Archive | October, 2014

Arts History Update for late October 2014

28 Oct

Arts History Update for late October 2014 by David Cummins

The topic for Fall semester in the Arts History Lecture Series at Texas Tech University Museum Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court at 10:30 am Jones Auditorium at 11:00 am on Friday mornings is American Impressionism. A quick but accurate way to address it is to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History then click on American Art then click on Nineteenth Century at which there are 78 topics one of which is American Impressionism. Click on it.

The French Impressionists would show together eight times beginning in 1874 through 1886 labeled Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, etc who were not anonymous at all. Founding members were Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissaro. Most American artists visiting Paris at the time ignored the Impressionists for there was much else to do and accomplish in the European art capital. Julian Alden Weir wrote to his parents in America after visiting the third group exhibition by French Impressionists in 1877 “I never in my life saw such horrible things. … they do not observe drawing nor form but give you an impression of what they call nature. It was worse than the Chamber of Horrors.”

An exception was Pennsylvania born Mary Stevenson Cassatt who moved to Paris in 1874, was sympathetic, and Edgar Degas invited her to exhibit with the group from 1877 on. The Cup of Tea (1879)

Julian Alden Weir would come around later and use Impressionist techniques The Red Bridge (1895) depicting an iron bridge over the Shetucket River near the Weir family’s summer home in Windham Connecticut

William Merritt Chase, Shinnecock Hills, Long Island (1896),-Long-Island-large.html illustrates how Chase adopted Imressionism.

Childe Hassam, July Fourteenth, Rue Daunou (1910) Boston born and a lifelong resident of New York City, Hassam was visiting Paris on Bastille Day and looked from his hotel window down on a street parade that he depicted in his Impressionist style. He would later repeat the scene for a London and a New York City parade after The Great War ended


Kazimir Malevich 1879-1935 was both a modernist painter and an art theoretician who was born in Kiev, then of the Russian Governate Empire now Ukraine. His parents were Poles and his father managed a sugar factory in Kiev. He was baptized as a Roman Catholic. He was a pioneer in abstract painting early on as Cubist and Fauvist, then invented Suprematism that itself spawned Constructivism that continues to inform contemporary art, then created Abstract Expressionist images. By the 1930s his art was suppressed by the Soviet government but he had secreted many works to Germany where they could be protected and circulated by the Bauhaus and a sympathetic Weimar Republic.

He arrived in Moscow in 1906 and became part of the avant-garde. Self Portrait (1910) in the Fauvist style Sergey Shchulkin owned impressionist and contemporary style pieces including early Cubist pieces. Malevich saw them and responded with The Knife Sharpener (1912) The Woodcutter (1912) and A Bather (1911) the latter clearly a response to Mattise’s La Danse, The Floor Polishers (1911) He saw both Cubist and Italian Futurist paintings and responded with Horse Driven Carriage in Motion (1913).

John Milner, Kazimir Malevich and the Art of Geometry (Yale University Press 1996) figure 98 is Horse Driven Carriage in Motion. Malevich dabbled with Alogist painting, a Russian term equivalent to Dada, Composition with the Mona Lisa (1914) four years before Marcel Duchamp drew Mona Lisa with a mustache. It hangs in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg Russia. Malevich was an art theoretician who saw his Black Square (1915) as the first total abstraction and he affected the style of signing his later paintings with a black square instead of his name. It also hangs in the State Hermitage Museum. No sooner had he embraced pure abstraction than he invented Suprematism and Suprematism No. 58 with Yellow and Black Suprematist Composition (1915) By 1919 he had painted a white shape dissolving into a white background, thus leaving color behind preceded by Suprematism Composition: White on White Background (1918) now owned by Museum of Modern Art in New York City

Malevich is the subject of a very large retrospective exhibit first at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam October 18, 2013 – February 2, 2014, and then Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic at Bonn Germany March 8 – June 22, 2014, and finally Tate Modern in London England July 16 – October 26, 2014. Catalogue edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume published by Tate Publishing $49.95 paperback $37.07 at

The exhibit is discussed in Rachel Polonsky, Windows in the Mind: Kazimir Malevich, the mystic preoccupied with self-transformation, London Times Literary Supplement, September 26, 2014 at pages 17-18 where she writes Malevich opened windows in the mind. Consider as you pass through these rooms the endlessly dynamic tension that his art reveals between appearance and disappearance; seeing and blindness; illumination and eclipse; form and dissolution; face and effacement, matter and void.

Andrei Nakov, Malevich: Painting the Absolute (Lund Humphries 2010) in four volumes.
Aleksandra Shatskikh, Black Square: Malevich and the Origin of Suprematism (transl. Marian Schwartz, Yale University Press 2012)
Gilles Neret, Malevich (Taschen Books 2003)

Kazimir Malevich, The World as Objectlessness (1927) in which he described his theory as “the supremacy of pure feeling or perception in the pictorial arts”. The latest revision is by Simon Baier published by Hatje Cantz May 31, 2014 at 216 pages $40.45 at


Texas Book Festival October 25-26, 2014 is fast approaching at and near the Capitol grounds in Austin Texas. Just the Music events are worth the price of admission that is nada.

Did you enjoy Books in the Basin festival in Midland-Odessa October 10-11? or the West Texas Book Festival in Abilene September 22-27?

Tucson Festival of Books is March 14-15, 2015 on the campus of University of Arizona 9:30 am – 5:30 pm kicked off the night before on Friday March 13 by a concert performed by notable authors who style themselves as The Rock Bottom Remainders at 8:00 – 9:30 pm at University of Arizona Student Union Memorial center Grand Ballroom

San Antonio Book Festival
is April 11, 2015.

North Texas Book Festival and Book Trails Dinner is April 10-11, 2015 at Denton

RT Booklovers Convention is May 12-17, 2015 in Dallas at Hyatt Regency at 300 Reunion Boulevard in downtown Dallas. The six day event can be parsed any which way with day passes, evening events, and more. If you register online today for the convention you can reserve a room at the Hyatt for $129 a night and it won’t be charged to your credit card until April.

Take your reading habit on the road!

Local Color Artist Studio Tour is an annual free event in Lubbock not to be missed. An artist opens his/her home/studio invites four or more fellow artists to display their work also, and these artists are all present for viewers to meet and interact. Saturday and Sunday November 8-9, 2014 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday noon – 6:00 pm on Sunday. is the website and addresses of the ten locations on the tour this year. Lubbock Arts Alliance sponsors. The cover of the brochure features an image of a fiber and painting piece by Lubbock artist Valerie Komkova Hill who is exhibiting at Marsha Davis’s home/studio.


National Theatre Live in England produces films of stellar live theatre presentations and places them on movie screens around the world. Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein (2011) by Nick Dear based on the novel by Mary Shelley, stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. It plays at Movies 16 in Lubbock on Monday and Wednesday October 27 and 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm 2 hours 20 minutes in length $15 adults $14 seniors. Movies 16

Future filmed theatre productions are Of Mice and Men, Behind the Beautiful Forever, The Hard Problem, and Man and Superman

Cinemark movie theatres in Lubbock show Metropolitan Opera productions, Bolshoi Ballet productions like The Legend of Love October 26 and The Nutcracker December 21, and The Royal Ballet of England productions like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on December 16, 2014


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Arts History Update for mid October 2014

8 Oct

Arts History Update for mid October 2014 by David Cummins

Jayton is the county seat of Kent County since 1954. From 1893 the county seat was Clairemont but a fire destroyed the second story and roof of the Italianate two story [local red sandstone] brick courthouse. It is now a one story Community Center building in Clairemont and there is a 1936 Texas Centennial Marker stone and plaque on the grounds of the former courthouse. Folks in rural Texas know how to adapt and re-purpose something. They turned a fire destroyed gutted out building into a vibrant Community Center.

After moving the county seat to Jayton Mr. Wyatt Hedrick, celebrated Fort Worth architect, was employed and he designed a new courthouse in the Modern style and it opened in 1957.

We recall Mr. Hedrick fondly since his work is on the Texas Tech campus, finishing off the Administration Building from William Ward Watkins’s basic design and initial construction, and designing eight new buildings for Texas Tech. He also designed First United Methodist Church in downtown Lubbock including the stunning Rose Window in the Sanctuary.

Jayton is at the junction of Texas State Highway 70 and US Highway 380 about 91 miles southeast of Lubbock. Take US Highway 84 southeast from Lubbock to Post then US Highway 380 east to Clairemont and on to Jayton crossing the Salt Fork of the Brazos River between those towns. Stop and look at the historic Salt Fork.

In Jayton is the Yellow Daisy, Refuge Cafe, or Jayton Cafe still open? Kent County is lightly populated 839 people total as of 2012. North of Jayton is Spur in Dickens County so one could take SH 70 north to Spur and Dickens and then take US Highway 82 west to Lubbock.

Holle Humphries writes that an Arrow on the Quanah Parker Trail will be installed at Jayton on Saturday morning October 11, 2014.

We probably shouldn’t idealize or mythologize rural West Texas, although that’s tempting, and recognize that the hardscrabble get it done pioneering attitudes exist alongside heinous contemporary behavior. Deputy Sheriff of Kent County Duane West, on duty and in uniform picked up a thirteen year old girl drove her to the Clairemont Cemetery and had sexual intercourse with her in late 2012. In January 2013 he resigned his position and in October 2013 was tried and convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 50 years in prison.


It is September 30 the last day of the month in which the autumnal equinox occurred, and already I am noticing the difference in the angle of sunlight, and the light arriving later and disappearing earlier. I am hearkening back and appreciating the vernal to autumnal equinox cycle, the angle of light ascending and the daylight gaining fulsomeness. It was a time of possibilities, generation, growth and coming to harvest and outcome.

Enough of that agricultural metaphor since most of us don’t personally live in seasons and then hibernate until Spring. We are not bears. Our possibilities as humans are always present and we plant ourselves and bloom where we are planted, so regardless of the changes in the light we have much more work left to do on ourselves and for others. Perhaps that’s why we enjoy the Fall with such gusto, look forward to Winter and a holiday season and then when we notice the nadir, the solstice, and begin to absorb by mid January signs of that changing daylight and feel the impetus toward Spring.


Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection is on exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City October 20-February 16, 2015 described as Cubism, the most influential art movement of the early twentieth century, still resonates today. It destroyed traditional illusionism in painting and radically changed the way we see the world. The Leonard A. Lauder Collection, unsurpassed in its holdings of Cubist art, is now a promised gift to the Museum. On the occasion of this exhibition, the Collection will be shown in public for the first time—eighty paintings, collages, drawings, and sculpture by the four preeminent Cubist artists: Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963), Juan Gris (Spanish, 1887–1927), Fernand Léger (French, 1881–1955), and Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973).


Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo was until very recently a 43 year old handsome physician, a beast cancer doctor, and researcher at Texas Medical Center / University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center but she had a “fatal attraction” and sometime sexual relationship with her colleague Dr. George Blumenschein who himself had a live-in girlfriend Evette Toney. Live-in means, in this case, on and off for ten years. On September 26, 2014 a Houston jury convicted Ana Maria of poisoning George by dosing his coffee at work with ethylene glycol a chemical [used inter alia as the basis for automobile engine anti-freeze] purloined from her employer. George survived the poisoning with 40% kidney function and Evette is still living with him and supportive. Ana Maria’s jury recommends 10 years in prison for this aggravated assault. She will be sentenced later. Her medical and research career is over. He’s damaged goods.

A movie could be made of this event and the trial was raucous, defense counsel telling the jury that the poisoner must have been Evette, or someone, of course someone else than his client Ana Maria who denied the poisoning. Evette testified that she didn’t know about George’s office liaison with his colleague until he recently admitted it to her, and she’s [for now] staying with the injured George. She says she didn’t poison him.

Juan A. Lozano, Texas Cancer Doctor Convicted of Poisoning Lover, Associated Press, September 26, 2014

Fatal Attraction (movie 1987) director Adrian Lyne screenwriter James Dearden starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Anne Archer Does art imitate life, or life imitate art? Dearden revised his screenplay for the stage, with a bit of a different ending

Does this remind you of 57 year old Dr. Joseph A. Sonnier III chief pathologist at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock who was killed [shot and stabbed] at his home on July 10, 2012, allegedly by a hit man David Neal Shepard hired by another physician plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon who formerly was the boyfriend of a lady who spurned him in favor of Sonnier. Dixon was so jealous of Sonnier and so fatally attracted to the former girlfriend that he allegedly paid Shepard three silver bullion bars worth $9,000 to kill Sonnier. Sonnier resided in Lubbock while Dixon and Shepard resided in Amarillo. tells the story that Sonnier’s ex-wife was killed violently two years earlier in 2010 in an unrelated incident. The adult children of Dr and Mrs Sonnier must be stupefied and distraught by the violent deaths of their parents.

Shepard pled guilty to capital murder and was sentenced in September 2013 to life in prison. Dixon is confined at the Lubbock County Detention Center under a $10 million bond that has not been posted. Trial is scheduled for later this Fall. I do not know the identity of the Lubbock woman to whom both physicians were attracted. District Court Judge Jim Bob Darnell issued a gag order on the prosecution, defense, and police on this case prior to the trial so media are not providing new information while we wait for the trial.


Flatlands Dance Theatre Inc. began a Kickstarter Fundraising Drive to raise $3,825 or more by October 31, 2014 If pledges totaling that amount or more are made, they are payable, otherwise not. The purpose of the campaign is for FDT to pay small stipends to company dancers. Pledges can be made at the website above or by contacting Kyla Olson, Executive Director at

If you haven’t seen this fine young professional company in performance their next concert is Encore: The Best of Flatlands Dance Theatre, Friday and Saturday October 17-18 at 8:00 pm at LHUCA Firehouse Theatre at 511 Avenue K. Tickets are available at Select A Seat or at the door $20 adults and $12 for students, children and seniors. The dancers are professionals, FDT is a charitable organization recognized by the federal Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) entity so donations are appropriate at any time, deductible as a business expense for business donors and a charitable contribution deduction for personal donors.


Sir Paul McCartney Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire was in Lubbock on Thursday October 2. includes the list of 40 songs he and his four member band performed in a long thrilling concert at United Supermarkets Arena to a sold-out crowd, some of whom report on Facebook that it was the best concert they had ever witnessed. One was It’s So Easy (1958) performed by Buddy Holly and the Crickets and performed by Sir Paul

Rave On by Buddy Holly and The Crickets and here is the tribute album Rave On Buddy Holly (2011) with various artists performing Buddy Holly songs

McCartney’s latest album is New (2013) $14.88 at

Sir Paul’s been to Lubbock. Who are the Dames and have any been to Lubbock?

Dame Commanders of the Order of the British Empire — actresses Angela Lansbury, Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Julie Andrews, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave and Irish opera mezzo-soprano Ann Murray


Lawrence Jordan age 80 and Beat filmmaker based in San Francisco since 1952, is the 2014 Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross-Disciplinary Arts. He will be present in Lubbock for a showing of short films, a live performance, and conversation with him at the International Cultural Center Auditorium at 7:00 pm Tuesday October 21. It’s a free event. A week earlier on Tuesday October 14 also at 7:00 pm is a free screening of several Lawrence Jordan short films at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema West Loop 289 and North Slide Road. Mr. Jordan’s art is on display at Texas Tech School of Art Satellite Gallery at CASP Studio Projects 1506 5th Street at Avenue J northeast of LHUCA from October 3 to November 11, 2014. The exhibit consists of 12 new collages and 12 diorama boxes. Mr. Jordan will be present in Lubbock from October 19 to 24.

Maegene Nelson Endowment Program is a co-funder for bringing people in the arts to campus under the aegis of the Presidential Lecture & Performance Series most recently Cheech Marin on Friday October 3. Marin is an actor, director, comedian, author, and more but it was in his capacity as a collector and promoter of art by Chicano/Chicana artists that a portion of his extensive collection came to Lubbock and he came to introduce and speak about it. Marin is a Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross-Disciplinary Arts. Chicanitas: Small Paintings From the Cheech Marin Collection is the exhibit that is on display at Landmark Gallery in the Texas Tech University School of Art Building October 3 – December 14. There is a catalogue book for the exhibit by the same name and a website

Previously in 2001-2007 Marin brought another exhibit on a 15 city tour Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge and an accompanying book

Cheech Marin wrote directed and starred in a film Born in East L.A. (1987) telling the story of a native-born American citizen of Mexican descent who is mistakenly deported to Mexico and must risk everything to get back home. This film was shown on October 2 prior to his arrival in Lubbock at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

A year ago on October 25, 2013 Tony Kushner came to campus as a Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross- Disciplinary Arts

Maegene’s siblings are Lubbock residents Jill Nelson, Jack Nelson and David Nelson.


The architect for the new Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences is Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its portfolio for designing performing arts buildings includes Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia
Performing Arts Centre and Teaching Facility at Country Day School, King City, Ontario Ryerson Image Centre and School of Image Arts in Toronto Sidney Harman Hall, Washington DC , and Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto . Matthew Lella is the principal architect for the Lubbock project and we look forward to his preliminary drawings soon to be released.


Books in the Basin October 10-11 is a book festival in Midland and Odessa at the following locations: Midland College, Midland Centennial Library, Yucca Theater, Odessa College, and the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center