Site 131 features works from the Carter/Wynne Texas Collection
After a seven-year run, nonprofit art space Site 131 was set to close its doors last summer, but it turns out the gallery wasn’t quite ready for it. to hang up.
After discussions with local artistic figures, artistic director Joan Davidow decided that the next phase of the institution would consist of a series of exhibitions called “Texas Collects”, with the aim of presenting a selection of works of art. from a local private collection that the public has never seen, let alone heard of.
The Carter/Wynne Family Collection, the first in the series, is housed in a family home with approximately 3,000 works of contemporary art in a wide range of media.
Primarily made by Texas artists, the collection includes mail art, works on paper, sculptures, paintings, and a touch of photography. The collection is the brainchild of art collector Michael Wynne, an artist himself, who has amassed art over the past 30 years, along with his wife, Betsy Carter.
Wynne grew up in Kirvin, a small town in Texas without any trace of contemporary art. On a high school field trip to Waco – and being an intellectually curious book lover – Wynne ended up in a bookstore where, he recalls, “I came across Lawrence Alloway’s book american pop art.”
The images struck a chord that led him later to realize that “my desire to own art and my desire to make art went hand in hand”, so that “making art came of a desire to own art.
Wynne’s artistic tastes are eclectic and personal. He buys what pleases him without being interested in art as an investment, generally as a means of supporting local, young and emerging artists.
For example, in a table titled Still life by Jeff Elrod, we see an early example of the Texas artist’s exploration of abstraction, with images of lines and squiggles crafted using a rudimentary computer program in 1999.
Wynne loved it so much that he used his entire annual art budget for this one massive painting. “That’s still the most we’ve ever spent on a single item,” Wynne says.
Elrod went on to a successful career at international level.
Stephen Lapthisophon, a local artist and teacher, is represented in the exhibition with one of his easily recognizable mixed media abstractions. He has known Wynne for several years and states, in an essay written for this exhibition, “Michael is a fervent supporter of younger and underappreciated artists” who “is part archivist and part chronicler: he saves and cares for works that might otherwise disappear. unnoticed.
All of the artwork on display has been chosen by Site 131 to exemplify the contrasting styles found in a private collection unconstrained by institutional requirements.
As you pass through the entrance hall, don’t miss Greg Meza’s intertwining of Pop Art and politics with a sculpture, Untitled, which features a coiled nylon American flag encased in resin and epoxy. Another highlight is a luminous painting by artist Yek, also called Untitledwith lines inspired by the thin painted stripes of automotive culture, on a rigid geometric support that enters into three-dimensionality.
Early on, Wynne became interested in the art of assemblage by Robert Rauschenberg, another Texan artist who achieved international fame. In the main gallery, look for a sculptural assemblage by Jake Elliot and River Shell titled It was a lie.
It consists of an old musical drum topped with a reddish plastic container and a crumpled paper bag with the title scrawled on the surface.
Executed in 2022, it is a new addition to a living collection intended to inspire both seasoned and potential collectors.
“Texas Collects: Carter/Wynne Family Collection” continues through December 10 at the 131 site, 131 Payne St., Dallas. Open Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment. Free. Call 214-871-2971 or visit site131.com.