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Arts / Galleries

Art Chat

Jeffrey Grove

BY Catherine D. Anspon // 10.24.14

Does Jeffrey Grove have the most unerring eye in Texas? The Dallas Museum of Art’s man at the top of the contemporary curatorial pyramid — officially senior curator of special projects & research — is envied for his ambitious, confident and serenely choreographed installations. What makes the DMA’s chief talent scout tick? Executive editor art + features Catherine D. Anspon uncovers an (unlikely) fascination with Currier & Ives, a taste for 60s-era TV comedy and discovers Isa Genzken. Portrait Shayna Fontana.

EARLIEST ENCOUNTER WITH THE VISUAL WORLD.

Staring at the Currier & Ives print on the living room wall as a toddler.

FIRST PIECE OF ART THAT MADE AN IMPACT?

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.Gary Owens, Lily Tomlin

WHAT WOULD TRAVEL FROM ANYWHERE TO SEE?

Heironymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights [1500 – 1505].der-garten-der-lueste

THREE ARTISTS WORKING TODAY THAT ARE THE MOST UNDERKNOWN?

That’s a trade secret.

ANY PLANS TO SHOW THEM AND/OR ACQUIRE THEM FOR THE DMA?

Maybe we already have …

THREE HISTORICAL ARTISTS THAT NEED TO BE RESUSCITATED FROM THE DUST BIN OF ART HISTORY?

Alfred Leslie, Konrad Lueg, Ger van Elk. 

ARE YOU ADDING ANY TO THE DMA COLLECTION?

Yes.

YOU’VE PIONEERED NEW COLLECTING FIELDS FOR THE MUSEUM INCLUDING POST-WAR JAPAN AND POST-WAR ITALY. WHAT AREAS/ARTISTS/MOVEMENTS ARE NEXT ON YOUR RADAR?

We’ve been paying a lot of attention to emerging, post-conceptual photographers.

ON YOUR CURATORIAL PLATE.

Currently, “Isa Genzken: Retrospective,” of which I am co-curator, was on view at MoMA, NY, before traveling to the MCA, Chicago and the Dallas Museum of Art [September 14 – January 4]. Last February, the exhibition I organized that premiered at the DMA in October [2013] — “Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take” — opened at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, before traveling to the ICA, Boston and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles [October 5 – January 17]. The mid-career survey of Belgian artist Michaël Borremans —“As sweet as it gets,” which I organized — opens at BOZAR, Brussels, before traveling to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the DMA [March 15 – July 5, 2015].

Michaël Borremans' The Devil’s Dress, 2011. The Belgian painter Borremans heads to the DMA in March 2015; Grove is the curator du jour for all three venues, which include Brussels and Tel Aviv, as well as Dallas. Collection Dallas Museum of Art, Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp and David Zwirner New York/London, © Photographer Ron Amstutz, © Michaël Borremans.
Michaël Borremans’ The Devil’s Dress, 2011. The Belgian painter Borremans heads to the DMA in March 2015; Grove is the curator du jour for all three venues, which include Brussels and Tel Aviv, as well as Dallas. Collection Dallas Museum of Art, Courtesy Zeno X Gallery Antwerp and David Zwirner New York/London, © Photographer Ron Amstutz, © Michaël Borremans.

BEST MUSEUM FOR A PILGRIMAGE?

Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland.

MOST MEMORABLE STUDIO VISIT?

There have been so many, but most recently was when Isa Genzken and I spent a long afternoon talking about her work and she revealed things to me that she’d never talked about before.

YOUR KARLA BLACK U.S. MUSEUM DEBUT IN THE FALL OF 2012 WAS POETIC, FRESH AND EYE-OPENING. AND LAST FALL’S RETROSPECTIVE FOR JIM HODGES BALANCED THE ETHEREAL WITH THE CONCEPTUAL. HOW DID THE SHOWS COME ABOUT?

Karla happened quickly: I’d been entranced by her work for some time and finally decided to make the pilgrimage to Glasgow to see her. We hit it off. Eight months later the exhibition opened. Jim and I had known each other for over a decade and we worked together on that exhibition for four years.

 

Karla Black_Exactly That
Karla Black’s Exactly That, 2012, was one of two site-specific installations from Black’s American museum debut, in the fall of 2012, at the DMA. Courtesy Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London and Galerie Gisele Captain, Cologne.

PRACTICAL ADVICE.

Everyone hangs art higher than they should.

WISDOM FOR A BEGINNING COLLECTOR.

Buy art because you love it, not because you consider it a growth asset.

NEXT STAMP ON YOUR PASSPORT?

Belgium.

GO TO SPOT TO BE “UNDER THE RADAR.”

Half Price Books and Mi Cocina.

IN YOUR OFFICE.

A small painting by a kid who graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago last year.

ON VIEW AT YOUR CASA.

Small drawings and multiples by obscure artists.

ON WHY YOU’RE IN TEXAS.

There is so much opportunity here. As with many things in Texas, great style, unbridled passion and a can-do spirit prevail.

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