Frank X Tolbert 2

, Meddlesome Moth

This weekend we traveled to Houston to meet up with Frank X. Tolbert 2. Frank shared several amazing stories, including this one where he describes driving some paintings to Austin and displaying them along a moonlit roadway.

Art makes us yearn, beyond its own dimension — whether it is Church’s South America landscapes or Walhol’s car crash. Frank Tobert told us his story from the early 1970s.

Where are the paintings now? What are those paintings about? We don’t know, and probably will never know. Yet that yearning for their own destination creates a hole in my heart, that keeps dragging me thinking about it.

Frank’s decision was brave, and for many, perhaps bizarre. But I am intrigued. I could only imagine what I would have felt if I were there to see the paintings under the moonshine, in the middle of nowhere. That unique experience is what art is made for.

We also learned that Frank was one of the artists who collaborated on some stained glass panels for the Hard Rock Cafe that once stood on McKinney Avenue. They are now in Meddlesome Moth in the Design District.

The Roadside Gallery of Frank X Tolbert 2 from Eric Miller on Vimeo.

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 will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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