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The heart of the home. The living-room mantel boasts family portraits by Erik Hanson and sculptures by Sean Landers and Houston’s Flower Man, the latter a headliner from the CAMH’s 2009 “No Zoning” exhibition. Above left door, a collage by David Cabrera. Above the right door, a drawing by Peter Nagy. To the far right, Black Cherry by Marilyn Minter, whose baroque-inflected beautiful, decadent, dirty realism will be the subject of a retrospective Arning is co-organizing, at the CAMH in 2014.
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A testimony to art-world friendships, the entranceway features a sculpture by Cady Noland entitled Rotten Cop and an early painting by Glenn Ligon. A heavy-hitting conceptual piece, the Noland seems like a senior citizen’s walker until the viewer looks more closely. Note the coded palette of the painted floors, established in the foyer: “White marks the public spaces, black for private,” Arning explains..
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Collecting mania. In the chockablock living room, three early works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, above an edition by Robert Gober. On mantle, an early sculpture by Sean Landers with paintings by Erik Hanson and Thedra Cullar-Ledford from her ongoing doll portraits.
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Dining room art-a-rama. The taxidermy-inspired chandelier by Virgil Marti sets the tone for art trophies, which abound on the Joe Colombo modular shelf unit. On the first shelf, beneath lamp, a Cindy Sherman Doctor/Nurse edition stands out for its wonderful oddness. Above the door, a doll leg painting by Houston provocateur and pal, Thedra Cullar-Ledford.
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Andy + Jonathan. In McCray and Arning’s home office, Jonathan Horowitz’s Pink Wedge looks down over McCray’s desk, while Arning’s very first art purchase as a young teenager resides above his head: two framed soup can invitations for an early Warhol show.
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Art is served. On the dining room wall, paintings by hotly collected Shane Tolbert, Mary Heilmann, and Jeffrey Gibson, above a framed photo edition by Cindy Sherman titled Doctor/Nurse. On the right, sculptures by Galveston-based Nick Barbee and an early Andrew Masullo.
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Daisy, a rescue from the SPCA, in her favorite spot, with a painting found in the attic and Arning’s complete collection of Artforums going back to a seminal birthday. “I started subscribing to Artforum when I was 17, when other kids were taking drugs or playing pool,” recalls the museum director.
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Upstairs art a gogo. On the far wall (top), a collaboration between Joe Mama-Nitzberg and Marc Swanson in homage to Halston. Below, Fred Tomaselli’s star chart drug portrait of Arning, which he felt he needed to own. On the right wall, creations by Robert Morris and Robert Buck.
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Design days. Upstairs sitting room with a light fixture by Austin-based Andy Coolquitt, who will be featured at the Blaffer in a big solo next spring. On the back wall, works by Jennifer Bolande and Bing Wright. On the far right, Blue New York photograph by Donald Moffett, an artist who brought in more than $50,000 to the CAMH coffers at the 2012 gala’s live auction. On the sofa, a meat pillow by Lawndale’s Dennis Nance.
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Come and stay awhile. The guest house stands on the former site of a dilapidated carport and crumbling shed that were torn down to make way for this gleaming modernist building designed by Michael Landrum and Philip Paratore, who also designed the floor-to-ceiling home redux. The sleek landscape reflects the vision of San Antonio-based Sarah Lake. A haven for visiting artists and friend, the welcoming space is filled most weekends with out-of-towners, including recent overnighters Jonathan Horowitz and Klara Liden.
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A Joe Colombo modular plastic shelf unit serves as a mini-museum brimming with art. Top shelf: Emil Lukas, Christian Marclay (beer mugs with bicycle bells) and a Talking Heads album cover by Robert Rauschenberg, autographed by David Byrne and Robert Rauschenberg. Second shelf: Blackboard Eraser by Joseph Beuys, a flesh-colored vase by Swedish artist Matts Leiderstam, a sculpture by Cary Leibowitz/Candyass,drawing by Vik Muniz and sculpture by Christian Marclay. Third shelf: Works by Lorna Simpson, Nick Barbee, and Joe Scanlon.
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Guess who’s coming to dinner. The dining room mixes and melds a who’s who of provocative contemporary artists and design talents, beginning with the antlered and knitted chandelier by Virgil Marti. To the right of the door, Warhol flowers by Sturtevant from a 1966 dialogue with works by Houston’s Kent Dorn, Lisa Yuskavage, and General Idea. The latter, displaying a trio of toy seals, must be guarded carefully from Daisy the canine, to prevent them from being mistaken for dog toys. On the left side of the door, an arrangement of works, clockwise from the top by national and Texas luminaries Tom Friedman, Houston-based Debra Barrera, an early John Currin, Pruitt and Early, anonymous watercolor found in attic, Nicola Tyson, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans, Alan Sonfist, Pajama, the Glassell School’s Will Michels, James Welling and Paul Cadmus.
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