Last week, we reported that popular Texas artist Jeff Wheeler had: 1) accepted a newfound director position at James Surls’ place in Splendora, and 2) was still traveling his and his brothers’ big collaborative show called Ulterior Motifs no. 14. As of right now that group show, which boasts a number of favorite Texas artists, is up at the Arlington Museum of Art, minus a certain work meant for the exhibition.
A source told Glasstire that while Wheeler and company were installing the show in Arlington last week, a museum board member walked by a satirical, hand-drawn cartoon poster of Donald Trump by Wheeler and decided to ban it from the show. The piece is oil and charcoal on paper and is titled Nope. He produced it shortly after Trump threw his hat in this election-cycle ring. Previously, the original had been exhibited (and sold) in Lubbock, and for Arlington was on loan from its owner. Wheeler has been selling prints of the image over the past months.
The museum’s own description of the show states: “The artists represented in Ulterior Motifs #14 work in a variety of media and styles, but each contends with themes that address contemporary social, political, and ethical questions,” and writes that the exhibition is “well-suited to the Arlington Museum of Art’s continuing vision to highlight both important traveling exhibitions and contemporary Texas art.” Hm.
The board member, who has not been identified, insisted that the piece should be banned from the show and following that the museum’s director, Chris Hightower, agreed that the piece would never get by the rest of the board. Hightower has not returned Glasstire‘s inquiry on the matter.