We have seen works by Barney Delabano in various locations. Although he kept painting when he worked as the curator of installation at the Dallas Museum of Art for decades, it was not until his retirement that he began to show his works again. A few weeks ago, Heritage Auctions sold one of his paintings -titled Maguey– from the Belo Collection. It was originally purchased through David Dike Gallery in 1999.
This weekend, we visited Martin Delabano who discussed his father’s career, and his own works. Even though Martin’s work is more toward abstraction, his interests in the figurative and narrative aspects of paintings have a direct connection with works of his father.
In his own words, the art community has become bigger but less connected. Dallas, once a city standing out in the black prairie that could be seen afar on the train ride from Denison – a unique experience for Barney – has gone through decades of urban sprawls that physically make communication much harder.
Older generations of artists have paved the road for the younger. That lineage, from Martin to his farther and his circles such as Otis Dozier or Jerry Bywaters, can trace back as far as to Frank Reaugh – the only Texas artist exhibited in the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. That sense of support and comradeship forms the backbone of art scenes for any city.
Many have gone, but should not be forgotten. As Dallas is seeking its place in the national culture map, the city owes them a debt of gratitude.
Check out the short clip from our hour-long interview.