TWO x TWO Fundraising Gala Hits Record High Sale: $2.6 Million for Guyton

Guyton, Wade_Petzel Gallery-580x872

THIS ONE. Wade Guyton, UNTITLED, 2008, epson ultrachrome inkjet on linen, 93 x 55 x 1 1/2 inches

The big splashy TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Gala has been one of the biggest art events in Dallas for sixteen years. Held at Howard and Cindy Rachofsky’s Richard Meier-designed house (and tent on the lawn), the party attracts big spenders and networkers internationally; the Rachofskys spend a good chunk of each year traveling to various cities worldwide to secure the lots for the auction (and asking some local artists and galleries to contribute as well).

Many of the lots are silent auction, but each year there’s a marquee lot for the live auction, usually accompanied by the artist and his or her primary dealer, and this year’s super special broke the price record: Wade Guyton’s piece sold for $2.6 million to an anonymous bidder on the phone to Cindy Rachofsky. Sotheby’s veteran Jamie Niven was the returning auctioneer. He is quoted in the DMN: ” “I’ve never seen that…  Not in a charity auction. I’ve never seen that.” It’s a big inkjet on linen, of course, and its estimated retail was $350,000. The last record was set three years ago by a Mark Grotjahn piece for $1 million.

All TWO x TWO proceeds are divided between the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Dallas Museum of Art. The total take this year also set a record at $7 million.




Austin Artist to Build Giant Lady Parts

vulvaThe interns over at the Huffington Post who dig through the Internet have discovered a Kickstarter campaign called “Texas Women.” A young Austin artist named Chloe (c’mon, let us know who you are!) wants to raise $600 to build a six-foot tall vulva. Chloe explains her protest against HB2, the recent anti-abortion bill that closed almost half of Texas’ clinics:

I am a girl with a dream. I want to help women. I want to change the world. I want to create a statue of lady parts. I am really excited about this project because I think that it can make a difference in the lives of women in Texas. I am ready to say “fuck you” to the rich, white, men in Texas who are limiting my rights to my own body and I am ready to make something hilarious.

As of this morning, she has raised over $1,200 with more than a month to go on the campaign. She has pledged that all extra money “will all go to starting a fund to help women in Texas.”

Texas Artist Tracy Hicks Dead at 68

unnamedSadness all around. Tracy Hicks, beloved Texas artist who was Dallas-based until a few years ago, died of a heart attack on Friday. He was an active and vocal member of the Texas art scene (even from his mountain home in North Carolina) up until the very end.

Here is a lovely obituary on Hicks, by Michael Granberry at the Dallas Morning News, that includes a description of Hicks’ career, his later-in-life post in the Smithsonian’s Artist Research Fellowship Program, and his longtime advocacy of responsible environmentalism.

He will be missed.





DFW Art Lovers: Take This Personality Quiz!

Please choose “1” or “2” from each section:

  1. Johnny Quest
  2. The Jetsons
  1. Architecture
  2. Animation
  1. Aged Parmesan
  2. Kraft Singles
  1. Longing
  2. Pleasure
  1. Quotation: “Spiritual practice can provide a conversation about ethics that is often missing from art education.”
  2. Quotation: “They tear you apart if you turn your back for one second. You have to keep fighting.”

We’re just trying to make your decision easier for you, since there are two competing art talks in the DFW area tomorrow night. So tally up your answers and make your plans.

Ann_HamiltonIf most of your selections were “1,” go to the UNT Nasher Lecture Series, featuring artist Ann Hamilton, tomorrow evening at 7pm.



Kenny_ScharfIf most of your selections were “2,” go to the Kenny Scharf lecture at the Fort Worth Modern tomorrow evening at 7pm.

Blanton Gets Digital with Koven Smith

smith kovenInteractive technology is the new museum arms race, and the Blanton Museum in Austin has appointed museum-tech expert Koven Smith as to the new post of “Director of Digital Adaptation.” Smith will oversee the creation of a digital strategy of the university museum, including a new website, technology in the galleries, and other neat-o stuff.

Smith served most recently as Director of Technology for the Denver Art Museum. Prior to that, he was Manager of Interpretive Technology at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Museum Systems Architect at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Smith was as an advisory board member and co-principal investigator for the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report (Museum Edition) 2011—2013, and served on the Board of Directors for the Museum Computer Network from 2010-2013. In 2011 he founded the popular “Drinking About Museums” program—an international “meet-up” group for museum professionals with thirty chapters around the world.

“I’m incredibly excited to begin working at the Blanton,” remarked Smith. “Over the next few years, the museum will implement a comprehensive digital strategy that encompasses web, mobile, social media, and public-facing technologies, and I look forward to leading that effort—particularly in Austin, a celebrated hub for technology.”

New Texas Art Book Debuts in New Mexico Today!

texas abstractTexas Abstract: Modern/Contemporary, a new picture book featuring the works of 33 abstract painters working in Texas debuts today—in New Mexico!

Published by SF Design / FrescoBooks out of Albequerque and written by Michael Paglia and curator Jim Edwards, the new book “documents the unexpected role Texas played in the history of Abstraction, and continues to play in the contemporary art world today.” Wade Wilson is holding a book signing and reception from 5-8 their gallery at 217 West Water Street Santa Fe. The signing kicks off an exhibition of some of the artists works.

This is Edwards’ second go-round at recapitulating Texas abstraction- in 2007 he curated Texas Modern: The Rediscovery of Early Texas Abstraction, an exhibition of more than 50 paintings and sculptures at Baylor’s Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Denver-based art writer Michael Paglia has co-written several similar books for Fresco: Colorado Abstract with Mary Voelz Chandler in 2009 and Colorado Landscapes with curator Ann Scarlett Daley in 2007.

Blanton Museum Gets Itself Some Okay Mountain


Okay Mountain “Roadside Attractions” (2012)

Mark Moore Gallery (Los Angeles), which represents the (mostly) Austin-based art collective Okay Mountain, has announced that the collective’s piece “Roadside Attractions” (2012) has been acquired by the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin. This is a nice sort of homecoming, since many of Okay Mountain’s members are UT alumni.

The piece was originally commissioned as part of a visiting artist series for the Cress Gallery of Art at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. In solid Okay Mountain form, it’s a deadpan sculpture + print edition in the form of a wooden stand full of various travel brochures, just as you might find in a hotel lobby or welcome center, though all the content of the brochures is pastiche, created by the members of Okay Mountain. Per Mark Moore’s announcement: “Through calculated exaggeration and espousal of the absurd, Okay Mountain creates farcical caricatures of a national identity. Faux infomercials, flyers, guidebooks, and memos are rife with satirical imitations of salesmen, tour guides and mascots – playing on our communal tendency for insatiable want.”

Okay Mountain’s work has been acquired by a handful of other national and Texas museums. For a list look toward the bottom of this page. Nice work and congrats to the Blanton and Okay Mountain!


Texas Director Drought Worsens as Diverseworks’ Dunbar Heads East

dunbarDiverseWorks Artspace has announced that its director, Elizabeth Dunbar, will be leaving for a new job as Director of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY by the end of the year, adding another vacancy to already long list of empty chairs at Texas nonprofits. The Rothko Chapel, Houston Center for Photography, Project Row Houses, Galveston Arts Center, Linda Pace Foundation, and the El Paso Museum of Art are all looking for new chief executives.

Dunbar came to DiverseWorks in January 2012, not quite three years ago, fallout from the stormy implosion of ArtHouse in Austin, and immediately fell into a similar crisis here, as DiverseWorks left its longtime home, a beloved but grungy hangar under the East Freeway, for Midtown, lured by the promise of a spot in the nascent MATCH arts complex. DiverseWorks moved into its current midtown space, and was forced to shed its active performance programming along with its theater space, and lost Sixto Wagan, the program’s highly-regarded director. During her tenure, Dunbar shifted the organization’s curatorial focus onto presenting and commissioning multidisciplinary projects, and curated shows by Keren Cytter, Tony Feher, Liz Magic Laser, Franklin Evans, Wu Tsang, and Heather and Ivan Morison.

2015 programming will continue as planned, including projects with Oliver Herring, Dean Moss, and Tahni Holt. The DiverseWorks Board of Directors and staff are developing a transition plan and a search for a new director will be announced at a future date.

Bagley and Orr’s “Water Theater” Makes the National Endangered List

Water-Theater-in-dis-repairYesterday, Art and the Landscape published a new list of endangered national public artworks as part of its Landslide Project (launched 2003), and “focuses attention on threatened and at-risk landscapes and landscape features and includes an annual thematic compendium.” Frances Bagley and Tom Orr’s White Rock Lake Wildlife Water Theater is a featured artwork. There are eleven works in all. This should help push the visibility and plight of the work into a national spotlight.

The site includes a terrific and thorough description of the work as well as its current standing, including: “In 2009 the City of Dallas cut out its maintenance funding for public art, a situation made worse because the Percent for Art program was not structured to include a maintenance budget.” Go here for more, and here’s Glasstire’s latest on the issue.

Luis Jiménez Studio Declared Cultural Property by New Mexico and Nominated for National Historic Landmark

JimenezThe New Mexico Historic Preservation Division announced yesterday that the home and studio of artist Luis Jiménez are now listed in the State Register of Cultural Properties and forwarded for consideration in the National Register of Historic Places, reports the Ruidoso News. The registers are the state’s and the nation’s lists of cultural properties and resources considered worthy of historic preservation.

Jiménez was born in El Paso, studied art and architecture at the University of Texas in Austin and El Paso, and taught art at the University of Arizona and later the University of Houston. Jimenez and his wife purchased the adobe school and gymnasium in rural Hondo, New Mexico in 1985. They adapted it to a home and studio that Jimenez worked in until his death in 2006 when a portion of his largest piece, “Blue Mustang,” fell and severed an artery in his leg.

“We have preserved a lot of the studio as is so people will understand the influence of Hondo Valley, which gave him the space to think,” said Susan Jimenez, who attended the Historic Preservation meeting and has worked to preserve her late husband’s legacy. Jiménez’s property would join the Georgia O’Keeffe Home and Studio as a New Mexico State and U.S. National Historic Landmark.

(Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum)

College Grads Like Houston and are Moving There; Yes They Still Like Austin Too

A man walks down an empty street at Houston's downtown as Hurricane Ike approaches at the gulf coast in TexasIn a study released Monday tracking the movement of recent college graduates, which is considered an incredibly valuable demographic of course (and for our purposes also a generally art-friendly one), Houston tops the list of American cities attracting them at a high rate. This is not to say Houston has more college grads, only that that’s where they’re heading these days. Austin came in at fourth place in this race, just under Nashville and Denver.

Reports the New York Times: “And as young people continue to spurn the suburbs for urban living, more of them are moving to the very heart of cities… .” This is where Dallas is doing well, with an 89% increase in the number of educated 25-34 year olds choosing to live close to downtown rather than the suburbs.

Via the Times: “Even as Americans over all have become less likely to move, young, college-educated people continue to move at a high clip — about a million cross state lines each year, and these so-called young and the restless don’t tend to settle down until their mid-30s. Where they end up provides a map of the cities that have a chance to be the economic powerhouses of the future.”

The whole report is interesting and entertaining and it looks great, too. (What is that font? I love it.) Take a look when you get a chance.



Houston’s MATCH is Getting Real: It Has Concrete AND an Executive Director

stillThe Board of Directors of the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (The MATCH) has announced that it has selected Chuck Still, currently the Executive Director of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (“The Kate”) in Old Saybrook, CT as the organization’s first Executive Director. Still will assume his new role by January 1.

“We are thrilled that our national search has brought us a strong and immensely capable leader for the MATCH,” says Board President Emily Todd. “Chuck’s experience, way with people, and creativity make him well suited to open this amazing new performing and visual arts center. He can build the programming and partnerships that will make the MATCH a success and put us on the national map.”

The MATCH, which broke ground in May and began to pour concrete last week, will be a multi-venue arts facility where Houston-area arts organizations will exhibit, rehearse, perform, educate, and office. It will mainly house theater and dance organizations, but there are strong rumors that it will also serve as DiverseWorks’ new space (although no word yet on whether papers have been signed). The MATCH facility is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.

Oscar de la Renta, 1932-2014

De_la_Renta_BushOnly two weeks after the closing of Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style at The George W. Bush Presidential Library on Dallas’ SMU campus, the legendary fashion designer has died at the age of 82 from complications from cancer, reports The New York Times.

De la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932 and left for Madrid at the age of 18 to study painting. He decided instead to pursue fashion design, eventually working as an apprentice to Spain’s most celebrated couturier. He became well known after he began designing dresses for Jacqueline Kennedy in the 1960s. When he launched his own line, de la Renta was a groundbreaker in the industry, as noted by The Washington Post: “He was the first Latino to be accepted into the exclusive ranks of Parisian fashion houses. Later as a U.S. citizen, he became the first American to design for a French couture house.”

Although de la Renta was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, he showed few signs of slowing down. He presented his Spring 2015 collection at New York Fashion Week in September and designed the wedding gown for Amal Alamuddin’s recent wedding to George Clooney.

De la Renta is survived by his second wife, the socialite Annette Engelhard de la Renta.

(Photo: Tina Hager/The George W. Bush Presidential Library.)

Susan Sollins, the force behind ART21, Has Died

NYT-1000665896-SOLLINSS.1_012917Well this is awful. Susan Sollins, the still-young creator and executive director of the long-running and beloved PBS visual arts program ART21, died suddenly on October 13. Her cause of death has not been disclosed. Sollins’ death was announced only three days after she led a jury in granting the ArtPrize 2014 grand prize totaling $200,000 at an awards ceremony in Grand Rapids.

Sollins was in Dallas a few weeks ago to co-host a public preview at the Texas Theater of an episode in the upcoming (seventh) season of ART21 that features Katharina Grosse at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Colette Copeland wrote about it for Glasstire here.  Sollins was also the co-founder of Independent Curators International and an independent film producer.

You can read a little more about the bad news here, and the NYTimes obituary is here.

Ah, the Internet: Banksy Arrested. Not!

BanksyWhile most people were sleeping last night, the National Report (“America’s #1 Independent News Source”!) released a story with the headline “Graffiti Artist Banksy Arrested In London; Identity Revealed.” The in-depth story recounted the bust made by London’s Anti-Graffiti Task force, beginning with this paragraph:

London, England — The elusive graffiti artist, political activist, film director, painter and long time fugitive that for years has gone by the pseudonymous name of Banksy, was arrested early this morning by London’s Metropolitan Police. After hours of questioning and a raid of his London art studio, his true name and identity have finally been revealed.

Within hours, the story was shared over 200,000 times on Facebook and Twitter and picked up by a number of major online sites, including the Gawker blog Jezebel. The story quotes “London Police Chief Lyndon Edwards” at a press conference “confirmed by the BBC” and includes an “AP” photo of the real Banksy.

This morning, though, several news sites have reported that the whole story was a hoax. Then again, this very story could be a hoax planted by Banksy fans while he sits in jail. But, no—because everything you read on the Internet is true.

Richter Swap: Pace Foundation Managers Sell Painting To Fund New Art Campus

richterBuried in a recent newsletter from the Linda Pace Foundation is the news that the foundation plans to auction off Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (774-4), from their collection to fund new construction of a proposed “artful campus”, including a building by international architect David Adjaye. The foundation is readying two sites adjacent to their offices in San Antonio across from SPACE and CHRISpark. It is hoped that the sale will net $14-18 million for the foundation at the November 12, 2014 sale at Christie’s in New York.

Transition manager Kathryn R. Martin, president of of Arts Consulting Group, Inc. is currently Interim Executive Director, and began work in September, six months after the sudden departure of former director Maura Reilly. According to her bio on the ACG website, “Ms. Martin has helped numerous organizations strategically move through periods of transition and increase their earned and contributed income.”

The newsletter insists that the work “was consistently installed in Linda Pace’s private residence; it has not been on loan or public exhibition since its acquisition in August, 1993,” which seems to mean that the piece, not being on public view much, will be no loss.

Foundation Trustee Kathryn Kanjo also felt the need to explain the sale, which is apparently a sensitive subject, saying, “The collection is a vibrant repository of more than 600 works of art, not only paintings but also sculpture, installations, and videos, including many pieces acquired in the year in which they were created.  Linda had ambitious plans, and was proud that as a result of her investment in the Richter, this one work might someday make her vision for an arts campus possible.  The decision to de-accession a work for sale through public auction will move us to the next step in this process, by establishing a Board designated fund to build the Adjaye designed exhibition space, while continuing all our other mission-driven work.”

“Selling at auction is a process that is transparent to the public, which a private sale does not afford.” Kanjo continued, “The Trustees of the Foundation take their fiduciary responsibility seriously, and decided that a public sale provides an additional opportunity to share the vision of Linda Pace with a global audience.  Christie’s, the auction house of choice, will provide the broadest possible platform for the sale of this rare and beautiful painting.”

New Multi-Use Art Space Announced for the Cedars Neighborhood in Dallas


The building that will become Cedars Union

The Bowdon Family Foundation,  known for supporting visual art in the Dallas area, has purchased a 40,000 square-foot building built in 1921 in the emergent Cedars neighborhood, and have ambitious plans for it.  They’ll call it the Cedars Union, and its future purpose is multifold, according to Robert Hernandez, the foundation’s executive director, as quoted in the Dallas Observer. And here I summarize what the Cedars Union, at 1201 South Ervay, is proposing to be:

1) studios and tools, and it sounds like the studios might be equipped to deal with sculpture

2) workshops for artists on how to professionalize their practice

3) an international artist residency

4) employment hook-ups for artists (“Like if the Dallas Opera needed a carpenter and someone with those skills needed part time work, and there you go,” says Hernandez.)

5) Micro-lender for artist to have access to lines of credit

That sounds admirable. The foundation has started building an advisory committee for the initiative, and the Observer reports that Jeremy Strick of the Nasher Sculpture Center and Kenny Goss of the Goss-Michael Foundation have signed on. In addition to the above description, there will be an underground bar, a street-level cafe of sorts, and gallery space. The Cedars Union won’t get going unil 2015 or 2016, but will be joining a neighborhood already on a lot of people’s art radar, due to spaces like RE Gallery, Homeland Security, and And Now.


Dating App as Social Media Lab: Tinder Guys Posing With Art

jerredFor Houston artist Sally Glass, Tinder is over. She’s “so bored, in fact, that I’d rather make a funny archival project than find a life partner through a smartphone app,” she says in an interview with the Daily Dot about her Tumblr blog, “Tinder Guys Posing with Art.” Glass posted the first of the 54 pics on her blog on April 1, 2014, and her most recent yesterday.

Audra Schroeder, a self-described friend of Glass’ who posted the Daily Dot piece, puts the project in context of “Tinder Girls Posing at LACMA,” which began a couple days later, and features mostly pics of women posing with Chris Burden’s Urban Light, a forest of street lamp poles, and/or Jesus Rafael Soto’s Penetrable. After all, as listicle writer Johnny Debruin commented “Nothing says romance like a bunch of dangling sensory noodles that have probably never been washed.”

Related: surprising cultural niche revealed by Tumblr “Women Laughing Alone With Salad.”

Belo Is Selling Off 300 Pieces of Its Corporate Art Collection


David Bates’ “The Blue Heron” (1985) is up for auction this Saturday

It is upon us. The big Belo Collection auction takes place at Heritage Auctions in Dallas this Saturday. A.H. Belo Corporation, the parent company of the Dallas Morning News, has collected artwork for its corporate collection for years, and has been planning this auction for awhile now; 300 pieces of postwar and contemporary art will hit the block at Heritage’s annex in the Design District.

Judith Segura, curator of the collection since 1986, worked in consultation with Murray Smither, and often concentrated on regional artists, though amongst the lots are works by Judd, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg. Some regional artists represented are Dennis Blagg, Bob “Daddy-O” Wade, David Bates, Billy Hassell and Danny Williams, along with hundreds of photographs snapped for the Morning News over the years by artists such as Allison V. Smith (though some of these photographs are labeled as by “unknown”).

The auction preview started today. Auction proceeds will go to the Belo Foundation, which contributes to journalism education and Dallas’ public parks. For more info, please go here.

Congrats to TX Craft and Craft Award Winners at HCCC

Craft2014At the opening of Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s CraftTexas 2014, the eighth in a series of biennial juried exhibitions showcasing the best in Texas-made contemporary craft, the exhibition jurors awarded three artists (Jim Keller, Ana Lopez, and Olivia Neal) Awards of Merit, which included a $1,000 cash prize to each. Of the 44 artists included in the exhibition, Roy Hanscom and Caitie Sellers were also given honorable mentions. Congratulations to all!

To check out the show and congratulate at least one of the award winners, drop by the gallery talk and artist chat with Heidi Gerstacker and Caitie Sellers this Saturday at noon.


Photos: (Top image) Attic Turbine Vent (Shoulder Brooch) by Ana Lopez, 5 Layer Lidded Form by Roy Hanscom, Houston Necklace (detail) by Caitie Sellers, Tropophobia (detail) by Olivia Neal, Bastrop 2011 by Jim Keller. (Lower image) Roy Hanscom, Caitie Sellers, and Jim Keller at CraftTexas 2014 opening reception. Photo by Roswitha Vogler.