Fort Worth, TX
Kendal Smith Lake
Manager of Communications

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth 2018-2019 Advanced Exhibition Schedule

October 14, 2018 - January 27, 2019

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents a major survey of works by Laurie Simmons (American, born 1949), organized by Andrea Karnes, senior curator, with full support of the artist. This exhibition showcases Simmons's photographs spanning the last four decades, from 1976 to the present, a small selection of sculpture, and two films.
As someone from the generation raised on television and advertising, and as a woman who matured as an artist in New York in the 1980s amidst a thriving urban backdrop, Laurie Simmons absorbed the idea that identity in America is multifaceted yet homogenized through a blitz of cultural signs. From the beginning, Simmons has used photography in a conceptual mode to investigate manufactured gender constructs and stereotypes and how they impact us all. In her early iconic photographs, she staged miniature domestic scenes featuring female dolls in doll houses in a process similar to that of the ad agencies on Madison Avenue that invented romanticized versions of women and men; however, Simmons showed the flip side of the American dream. She has since created 36 photographic series using combinations of plastic props, actual objects, dolls, doll houses, and people posed to look like dolls, largely to portray the role-playing of real women and men. Examining key works over the course of her career elucidates how photography became the ideal framework for her observations of archetypal Western gender roles -- a topic as potent today as it was when she first began making art.
"Simmons's imagery takes into account her own experience of coming of age in the 1950s," says Andrea Karnes. "Without being autobiographical or spelling out specific narratives, however, the work strikes a psychological chord, seeming to underscore the difficulties of living the American dream, or in a larger context, any dream of domestic bliss."
Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2019.
Lectures in conjunction with Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera:
Andrea Karnes in conversation with Laurie Simmons
October 9, 7 pm
Artist Laurie Simmons discusses the making of the Modern's major survey Big Camera/Little Camera with the exhibition's curator, Modern Senior Curator Andrea Karnes. This special presentation offers insight into Simmons's work featured in the exhibition, her career, and the processes and premise of Big Camera/Little Camera as a collaborative effort between artist and curator.
Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham
November 13, 7 pm
Artist Laurie Simmons is in conversation with her husband, artist Carroll Dunham, for an extraordinary presentation in which the two renowned artists discuss the role art plays in their life together and how their life together informs their art, all in conjunction with the Modern's survey of Simmons's art, Big Camera/Little Camera.
FOCUS: Njideka Akunyili Crosby I Counterparts
December 1, 2018 - January 13, 2019
Los Angeles-based artist and 2017 MacArthur Genius Fellow Njideka Akunyili Crosby draws upon her experience of moving from Nigeria to the United States while maintaining ties to her family in Africa and building relationships in America. Layers of paint, fabric, and photographic transfers not only energize the interiors and figures depicted in the artist's works but serve as a metaphor for the complex merging of cultural backgrounds that contribute to Akunyili Crosby's sense of self.
Akunyili Crosby's works incorporate signs of both Nigeria and the United States through the images of hairstyles, fashions, architecture, and furnishings taken from Nigerian magazines and commemorative fabric printed with portraits, giving her paintings a global context. For her FOCUS exhibition, the artist has created a series of visually and conceptually mirrored pairs of paintings. One juxtaposes a Nigerian interior with Akunyili Crosby's Los Angeles home. In another, a Nigerian table setting is matched with an American example. The Nigerian image is centered around the trappings of afternoon tea, a custom brought to the country by its British colonizers that continues to incorporate European food products. The composition also includes a colorful plastic African "Clonette" or "DeiDei" doll of a Caucasian girl in Western dress and a Kris Okotie album cover inspired by Michael Jackson, both symbols of a popular culture shared internationally. The American counterpart to this still life offers a more troubling take on the interface of cultures. Embedded in the accoutrements of a Thanksgiving feast is a "blackamoor" serving dish, a disturbing decoration that trivializes the terrible history of African slavery in America. The exhibition's two largest works isolate contemplative figures in architectural contexts that are alternately informed by Nigerian and American homes. In these detailed images, Akunyili Crosby augments paint with Nigerian portrait fabrics produced for ceremonies such as weddings, burials, and political campaigns. (The artist's mother was a respected politician.) She also applies photographic transfers from Nigerian fashion and society publications that connect traditional Nigerian styles, fabrics manufactured in the Netherlands, and Western trends.
The exhibition is organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art.
FOCUS: Dirk Braeckman
January 26 - March 17, 2019
The photographs of Ghent-based Dirk Braeckman (b. 1958, Eeklo, Belgium) have a distinct stillness and quietude that counter the whirl of today's visual landscape. Images of empty, unidentifiable interiors, architectural details, oceans, and partially obscured nude figures are just some examples of the artist's subject matter. Braeckman's deeply gray photographs are often abstracted, contributing to the mystery and intrigue of what his images convey while adding a sense of distance to the intimate interiors and views he depicts. Rather than setting up scenes or shots, Braeckman travels with a camera and captures what he sees, including hotel rooms, museums, and vacant corridors; his approach is partly diaristic, yet because the locales are anonymous and the photographs' titles are unclear codes, Braeckman's work is relatable and open-ended, eschewing photography's documentary impulse. This fluidity is intentional and meant to engage, as the artist states: "I'm not a storyteller, I'm an imagemaker. The story is made in the mind of the viewer."
Since the mid-1980s, Braeckman has tested the limits of photography, especially its materials and processes. Challenging the reproducibility of a photographic image, particularly in light of today's vast dissemination of images, Braeckman creates unique prints using analogue processes and physically taxing experimental methods in the darkroom. The individuality of his images and the physical nature of his processes are evocative of painting, as is the rich tactility his unglazed photographs embody.
FOCUS: Analia Saban
March 30 - May 12, 2019
Los Angeles-based artist Analia Saban (b. 1980, Buenos Aires) takes traditional artistic media, such as paint, marble, and canvas, and pushes their limits in inventive ways that merge scientific experimentation with artmaking. In her Draped Marble works, Saban bends slabs of marble to the brink of destruction. Arced over walnut sawhorses, the fractured yet stable marble appears fragile and pliable. Alluding to the age-old idea of the artist turning something unbelievable into the believable, Saban's marble works also make historical reference to the billowing fabrics rendered in the same material by Renaissance sculptors, such as those in Michelangelo's Pieta.
Saban also dissects what painting has been known for and explores what it can be now. She often uses paint as a sculptural element to better understand the physical properties and boundaries of the medium. In her new series, Saban uses a loom to weave dried brushstrokes of acrylic paint within the linen's wefts and warps, subverting the custom of paint on canvas to create works that hover between paintings and objects. The weavings often illustrate references to topics such as architecture or technology, while underscoring and reveling in the handmade characteristic of an artwork. Often engaging sculpture, painting, photography, printmaking, and textiles in a single piece or series, Saban blurs the distinctions between media, questioning the material and conceptual limits of a traditional artwork while revitalizing the notion of what art, or the process of making art, can be.
Disappearing - California, c. 1970
May 10 - August 11, 2019
In 1971, Chris Burden disappeared for three days without a trace. That work, entitled Disappearing, gives its name to this exhibition, which examines the theme of disappearance in the works of Burden and his contemporaries in 1970s Southern California, Bas Jan Ader and Jack Goldstein. Loosely affiliated, these three artists shared a common interest in themes of disappearance and self-effacement, which manifested in works that were daring and often dangerous. In 1972, Jack Goldstein buried himself alive during a performance, while Chris Burden's often self-harming works explored the limits of pain. During Bas Jan Ader's tragic last work, In search of the miraculous, 1975, the artist vanished while crossing the Atlantic in a small sailboat, never to be seen again. Responding to cultural pressures like the Vietnam War and the nascent field of feminist art, the artists poignantly used "disappearing" as a response to the anxiety of the 1970s.
Disappearing - California, c. 1970 is curated by Philipp Kaiser and organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
David Park: A Retrospective
June 2 - September 8, 2019
David Park: A Retrospective is the first major museum exhibition in more than 30 years to present the powerfully expressive work of David Park (1911-1960), best known as the founder of Bay Area Figurative art. In the immediate postwar years, Park, like many avant-garde American artists, engaged with Abstract Expressionism and painted non-objectively. In a moment of passion, he made the radical decision to abandon nearly all of his abstract canvases at an Easy Bay dump. In 1950, he returned to the human figure, in so doing marking the beginning of the Bay Area Figurative movement. David Park: A Retrospective traces the full arc of the artist's career, from his early social realist and cubist-inspired efforts of the 1930s to his mature figurative paintings of the 1950s and his astounding final works on paper.
David Park: A Retrospective is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition is curated by Janet Bishop, Thomas Weisel Family Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA.
Images available upon request. Please e-mail