Prepare your Ferris Bueller/HOV lane/CPR mannequins now; you'll need them looking their most efficient when they fill in for you at work on Tuesday, February 12. You'll be cutting out early, waiting in line for tickets to see Gary Simmons kick off the Fort Worth Modern's spring lecture series, which brings in world famous talent -- from artists to curators and critics -- to say important words and then answer your slightly less important questions. Miraculously, this seasonal program remains free to the public (the last run included Bruce Nauman and Jenny Holzer). You've just gotta be one of the first couple hundred to snag passes.
They'll be released at 5 p.m., and you'll camp out like it's the Ticketmaster inside of Dillard's at Hulen Mall, circa 1994, if you want to spend an evening with the brilliant mind of Mr. Simmons. He's the title voice behind Focus, the Modern's current anchor exhibition and an artist who ventures between chalk and paint to relay his historical and philosophical opinions of race, class and education in American society. Yeah, it'll be bangin'.
Plan ahead for an afternoon ailment on April 2. That's when Paris, Texas' own Trenton Doyle Hancock returns to fill your mind with his curious characters. I'm pretty fascinated by the path of Hancock's brain, which blends folk art with a comic book narrative style to explore his invented creatures, The Mounds. (According to Hancock, The Mounds are the after-product species that grew from of a monkey's masturbation session in an enchanted forest.) I'm going to be front row for this, even if it means throwing a fire alarm switch, FYI.
Here's the entire list of speakers for the spring series:
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Gary Simmons, a New York-based artist recognized for his forthright address of race and culture, is probably best known for his expansive erasure drawings, originally made in chalk on blackboards that he smeared and obscured by hand to create ghostly images. One such piece, Wall of Eyes, was commissioned for the 1993 Whitney Biennial, and, more recently, the artist received critical attention for his solo exhibition Black Marquee at Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, that referenced "blaxploitation" films of the 1970s. With an impressive exhibition record and a full-scale monograph, Gary Simmons: Paradise, Simmons is one of the Modern's 2013 FOCUS show artists. FOCUS: Gary Simmons is on view through March 14, and for this Tuesday Evenings talk, the artist presents recurring ideas and new developments in his work.
February 19-Dr. Beatriz Rodríguez Balanta, Assistant Professor of Art History, Southern Methodist University
February 26-Dr. Mark Thistlethwaite, Kay and Velma Kimbell Chair of Art History, Texas Christian University
March 5-Andrew Solomon, author
March 12-Richard Phillips, artist
March 19-Matthew Collings, art writer and artist
March 26-No lecture
April 2-Trenton Doyle Hancock, artist
April 9-Panel discussion with representatives of Triple Canopy, Cabinet, and Pastelegram
April 16-Robyn O'Neil, artist
April 23-Barry McGee, artist, in conversation with Andrea Karnes, curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth