Posts Tagged 'The Rachofsky House'

Contemporary Art Teacher Workshop

Last weekend teachers attended the second half of a two-part teacher workshop about contemporary art offered by the Dallas Museum of Art and The Rachofsky House. During the first session, held at the DMA on January 9th, teachers interacted with works of art in the special exhibitions All the World’s a Stage and Performance/Art, as well as in the newest installation in the Hoffman galleries.

Teacher Workshop in the Hoffman Galleries

During our three and a half hours together that day, Molly Kysar and I led interactive experiences, discussion and writing while looking at a variety of works of art. This past Saturday, January 23rd, we met at The Rachofsky House where Thomas Feulmer introduced teachers to the current installation, Presence.

Thomas began our morning together by offering teachers the opportunity to experience works by artists they had seen during our first session at the Museum, including Glenn Ligon, David Altmejd, Thomas Struth, and Gregory Crewdson. In each case the work on view at the DMA and that at The Rachofsky House were quite different in scale and their subject matter was approached through different means. The Altmejd sculpture on view at the Museum, for instance, is titled “The Eye” and fills one of the quadrant galleries in Performance/Art with its energetically rising mirrored staircases, obelisks, and punctured surfaces in a spectacular reference to the creation of the atom bomb. At The Rachofsky House, on the other hand, Altmejd’s “The Quail,” though still constructed with mirrors and towering above the viewer, includes a number of quail eggs encased in glass and is more evocative of Stonehenge than it is of explosions.

The Eye, 2008, David Altmejd

Wood and mirrors
Overall: 129 1/2 x 216 1/2 x 144 1/2 in. (3 m 28.931 cm x 5 m 49.911 cm x 3 m 67.031 cm)

The Rachofsky Collection and the Dallas Museum of Art through The Rachofsky Collection Fund and the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund

© David Altmejd, courtesy the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery

The workshop provided a great chance to explore a few works by Gregory Crewdson, who will be speaking at the DMA this Wednesday, February 3rd, as part of a lecture series hosted by The University of Texas at Dallas’ new Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology. We will host a teacher workshop that evening, including two hours discussing Crewdson’s work and contemporary photography before attending the public lecture.

The DMA and The Rachofsky House will again join, along with the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Fort Worth Modern, and the Kimbell Art Museum, for this year’s Museum Forum for Teachers, taking place July 19-23. Applications are now being accepted.

Logan Acton
McDermott Graduate Teaching Programs Intern

Community Connection: Contemporary Art and a Beluga Whale

Thomas Feulmer is the Director of Educational Programming at The Rachofsky House and is a regular collaborator with the DMA.  We always look forward to his fresh ideas and perceptive insights related to works of art and artists.

Describe your work at The Rachofsky House.  What is your favorite part of your job?

As Director of Educational Programming, I do anything involving schools or the public having any interaction with the Rachofsky House.  My favorite part of my job is being around the works of art and being around original objects.  I also like the creative element of having to improvise in front of groups and having to think on your feet.

Thomas talks about a work of art at the 2009 Museum Forum for Teachers.

 Tell us about your relationship with the DMA.

I work collaboratively with Molly Kysar on Programs for Teachers based on Contemporary Art. I’ve also worked with Nicole Stutzman on the Travis Academy Program.  The UT Southwestern Medical School class “The Art of Observation”, led by DMA docents Margaret Anne Cullum and Joanna Pistenmaa, visit The Rachofsky House once during the semester.  I also participate in the development of some programs and exhibitions, in part by talking about artists and artworks that are in both the Rachofsky Collection and the DMA collections or are on loan to the DMA. 

 If you could take home any work of art from the Rachofsky Collection, what would you choose?

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, La Fine di Dio, 1964

One of the first things that comes to mind is the Lucio Fontana piece Concetto Spaziale, La Fine di Dio.  It’s one of the works that every time I stand in front of it, I think it’s incredible.  When I’m looking at that piece, I feel like I’m looking at a real, sincere thing that is about exploring and is about a rich and deep thinking on the artists’s part. 

 How would you describe your personal work as an artist?

Most of my work looks at relationships: relationships between people, and more recently, relationships between people and animals.  It is also about how intimacy is managed and expressed and how desire and attraction are managed and expressed.  One of the big themes in my recent show is about my relationship with a beluga whale.  I like the notion that most people have a desire to have a pure relationship with an animal and we project a lot of our purist ideas about love and desire onto animals because they seem so unguarded, I guess. I love that we project all those purist things onto animals, but, to have an experience with a beluga whale it had to happen at Sea World, which is a big place.  The whale is trained and follows commands, and ultimately the experience is all controlled – which, in a way, is how all interactions are.  See Thomas’s recent work at New Work by Rebecca Carter and Thomas Feulmer, open December 5-20, 2009 at 500X.

Does your job have an impact on your own work as an artist?

Yes, because I can come into contact with so much art and I feel like I get such a great sampling of contemporary ideas and contemporary culture.  It’s like constant research for how to create meaning or visual culture in the contemporary world.

Meet Thomas during our two-part January Teacher Workshop on Contemporary Art, which takes place at the Dallas Museum of Art and The Rachofsky House.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Learning Partnerships with the Community

Hoffman Galleries Reinstalled

Charlie Wylie, the Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art, recently completed his reinstallation of the Hoffman galleries on the first floor of the museum. The installation addresses narrative in contemporary art, specifically the “continuing ability of art in whatever form to express narratives of what it can feel like to be alive in the present moment,” as the wall text states. The reinstallation features such artists as Peter Doig and Marlene Dumas, both notable for their recent inclusion at TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, the annual charity auction held at The Rachofsky House benefiting amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and the Dallas Museum of Art.

In addition to these painters and work by many other artists, the galleries currently contain installations by Tatsuo Miyajima and Erick Swenson, mixed media work by Vernon Fisher, and photographs by Matthew Barney and Gregory Crewdson. Both Barney and Crewdson also have work in All the World’s a Stage, another special exhibition on view at the DMA. Barney’s photographs (and other mixed media works) reference a series of five films of enormous scope called The Cremaster Cycle, quite specifically referencing narrative. Crewdson’s art, on the other hand, centers around the idea of open or false narratives but evokes similar feelings of theatricality. Crewdson himself says, “And what I’m very, very interested in is a moment that hovers between before and after, a moment that is unresolved, that remains a question…”

Untitled (House in the Road)

To achieve this suspended moment, clear in both Untitled (brief encounter) and Untitled (House in the Road), Crewdson literally constructs his scenes, utilizing stage crews and props to form the subject matter which he then photographs. Tension plays a large part in his artwork, both literally for the artist through his chaotic process of realizing these staged spectacles as well as for the viewer stepping into enormously detailed scenes with no frame of reference beyond the image itself.

If you’d like to get a closer look at Gregory Crewdson’s artwork, in addition to the other works on view at the DMA and The Rachofsky House, sign up for our two-part January Teacher Workshop on Contemporary Art!

Logan Acton
McDermott Intern in Teaching Programs


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