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Review: Pass on American Art 1950s – 1970s

Numbers by Jasper Johns, 1967

Numbers by Jasper Johns, 1967

Dallas Museum of Art | Jan. 25 – Oct. 11, 2009

Normally, exhibits of contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art are worth the visit, but not this time. American Art 1950s – 1970s is a small, limited affair with works by Rauschenberg, Johns, Wesselmann and Kline. The exhibit consists of about two dozen works that can be skipped.

American Art does have its highlights such as Tom Wesselmann’s (1913-2004) Mouth #11, 1967. This image of giant, gorgeous red lips with a smoking cigarette is a sight to behold. And so are the lithographs by Jasper Johns (b. 1930). John’s Coat Hanger, 1960, and Numbers, 1967, are very dark, detailed and a joy to see.

That is where the interest of the exhibit ends. The remaining pieces are large works by Lee Krasner(1908-84), Robert Motherwell (1915-91), Clyfford Still (1904-81), Franz Kline (1910-62), James Brooks (1906-92), Adolph Gottlieb (1903-74) and Sam Francis (1923-94). Seven large, minimalist expressionist works take up a lot of wall space, but give little to cultural appreciation.

American Art also includes a handful of works by recently departed Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008). These are not the finest examples of Rauschenberg’s works and are easy to ignore.

Assembling a vast collection of good contemporary art is not easy and the DMA should be applauded for the work they have done over the years. But only showing a handful of pieces does not do art of the genre justice. Contemporary art begs to be show in mass quantities. A small grouping leaves the patron wondering why they came at all.

Numbers by Jasper Johns, 1967

Numbers by Jasper Johns, 1967

The End if King Tut’s Reign at the DMA

Sunday, May 17, was the last day to see Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the DMA. The museum held a round-the-clock marathon of show times. A long line of patrons was still going strong in the late afternoon. Althought the current economic situation hampered attendance, The DMA should consider Tut a success.

About M. C. Roman

M. C. Roman, owner and managing editor of Dallas Art News, is a painter, printmaker and photographer. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. M. C.'s art can be viewed at michaelroman.com. Social media friends can find M. C. on Facebook at facebook.com/mcroman.

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