A weekend @ The Contemporary Austin: Museum Day Demos, Openings, & Cocktails

It was great afternoon to share encaustic with Museum Day guests at Laguna Gloria.  The grounds were particularly beautiful on this sunny cool day, a welcome change to our Texas summer. Musicians were spaced throughout the grounds simultaneously playing “Inuksuit”, a composure of drums and other percussion instruments. I could hear them as I explained the properties of encaustic medium and built up a landscape painting to demonstrate the layering process of encaustic painting to curious passersby.

Liam Gillick’s new sculpture opened this weekend at Laguna Gloria and it cast a fantastic shadow as the sun slowly began to set, highlighting through its colored slats the passage of the day. The sculpture is a simple structure that emphasizes the viewers spacial point of view and sense of time. On Friday I enjoyed the Member’s Cocktail Reception at the Jones Center. There Gillick has a video on view inspired by Texas and the Laguna Gloria grounds. The film is its own piece. but also reminded me of a sketchbook of ideas related to the new sculpture and its surroundings. The scenes distort the viewer through familiar shots that have slightly altered sensations of sight and sound.

Marianne Vitale’s new sculpture at the Jones Center stands as two intersecting covered bridges built of raw burned wood, scaled down in size and assembled in the interior space. My first reaction was to the powerful display of positive and negative space. The long view through the bridge invites the viewer to look through the bridge forms and make connections to the viewers on the opposing sides. The burned bridge looks unusable. There is a curious connection as both viewers are forced to contemplate the same questions, but are separated by the burning and are unable to meet at that moment.

Liam Gillick

Liam Gillick

Marianne Vitale

Marianne Vitale

I found the Jones Center’s showing of only two pieces in their entire gallery space extremely refreshing and bold. The pairing of works allows you to focus in and invites you to see the art. This created a sense of calm and focus, the show is free of distractions showing only the essential.

I was unable to get into the gallery at Laguna Gloria were the space has been transformed by Erin Curtis’s work Further WestThrough the windows I can see the show is not to be missed, I will be back to view it.


1 comment
  1. Suzan said:

    Hey Vince, demo looks like a lot of fun. Looks like the art scene in Austin may be picking up. Could Austin be the arts and cultural center of


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