After five months closure, Dallas Museum of Art reopened this September with a celebratory collaboration. Working across all departments, the 12 member-strong curatorial team arranged 13th century pieces with modern art; reframing media alongside sacred objects to communicate within a current context.
Launching from their vast existing collection, Dallas Museum of Art also welcomes 13 new pieces and 3 major paintings by Dallas-based artists to the To Be Determined exhibition. Pairing new with old, mingling geography and different cultures together to create a provocative show, designed to stir-up individual responses. Flowing open-ended, the collection takes the viewer on a journey through seven centuries devised for a modern conversation.
For their reopening, the team of curators wanted to address modern and ongoing struggles such as the global pandemic and systemic racism. The juxtaposition of pieces with cultural significance against paintings that convey personal messages has been designed to instigate a dialogue, creating new and sometimes unexpected viewpoints.
“In this moment in history, marked by powerful social shifts and challenges, we are inspired by the DMA’s encyclopedic collection,” said Sarah Schleuning. “To Be Determined explores how amidst so much uncertainty art can be both a stabilizer and a provocateur. Art invites us to process and understand what’s happening around us, and as our personal and collective circumstances change, we can all find relevance and uncover new meanings.”
As well as the 13 new pieces entered into the collection, including a piece by Heroine Lorna Simpson, the museum will also introduce work by Dallas-based artist Oshay Green, a commissioned installation by Ini Archibong and commissioned artworks from Jammie Holmes. Each of these major works of art translate the artist’s personal relationship to racial tensions or the pandemic – similar to Lorna’s work which often depicts her own personal navigation of identity politics in relation to gender and race.
Working as a mixed media artist, Lorna has been prolific since the 1980’s and 1990’s, most recognised for her photo-collages and photo-text installations. Choosing to comment on the Black experience, Lorna’s work is now instantly recognisable and influential within the art scene. Her most recent work criticises the racial split and modern American politics, conjuring powerful images and opening the dialogue around these themes.
By Gabrielle Kynoch
To Be Determined is on view between September 27 through December 27, 2020, in the Museum’s Chilton Galleries. The exhibition is included in free general admission and tickets can be reserved at DMA.org/visit.