in

[artists] are in the same conversation or world.

front of an audience that mainly already agrees that there’s a reckoning going on. Whereas these same questions are

Jill Magid: I’m really interested in how structures of society

completely combustible out on the streets where there are

work. The first many years of my practice were about

huge institutions of civic power and institutional memory and

government systems, mainly. A lot of surveillance and CCTV,

very scary political forces who have attached themselves

and that kind of organically led to getting commissioned by the

to very regressive symbols. So it’s easy to become very

Dutch Intelligence Agency. In trying to understand systems

dismissive of the arts conversation—a conversation that we’re

that are closed to citizens—the general public—and yet we pay

having amongst ourselves about memorialization—because it

for them and they are part of our society. How can I engage

kind of takes the edge off. But I think that’s too cynical, too.

with them? How can I create a dialogue with closed systems

Since you all work between these different spaces: How do

of power? How can power become more fluid by one’s

you think of the one conversation connecting with the other?

participation with it?

Paul Ramirez Jonas: I think your question is sort of like a

For the surveillance system of Liverpool, I read everything I

bomb exploding in my head. Collectively, cultural scholars for

could on that system to understand how it works. I found that

five or six decades were working on a master narrative. We

the bureaucratic system has poetic space because it’s so strict

start to create this fight for a plurality of voices. Some voices

there are ways to undercut and see through it, to enter and

are repressed, some realities are hidden. And I would say we

participate in it. Sometimes the document is a kind of map

won that cultural camp. The repercussion is that that right is

showing how a structure is intended to work.

not anti-factual. We are in a funny moment: What happens when you suddenly totally de-center the story? The people or

The Barragan Archives project was the first time investigation

the power that use that master narrative to control, now also

led to corporate control as opposed to government control,

has that same tool, to de-center the story, to de-center facts

but then I found out that governments are kind of mixed into

that creatives and cultural intellectuals have, in a way, created.

corporate control. So these are the themes in trying to access

Now it’s out there in the public domain. And it’s being used by

power and do it through ways that are kind of romantic and

people with a different sense of ethics. How do you respond to

very human and intimate.

that? I see it on TV all the time. A fact is presented and 8 hours later it is, “No, that is not a fact.”

Alfredo Jaar: The model I have used my entire career has always been the same. Before acting in a world, I need to

Hands down, there is a healthier, more complex discourse

understand it. I always thought that artists cannot represent

going on outside the art world than within it. The broader public

the idea. We cannot. What we do is represent and create a

sphere is more diverse. In ethnicity, social class, ideas. The art

new reality. It’s never real. The representation of the real

world is very insular and homogeneous, even intellectually. I

becomes a new reality. What we do, in a way, is create

find, making work in the larger public, that I can encounter a

models of looking at the world. Or in my case ideally, models

better discourse that can then be brought into the art world.

of thinking the world. We superimpose a model on top of an existing model. The truth is there. And we represent it and by

lauren woods: For me, the question isn’t so much about

doing so create a new reality which is in the intellectual world.

truth, it’s about the public record that has the power to push

This is our freedom. This is our right.

itself. I would say that in the issue of monuments, particularly Confederate monuments, I think [artists] do have a specific 77

Nasher Prize Month In celebration of the 2018 Nasher Prize Laureate Theaster Gates, the Nasher hosted a monthlong celebration with free-admission days, educational activities, and public programs. Nasher Prize Month Sponsors / National Endowment for the Arts / The Donna Wilhelm Family Fund

Photos: Kevin Todora


Nasher Prize Award Gala On April 7, the Nasher hosted its third annual Nasher Prize Award Gala in celebration of Theaster Gates, with almost 300 guests enjoying an evening of celebration for this amazing artist. Presenting Sponsor / JPMorgan Chase & Co. Founder’s Circle Sponsors / The Eugene McDermott Foundation / Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger 2018 Co-Chairs / Christen and Derek Wilson

Clockwise from the top: Derek Wilson, Jeremy Strick, Christen Wilson, and Theaster Gates; Nancy A. Nasher and Theaster Gates; John and Jennifer Eagle and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky; Micki and Mike Rawlings; Matrice Ellis-Kirk and Ron Kirk; Brandi and Pete Chillian and Nana Adae.


2018 Nasher Prize Award Gala Photo: Bret Redman



2001 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201 USA Tel +1 214.242.5100 Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. COVER: Pablo Picasso Head of a Woman (Fernande), 1909 Plaster, 18 1/2 x 14 1/8 x 13 3/4 in. Art © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Tom Jenkins 2018 Nasher Prize Laureate Theaster Gates and 2016 Nasher Prize Laureate Doris Salcedo Photo: Bret Redman


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