Work for Burial II is set to begin at the the top of the New Year. I am excited, awestruck and inspired. This past year has been full with commissioned work, wonderful collaborations, research and study but now it's time to retreat to my studio alone for a while and create a new body of work.
Last month during a visit to Houston, Texas, I was granted the wonderful opportunity to study at the Menil Collection, viewing A Thin Wall of Air: Charles James in the company of the curator of the exhibition, Susan Sutton. Susan graciously arranged for us to visit the Special Collections Storage, which is an unbelievable trove of art from antiquity to the present, all stored in such a way that each artwork is is visible, not filed away. A wall of gold leaf and polychrome icons pushed us physically back a step because the combined power of these objects was so strong. She also arranged for us to visit the conservator's work area during the de-installation of the exhibition so that I was able to examine Charles James' work up close, inside and out. I felt a kinship with James so strongly that day, when I saw the inside of one of his complicated and decaying gowns. It was reassuring to see many couture sewing techniques used as I use them in my work. Susan also gave us a wonderfully informative tour of the Menil House, so that I could see James' only work as an interior designer. The details and treatments used are breathtaking, daring and unusual. It was a very rare treat, and I hope to re-visit one room in particular for further study.
The second part of the trip was to view Dario Robleto's current exhibition at the Menil Collection The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed and his concurrent show at the Inman Gallery, Life, Left to Struggle in the Sun. We were able to attend a small walk through at the Menil with the artist, who was then gracious enough to meet us for a private walk through of his show at the Inman Gallery. His talent, work ethic, intelligence and kindness are palpable, and both exhibits are beautiful and impeccable. I also sneaked in 20 minutes with the antiquities at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and saw very lovely and very inspiring sarcophagi, votive figures, and cinerary urns. I then spent an enlightening and entertaining hour with MFAH Curator Alison de Lima Greene, who is whip-smart, very funny, and made curatorial comments about Burial that are invaluable. Houston has been very kind to me, and I can't wait to go back.
I will be working on fundraising efforts through the end of the year. I believe that this work has something important to say, and it is vital that I start making it now, not later. I can't do it without your support. I haven't begun my formal fundraising, but if you want to help make this work happen, you can always make a tax-free gift to the project at https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=69275.
As I re-enter the world of Burial, you can look forward to more frequent posts here about the work as it develops. Thank you as always for your interest and support.