Texas Traditions: Contemporary Artists of the Lone Star State

Heritage Auctions was set up like a contemporary painting gallery this afternoon for the release of Texas Traditions: Contemporary Artists of the Lone Star State by Michael Duty & Susan Hallsten McGarry

The walls of the front gallery at Slocum Street were lined with works by the 36 artists featured in the book. When we arrived minutes after the noon start opening time, many already had sold stickers.

We enjoyed meeting several Texas artists including Deborah Paris, who participated in a 1:00 panel discussion, Xiang Zhang, who somehow found his way to the Oklahoma-Texas border from China and one of a handful of artists still in the state of their birth, Nancy Bush. You can see some of the paintings available here.

A portion of the proceeds of the art sale will benefit Dallas Historical Village.The paintings will be on display and available for purchase for the next two weeks.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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