Art in the Making: From Idea to Object

April 18, 2024 

- July 21, 2024

Located in the Butt Paperworks Gallery

Art in the Making: From Idea to Object

April 18, 2024 

- July 21, 2024

Located in the Butt Paperworks Gallery

Typically, museum visitors see only finished works of art hanging on the walls. They are not privy to the thoughts of the artis creating a work of art. And, viewers do not see what elements are ultimately left out or corrected along the way. This exhibition, drawn primarily from the McNay’s collection, is a window into the creative process, a peek behind the curtain, and a chance to see how a work of art is created.

Typically, an artist’s process follows an obvious progression from idea to finished form. Such is the case with the twentieth-century printmakers John Taylor Arms, Peggy Bacon, and John W. Winkler, whose work is shown here. For example, in Winkler’s Large Awning on Jackson Street, the artist first created a graphite sketch of a San Francisco street scene. Using the etching process, the artist transferred the study to a copper plate. The lines incised into the plate appear black because they have been filled with dark ink. The final product is made by pressing the ink out of the plate and onto a sheet of paper.

Sometimes an artist begins the creative process and does not see the idea through to finished form. Such is the case for El Paso-born draftsman Luis Jiménez, who worked collaboratively to create an edition of screenprints in 2006. Jiménez drew two designs on mylar as well as created an early test print, called a proof. But, before finishing the print edition, Jiménez died in a tragic studio accident. These designs and the proof are all that remain of the unfinished and untitled project. Also included in the exhibition, Jiménez’s drawing Old Lady with Cat, a portrait of the artist’s grandmother, is a study for his early and rare fiberglass sculpture of the same name.

Art in the Making: From Idea to Object is organized for the McNay Art Museum by Lyle W. Williams, former Curator of Prints and Drawings, Curator of Modern Art; and Chloe Feyock, Douglass Foundation Intern.

Funding is most generously provided by The Jane and Arthur Stieren Fund for Exhibitions.

Image credit: Luis A. Jiménez Jr., Untitled, 2006. Screenprint. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Given anonymously, 2013.9.3.

Due to a maintenance issue, the museum will close at 5 p.m. today. Tonight’s Gallery Talk will be rescheduled for a later date. We will return to regular hours tomorrow.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to welcoming you soon.