There’s always an air of expectancy when a new show by a much-lauded artist appears at the Dallas Museum of Art, and Wednesday, March 21, was no exception. That’s when about 125 guests gathered in the museum’s South Concourse to celebrate “Laura Owens,” a nationally touring show of more than 60 paintings and objects by the influential, Ohio-born artist of the same name.
Asked whether the cocktails-and-hors-d’oeuvres reception, which started at 6 p.m., would mark the first Dallas viewing of the exhibition, the DMA’s Jill Bernstein replied, “Yes. The paint has just dried!”
The guests—many of them local lenders to the exhibit or members of the DMA Circle, who give the museum $1,000 to $15,000—checked out the art while awaiting 6:45 p.m. remarks by Owens and Agustin Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. Meantime, Agustin, resplendent in a raspberry jacket, worked the crowd like he’d been living and working in Dallas forever.
The big, bold works by Owens were hung in several adjacent rooms and embraced a number of different styles and themes. Among them: paintings within paintings; trompe-l’oeil; computer manipulation; and spontaneous brushwork. Some of the works were dark and aggressive, while others were downright whimsical. One oversized painting, the placard said, came from the collection of Nancy and Richard Rogers.
Among the guests were Jeremy Strick, Kelli and Allen Questrom, Jeff Tingley, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Jennifer and John Eagle, and Thomas Hartland-Mackie. When 6:45, then 6:50, then 6:55 came and went and still there’d been no sign of Laura Owens—or her promised remarks—a few of the natives grew restless. We gave up the ghost at 7:05. “Laura Owens” will be on exhibit at the DMA through Sunday, July 29.