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Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Receives Gift of David Bates Work

The Cleaning Table by David Bates, 1990 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

The Cleaning Table by David Bates, 1990 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Dr. Marla Price, Director of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, announced today the gift of a significant work by artist David Bates from The Barrett Collection, Dallas, Texas. The Cleaning Table, 1990, depicts fishermen working at a table on the edge of the ocean, cleaning fish while seagulls fly in the blue, partly cloudy sky overhead. This painting joins 12 other works by Bates in the Modern’s permanent collection, including Night Heron, 1986-87; Man with Snake, 1995; and Male Head IV, 1995.

David Bates was born in 1952 in Dallas, Texas, where he lives and works today. He studied art at Southern Methodist University and participated in the Independent Study Program sponsored by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, where he experimented with a wide range of styles. Bates was influenced early on by his favorite pastime and passion, fishing, and the natural setting of the Texas coast and lakes, as well as the vibrant people (and all forms of life) that inhabit these worlds. Many of his works bear imagery that relates back to his relationships with and memories of his parents – his father is suggested in the portraits of fishermen.

In an interview with Chief Curator Michael Auping published in the catalogue for the upcoming exhibition of his work at the Modern and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Bates recounts, “I would go fishing with my dad on the Texas Gulf Coast. It was one of the great periods in my life. For me the Texas Gulf Coast is such a romantic place.” He became interested in the “blue-collar heroism of the Gulf Coast” clearly represented in The Cleaning Table. This work is on view in the special exhibition, David Bates, on view February 9 through May 11, 2014 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is located in the Fort Worth Arts District across from the Kimbell Art Museum. They are located at 3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth, Texas. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Friday until 8 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $4 for students with ID and seniors. For more information visit

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