JANUARY 13 – FEBRUARY 26, 2017
Friday, January 13, 2017
6 – 8 PM
Artist talks at 6 PM
Pulltight, Texas • Glenn Downing
John M. O’Quinn Gallery
Glenn Downing sat on the back porch with Bud Powers and they talked about old times. Bud worked with and for Glenn’s dad in the fifties and sixties. Bud was dying of cancer so he could only smoke one cigarette a day. He kept a pellet gun by his chair to keep the squirrels away from his bird feeder. He was glad Glenn stopped by. Bud talked about how he and Glenn’s dad worked hard; sometimes getting pissed off and getting into arguments, which happened on a regular basis. Bud would just stand up and tell everyone he was “going to the house.” A few days later he would come back and start working again. Bud Powers was known for being contrary. Bud bought a place with some acres outside of Oglesby. He made a sign and put it up at the gate. It said Welcome to Pulltight, Texas.
This exhibition is about people like Bud Powers. Everything in it makes up a place inside Glenn. His Pulltight, Texas.
Glenn Downing was born and raised in a rural area outside of Waco, Texas. He taught at McLennan Community College for 16 years. Has a BFA from UT and a MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Glenn's background is in sculpture and drawing. He lived in Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in the island nation of Tuvalu. He worked for 15 years for the video artists, Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kubota. He makes art and ride mountain bikes. Even though Glenn has traveled all over the world he returned to Waco to live close to where he was brought up.
Glenn's father was a farmer who started a street paving business so he began his life doing all sorts of manual labor. He worked alongside men with little or no formal education; men who grew up using their hands and got where they were in life by just working themselves to death. These men were a little bit crazy; they approached life on their own terms. They were individuals; not always correct in their talk or their manners but willing to get the job done and get on with life. As Glenn got older he became one of those men.
A Routine in Parts, 2016 • Eric McMaster
Assuming sports as a microcosm of society, my works use the rituals of sport to focus on situations of vulnerability, power, obedience, and resistance.
An athlete strives for perfect. They practice routines and drills hundreds, if not thousands of times to achieve an act without clumsiness, muscular fatigue, or a lapse in focus. In the end, a perfect routine can never be. Perfection can never be. Perfect is something that many pursue but would have no value if fully achieved.
The displayed works put athletes in situations where their routines are hindered. A competitive dance couple performs a routine without each other. The resulting performance consists of miscues and gestures of more graceful acts. A gymnast struggles with thicker atmospheric conditions, the awkwardness of breathing, and buoyancy rather than gravity. The result is a 40-second routine extended to over 8 minutes.
We see the awkward gap between potential and perfection. We Laugh.
Also displayed are objects related to the recorded actions. A pommel horse exists as a sculptural prop; custom built to accommodate its environment while also adhering to sport regulations. Floor segments from a famed Texas dance hall, complete with scuffs and wear that create compositions of circumstance, are hung as framed images. The pommel horse and the floor segments are displayed as relics; objects with a treasured context greater than their material or formal qualities. Every mark is not a flaw, rather it references something larger. The relics achieve an as-is perfect, a state ironically elusive to the featured athletes’ routines.
Eric R. McMaster works involve fabricated objects, athletes, actions and images exploring themes or order, resistance, and vulnerability. His works have been exhibited in New York, Paris, Hiroshima, New Delhi, Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Phoenix among others. He is the recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund, and numerous scholastic grants and scholarships. R Eric McMaster currently lives and works in Austin, Texas.
Kim Moore, Michael Meulhaupt, Rachael Starbuck, Olivia Moore, Bill Haddad, Ben Jurgensen, Stephen Stephanian, Cameron Deer, David Miller, Allie Jones, Mira Boyda and Go Dance Studio, The University of Texas at Austin's Department of Art and Art History.
Mon Frère • Irene Reece
Mon Frère is an installation that confronts the viewer with Irene Reece’s brother Froncell in his day-to- day. Irene Reece is attempting to render a double consciousness of sorts; how the world sees Froncell and how he sees the world. The bigger issue within this body of work concerns the caregivers of this population. The parents, siblings, relatives and friends of children and adults with special needs face daily challenges. The inevitably they willhave to face of who will take care of their children when they areno longer here.
Irene Antonia Diane Reece is Houston, TX based artist working primarily in photography, documentary style film and painting. The issues that inform my work revolve around racial identity, family histories, mental and community health issues. Her brother, Froncell Juan Reece, is a 24 year old man diagnosed as autistic, with moderate cerebral palsy and severe echolalia. Froncell has a constant routine that he follows every day. Irene and her sister Nancy (Froncell’s twin) are part of that routine. So are her parents. Growing up Irene came to understand that her brother's mind was pure, innocent, undeterred and unaware of the daily happenings of the world. Yet Froncell understands he is different. Different in appearance, different in temperament, different in his use of language and different in how he processes things.
Play It as It Lays • Curated by José Guadalupe Garza
Work by Margaux Crump, Marie Bannerot McInerney, and Gillian Tobin
Grace R. Cavnar Gallery
Play It as It Lays takes its title from the 1970 novel by American writer Joan Didion. In this group exhibition each artist provides a distinct monologue with overarching themes of nihilism, fatalism, sexual desire, and longing that are all at once spiked with brilliance, beauty, wretchedness, modesty and self-doubt. Their relationship with materials and the space they occupy stand in for bodies, places, dreams and memories. The transformation of materials and objects not only allude to the literary but also the cinematic. Together their purpose is not to create a narrative but to provide a portal that is at once visceral and metaphysical, harmonious and discordant, near and distant, authentic and constructed. It is a means to make sense of the world and how they navigate through it. Each negotiation, compromise and confrontation is revealed discretely on her surface. It is the evidence of accepting the existing conditions when acting and reacting to a problem-–one, which is both unique in its inception but also universal in its open-endedness.
Margaux Crump is a Houston-based artist whose objects, drawings, and texts are rooted in the slippery relationship between desire, intimacy, and control. She has exhibited nationally, most notably at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis and The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Washington, DC. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
Marie Bannerot McInerney is artist, curator, and educator. Her work investigates conceptions of fragility, instability, and experiential knowledge. She has exhibited across the United States and abroad including shows at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, WA, Mildred Lane Kemper Museum in Saint Louis, MO, Corcoran College in Washington, DC, and Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. Her formative years were spent in Houston, TX before she earned her BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA at Washington University in Saint Louis. She part of the curatorial collaboration Plug Projects; is currently Vice President of Annual Meetings for the Friends of Dard Hunter, and serves as Assistant Professor in the Fiber Department at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Gillian Tobin received her BFA in 2009 from the Kansas City Art Institute, concentrating in painting and art history. Tobin also holds an MFA in Visual Art from Washington University and an MA from Eastern Illinois University. Tobin has contributed to multiple exhibitions throughout Missouri and Illinois. She was a recipient of the Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Residency in 2014-15. Her practice is driven by material experimentation with a focus on the ontology of objects. She lives and works in Kansas City, MO.
José Guadalupe Garza is an artist, educator and curator living and working in St. Louis, MO. He earned a BFA from the University of Florida and MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Garza examines the way in which one constructs/reconstructs histories and how ideas are a dialogic conflation of different people, places, and times. He generates shifts in meaning and interpretation by demonstrating how concepts and relationships are constantly inverted and transformed through the use of improvisation and assemblage. His practice is informed by, and connected to ideas relating to aesthetics of power, manifestations of desire, the ready-made and the moving image as a tool and vehicle for propaganda.
Julio Serrano Echeverría is a Guatemalan poet and multidisciplinary artist. He studied Hispano-American literature at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala, and has been a participant in numerous workshops related to film and visual art. He has received awards from the Fundación Carolina of Spain, the Residencia para Artistas de Iberoamérica FONCA-AECID in Mexico, as well as residency programs at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and the Fundación YAXS in Guatemala City.
Serrano's books of poetry include Ser el tiempo (2015), Central América (2013), Actos de magia (2012), Fractal (2011), Trans 2.0 (2009), and Las Palabras y los días (2006). His work also appears in many of the most significant anthologies of writing from the region. Serrano has also published children's books, including En botas de astronauta (2016) and the collection of Maya narratives Desde los orígenes, Desde las aguas, and Desde el mundo de los espíritus (2015) and El nacimiento del arcoiris (2014, selected for the library award by the Ministry of Education of Guatemala). Serrano also periodically publishes essays, stories, and reviews of cinema and literature in regional publications, and he is a columnist for the digital publication Plaza Pública.
As an audiovisual producer, Serrano has worked in various modes, between news documentary, film essay, fiction, and video art; many of these projects have been included in international film festivals and exhibitions of video art. Working out from literature, he has explored diverse possibilities of the multidisciplinary-platform, from text to image, sound, and space; many of these projects have been shown in group exhibitions in Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States.
One Stone and the Rain takes CORE Critic-in-Residence Laura A. L. Wellen's 2016 essay of the same name as its departure point to consider contemporary artistic practices that pair the natural environment with a politics of contemporary life in Guatemala. Twenty years after the armed conflict ended there, a new generation of Guatemalan artists are looking to physical elements (including water, stone, earth, and wind) as active participants in their work. Placing value and knowledge in these elements, these artists embrace the movement and change they embody. By avoiding a certain fixity, even in how we comprehend, experience, and process violence of the past and present, the exhibition argues for finding knowledge in sites, processes, and materials of the earth. One Stone and the Rain includes bilingual (Spanish and English) exhibition text, and videos, performance documentation, and photographs by artists Hellen Ascoli (Guatemala City), Manuel Chavajay Moralez (San Pedro La Laguna), Jorge de León (Guatemala City), Reyes Josué Morales (Totonicapán), and Julio Serrano Echeverría (Quetzaltenango/Guatemala City).
Laura A. L. Wellen is a writer and independent curator based in Guatemala City and Houston. She is working on a book about Kansas artist James Dean Pruner, titled Tell it to the Horses: The Life, Art, and Radical Community of a Kansas Painter. Her essays have appeared in numerous artist monographs, and her art criticism has been published in Art Forum, Artishock, Art Lies, Art Review, Arts + Culture Texas, and Pastelegram among other international publications. She is the co-founder of the apartment gallery and residency Yvonne in Guatemala and of the Houston-based project Francine. In 2016-2017, she is a writing fellow at the Core Critical Studies Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is a 2016 recipient of The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Wellen holds a PhD in Art History.