Congratulats to new Dallas Art Museum Director

Wanted to say congratulations to the new director. It will be interesting to see what new projects are in store for the Dallas Art museum. – david sokolec


I have to make an important correction to yesterday’s post on Fallas de Origen. The talks  I mentioned were actually held yesterday. I’m sorry for any inconvenience, and of course, that I missed them. 

Fallas de Origen-Artists from Colombia

The show Fallas de Origen opens this Friday (July 15) at 7 pm in the Museo de Arte de Juarez with work by Colombian artists in a wide range of media including video, installation and murals, painting among other types.. Curated by Alejandro Luperca Morales, of Proyecto Impala fame, the show’s artists are apparently focusing on some themes which are all too familiar to everyone here in Juarez as well as in Colombia, such as narcowars, problems with housing , and of course some situations which are different such as guerrilla warfare. There was also a desire to break with the usual stereotypes which have been imposed on both places and give a more realistic portrait of  life.
Morales has had extensive experience in Colombia, having studied and shown there as well as his recent residency. So after that residency he arranged for some Colombian artists to come here to show their work.
The piece which gives the show its title (and I want to thank El Diario for this info) was created by Wilson Diaz in 1997 and currently in the collection of the Bank of the Republic of Bogota. It recreates a house  with televisions instead of windows and a garden with cocoa plants instead of the usual garden flowers. It is being recreated here but, (and I find this hysterical,) since there is a legal ban in Mexico on transporting or exhibiting cocoa plants, the “garden” will not be like the original which had 100 cocoa plants, but will have plots of earth.
Although the show itself opens at 7, there are two presentations beforehand. The co-curators TRansHistor(ia) will talk about their work at 4 pm and at 5  the artists will present their portfolios and will have a conversation about their work.
This should be a great show and we don’t get to see enough art from Latin America and especially Colombia which has a rapidly developing important contemporary art scene. So this is a wonderful opportunity to see some exciting work by some committed contemporary Colombian artists.-david sokolec



Celebrating Picasso

From all I´ve read, nobody celebrated Picasso as much as he celebrated himself, but the El Paso Museum of Art has two complementary shows which do their part.
From the Nelson-Atkins museum in Kansas City, Missouri comes a large show of black and white photographs of Picasso at home and in his studio starting in the mid-50’s  by war photographer David Douglas Duncan.
Duncan met Picasso in the mid ’50s, and they immediately hit it off to such an extent that he was invited to Picasso’s summer home in the south of France and allowed to document domestic life there and later in other places. There are photos of Picasso in his bathtub,  photos with Jacqueline Roque, his current wife , and other scenes of Picasso in his studio as well as with notables such as  Jean Cocteau.
These are large well detailed prints, though it should be noted they are ink jet prints rather than  the silver prints which would have been made at the time they were photographed.  These were printed in 2013 and donated to the museum  which has sent them out for everyone’s enjoyment. For those who are interested in this more intimate view of Picasso this is a great show.
Along with these photos, the El Paso museum has put on a display of international publicity posters for Picasso shows over the decades. This has been shown before, but it makes a nice companion piece, and there are some posters I don’t remember having seen such as the poster for an Italian exhibition from the 50’s which uses as an image  ¨Guernica¨ – an amazing choice for a country which just ten years before had been  on the other side. There are posters Picasso made to promote events in the town where he lived as well as posters by galleries which were holding exhibitions of his work.
I should mention that in the exhibit next door in the De Wetter gallery there is a Picasso print (which appears to have been printed backwards.)
Interestingly in the main hall, and seemingly unrelated to the show is a canvas owned by the museum by Francois Gilot, who, one might say, endured Picasso somewhat earlier. I don’t know if this was left up for the show as its been there awhile, but after looking at all the pictures of Picasso and Jacqueline, it’s a little nod to a previous  romance and a somewhat stormier time
-david sokolec

Intimate riches

The El Paso Museum of Art recently hosted an exhibition of 30 large size prints by artists living in the Southwest in most cases near the US Mexican border. Often  bold, brash, and colorful, they varied widely in theme  but  displayed the artistic and thematic concerns of some of the artists living in El Paso, Tucson and Albuquerque.
Currently on display upstairs in the De Wetter gallery is a view of  prints from an earlier time. Spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, they are beautiful examples of work from some extremely well-known European and American artists.
These prints form a small portion of the 175 works of art in various media which were donated to the museum this past January upon the death of noted  civic leader and philanthropist Gertrude Amelia “Sugar” Goodman. . The aptly named show is called Intimate Figures”perhaps both because of the size of the prints as well as the subject matter, which tends to focus on individuals and small intimate scenes. The mostly black and white prints  showcase such luminaries as  Mary Cassatt,  Picasso, ,Malliol, Whistler , and  Chagall among others.
The subjects range from Cassatt’s finely delineated portrait of domestic scenes to Whistler’s  portraits of rag pickers in London. There are self-portraits such as Ivan Albright’s,  who is  as delightfully both repellent and compelling in black and white as he is in color. In short, some remarkable artists doing  wonderfully delicate and finely drawn work in lithography, woodblock, etchings and aquatint, among other techniques.
Although most of the artists are from Europe or the East Coast of the US, The Southwest is also here well  represented by such excellent printmakers as Gene Kloss, Gustave Baumann, also perhaps better known for his paintings ,and Barbara Latham. These artists all worked in Taos and Santa Fe and there are depictions of early days in that other world of Northern New Mexico.
The show which recently opened is up through October 11 and something of a reminder of what a joy art can be.-david sokolec


Museo de Arte’s journalistic selfie

Want to remind everyone of the opening this Friday (July 1) at 7 pm. of Leon de la Rosa’s show Museo: Conversaciones de Archivo. The show focuses on the history of the museum through the use of  notes from various newspapers through the decades as well as well over 200 small videos. There was an enormous task whittling down the material which was selected by the artist as welll as the show’s curator  Victoria Vinamaragui.

There will also be a performance at the opening which apparently includes an interactive dialogue with visitors about the material. -david sokolec


Sopa de letras o caldo de consonantes

A little while ago my friend, the well-known artist Cecilia Briones La Catrina celebrated the opening of her taller with a “sopa de letras”  during which lots of local writers read and we all oohed and ahhed over the space and the works on exhibit.
So tomorrow Friday, the 24th, she is having a second one from 1-5 at the workshop located on the 300 block of Ramon Corona, right next to Plaza Cervantino.-david sokolec



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