Dallas Art Fair and Dallas Museum of Art Announce Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program

DALLAS, 14 APRIL 2016 – The Dallas Art Fair and the Dallas Museum of Art are pleased to announce the inaugural Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program.

This year marks the introduction of the program – an annual initiative designed to enhance the relationship between the Museum, the Fair and its international roster of exhibiting galleries and artists. The Acquisition Program will serve as a catalyst to develop and strengthen such partnerships, further contributing to the growth of Dallas’s cultural presence. 

The program, with $50,000 generously funded by Tricia and Gil Besing, Linda and David Rogers, Susan and Shawn Bonsell, Gowri and Alex N.K. Sharma, and Marlene and John Sughrue, and The Dallas Art Fair Foundation, will provide the Dallas Museum of Art with the means to acquire work by artists exhibited at the annual Dallas Art Fair.

“The Dallas Museum of Art is pleased to be the recipient of this new gift and thanks the Dallas Art Fair for its generosity.  The Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program will contribute to the growth of the Museum’s acclaimed collection as well as provide new experiences with contemporary art to our community,” said Walter B. Elcock, the DMA’s Interim Director.

In 2016, the Dallas Art Fair brings 97 exhibitors – with over 30 international participants, it enters its most diverse year yet, lending a kaleidoscopic array of works to the Acquisition Program. "We are proud to be partnering with the Dallas Museum of Art on this initiative," says Dallas Art Fair co-founder John Sughrue, "this opportunity not only highlights the caliber of work that our exhibitors bring to the fair, but further affirms the institution's collection as one of the most important in the world.”

Gavin Delahunty, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), has made the selection of artworks set to be acquired by the institution from the Fair.

“Since my arrival, I have witnessed and delighted in the success and growth of the Dallas Art Fair. This new collecting initiative will blend patron, public institution and fair. It is a meaningful way to encourage the DMA to look in new directions, inspired by the work on display. In addition it is a great way to encourage exhibitors to bring and present work of museum quality.”  

The works selected as part of the inaugural acquisition include Michelle Grabner’s bronze sculptural work, Untitled (2016) from The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s paneled composition, Tunisian Americans (2012) from Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai; Merlin James’s acrylic on polyester, Big Landscape Painting (2011) from Kerlin Gallery, Dublin; and Lina Puerta’s collagraphs, Pattern 1 Blue + Brown (2015), Pattern 1 Green + Brown + Yellow (2015), Pattern 2 Yellow + Blue (2015), Pattern 3 Blue + Green + Sepia (2015), Pattern 2 Sepia + Blue (2015), and Pattern 3 (v.2) (2015) from Geary Contemporary, New York.

With such selections, the Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program will help furnish the dynamic offerings the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Art Fair, and the larger Dallas community lend to local, national, and international arts patrons alike. 

Gavin Delahunty assumed the role of The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art in May 2014. With this position, Delahunty leads the Museum’s Department of Contemporary Art and oversees its exhibitions, programming, publication and acquisition programs.

As a leading specialist in postwar art, Delahunty has strong experience in expanding contemporary art collections and programs. Since his arrival, Delahunty has acquired work by Stephen Antonakos, Robert Barry, Frank Bowling, Walter de Maria, Melvin Edwards, Giorgio Griffa, Jacqueline Humphries, William McKeown and Jackson Pollock and organized the exhibitions Passages in Modern Art: 1946-1996 (2016), Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots (2015), Frank Bowling: Map Paintings (2015), N S Harsha: Sprouts, reach in to reach out (2015); Bold Abstractions: Selections from the DMA Collection 1966–1976 (2015); and The Museum Is History (2014). He also secured the first major commission by a U.S. museum of an artwork by British artist Rebecca Warren, to be the inaugural work in the outdoor exhibition space in the new Eagle Family Plaza, which will be unveiled in spring 2016. The commission is accompanied by a survey of the artist’s work titled Rebecca Warren: The Main Feeling on view until July 16 2016.

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Co-founded by John Sughrue and Chris Byrne, the Dallas Art Fair enters its eighth edition this spring. Located at the Fashion Industry Gallery – adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas’ dynamic downtown Arts District – the 2016 Dallas Art Fair will feature over 90 prominent national and international art dealers and galleries exhibiting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, and installation by modern and contemporary artists.

Michelle Grabner (1962, Wisconsin) studied at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before receiving her MFA from Northwestern University in 1990. Grabner has been a Professor in the Drawing and Painting department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 1996, has co-directed an artist-run gallery, The Suburban, with her husband, Brad Killam, since 1999, and co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Grabner's work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Green Gallery in Milwaukee, Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago, Leo Koenig Projekte in New York, Minus Space in Brooklyn, PS in Amsterdam, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Rocket Gallery in London, as well as in group exhibitions at venues such as the Tate St. Ives, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Kunsthalle Bern.

The selection of Merlin James’s work by the DMA marks the first acquisition of his work by an American museum. James (b. 1960, Cardiff) lives and works in Glasgow. He has an upcoming solo exhibition at Kerlin Gallery (May – June 2016). Recent solo exhibitions have included shows at the Kunstverein Freiburg (2014); Parasol Unit, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2012, 2015); New York Studio School (2007); Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (1996) and National Gallery, Wales (1995). In 2007, James represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale. Recent group exhibitions include CCA, Derry (2015); Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2013); Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2012); Brooklyn Museum (2008). He has been a visiting lecturer at many universities in Britain and the USA and in 1996 gave the Kingston University Stanley Picker Lecture at the Tate Gallery entitled The Non-Existence of Art Criticism. In 2002, he was the first holder of the Alex Katz Chair in Painting at The Cooper Union, New York and in 2010, James received the Scottish Arts Council Visual Artists' Award.

Nadia Kaabi-Linke (1978, Tunisia) studied at the University of Fine Arts in Tunisia (1999) before receiving a PhD from the Sorbonne University in Paris (2008). Kaabi-Linke has participated in several international group exhibitions that include Aftermath, the 25th Alexandria Biennial (2009); Provisions for the Future, the 9th Sharjah Biennial (2009); Africaines, 2nd Pan-African Culture Festival,  Algiers (2009); the 30th Pontevedra Art Biennial (2008), and will participate in But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Kaabi-Linke is represented by Green Cardamom in London and Lawrie Shabibi in Dubai.

Lina Puerta (b. 1972), is a Colombian-American artist who lives in New York. She obtained a BA in Studio Art from Wells College in 1992 and a MS in Art Education from Queens College in 1998. Recently, she participated in residencies at Materials for the Arts in Long Island City, New York and the Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program and Fellowship in Brooklyn. This fall, she will be an Artist in Residence at the Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin. Recent group shows include "Back to Eden: Contemporary Artists Wander the Garden" at MOBiA in New York City, "Barely There" at GEARY, and "El Museo's Bienal: The S-Files 2011" at El Museo del Barrio, New York City.