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Texas Biennial 2009: new website, solo shows announced!


William Cannings and Michael Duncan at Canning's studio


The Texas Biennial people just launched a redesigned website. It looks
much nicer than the previous one. I wasn’t a big fan of the color
scheme, it made my eyes tired. Now, it’s easier to read, and makes more
sense. Also, the new launch includes a fantastic message from Michael
Duncan, the juror for this edition of the TXBNL:

Still, Texas seems largely a self-contained world and that’s what’s
good about it. Like LA in 1991 – when I first started writing about art
– Texas is teeming with artists making work for themselves first. The
do-it-yourself/think-it-yourself esthetic fuels the iconoclastic spirit
of the best Texas art – as well as fueling the by-the-seat-of-its-pants
gallery scene that keeps the art afloat. TXB 2009 is all about such
grassroots efforts. The artists who first organized the Biennial in
2005 have crafted an expansive event designed to celebrate and
propagate the idea of Texas as a burgeoning, proactive locus for
Accordingly the group show selection process has been an attempt to
cast a wide net. We don’t have as many submissions as we’d like from El
Paso, Waco, Texarkana, Corpus Christi, or even Houston, but there is a
wild diversity of practices evident in this year’s group shows. The
group show artists have a broad range of ages, backgrounds, media, and
studio environments. Multiplicity is the message. As the great, now
late LA art dealer Patricia Faure liked to say, “Art is big” – meaning
that beyond the museum project room and hipster gallery circuit, there
are a wide variety of legitimate styles, modes, and audiences.


On other Biennial news, the list of solo artists has been officially released:


Lee Baxter Davis
, Greenville


Jayne Lawrence
, San Antonio


Kelli Vance
, Houston


William Cannings
, Lubbock


Kelly Fearing's studio



As an added treat, TXBNL will shine an especially bright light on Kelly Fearing, a "great,
pioneering artist who has made significant contributions to Texas art."
While some might question the curatorial impetus for this edition of
the Biennial, it is starting to make a lot of sense to me. While this
is, technically, the third edition, it is also a sort of rebirth and
refocusing of what the Texas Biennial is. Instead of focusing
exclusively on "the museum project room and hipster gallery circuit"
this edition feels more like an actual survey of what art in Texas is
(or maybe can be?). Perhaps the growing pains Texas artists (especially
in Austin?) seem to be going through might be put into perspective, and
figuring out where we are now could help us move forward a bit. It
seems especially the case in the hands of Duncan, someone who, as he
notes, witnessed the rise of L.A. art in the 90s. Differently from some
of us bloggers, this guy really knows what he’s talking about.
Sometimes you need an outsider to make sense of your insides.

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3 Responses

  1. hotdiggity

    Jayne Lawrence, San Antonio

    Kelli Vance, Houston

    William Cannings, Lubbock

    what terrible artists. true dreck. Cannings doesn’t seem to have an idea in his head. Waste of a decent technique and lots of metal. Anyone see his show at Pan American last year? “Infl8” anyone? The sex dummies in steel – that had been done better by the Chapman bro’s years earlier?
    Jayne Lawrence? That shit looks like it was made 20 years ago, and didn’t matter then either. Dresses out of wire? You have got to be kidding me.
    Who curated this shit again? Terrible. Sorry Texas. You suck.

  2. triangles

    I don’t care what type of PR spin you put on this show, these artists are terrible and the concept for this show is ridiculous. Labeling some of these artists as “grass-roots” is no excuse to glorify the showing of shitty, uninformed, cliche, unsophisticated, stale, and bad art. I don’t care if the artist being shown isn’t some hot young new-on-the-scene hipster, but I expect him/her to make interesting work. I don’t want to see work that looks like it came right off the walls from a senior community center art show and then read some bullshit about how it’s valid because it came from the middle of fucking nowhere.

  3. triangles


    Next year I suggest showing some authentic Texas landscapes. Some longhorns in a field of bluebonnets might bring in more donations for the prestige of that “$10,000 PATRON” seat next to Michael Duncan.

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