March 25 - April 29, 2023
“Artspace111 is honored to present Western Modernity by Ed Blackburn (1940-2022) and Linda Blackburn (1941-2022) for the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association Spring Gallery Night 2023. The duo spent most of their careers in Fort Worth becoming important fixtures in the North Texas Art Community, advancing the history of contemporary Texas art.
In 1962, the pair met in the art department at the University of Texas Austin. After individual stints in New York and Berkeley, California, the two married and drove the extensive drive from California to Fort Worth to teach at the Fort Worth Art Center, later to be called the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Both began teaching figure and portrait painting classes, while Ed was also a part time guard as well as an installation assistant. As the Modern evolved, so did the Blackburn’s careers. The two taught, exhibited, and curated all while continuing to paint. Favoring Western and Film Noir “B” movies of the 30’s and 40’s, this subject matter, combined with Pop Art elements the pair has since been known for, these two Texas artists sit on the edge of Post Modernism.
Linda Blackburn’s spontaneity accompanied by fierce brushstrokes and bold colors on the canvas are brought to life through compositions of the idealized Wild West. Knowing when to leave the canvas exposed and when to layer, Linda created ghost like figures amongst her works leaving the viewer grasping for the reality of the unknown story represented.
Deconstructing popular culture images, and re-telling biblical tales, Ed Blackburn’s artwork has been humorous, ruminative, and provoking throughout his career. As a poet, musician, printmaker, filmmaker, and most importantly a painter, the medium used by Ed Blackburn was merely an explorative vessel to him, allowing him the space to examine and critique the world. As Terri Thornton, Fort Worth Artist, and Education Curator at the Modern put it best, “Ed Blackburn was an artist who valued a single mark as much as the story it would ultimately tell. He made paintings that honor nostalgia and the psychology of a frozen moment, using their familiarity to entertain and instruct us.”
Artspace111 will present a range of paintings as well as digital prints and sculptures by Ed and Linda Blackburn allowing patrons to explore their vast artistic careers in collaboration with one another as well as individually.”
Reception: March 25, 2023 | 12–8 pm
Fort Worth, 76102 TX