|Bill Arning Texas Extravagant Drawing
Curator Lecture: Wednesday, September 11, 5:30 pm, UNL Richards Hall Rm 15
Opening Reception: Friday, September 13, 7-9 pm, Fiendish Plots
Tod Bailey, Thedra Cullar-Ledford, Matthew Kelly Debbaudt, Steven Evans, Mark Flood, Rachel Hecker, Wes Holloway, David Kelley, Laura Lark, Cody Ledvina, Jeff Litchfield, Rick Lowe, Emilio Mittry, Bob Morrissey, Mark Ponder, Eric Schnell
Texas Extravagant Drawing
I am not a Texan, and therefore, after a professional life in New York City and Boston, my transition to Texas in 2009 struck many as an odd choice. Arriving to run one of the contemporary focused museums in this museum rich-city, I quickly became enamored of the types of artists and art made in my new home.
NO ZONING, the show that opened the day I arrived, was a tribute to the unregulated city’s self-image as a place where one can do anything one wants without needing to ask either permission or forgiveness. Texas politics outside of the cities are deeply conservative, but in the cities, the vibe is that of the libertines: anything goes as long as the government is not paying for it.
Studio spaces are cheap compared to other large cities, and for that reason, creative ideas tend to find physical manifestation very quickly—any artist with ambition can make their installation dreams real, and and there is a massive audience for all the artists generated projects. (This is true in all the arts with theater, comedy, dance, poetry and film events happening nightly.)
Focusing on drawing seems a reasonable way of making a snapshot of this moment, with the established artists that show internationally sharing wall space with punk musicians and stand-up comics that incorporate drawing into their other arts. This is a tiny sliver of current practice, and focusing on drawings will be enjoyable and comprehensible without knowing the artists' larger practices.
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