Monday, January 16, 2012

Ross/Akard exhibit opening

Here's a look at some of the new work now being seen in the Ross/Akard Gallery, thanks to Bryan Embry and the Dallas Fairmont. "Six Impossible Things For Breakfast" (with adapations of works from the Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center) was inspired by room service trays...
"Milk and Cookies for Santa" below in the studio with "Chlora's Snowman" for a Christmas salon. The gingerbread is modeled after relief sculptures from Autun Cathedral, and on Herod's Half & Half is Zurbaran's "Rest on the Flight into Egypt".

We went to Arkansas for Christmas and got a first visit to the new Crystal Bridges Museum. It was better than I expected, in every way. The very first painting I saw was this one, "Corn on Cob" by Raphaelle Peale. It nicely finished off the piece called "Chlora's Popcorn" which also bears Castagno's "David and Goliath"
Amid the hail and brimstone that fell upon the Ouija board is Duccio's "Temptation of Christ". There is also a scene of gameplayers from a Greek pot on the planchette (the plastic heart-shaped piece that reveals all).

January 7th the show opened. Everything in there except two pieces are new since the big exhibit at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary 1 1/2 years ago.

It is a nice installation, simple, with Gary
Cunningham's tables. There was a great crowd on opening night. The exhibit closes Feb. 5th.

Birds over Borders

Racks of plates were shown in some of the shots from my Fairmont studio. They were my weird collection of souvenir plates from every state in the U.S. Been buying them at junk stores for years. Around Dec. 9th I began breaking them one by one and adhering them to this fancy aluminum honeycomb panel. Pieces from one state migrate to another and the whole thing is a big mishmash, more a salad bowl than a melting pot.

One of the best sections of this giant mosaic table is this one--the great state of Texas, replete with yellow rose and ashtray. The cigarette stubs I made with porcelain. This is the piece that I will give the hotel in exchange for my three month stay. It will probably go on the Terrace, which has a huge pool and wonderful vegetable and herb gardens that provide fresh produce for the Pyramid restaurant. Fairmont hotels appear in 11 states; the kind General Manager gave me a bunch of old china to bust up and use for each of those. But I found the prized 50 cent ashtray in Austin.

The 22 around the edge are the border states. Well, most of them...did you know that at least one half of the states have either a seashore or border another country? I couldn't decide if those on the Great Lakes also were border states, but I suppose they are...after all, you could sneak in from Canada by boat.
All 50 states, in duplicate, broken and put back together. Except one, Wisconsin. Why Wisconsin? How did I miss getting it? Maybe people don't buy souvenirs of Wisconsin that much. Someone suggested I just use a cheese plate. Ha! In the meantime, it got a nice cow, and I am awaiting two Wisconsin plates from ebay.

With a heroic effort, the seven-foot rounder was presentable for opening night at the Ross/Akard Gallery. Moving it from the studio wasn't easy. Colorado rolled off in the elevator, and we broke some edge tiles. I have to come back to Dallas to finish it off soon. It'll have 50 birds from my vintage bird collection on there, and the craggy composition rises up to the center where tall birds hold the only unbroken plate-- the Statue of Liberty. Who says kitsch can't be redeemed?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Whirlwind in the Dallas Arts District

All I can say, with one more week left in Dallas, is that it has been a very productive, generative time....a flood of pictures as you see here, blending art history with everything else I observe and then wedging it into porcelain....I have loved my big studio. The new friends here--behind the scenes in a hotel, as well as in art museums--the food and wine (parties ARE fun)--good grief I am overfilled with images and gratitude.
Will I ever process these three months as Artist in Residence? Doubtful, but an exhibition opens on Jan. 7th to begin to make sense of this.
Ross/Akard Gallery in the Fairmont Hotel, 7:00--10:00