Back In Black: Texas Museums Display Arts In Black

Three exhibitions in separate museums in Northern Texas all have one notable thing in common: they all use black, lots of it. The three exhibitions were all scheduled separately and independently of one another, yet shared similar themes. They are located across the region, and are as follows:

  • Richard Serra: Prints”, located at the Nasher Sculpture Center (Jan. 28-Apr. 30)
    • A collection of “prints”, in the sense that they are etchings on paper, not like modern large canvas prints, made by the sculptor Richard Serra. The prints were lent to the museum from Jordan Schnitzer, a Portland philanthropist, one of the world’s most notable collectors.

      From the larger collection of prints from the sculptor, Catherine Craft and Leigh Arnold, Nasher’s curator and assistant curator, respectively, chose a select number of prints, to be installed in one of the Renzo Piano building’s large bays. 52 were carefully selected for the exhibition.  The prints, are, in fact, paper drawings made with an oil stick, which were then translated by the printers of Gemini Press, utilizing their experience with all sorts of large canvas prints. The prints are notable for their dense, oppressive blackness.

  • Ross Bleckner: Find a Peaceful Place Where You Can Make Plans for the Future”, at Dallas Contemporary (Jan. 15 -Mar. 12)
    • Located in Dallas Contemporary, this exhibition focuses on Ross Bleckner’s work, which is stated to be, sadly, underappreciated in Texas art circles. The exhibition is regarded as evidence of Dallas Contemporary’s active role in aiding the art industry of the city.

      The artist’s paintings, which have never been displayed in an exhibition of similar scale since its tenure at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, which was more than 20 years ago (1995).

  • Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings”, on display at Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum (Feb. 19-Apr. 23)
    • A display of Donald Sultan’s work, unique in the nature of their construction. Contrasting the materials of the two other exhibitions (paint on canvas and oil stick on paper, for Bleckner and Serra, respectively), these paintings were made on large wood “stretchers”, with latex and tar being used to create the dark images of disasters. The paintings are now in display once more, after having been made over the time span of 17 years (’83-90) two decades ago.
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