Roger Winter was in town for the Transfer of Spirit exhibition at Kirk Hopper. We sat down with him the next morning to discuss Texas art and his multiple decade history here. Roger talks about artists Bob Wade, Otis Dozier and about what it will take to put Texas art on the map.
Here’s an extended transcript of the last question and answer from the video:
Q: The reason we ask that question is because when David Bates had the show at the Nasher and the Star-Telegram had an article. When he was interviewed, David Bates said regionalism is a bad word. What he is doing is no different from what Marsden Hartley did in his time. He just can’t tolerate the idea of calling him a Texas artist.
There’s another concept there. It’s like how California was, until Texas recognizes the good work that has been done here. Douglas MacAgy was one who did. Ted Pillsbury was someone who did. I don’t know about Max Anderson. I imagine he will be that way, the DMA director. There’s been some pretty good things done around here, even though this is called Texas. Texas is not on the cultural map until it recognizes its own, but that doesn’t mean slipping back into regionalism. It means understanding quality and value. Ted Pillsbury once said to me, “There was a problem here.” He was talking about Dallas. “There was a problem here. There’s not enough connoisseurship. A museum or a gallery will do something very good or they will do something very bad, and they don’t really know which is which.” That’s a little harsh, but you have to see what has quality and has meaning and substance. Whether it was done here or in Paducah, Kansas if there is such a place, it doesn’t matter.