Donald Moffett is a New York–based artist known for working across artistic categories and media on carefully produced, thoughtfully considered, and visually stunning works that serve as means to often political or social ends. For Tuesday Evenings, he presents the compelling works of a career spanning more than two decades. A founding member of Gran Fury, a 1980s AIDS activist collective, Moffett creates abstract paintings, often with sculptural elements and as part of installations complete with aptly chosen music and projections, that manipulate the history and conventions of painting to address political and social issues of the day. In 2007, Dan Fox wrote for frieze magazine, “for Moffett, painting is used as a kind of aesthetic compressor concentrating the very real concerns and complexities of identity politics and human sexuality into a hard-hitting, high-tension visual experience.” Moffett’s practice has also been described as “using the unlikely choice of abstract painting to ruminate on death, desire, power, and scandal.”
Michael Auping, the Museum’s chief curator, discusses the Tadao Ando–designed gallery spaces of the Modern from a behind-the-scenes curatorial viewpoint in Installing the Modern. For this enlightening presentation, Auping shares his choices for pairing certain key works from the collection with different spaces in the museum; specifically Anselm Kiefer’s Book with Wings, Martin Puryear’s Ladder for Booker T. Washington, Richard Serra’s Vortex, Carl Andre’s Slit, and the new acquisition and placement of Roxy Paine’s stainless steel trees, Conjoined. It is always rewarding to hear from Auping, as he has been a favorite of the Tuesday Evenings series throughout the life of this program, bringing his knowledge, vast experience, and quick wit to the various subjects he has presented over the years. This is sure to be another popular event, so arrive early to claim a seat.
Lawrence Speck, FAIA, is based in Austin, where he has been on the faculty of the University of Texas since 1975. Well respected within his field, Speck has gained considerable national and international recognition for his work as an architect, an architectural critic, and an academic. His professional work includes such Texas landmarks as the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, the Austin Convention Center (both phases), and the architecture for Discovery Green, a new twelve-acre park in downtown Houston. As well as being a prolific designer and builder, Speck has contributed significantly to the development of ideas and direction in his field. He has authored two books, the most recent of which is Technology, Sustainability, and Cultural Identity. For Tuesday Evenings, Speck shares his designs, projects, and the lessons of his career in Recent Work and Thoughts.
Hans Christ and Iris Dressler are the co-directors of the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart. The team has proven themselves to be innovators in the promotion and presentation of art with a string of endeavors and accomplishments including the founding of Hartware Medien Kunst Verein as an independent platform for the presentation of contemporary art in 1996. Throughout their careers the team has organized impressive exhibitions that reflect the seriousness of their scholarship and their passion for contemporary art, including most recently Stan Douglas: Past Imperfect in 2007 and Contenance in 2005. The latter included the work of Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, the artists featured in the Modern’s exhibition No Room to Answer. For this Tuesday Evening presentation, Christ and Dressler present the current direction of video art, including the work of artists such as Stan Douglas, while focusing on the career of Hubbard and Birchler.
Kara Walker, whose work is featured in the Modern’s current exhibition My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, presents the ideas and issues behind her compelling installations, drawings, paintings, and text-based works, which are as disturbing as they are beautiful. Walker’s unforgiving representation of the complex dynamics and ramifications of slavery has been the subject of much praise and controversy. It is work that challenges its viewer and its maker. As Walker explains, “It’s interesting that as soon as you start telling the story of racism, you start reliving the story. You keep creating a monster that swallows you. But as long as there’s a Darfur, as long as there are people saying ‘Hey, you don’t belong here’ to others, it only seems realistic to continue investigating the terrain of racism.” This Tuesday Evening presentation offers insight into works of art that rattle and reconfigure historical perceptions, nudging and posing questions about personal and collective views on issues of race, gender, and sexuality.
Richard Wentworth has been a leading figure in New British Sculpture since the late 1970s. Celebrated as an art intellectual, Wentworth has long been respected as an artist, writer, teacher, and curator. His work has been featured in significant exhibitions including the 50th Venice Biennale and Global Cities at the Tate Modern. He is also readily recognized for organizing Thinking Aloud, the critically acclaimed exhibition that opened at the Hayward Gallery in 1999 and followed with a national tour. Favoring everyday materials and objects over monumental gestures, Wentworth has transformed expectations and considerations of sculpture, saying in a conversation with the critic Stuart Morgan, “I find cigarette packets folded up under table legs more monumental than a Henry Moore. Five reasons. Firstly the scale. Secondly, the fingertip manipulation. Thirdly, modesty of both gesture and material. Fourth, its absurdity, and fifth, the fact that it works.” In his Tuesday Evenings presentation Walking Through Hedges Backwards, Wentworth presents his photographs, sculptures, and installations, which tease our expectations of art and position us to reconsider the visual world and our perceptions of it.
Paul Slocum is an independent artist, curator, and musician living in Dallas. Computer technology and culture are often the medium and subject of his work. Since 2006, he has been the director of And/Or Gallery in Dallas, an art space focused on new media work. His band, Tree Wave, makes music and video using reprogrammed obsolete computer and videogame gear. Venues for some of Slocum’s performances and exhibitions include The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Deitch Projects (New York), Eyebeam (New York), Transitio MX (Mexico City), Le Confort Moderne (France), README 2005 (Denmark), The Liverpool Biennial, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. For Tuesday Evenings, Slocum presents the multifaceted art practice that has resulted in work that has brought him national and international critical acclaim as an artist, as well as local respect and appreciation for his promotion of and contribution to contemporary art and music in the Metroplex.
Robert Wilhite is a California-based artist recognized for his innovative approach to sculpture for more than three decades. While Wilhite is a veteran of the West Coast art scene from the 1970s, he continues to challenge the boundaries of art with his formally beautiful and conceptually compelling performances, objects, installations, drawings, and paintings. For his recent exhibition The Bomb at the Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, Wilhite created a life-size, beautiful, and delicate but clearly ominous wooden replica of the atomic bomb known as “Fat Man.” He explained his approach to such content in an interview for the online publication The Daily Breeze: “I wanted it to look like it could blow away. Not heavy because the subject matter is so heavy.” Wilhite’s experiences, as well as the work he has produced through a patient and persistent practice, are the subjects of his Tuesday Evenings presentation, The art of the art.
Dean Byington, a San Francisco–based artist known for creating visually packed narrative landscape paintings with varied storylines rendered in the style of nineteenth-century illustrated books, presents the ideas and processes behind his mesmerizing work in a conversation with Curator of Education Terri Thornton. A self-described horror vacui enthusiast, Byington explains, “My intent is to insert as much information and as many layers into a painting as possible.” His intentions result in complex works, both large and small, that unfold as the viewer searches and studies the surfaces with great satisfaction if not absolute conclusions.
John Stoney, an artist splitting his time between Austin and New York, captures the enormity of the world we inhabit in his awe-inspiring sculptures and drawings that are obsessively conceived and meticulously made. Pervasive in Stoney’s work and concurrent with his level of craft is a subtle humor and irony that results from slight shifts of perspective through juxtaposition and scale in artworks that seduce the eye and incite the imagination. For Tuesday Evenings he shares such work and related ideas in his presentation Time and the Artist.