This Wednesday through Friday I am traveling to Dallas on business to meet with two brilliant contemporary Texas artists: Sedrick Huckaby and Charlotte Smith. I can’t wait! Both artists will be featured separately in upcoming exhibitions at AMSET- Huckaby in a solo exhibition this October through January, and Charlotte Smith’s work will be included in a group exhibition tentatively titled “Obsessive Worlds” scheduled for the fall of 2011.
I first heard about Sedrick Huckaby—the 35-year-old, African-American artist from Fort Worth—last May when I was at CASETA in Austin. Specifically, his name was mentioned by Ted Pillsbury in his opening comments at the Early Texas Art conference. I vaguely recall Dr. Pillsbury saying that this artist, who had been shown in the Boston area and whose work was already being acquired by the Whitney in New York and MFA Boston, was hardly receiving his due credit in his home state of Texas. It was sort of like the duh lights blinking on and off and clueing everyone into the idea that “hey museums in Texas should pay attention to this young, highly talented and increasingly popular artist whose work is already being collected by the top museums in the country.” I think it was probably at that point my boss Lynn (AMSET director) and I began entertaining the idea of having an exhibition of his work at our museum.
So, Sedrick Huckaby, who is he and what does he paint? Well, for starters he was born in 1975 in Fort Worth, TX and received his BFA in 1997 from Boston University and MFA in 1999 from Yale University. In 2008, he was the recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him the ability to complete his gigantic four 8’x20’ panel painting titled A Love Supreme. This work began in 2003 and is currently up in its entirety at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Dallas where I am meeting him on Wednesday afternoon. Pretty cool huh! A Love Supreme is comprised of four paintings that represent the four seasons. Although I have not seen the complete work in person yet, from reviews I have read it is supposed to be quite an experience. The subject matter for the four large trompe l’oeil paintings are actual quilts from life made by the artist’s grandmother and other family members. These quilts are significant both in terms of Huckaby’s family history and the artistic legacy of the African-American quilting tradition. From the few Huckaby works that I have seen in person, the absolutely incredible part is his painting technique. This artist creates paintings that literally contain mounds and globs of paint that produce a surface texture that is quite frankly delicious! It just makes me want to rub my hands all over the surface of the work and pick and smush at the volcanoes of shiny oil paint.
The other artist I will meet this week is Charlotte Smith. I must admit that Charlotte’s work is my favorite of any art I have come into contact with since moving to Beaumont and working at AMSET. Charlotte had a solo exhibition at AMSET in 2005 called Pile Up. Her paintings are literally just that—drips of acrylic paint piled up on top of one another to create little stalagtites and stalagmites all over the surface. Her paintings really give me the willies but in a good way! It’s like a disease that has spread or virus burst all over the place in her works-fabulous! Sometimes I think it might resemble a constellation. For more information on Charlotte, click on the following links:
When I get back from Dallas at the end of the week, I will be sure to update my blog and let everyone know how my artist vists went! Thanks for reading and leave me comments, Sarah a.k.a. AMusingCurator
WELCOME READERS OF MY NEW ART BLOG:
My name is Sarah Hamilton. I am 28 years old and currently live in Beaumont, Texas—a city of approx. 113K that is 1.5 hours east of Houston, Texas. I moved to the Golden Triangle in November 2008 with my husband (Bryan) and our four pets to work as the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. I graduated with a Masters degree in Art History from Texas Christian University in 2008.
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas, or AMSET for short, is a great small fine arts museum that opened in the late 1980s. The collection of approx. 1,000 total pieces consists of mainly contemporary Texas art and American folk art. There are also a handful of American 19th and 20th century works by artists such as Julian Onderdonk, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, Charles Burchfield, and the highly-acclaimed Texas landscape painter Frank Reaugh. One of the museum’s most recent acquisitions is a black and white silver gelatin photograph by the famous female Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide. AMSET purchased for the permanent collection Mujer Angel (Angel Woman)—one of Iturbide’s most classic and intriguing images. The museum also has a program called Café Arts that exhibits local artists in the cafe for three months at a time and provides artists with increased exposure and sale of their work. The calendar for this exhibition program fills up very quickly, but I am currently looking to book artists beginning in May 2011.
This art blog was started as a way for me to talk about the exhibitions that are shown at AMSET and also as a source to talk about the gallery and museum exhibitions that I visit and perhaps will inspire others to see. HAVE FUN :)