Posts Tagged 'Félix González-Torres'

Identity in Clothing and Objects: New Additions to C3

Just in time for summer, the Center for Creative Connections welcomed new works into the gallery. Communication will be the continued theme of the space, but recent additions from the DMA’s collection will bring focus to how clothing, objects, and accessories can communicate a significant narrative about ways subjects can be portrayed.


Works from our contemporary collection exemplify how objects and clothing can be used to conceal a direct identity. Karel Funk’s hyper-realistic Untitled #21 explores a portrait that was based off people he would see during cramped commutes on a New York City subway. Funk would often notice unique social codes that allow passengers to closely scrutinize each other’s appearances. The lack of identity shown here challenges us to consider how this subject’s persona could quickly change with each visitor’s interpretation.



Karel Funk, Untitled #21, 2006, acrylic on panel, The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund, 2010.28, © Karel Funk

To the left of Untitled #21 is one of Félix González-Torres’s most prolific works, Untitled (Perfect Lovers). Two clocks are typically not what come to mind when we think of portraiture, but González-Torres was able to poignantly capture the love between he and his partner, Ross Laycock, who struggled with AIDS until his death in 1991. The piece consists of two store-bought clocks, hung side-by-side and synced to begin at the same time. Over time, the clocks naturally fall out of sync, representing the mourning of a loved one who gradually slips away from you.


Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-90, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection, 2001.342.a-b, © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

We made sure to broaden the works to encompass a more global perspective from across the collection. This helps visitors understand that for centuries art and objects from across cultures have been used to convey a ceremonial practice, style of dress, or social status. A double-breasted gown (called a jama) and jewelry made of pearls and precious gems, seen in two small watercolor works on paper from the Mughal dynasty in India in the 17th century, draw attention to the figures’ wealth and social status as nobles in the community.

One of my personal favorite additions to the gallery are cases encompassing two personal objects belonging to DMA staff members. We had an open call to DMA staff to submit a wearable item that expressed something unique about them. Brian MacElhose, Collections Database Analyst, retired his worn-down skate shoes to express his passion for skateboarding. Carrie Schimpff, Executive Assistant to the Director of Development, chose her stunning horse-riding jacket, which was handcrafted and designed by her mother to symbolize the countless hours they spent (from ages 7 to 18) bonding while driving cross country to horse shows. Next to these cases, we are inviting visitors to draw and describe their own personal clothing and accessories that convey something important about them to display among the works.


Visitors viewing Carrie Schimpff’s horse riding jacket in the C3 gallery


Visitors can leave their own reflections on how personal objects convey something meaningful about them.

Be sure to venture through the Center for Creative Connections on your next visit to view these works and discover how you can see art in a new way.

Kerry Butcher is the Center for Creative Connections Education Coordinator at the DMA.

The Best Way to Spread Artsy Cheer

. . . is singing loud for all to hear!

With the holiday season in full swing, I’ve taken some liberties with a handful of my favorite yuletide melodies. If you know any Claymation experts who’d be willing to work their magic on a DMA-inspired stop-motion musical, please give me a call. Until then, here are a few remixed holiday songs to celebrate some of the works from our collection.

The Minotaur at C3
(to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

You know Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson’s
Works in the contemporary collection,
But do you recall
Marcel Dzama’s white minotaur?

The Minotaur at C3
Has a rough and stubby nose.
His face is made of plaster
And it’s covered up with gauze.

Some say he’s funny-looking
‘Cause he only has one arm,
But all the limbs he’s missing
Minotaur makes up with charm.

Half a person and half bull,
Sitting in his chair—
Minotaur, you’re quite a sight!
Drawing you is a delight.

Now you’re our favorite figure
Found in Greek mythology.
How did you leave your labyrinth?
It’ll stay a mystery.

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund © Marcel Dzama, 2008.43.2.A-E

Marcel Dzama, The Minotaur, 2008, Dallas Museum of Art, DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, 2008.43.2.a-e, © Marcel Dzama

DMA Clocks
(to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Tiny clocks, modern clocks, freestanding clocks,
19th- and 17th-century clocks,
Up on the 3rd floor at the Reves Salon
Is William Moore’s clock shaped like a sun.

Ball Wall Clock, Tall Case Clock, Gilbert Rohde’s Clock,
Paul Frankl’s stylish “Telechron” clock,
Check out a print with clock faces to spare
By Fernand Legér.

There’s Untitled (Perfect Lovers)
Tick-tocking side by side.
Stephen King and Barbara Kruger
Placed a clock on their book’s front side.

If you ever hope to hear the clocks chime,
You may be out of luck—
So many hands, but so few that tell time
On the DMA’s clocks.


I Saw A Tiger Licking Its Paws
(to the tune of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”)

I saw a tiger licking its paws
After the Museum closed last night.
It didn’t see me peek
Down the Japanese gallery.
It jumped off of its scroll
Into the hall in front of me.

Then, I saw the tiger stretch out its paws,
And let out a roar with all its might.
Oh, I’ve warned everyone I see
But no one else will believe
That the tiger comes alive at night.

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art, 1972.13

Nagasawa Rosetsu, Tiger, after 1792, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund, 1972.13

Happy holidays!

Paulina Lopez is the McDermott Graduate Intern for Visitor Engagement at the DMA.


In commemoration of today’s decision we wanted to share Félix González-Torres’s work in the DMA collection Untitled (Perfect Lovers).

The date of this work corresponds to the time during which Félix González-Torres’s partner, Ross Laycock, was ill, and it embodies the tension that comes from two people living side-by-side as life moves forward to its ultimate destination. González-Torres comments: “Time is something that scares me . . . or used to. This piece I made with the two clocks was the scariest thing I have ever done. I wanted to face it. I wanted those two clocks right in front of me, ticking.”

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, wall clocks, Dallas Museum of Art, fractional gift of The Rachofsky Collection © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Kimberly Daniell is the Manager of Communications and Public Affairs at the DMA

Taking Time in Silence and Time

The DMA special exhibition Silence and Time has been a great springboard for conversation on tours with students and in programs with teachers this summer.  Since we have just a month left to enjoy the installation, I thought it would be fun to share some new experiences and conversations it inspired, and some familiar activities we revisited.  Look for a blog post in mid-August about a half-day teacher workshop in Silence and Time that incorporated some of the experiences below.

Start with silence
Prime yourself for time in the galleries by sitting in silence for a few minutes.

Silence and Time was inspired by a specific few minutes of silence: American artist John Cage’s 1952 composition 4’33.”  As the introductory wall text states, “Cage’s controversial work comprises three movements…arranged for any instrument or combination of instruments. All of the movements are performed without a single note being played. The content of this composition is meant to be perceived as the sound of the environment that the listener hears while it is performed, rather than as four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence.”

What did you notice during your 4’33” of silence?

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Just one minute
Take just one minute to look at an artwork.  When your time is up, turn so your back faces the artwork, and write down as many details about it as you can.  If you’re with a friend, have him or her quiz you about the artwork with your back turned.  How much were you able to notice and remember in just one minute?

Look longer
Spend fifteen minutes with just one artwork in the exhibition.  Get close, move far away, and use ideas below to help you look closely.

  • Create a log of what you see.
  • Make a sketch of the work of art.
  • Write down questions you have about the work of art.
  • Write down what you like about the work of art.
  • Write down what confuses you about the work of art.
  • Write down how the work of art makes you feel.

Tracking time
Consider all the ways time can be measured both mechanically (clocks, calendars) and naturally (changing of seasons, hair growth, erosion).  Find as many examples of ways we mark time as you can in works of art in the exhibition.

Find the time
Are there artworks that suggest suspension of time?  Time moving slowly or rapidly?  That time is cyclical or linear?  Challenge a friend to identify different representations of time manifested in artworks in the exhibition.  If you enjoy thinking about possible shapes time could take, pick up Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams, a collection of short stories that describe parallel universes where time behaves differently–sometimes in circles, sometimes backwards, etc.

Make your own artwork
Use make-shift art materials from your purse or pockets to create an artwork that will change with time.  As you’re looking for materials in your purse or pockets, consider which objects show more or less wear and tear and which objects age more or less quickly.  Then, explore the galleries looking specifically at materials the artists used.

Silence and Time is on view until August 28.

Amy Copeland
Coordinator of Go van Gogh Outreach

Saying Goodbye the Only Way I Know How

My time as a McDermott Intern at the Dallas Museum of Art is drawing to a close. Along with my seven fellow interns who began at the DMA in September, I will be walking the galleries with the McDermott title for the last time next Friday afternoon. I have had amazing experiences while working at the Museum and getting to know the collection, and even though I will only be moving up the road to UTD as I finish my Master’s degree this summer, I felt a ceremonial goodbye way in order, the best way I knew how. Here are a few of my favorite works of art at the museum and my loving tribute to them!

Emma-O, the Japanese Buddhist Judge of the Dead

Untitled (Perfect Lovers) by Félix González-Torres

Luba Arrow Holder with Head and Three Prongs

Rembrandt Peale's Porthole Portrait of George Washington

Emblem by Sam Francis

Hindu God Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance


Flickr Photo Stream