Arts History Update for late June 2016

12 Jun

Arts History Update for late June 2016 by David Cummins

Annabelle Selldorf, founder of Selldorf Architects is both author and a featured person in a new book Selldorf Architects: Portfolio and Projects (Phaidon Press 2016) 256 pages $80 hardcover

A comprehensive book on Selldorf Architects, with a detailed look at the museums, residences, and public buildings the firm has designed in the United States and abroad.

Founding principal Annabelle Selldorf was born in Cologne, Germany and educated at the Pratt Institute and Syracuse University. The firm launched into international prominence with the opening of New York’s Neue Galerie in 2001. Since, Selldorf Architects has become known for galleries, cultural projects, and as well as private homes. More recently, the firm has made its mark with Sims Municipal Recycling in Brooklyn in 2013. The design and construction won an Award for Excellence in Design from the Public Design Commission. In 2014, Selldorf Architects received the commission to build the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.

This book begins with an extensive conversation between Tom Eccles and Annabelle Selldorf, as well as an essay by architecture critic Ian Volner. A newly-shot, full color portfolio by renowned photographer Todd Eberle is complimented by an in-depth look at the story behind 30 selected projects, including architectural plans and sketches.


Format: Hardback
Size: 290 x 214 mm, 11 3/8 x 8 3/8 in
Pages: 256 pp
Illustrations: 600 colour and black and white photographs
ISBN: 9780714871172


Here are some of the firm’s admired projects and here is Artspace’s top ten


This was written by me a year ago

June 20 – September 27, 2015 at the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard is a solo exhibition by Mark Bradford titled Scorched Earth, twelve new paintings including the lobby mural. Paintings in his case means mixed media including scrap raw materials coaxed and teased into a painting outcome but clearly three dimensional pieces even if set on a canvas. Some pieces like Bell Tower (2014) suspended over the security screening area at Tom Bradley Los Angeles International Airport international terminal, are best described as abstract-painted sculpture. A recent magazine article is Calvin Tompkins, What Else Can Art Do: The Many Layers of Mark Bradford’s Work, The New Yorker, June 22, 2105 at pages 28-34

The news of June 2016 is that Mark Bradford is now the designated United States artist for the 2017 Venice Biennale that will open in May 2017.


Land Art has been fashioned from Houston’s trash-filled waterways. They provided the opportunity for photographer Jeremy Underwoods to assemble the trash and then photograph it placing it into a series Human Debris Here is the series of objects fashioned into art pieces and then left in place in situ for people to discover and enjoy.

Underwoods is a Kansas City Missouri based photographer.


Texas Tech Red Raider baseball team 43-17 hosted a NCAA post Big XII Conference season regional with three other teams Fairfield, Dallas Baptist and New Mexico. Texas Tech won the first game 12-1 against Fairfield on June 2 and the second game 4-3 against New Mexico in the winners bracket. Dallas Baptist defeated Fairfield in the losers bracket and then New Mexico and then defeated Texas Tech 10-6 to cause a final game [double elimination tourney] Monday June 6 at 2:00 pm, winner to host a super regional and loser to nurse wounds through a lazy Fall and Winter. The winners in the several super regionals will go to the College World Series.

Those Red Raiders do know how to prolong early Summer days in Rip Griffin Park for fans who sold out the arena, bought the hot dogs and yelled at umpires they couldn’t call be their given name, only an epithet like “bum’.

Texas Tech won 5-3 but heroics were required. Dallas Baptist tied the game in the top of the sixth inning 3-3 but Red Raiders immediately scored two runs in the bottom of that inning to go ahead again. They held on over nine innings to win 5-3. Dallas Baptist season ends with a 44-19 won loss record. Texas Tech moves on with a 44-17 record and hosts East Carolina in a best of three games series.

Texas Christian and Oklahoma State both came through regionals into the super regionals. Horned Frogs meet the Aggies of Texas A&M at College Station. Cowboys opponent was South Carolina and Cowboys defeated the Gamecocks in Columbia South to punch their ticket to the College World Series.

College World Series at Omaha Nebraska is double elimination in bracket play within two brackets, the winners of the two brackets then play a best of three games series for the championship.

Friday June 10 at 7:00 pm Texas Tech 45-17 v. East Carolina 37-21, Saturday June 11 at 2:00 pm and Sunday June 12 at 2:00 pm if necessary, all televised at TV-ESPNU. Pirates won the first game 8-6. Raiders won the second game, tied 1-1 after nine innings, in the 13th inning scoring two runs and shutting down the Pirates in the bottom of the inning 3-1. Raiders won 11-0 in the third game scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning and then adding to that in many innings. Freshman Erikson Lanning pitched a 2 hitter through seven innings to shut down the Pirates.


Martin Filler is a top quality critic of architecture and writes about Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994), the Brazilian landscape architect, in The New York Review of Books, June 2, 2016 while an exhibit on the master landscape architect is up at The Jewish Museum New York City May 6-September 18, 2016, then goes up at Deutsche Bank KunstHalle [hall of art] in Berlin July 7- October 8, 2017 and then goes up at Museu de Arte do Rio in Rio de Janeiro Brazil November 2017 to March 2018.

Filler said “Burle Marx freed horticulture from restrictively conventional European precedents and ushered his discipline into a new age of regional appropriateness on a global scale”. Marx’s own garden at his home is now a Museum, Sitio Roberto Burle Marx, Barra de Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro. It is a world heritage site


The annual Texas Book Festival is Saturday-Sunday November 5-6, 2015 in Austin Texas on the State Capitol grounds and surrounding venues. It’s free for the public but some specific run-up and special events have ticket prices. Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Early Edition Literary Gala is November 4 Friday evening and expensive, a fundraiser.

West Texas Book Festival sponsored by the Abilene Public Library is September 19-24, 2016 at the Library 202 Cedar Street and at the Abilene Civic Center. For more information e-mail


June 7, 2016 was a primary election day in California. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer did not run for re-election so the seat was “open”. In California primary elections party candidates do not run separately, within each political party, but against all candidates from all parties for that position, and the top two vote-getters win and are on the ballot in the November 8 general election. On June 7 the top three vote-getters were Kamala Harris [Attorney General of California and former San Francisco Prosecuting Attorney], Loretta Sanchez [U.S. Congresswoman from Orange County] and Duf Sundheim [former chair of the California Republican Party]. Harris received 40% of the votes, Sanchez 17% and Sundheim 8%, other candidates less votes. Harris and Sanchez are both Democrats so for the first time in California history the ballot in November will not include a Republican for the U.S. Senate position.

Other firsts are that both are women, Harris an African-American and Sanchez an Hispana. Senator Boxer is a Democrat so the national balance within the U.S. Senate between Democrats and Republicans will not change as a result of the California primary election.


Ron Atwood Art Gallery, 226 North Polk Street, Jefferson Texas is the only art gallery in town and he is actively marketing original art to the people in his area who want to buy that art. Most of the artists who supply art for sale are local area artists. Many of them paint scenes that are familiar to the people who enter the gallery, like Caddo Lake, and those paintings sell well. Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acre lake in the Piney Woods on the Texas Louisiana border named for the Caddo Indians who once lived in this area.

Jefferson has more history than people, now about 2,000, and is located on Big Cypress Bayou at U.S. Highway 59 in deep east Texas north of Marshall Texas and east of Longview and Tyler. Auntie Skinner’s Riverboat Club is a lively tavern/restaurant in a historic warehouse building. The historic Jefferson Railway and Depot is located there and once a year at Christmastime there are short rides through the Piney Woods.

In the 1840s a steamship could get on Big Cypress Creek or Big Cypress Bayou and take passengers and goods east to the Red River in Louisiana, so Jefferson was initially a river port town. By the 1870s river traffic declined and railroad traffic boomed on a new line from Texarkana to Marshall but it bypassed Jefferson whose fate was sealed

Jacques D. Bagur, Antebellum Jefferson Texas: Everyday Life in an East Texas Town (University of North Texas Press 2012) Texas Tech Library F394.J3 B34

Jacques D. Bagur, A History of Navigation on Cypress Bayou and the Lakes (University of North Texas Press 2001) A History of Navigation on Cypress Bayou and the Lakes examines water transportation and the natural and socioeconomic factors that affected it in Northwest Louisiana, East Texas, and the Red River. Jacques Bagur explains how the natural logjam called The Great Raft, a unique phenomenon on the Red River, formed a continuous water body west of Shreveport. In the 1800s, enterprising steamboat captains traveled east on the route—known as Cypress Bayou and the Lakes—and developed a system of ports and landings. Jefferson became the most important of these, tapping market areas to the north, south, and far to the west.

Bagur has analyzed old Corps reports, historic maps, early travel accounts, and period newspapers to reveal the story of the area from 1800 to the present. Farmers and ranchers from as far as Dallas loaded goods onto Jefferson steamboats bound for Shreveport and New Orleans. Despite an expansion in commerce after the war, the steamboat’s heyday on Cypress Bayou was over by 1880, seemingly because of the 1873 removal of the Great Raft by E. A. Woodruff and the Corps of Engineers. Bagur’s research, however, confirms that the ports and landings fell victim to the same source that helped extinguish many early settlements: the railroad. Today, a dam prevents boats from traveling between Shreveport and Jefferson, yet this remarkable water body still offers much to contemporary watercraft.

ABE Books $60


Fort Worth B-Cycle is a bicycle sharing system with 43 different stations across the city of Fort Worth Texas where a person can walk up and check out a bicycle and ride somewhere returning the bike to another station. There is a modest charge and for younger people adept at riding bicycles it is an option for transportation with exercise to get around without using the bus system This came to my attention because the cultural district where several museums including the Kimbell Art Museum are located, was featured in an event ride associated with that Museum. There are designated routes in the city such as Trail Ride, Museum Ride and Cowboy Ride. I am not familiar with Fort Worth streets so do not know how any bicycle lanes may be laid out in or alongside streets and avoid interference with motor vehicle traffic.



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