It seems that Texas is back on a James Surls kick, or maybe it’s that Surls is back kicking around Texas. The artist has been popping up a lot recently—a month ago he was in Houston for a screening of Jackelope, a documentary chronicling the 1970s art scene in Texas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Around that time, Clarke & Associates Fine Art Consulting opened in Houston, taking G Gallery’s old location next to Redbud Gallery. Clarke & Associates revokes the term “gallery” in exchange for “art firm” and is run by Linda Clarke, who represents Surls, along with Redbud’s Gus Kopriva. Their catalog of Surls’ work include sculptures, prints, and more, and is perpetually on view in the space—essentially, the space will operate more like a design showroom than a traditional gallery with rotating exhibitions.
Up in Dallas, the philanthropic organization Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) has been gifted a large-scale Surls sculpture entitled Turning Flower (1980). The work was originally commissioned by Linda and Bob Buford for their home in Tyler, and was then donated to the Dallas Parks Foundation (subsequently renamed the Texas Trees Foundation), where it suffered damage and fell into disrepair due to a lack of city funds. Surls refurbished Turning Flower last year and the sculpture was donated to CFT, where it is now on view outside their main office.