Dallas Art Fair Foundation Gifts Works to the Nasher and DMA

by Christopher Blay November 19, 2020
Elegy (Los Angeles), 2019 Oil on linen 30 × 45 in 76.2 × 114.3 cm

Cynthia Daignault, Elegy (Los Angeles), 2019 Oil on linen 30 × 45 in.

The Dallas Art Fair Foundation has announced that two works of art from its Four x Five exhibition will be donated to two Dallas museums. The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) has acquired Cynthia Daignault’s Elegy (Los Angeles) (2019) for its permanent collection, while the Nasher Sculpture Center receives a wall sculpture by Gabriel Rico titled Cincuenta, from his Reducción objetiva orquestada (2020) series.

Gabriel Rico's Cincuenta from the series Reducción objetiva orquestada (2016-2021), 2020 Mixed media, neon

Gabriel Rico’s Cincuenta, from the series Reducción objetiva orquestada (2016-2021), 2020. Mixed media, neon.

“Cynthia Daignault’s Elegy (Los Angeles) is history painting for our time,” states Anna Katherine Brodbeck, the DMA’s Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “Although Daignault’s source material is a photograph of the 1992 LA uprising, it still hits a raw nerve, both in terms of the plumes of smoke which call to mind the wildfires that have ravaged the west coast this summer and the country’s continued reckoning with racial injustice. Her distinctive brush strokes are almost at odds with her grey scale palette, animating the supposedly neutral presentation of the news with a pulse of emotion.”

The Nasher Sculpture Center

The Nasher Sculpture Center .

Says Nasher Director Jeremy Strick: “We are delighted to receive the gift of this work by Gabriel Rico from the Dallas Art Fair Foundation and Perrotin. The work’s poetic arrangement of disparate parts will rhyme beautifully with so many of the works in the Nasher collection.”

Notes Nasher Chief Curator Jed Morse: “Like Dada collages or Surrealist assemblages, Rico’s works propose new ways of understanding civilization and its relationship with the natural world through the juxtaposition of disparate objects, each of which comes with its own constellation of meanings and associations. The sculpture adds a new formal branch to the lineage of found object construction in the Nasher collection, including welded compositions by John Chamberlain and David Smith, as well as assemblages by Phyllida Barlow, Tony Cragg, and Joan Miró.”

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

Says Kelly Cornell, Dallas Art Fair Director: “We deeply value our close, ongoing relationships with the DMA and the Nasher and it’s an honor to bolster their already world-class collections. The synergy we have, and moments like these, further the arts in Dallas and make sure the city continues to be a cultural destination.”

This gift builds on the Dallas Art Fair Foundation’s history of raising money and gifting art to the city’s arts community and cultural institutions. The foundation has donated more than $1.5 million to the arts to date, including through its annual Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program. Since the program launched in 2016, it has raised $450,000 for the DMA to purchase artworks from the Dallas Art Fair to add to the museum’s permanent collection.

For more on the Dallas Art Fair Foundation, please visit its website here.


Cynthia Daignault is a Baltimore-based painter known for an ambitious and wide-ranging practice, exploring the contemporary American experience through a diversity of subjects. Of her Elegy series, the artist says, “Created in monochrome, [these] subjects […] exist beyond reality, fading into memory, history, and death. Each canvas is an elegy, a metaphor for the contrast between eternal forces: black and white, life and death, love and loss.”


Gabriel Rico is a Guadalajara-based artist who was recently included in the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale. His inclusion in Four x Five is a return to Dallas; in 2017, he curated an exhibition at The Power Station. Of his Reducción objetiva orquestada work, Perrotin Director Melissa Timarchi says, “…[it] is part of an ongoing series of non-mathematical equations, which the artist began over a half decade go. Rico fuses natural elements with kitsch objects to compose non-mathematical formulas where numbers and symbols are substituted with carefully selected found and man-made objects.”

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