Dallas, TX, March 10, 2016 – Beginning this spring, the Dallas Museum of Art presents five focused installations in its celebrated Barrel Vault and Quadrant Galleries that highlight work from the Museum’s significant contemporary art holdings. Passages in Modern Art: 1946–1996, on view in the central Barrel Vault, is an installation that delves into half a century of work created by artists who questioned the traditionally defined paradigms of painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography. It brings together a group of recent acquisitions, rarely seen pictures, and several newly conserved paintings and sculptures.
On view from March 13 to August 28, 2016, Passages in Modern Art: 1946–1996 begins a new era of presenting works from the Museum’s permanent collection in the Barrel Vault space; revisions to works on view will be made over the course of the installation’s presentation. Among the work featured in this initial rotation is the first solo presentation in an American museum by Irish artist William McKeown; a gallery pivoting around the influential work of Stephen Antonakos; an important and visually complex photographic work by Robert Gober; and, finally, a gallery dedicated to the extraordinary generosity of the late Dorace M. Fichtenbaum.
In the Barrel Vault, art by such iconic artists as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Philip Guston, Jasper Johns, Yayoi Kusama, and Mark Rothko is presented alongside their lesser-known contemporaries. These artists include Siah Armajani, Nancy Grossman, Dorothea Rockburne, and Oli Sihvonen. The surrounding Quadrant Galleries feature artists who work with a variety of unique materials, from translucent plastic gels and neon, to metal and tubing.
“This presentation of Museum holdings was inspired by the radical ideas of artists in the second half of the 20th century,” said Gavin Delahunty, the DMA’s Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “Although the works of art on view in the Barrel Vault are largely dissimilar, they are unified in the understanding that art is not simply a literal transcription of the observed world. The artists behind the works were not afraid to re-access accepted approaches to art production.”
Highlights of the Quadrant Galleries:
- The DMA will serve as the first US museum to host a solo presentation of work by Irish artist William McKeown. Encompassing an entire gallery, The Dayroom is a simple cube room reminiscent of communal spaces in places like hospitals. The room seems to attempt domesticity, but instead emits a sterile and sickly pallor. Inside the room are hung a color pencil drawing and a painting, specifically a single primrose and an expanse of sky, providing a glimpse of a potential outside that can be imagined by the viewer.
- The 1960s saw artists such as Stephen Antonakos, Dan Flavin, and Robert Irwin creating sculptures and installations using diffuse lighting techniques, neon, and fluorescent tubes. Work by these artists, including the DMA’s recent acquisition Hanging Neon (1965) by Antonakos, focus on light itself and the way in which it transformed, or sculpted, a specific architectural setting. This sculpture is noted for being the first work out of Antonakos’s contemporaries to be inverted and mounted from the ceiling, giving the audience a 360-degree view of his custom pieces of neon.
- A set of twenty-two photographs by Robert Gober that all span the same amount of years of creation are on view for the first time since entering the DMA’s collection as a gift of the artist in honor of Robert Hoffman. Gober’s sequence of images 1978–2000 begins with casual snapshots of a road trip from New York to Long Island and ends with peculiarly crisp images. Many of the photographs were manipulated by Gober and are interrupted by actual newspaper clippings that suggest his support for free speech.
- A selection of works from the 19th and 20th centuries, on view for the first time since entering the DMA’s collection through the bequest of Dorace M. Fichtenbaum, are displayed in a salon-style hang and organized by similarity. Highlights from this impressive collection include works of art from Africa, Southeast Asia, India, Europe, and the Americas. This installation serves as a tribute to Fichtenbaum’s lasting legacy as an esteemed benefactor and friend of the Dallas arts community.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than two million visitors, and enrolled more than 100,000 people in DMA Friends, a free program available to anyone who wishes to join focused on active engagement with the Museum. For more information, visit DMA.org.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.