Beauty Reigns: A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting
This exhibition, organized by René Paul Barilleaux, the McNay's Chief Curator/Curator of Art after 1945, assembles the work of thirteen emerging and mid-career abstract painters whose art is characterized in whole or part by high-key color, obsessive layering of surface imagery, use of overall and repeated patterns, stylized motifs, fragments of representation, and a tension between melancholy and the sublime. To date, little focus has been placed on works which celebrate the exoticism, exuberance, and optimism found in the work of the painters assembled in Beauty Reigns.
Beauty Reigns is accompanied by an illustrated book that includes two essays by Lilly Wei and Stephen Westfall contextualizing this approach to abstract painting and tracing its roots in twentieth-century art. Additional biographical and interpretative texts on each of the artists are authored by Barilleaux. The book Beauty Reigns reflects the dynamic nature of the exhibition in its aesthetic, approach, and design; expands the imagery seen in the museum; and offers a larger window into the work of these artists and their particular approaches to painting.
Artists included in the exhibition
This exhibition is organized by the McNay Art Museum.
The Semmes Foundation, Inc. is generously providing lead sponsorship.
Major supporters are Mary Beth and Jack Williamson (a gift of the James Family Charitable Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation), Alan Beckstead, the Flora Crichton Visiting Artist Fund, the Ewing Halsell Foundation Endowment for Visiting Artists, Mitcham Partners, the Director’s Circle, and the Host Committee.
Susan Chrysler White, Cradle, 2010–13. Acrylic on canvas, 77 x 110 in. Courtesy of the artist and Littlejohn Contemporary, New York.
Annette Davidek, Untitled #13-05, 2013. Oil on birch plywood, 48 x 42 in. Courtesy of the artist and Littlejohn Contemporary, New York.
Nancy Lorenz, Red Gold Pour, 2013. Gesso, gilder’s clay, red gold leaf, and pigment on burlap, 10 × 8 in. Collection of Lucy Schwalbe. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Charles Burwell, Dialogue in Blue, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 90 x 128 in. Courtesy of the artist and Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia.
Beatriz Milhazes, Canela (Cinnamon), 2009. Woodblock, woodcut, and screenprint 31 ½ x 63 in. edition of 40. Courtesy of the artist and Durham Press, Durham. Photo courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York.
Rex Ray, Cyphellae, 2005. Oil, acrylic, and cut paper on linen, 76 x 76 in. Courtesy of the artist and Conduit Gallery, Dallas.
Fausto Fernandez, Love is what you make it out to be, 2013. Collage, architectural plans, maps, acrylic, oil pastel, and spray paint on canvas, 72 x 72 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Paul Henry Ramirez, PLAYCONICS 5, 2011. Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 66 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Rosalyn Schwartz, The Big Perfume, 2006. Oil on canvas, 66 x 52 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.), We Came From the Stars, 2011. Acrylic, enamel, ink, colored pencil, organdy, feathers, quills, crystals, and mixed media on ultrachrome prints, 72 × 176 in. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds from the McNay Contemporary Collectors Forum.
Jiha Moon, Pied de Grue, 2012. Ink, acrylic, fabric, and embroidery patches on Hanji paper, 47 × 72 in. Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE, New York.
Ryan McGinness, The Lazy Logic of Ignava Ratio, 2009. Acrylic on canvas, 96 x 144 in. Collection of Pamela K. and William A. Royall Jr. Photo courtesy of Ryan McGinness Studios, Inc./Art Resource, NY. © 2014 Ryan McGinness/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Kamrooz Aram, Incident at Varick and Harrison (Palimpsest #23), 2013. Oil, oil pastel, and wax pencil on canvas, 84 x 66 in. Courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai.