Kara Walker, whose work is featured in the Modern’s current exhibition My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, presents the ideas and issues behind her compelling installations, drawings, paintings, and text-based works, which are as disturbing as they are beautiful. Walker’s unforgiving representation of the complex dynamics and ramifications of slavery has been the subject of much praise and controversy. It is work that challenges its viewer and its maker. As Walker explains, “It’s interesting that as soon as you start telling the story of racism, you start reliving the story. You keep creating a monster that swallows you. But as long as there’s a Darfur, as long as there are people saying ‘Hey, you don’t belong here’ to others, it only seems realistic to continue investigating the terrain of racism.” This Tuesday Evening presentation offers insight into works of art that rattle and reconfigure historical perceptions, nudging and posing questions about personal and collective views on issues of race, gender, and sexuality.
Richard Wentworth has been a leading figure in New British Sculpture since the late 1970s. Celebrated as an art intellectual, Wentworth has long been respected as an artist, writer, teacher, and curator. His work has been featured in significant exhibitions including the 50th Venice Biennale and Global Cities at the Tate Modern. He is also readily recognized for organizing Thinking Aloud, the critically acclaimed exhibition that opened at the Hayward Gallery in 1999 and followed with a national tour. Favoring everyday materials and objects over monumental gestures, Wentworth has transformed expectations and considerations of sculpture, saying in a conversation with the critic Stuart Morgan, “I find cigarette packets folded up under table legs more monumental than a Henry Moore. Five reasons. Firstly the scale. Secondly, the fingertip manipulation. Thirdly, modesty of both gesture and material. Fourth, its absurdity, and fifth, the fact that it works.” In his Tuesday Evenings presentation Walking Through Hedges Backwards, Wentworth presents his photographs, sculptures, and installations, which tease our expectations of art and position us to reconsider the visual world and our perceptions of it.
Paul Slocum is an independent artist, curator, and musician living in Dallas. Computer technology and culture are often the medium and subject of his work. Since 2006, he has been the director of And/Or Gallery in Dallas, an art space focused on new media work. His band, Tree Wave, makes music and video using reprogrammed obsolete computer and videogame gear. Venues for some of Slocum’s performances and exhibitions include The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Deitch Projects (New York), Eyebeam (New York), Transitio MX (Mexico City), Le Confort Moderne (France), README 2005 (Denmark), The Liverpool Biennial, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. For Tuesday Evenings, Slocum presents the multifaceted art practice that has resulted in work that has brought him national and international critical acclaim as an artist, as well as local respect and appreciation for his promotion of and contribution to contemporary art and music in the Metroplex.
Robert Wilhite is a California-based artist recognized for his innovative approach to sculpture for more than three decades. While Wilhite is a veteran of the West Coast art scene from the 1970s, he continues to challenge the boundaries of art with his formally beautiful and conceptually compelling performances, objects, installations, drawings, and paintings. For his recent exhibition The Bomb at the Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, Wilhite created a life-size, beautiful, and delicate but clearly ominous wooden replica of the atomic bomb known as “Fat Man.” He explained his approach to such content in an interview for the online publication The Daily Breeze: “I wanted it to look like it could blow away. Not heavy because the subject matter is so heavy.” Wilhite’s experiences, as well as the work he has produced through a patient and persistent practice, are the subjects of his Tuesday Evenings presentation, The art of the art.
Chief Curtor Michael Auping speaks on the work by Roxy Paine, for docent training.
Dean Byington, a San Francisco–based artist known for creating visually packed narrative landscape paintings with varied storylines rendered in the style of nineteenth-century illustrated books, presents the ideas and processes behind his mesmerizing work in a conversation with Curator of Education Terri Thornton. A self-described horror vacui enthusiast, Byington explains, “My intent is to insert as much information and as many layers into a painting as possible.” His intentions result in complex works, both large and small, that unfold as the viewer searches and studies the surfaces with great satisfaction if not absolute conclusions.
John Stoney, an artist splitting his time between Austin and New York, captures the enormity of the world we inhabit in his awe-inspiring sculptures and drawings that are obsessively conceived and meticulously made. Pervasive in Stoney’s work and concurrent with his level of craft is a subtle humor and irony that results from slight shifts of perspective through juxtaposition and scale in artworks that seduce the eye and incite the imagination. For Tuesday Evenings he shares such work and related ideas in his presentation Time and the Artist.
Amelia Jones, known for her scholarship in the areas of feminism and contemporary art, is Professor and Pilkington Chair in Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester as well as an independent curator and writer. Most recently she published the 2006–07 book Self Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject and is co-author/co-editor of WomEnhouse, a Web project reexamining feminism and domesticity in contemporary culture. For Tuesday Evenings, Jones presents the provocative and pertinent Screen Eroticism 1967 vs. 1992: Exploration of Female Desire in the Work of Carolee Schneemann and Pipilotti Rist.
Joshua Mosley, who opens this year’s FOCUS exhibitions with his multimedia installation A Vue, 2004, has received much-deserved recognition with awards and exhibitions of note, such as the inclusion of his intriguing installation of film and sculpture titled Dread in the 52nd Venice Biennale. Joshua Mack, in his feature on the artist for Art Review, writes, “Joshua Mosley’s deceptively simple, visually stunning short animations are complex philosophical meditations on values and life in an incurious age.” This special Tuesday Evenings presentation provides insight into Mosley’s own work while setting the stage for the series of animated shorts he organized for the Modern, which begins March 12.
Katrina Moorhead is a Houston-based artist who was recently awarded the prestigious 2007 Arthouse Texas Prize and included in the group exhibition The Nature of Things, which represented Northern Ireland in the 2005 Venice Biennale. Moorhead is known for her obsessive artistic practice, in which humble materials are taken to poetic ends in spellbinding sculptures and installations, as seen in her 2007 solo exhibition, A Thing Called Early Blur at the Blaffer Gallery of the University of Houston. For Tuesday Evenings, Moorhead shares such works and the thoughts and experiences behind them.