Archive for November, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Doris Lee, Thanksgiving, 1942, Lithograph, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg

A week of Gaultier at the DMA

We held several special events for the opening of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, not only the first exhibition on the French couturier but the first contemporary fashion exhibition for the DMA. The week started off with a “Welcome to Texas” reception for Jean Paul Gaultier presented by the members of the Jean Paul Gaultier Host Committee complete with the high-kicking Kilgore Rangerettes, country music, Stetson hats, cowboy boots, and a “Welcome to Texas” themed  tequila bar with corny dogs appetizers.

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M. Gaultier attended a Parisian luncheon with Eiffel Tower statues, pink tulle and black leather tablecloths inspired by the French Cancan ensemble worn by Carla Bruni-Sarkozy from his Ze Parisienne spring/summer 2002 Haute Couture collection located in the Skin Deep gallery of the exhibition. Later that evening excitement was in the air when M. Gaultier and Dita Von Teese entered the Museum for the Donor Circle reception greeting 700 eager guests. M. Gaultier shared stories from his childhood and entertained the fashionable dressed crowd, including the DMA’s Interim Director Olivier Meslay and curator Kevin W. Tucker in Gaultier ensembles. M. Gaultier finished his visit to the DMA on Thursday during the press preview where he discussed his inspiration and the exhibition.

Thursday was also the first opportunity for DMA members to explore the exhibition before the opening on Sunday, November 13. The Friday night General Membership reception drew over 1,500 members who dressed to impress and danced the night away to DJ Andre 7.

There are still two and half months to explore the acclaimed exhibition and number of programs to attend including a Jean Paul Gaultier themed Late Night on Friday, January, 20. For information on upcoming events, and on DMA memberships, visit DallasMuseumofArt.org.

Graffiti Couture

There are six exciting galleries inside The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition, from a red light district to a motorized runway. For the Punk Cancan room, we decided to tag the walls with details of Gaultier and Dallas with the help of graffiti artist Jerod DTOX Davies for Blunt Force Crew/Beastmode Squad. Below is a behind-the-scenes look at the tagging process.

Photography by Adam Gingrich, Dallas Museum of Art Marketing Assistant, and George Fiala.

Big Love from Jean Paul Gaultier

You may have heard that the U.S. Premiere of The Fashion World From Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk opened yesterday at the Dallas Museum of Art. But we had a week of pre-opening  events prior to Sunday, including the Press Preview on Thursday morning. Below are a few of our favorite shots from our time with the “enfant terrible”.

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Kimberly Daniell, Public Relations Specialist at the Dallas Museum of Art

A Pair of Twos: Two Authors’ Take on Two Painters

Part of what’s most fun about working on Arts & Letters Live is getting to hear the buzz about new books several months before they are released. We first heard about Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith last winter and couldn’t wait for the release. This new biography came out less than a month ago to tremendous acclaim. Leo Jansen, Curator at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, called it “the definitive biography for decades to come,” and the authors were  profiled on 60 Minutes.

We are thrilled to be able to host these two authors for a program at the Dallas Museum of Art on Monday, November 14. They will discuss their new book and the similarities between Vincent van Gogh and Jackson Pollock, the subject of their Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Jackson Pollock: An American Saga.

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith were gracious enough to answer a few questions for us in advance of their event.

How did you come to tackle Vincent van Gogh as a subject for this book?
While we were still working on our biography of Jackson Pollock, more than twenty-five years ago, we began to think about the next artist we might want to write about. The challenge for a biographer is to find a subject (1) who is significant, in terms of the work he or she has left behind; (2) who led an interesting life; (3) whose life had a particular impact on the work; (4) who left behind enough of a record in order to be able to reconstruct the life; and (5) who hasn’t already been the subject of a definitive, or even a thorough, account. No one met these criteria better than van Gogh. The only hurdle was that we don’t read Dutch, a hurdle got past with the help of eleven translators. 

Other than Vincent van Gogh himself, who is the most interesting figure that you write about in this book?
Theo, certainly. He was easily the most important person in van Gogh’s life. He was Van Gogh’s only consistent source of emotional and financial support. He was an interesting person in his own right – both audacious enough to be one of the first dealers in Paris who showed the work of the impressionists, but also conservative enough to show only work he knew would sell. He was intensely conflicted in his feelings for his brother –fully aware of Vincent’s willingness to take advantage of his generosity, furious that Vincent caused their family so much trouble, and angry that Vincent refused to accept his advice about how to make his work more salable, yet caring for him deeply, utterly.

How do you feel van Gogh’s letters shaped Van Gogh: The Life?
The letters are the starting point for any biographer of van Gogh. They are astonishingly long and detailed, and yet they often have a manipulative intent. Van Gogh usually wanted something from Theo, and he was sometimes elegant, sometimes ham-fisted, in his efforts to cloak his requests. But because of van Gogh’s intermittent self-knowledge, because of his extraordinary intelligence and intellect, because they were written for the most part to one person, and because he didn’t think anyone else would ever read them, van Gogh’s letters open an almost unique window onto a great creative mind.

Sheaves of Wheat, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890, Oil on Canvas, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Do you have a favorite work of van Gogh’s? What draws you to that piece?
We have many, many favorites, but one that comes to mind is a painting of underbrush in the Van Gogh Museum collection. It shows both his absolute mastery of color – extraordinary and subtle combinations of browns and purples and blues, hundreds and hundreds of them – and a dazzling display of his command over his brush, and in particular his Sargent-like ability to paint wet on wet.

Tree Roots, July 1890, Oil on Canvas, 19 3/4 x 39 1/4 in. Van Gogh Foundation, Amsterdam.

Have you visited Dallas before? If so, what did you think of the city?
(Steven) Yes, I have a lot of family in Texas – in fact I was Congressman Charlie Wilson’s first intern on Capitol Hill. Dallas has some spectacular architecture, including I. M. Pei’s Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Museum has a first-rate collection, including two key works by Jackson Pollock, Portrait and a Dream and Cathedral. We have not yet seen the Nasher Sculpture Center and are thrilled at the opportunity to see it.

Cathedral, Jackson Pollock, 1947, Enamel and aluminum paint on canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis

The November 14 event is sold out but overflow seating is still available in a live simulcast in the Center for Creative Connections Theater.

Katie Hutton is Program Manager of Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Mannequins Mouthing Off

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk features over 130 ensembles spanning 35 years of the Jean Paul Gaultier’s career. These ensembles are not simply displayed on static mannequins, but 30 of the works are placed on animated, talking mannequins (including one of Monsieur Gaultier) throughout the galleries. Below are a few behind-the-scenes shots of the installation of these lifelike mannequins. See them in person beginning this Sunday, November 13!

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Closing Celebration for Art in October

Sunday we wrapped up the month-long celebration of the Dallas Arts District, Art in October, with a day full of events throughout the district. The DMA hosted a free Carnival of Creativity and Doggies in the District. Below are few photo highlights from the day.

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