Latin American art has become fashionable these days.
After Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas in 1971, he quickly transformed the cow-town into the art world’s desert outpost, much to the chagrin of some locals.
As the 100th anniversary year of the 1913 Armory Show winds down, it’s worth taking a look at an exhibition in Texas that may not directly corral together the scandalous and shocking art of that first burst of modernism into the Americas, but just as strongly shows how the waves of Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, and beyond would roll through the 20th century here with the spurring of that initial experimentation in Europe.
FORT WORTH, Texas —Some Modernist landscapes are so futuristic, so weirdly alien in their urban surroundings, they look like sets for a sci-fi movie. In the case of the “Fort Worth Water Gardens” designed by Philip Johnson with partner John Burgee, the immense shapes of concrete that rise up topographically into a mountain and descend into a watery vortex are both a 1970s vision of public space and the setting for one of the era’s dystopian films.
DALLAS — Aurora illuminated the Dallas Arts District last Friday, featuring 90 site-specific light and sound installations covering 19 blocks of downtown from 7 pm until midnight. An estimated 30,000 people gathered and wandered through the city, taking in the transformation that molded buildings, illuminated cathedrals, lit hidden spaces, and made concrete, glass, and steel pulse.
AUSTIN, Texas — In a strange sequence of events, it seems that the Hefner Empire wants — and has recently obtained — a lease on 6,500 square feet of land west of Marfa, Texas, which is best known in the art world as the home of artist Donald Judd’s Chinati and Judd Foundations.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — The Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center has been in existence since 1986 and it began with monthly art events that have turned into a four-roomed exhibition space and a monthly contemporary art walk (CAM) that collaborates with the local McNay Museum and most other San Antonio art spaces. With the legacy of being the longest standing contemporary art center in San Antonio comes a strong connection with its local arts community. The space has helped revitalize its surrounding neighborhoods, King William and South Town, and as a result its street corners have chic bars and restaurants though they maintain the eclectic “Old West meets Spanish colonial” look-and-feel typical of San Antonio. At the advice of art collector and Blue Star board member Mike Casey I drive over to check it out.