Dallas, TX—September 3, 2019—The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) presents two intimate contemporary solo exhibitions—Focus On: Alex Katz, an exhibition of works by the celebrated 92-year-old American painter, and Focus On: Ragnar Kjartansson, a presentation of an immersive video installation and a commissioned work by the Icelandic artist. Organized by Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, the DMA’s Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, with works loaned from local collections, the separate shows offer glimpses into personally meaningful moments from each of the artists’ lives. Both exhibitions open on September 15, 2019 and will be on view through March 22, 2020 in the Hoffman Galleries on Level 1.
“The DMA is known around the world for its outstanding collection of contemporary art, and our free focus exhibitions allow us to maximize our audience’s exposure to some of the best contemporary art of the past and present,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “We are fortunate for the collaborative relationship we enjoy with this city’s collectors, whose generosity continues to transform the DMA’s contemporary art programming.”
One of the most recognized and widely exhibited artists of his generation, Alex Katz will be on view in a very special focus exhibition in celebration of his appearance in Dallas as the honored artist at the 2019 TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art fundraiser gala. Focus On: Alex Katz brings together the iconic genres of the artist’s oeuvre: portraits, landscapes, and party scenes. The unique presentation will feature a 2019 painting that is planned to be acquired by the Museum and four works from private Dallas collections, including a rarely seen 1968 group of cutout portraits, One Flight Up, that presents a snapshot of the New York creative community to which Katz belonged in 1960s.
Also within the Hoffman Galleries, visitors can experience the emotional power of The Visitors and a series of correspondence created by the internationally renowned artist Ragnar Kjartansson. The Visitors is an immersive video installation that features nine screens, depicting eight individual musicians singing the same lyric in separate rooms of the nearly 200-year-old Rokeby Farm House in Hudson Valley, New York. The words are taken from the poem Feminine Ways, by artist Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir. For the first American showing of The Visitors, the New York Times called it “entirely absorbing . . . alternately tragic and joyful, meditative and clamorous.”
Additionally, Postcards to Marguerite, a privately commissioned set of 415 postcards will make its museum debut, lining the walls of the preceding gallery. In the postcards, sent over 14 months of the artist’s life, Kjartansson shares with the recipient events both quotidian—meals, travel, and the weather—and remarkable—the birth of the artist’s first child— through watercolor, drawing, and text. Both works engage with autobiography, repetition, and the passage of time.
“We are pleased to present these two beloved artists and their distinct approaches to expressing memory, emotion, and artistic collaboration to our audiences,” said Dr. Brodbeck. “While Katz has been steadfastly creating for 60 years, and Kjartansson has seen a meteoritic rise in his career in the past decade, both artists exemplify the power of art to communicate the spirit of their times.”
Visitors can learn more about the two exhibitions in an upcoming public program:
Wednesday, February 5, 12:15 p.m., FREE
Gallery Talk: Alex Katz and Ragnar Kjartansson
Join Hilde Nelson, the DMA’s Curatorial Assistant for Contemporary Art, for a lunchtime talk about two exhibitions focused on Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and American painter Alex Katz. While distinct, both exhibitions highlight work from Dallas collections and explore the theme of autobiography in the artists’ work.
Focus On: Alex Katz and Focus On: Ragnar Kjartansson are organized by the Dallas Museum of Art. Exhibition support is provided by TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art and the DMA Contemporary Art Initiative. Additional support comes from Marguerite Steed Hoffman and Luhring Augustine. Event support is provided by Heritage Auctions, with local support from the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Dallas.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
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 24,000 works and spans 5000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than 4 million visitors, including more than 800,000 in 2018. For more information, visit DMA.org.
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.
For more information, please contact: