Lucien Abrams: An Impressionist from Texas
Brad Tucker: TV Dinner Commercial Break
The Old Jail Art Center
June 1 through September 1, 2013
The Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas, has announced two new exhibitions for the summer: Lucien Abrams: An Impressionist from Texas and Brad Tucker: TV Dinner Commercial Break. Both exhibitions open June 1 and run through September 1, 2013.
Lucien Abrams imbibed the Impressionist style first in Paris, as a student in the 1890s, then later when he moved to Old Lyme, Connecticut, where an art colony devoted to Impressionism was based. Though disavowing any particular influence in his work, Abrams nevertheless served as a conduit for Impressionism as it filtered into Texas.
A native Kansan, Lucien Abrams moved to Texas with his family when he was three years of age. The family ultimately settled in Dallas when Lucien was a teenager. His studies took him to Princeton, where he earned a degree in architecture, then to the Art Students League of New York after deciding to become an artist. The Académie Julian in Paris was his next stop, and he ended up living and traveling in Europe and Algeria from 1894 until 1914.Throughout his wanderings, Abrams exhibited annually in Paris and at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design. He also exhibited in the Fort Worth Annual, the State Fair of Texas, and the Texas Centennial Exposition, always considering himself a Texas artist. In 1914, he began dividing his time among his family home in Dallas, a winter home in San Antonio, and a summer home in Old Lyme. Abrams was an active member of the Lyme Art Association and exhibited there every year from 1915 until the 1930s.
This exhibition, drawn from both public and private collections, examines Lucien Abrams’s contribution to Texas Impressionism, as well as his links to the American and worldwide Impressionist movements. Archival photographs and ephemera accompany the paintings to lend context to his work.
Michael R. Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Art and Western Heritage at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, is the guest curator for this exhibition. Mr. Grauer is one of the leading authorities on Texas Impressionism and other aspects of pre-21st century Texas art. He has contributed an informative essay to the exhibition catalogue.
Austin-based artist, musician, skateboarder, and teacher Brad Tucker, casually combines aspects of these varied disciplines – with any materials he deems necessary – to create work that is both sincere and humorous. Using simple carpentry and common materials, he creates works that seem to teeter on the edge of being classified as art that doesn’t want to be art-but is. In this manner, the viewer’s”guard” is lowered, allowing the work to be enjoyed for what it is. This refreshing approach allows insight into Tucker’s simple, intuitive solutions and the artist’s personal and nonlinear way of thinking.
In Tucker’s work anything goes; he mixes high and low, abstract and concrete, humor and seriousness, respectfulness and skepticism, personal and public. He creates handmade casts of homemade 45 records and unique turntables that play his own simple compositions and performances. These recordings are sometimes superimposed with intentional distortions or interrupted by audible sounds created by the low-tech process.
Tucker contradicts our normal expectations and realities of objects and materials by creating and then combining “conventional” looking, but hand-made, objects such as accordion security gates, a wood-carved trumpet and neon sign, and drum sets. At times he may use sculptural objects like a drawing on a vertical surface-presenting found objects as over-sized formal elements. For Tucker, all the parts that make the whole are of equal value.
Brad Tucker will create a site-specific installation of his work within the confines of the museum’s historic upper jail cells. The juxtaposition of the two is certain to be intriguing.
Originally from California, Brad Tucker graduated from the University of North Texas, Denton in 1991 and received an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York in 2009. From 1999-2001 he was a Core Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Glassell School of Art. He has had many solo and group exhibitions and performances throughout the United States as well as Italy and Spain. He is in numerous public collections including the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, Texas; Altoid’s Curiously Strong Collection; Minute Maid Corporation, Houston, Texas; New Museum, New York, New York.
The Old Jail Art Center
The Old Jail Art Center is located at 201 South 2nd Street in Albany, Texas. The center is a resource for culture in central Texas. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit theoldjailartcenter.org.