San Antonio, Texas. ART Magazine.
By Haydeé Muñoz De la Rocha.
San Antonio Collects: Contemporary presents a compilation of works by seventy-one artists selected from thirty private collections. Curated by David Rubin, The Brown Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art, the exhibition recognized the role that San Antonio collectors have played in the city’s evolution into becoming recognized as a world renowned arts destination. Many people might not even imagine all of the important works that are featured in this exhibition. San Antonio Collects features an impressive line-up of artists such as Ross Bleckner, Enrique Chagoya, Nancy Graves, Donald Judd, Jeff Koons, Vik Muñiz, Adan Hernandez, Teresita Fernandez, and Joel Shapiro to name a few.
A core component of the exhibition pays homage to Linda Pace recognizing her as an important force in shaping our city’s Contemporary art scene. The founder of Artpace, our internationally known artist residency program, also assembled a significant cutting-edge contemporary art collection, which is now administered by the Linda Pace Foundation. The exhibition is introduced by a selection of this collection. The selection on display shows two trends in Linda Pace’s collecting. Pace had an interest in works that deal with perception and the spiritual, for example, Ross Bleckner’s poignant “Galaxy Painting”. With a very soft feel in technique, the artist carefully renders delicate shinning stars in the universe which represent victims who died of AIDS. The softness of the light produced by the artist evokes a nostalgic feeling of ephemeral light that will one day extinguish. On the other hand, Linda Pace collected works that dealt with social activism and multiculturalism, such as Willie Cole’s “Dance Trance I”, which deals with the African American women’s stereotypes as a housekeeper. The artist marks the canvas with a scorching iron and then mounts the iron on the painting. Linda Pace’s work as an artist is also honored in the exhibition since two of her works from other private collections are showcased.
The rest of the exhibition takes the visitor through all the collections participating. The works selected vary widely in many terms. With works coming from Russia or San Antonio, in a realistic or minimalist style, from photography to a machine that creates a pattern that won’t repeat in a lifetime, from copper to duct tape, the pieces shown are extremely diverse; however, all of them are stunning in their very unique way. With pieces from different time periods, San Antonio Collects: Contemporary also successfully represents a complete survey of Contemporary Art.
San Antonio Collects is an insightful exploration into the components of our local art scene. It pays homage to collectors but it also recognizes many of our talented local artists such as Chuck Ramirez, Alex Rubio, Katie Pell, Clare Little, Ed Saavedra, Daniel Saldaña, Vincent Valdez, Rolando Briseño, and Jesse Amado among others. The exhibition also allows the viewer to peek into local private collections and works that are normally not seen. San Antonio Collects: Contemporary recognizes collectors as a crucial element in our development as the arts destination that we are in the present, while opening a window to our future if we further our appreciation for the arts.
San Antonio Collects: Contemporary will be on display until July 1st. For more information go to samuseum.org