As a young painter in the mid-1980s, Texas-based artist Jeff Elrod focused on creating ironic works that addressed American postwar abstraction. “I was conflicted,” the artist explains, “I was trying to find a clever way to approach painting because I felt like it wasn’t acceptable to earnestly make abstract work, even though I was earnest about it. I was searching for a relevant form of present-day American abstraction—for a while I collaborated with another artist, and then I made paintings that were components of larger installations.
Ranjani Shettar creates large-scale, abstract sculpture by combining manmade and natural materials such as wood, beeswax, cloth, thread, rubber, PVC pipe, wire, steel, and beads. Her works, which appear to be as impulsive and random as they are patterned and logical, are frequently arranged as sculptural installations that interact with and articulate the space around them.
The Swiss/American artist duo Teresa Hubbard (born 1965 in Dublin, Ireland) and Alexander Birchler (born 1962 in Baden, Switzerland) live and work in Austin, Texas. In a career of more than fifteen years, they have become known for their picturesque, color-saturated photographic series and their deliberately slow-paced video installations, which feature slow pan shots, endless loops, and puzzling plot lines. Starting with their early staged photographs, No Room to Answer presents key works from 1991 to 2008.
My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, the first full-scale American museum survey of the work of artist Kara Walker, features works ranging from her signature black cut-paper silhouettes to film animations to more than 100 works on paper.
Kehinde Wiley creates larger-than-life-size portraits that mix historical Western European painting styles such as French Romanticism, Rococo, and Baroque with images from contemporary urban streets. The resulting monumental works are painted in Wiley’s characteristic, flamboyant style and presented in ornate gold frames. While the artist evokes important and highly recognizable paintings from the past, he replaces those works’ elite white sitters with African-American men.
Engaging the masculine, machine aesthetic of Minimalism and the equally macho, but gritty, iconography of heavy metal music, Banks Violette creates an unlikely pact between high and low forms of visual communication to explore the ways fiction can turn into belief, or fantasy can be rendered real. Violette’s work is often characterized as an exploration of present-day themes of disaster, driven by stories of teen angst or devotion to—even obsession with—a particular band.
Martin Puryear is a retrospective that features approximately forty-seven sculptures, following the development of Puryear's thirty-year career from his first solo museum show in 1977 to the present day.
FOCUS: Joshua Mosley features the artist’s high-definition animation short and sculpture installation titled A Vue, 2004. “A vue” is a French rock-climbing term meaning a clean ascent with no knowledge of the route. Like much of his work, A Vue addresses Mosley’s interest in the complex nature of balancing the personal with societal responsibility.
Declaring Space includes works by four artists whose images had a dramatic effect on the complex development of space and color in abstract painting as it evolved in the years following World War II. The works of these artists do not represent a movement as much as a dramatic evolution of what has come to be thought of as "the field," an often misunderstood term in the vocabulary of postwar abstract art.
Ron Mueck, a virtuoso of hyperrealistic sculpture, has earned international recognition, with previous major exhibitions in London, Venice, Washington, and Berlin. Over the past decade, the Australian-born, London-based artist has created a personal, distinctive body of works whose startling impact have given a fresh impulse to contemporary sculpture.