The Dallas Museum of Art presents a lineup of special focus exhibitions this fall that will showcase the strengths of its global collection, highlight an exciting scientific partnership, and bring together work from local collections with six all-original, free shows organized by the Museum’s curators and only on view at the DMA.
Contemporary exhibitions by artists from the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Iceland will present Pop and abstract paintings, a new first-floor Concourse mural, and a massive video installation. Through a collaboration between UT Southwestern Medical Center and the DMA’s Conservation and Arts of Africa departments, visitors will get a rare look at the inside of a West African helmet mask.
“The incredible breadth of the DMA’s encyclopedic collection and the expertise of the DMA’s curatorial team are showcased in the wide range of exhibitions on view this fall,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, The Eugene McDermott director.
“From pivotal works by significant contemporary artists to African garments and textiles to immersive design installations, the DMA’s fall program offers a variety of opportunities for audiences to engage with the most exciting artists across history and around the globe.”
Speechless, co-organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, will open at the DMA on Nov. 10. The DMA debut of this nationally touring exhibition will present site-specific, participatory installations by six leading and emerging international designers and design teams that explore the vast spectrum of sensory experiences and new approaches to accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting. Speechless will be a ticketed special exhibition.
The following exhibitions will open this fall and their presentations are exclusive to the DMA. Each can be seen as part of the Museum’s free general admission policy:
Wearable Raffia – Opens Aug. 31: An exhibition, drawn mainly from the Museum’s acclaimed collection of African art, of garments and textiles made from the woven fibers of Raffia Palm trees from West and Central Africa and the island of Madagascar. Also on display will be raffia and textile samples that visitors are allowed to feel. Wearable Raffia will feature works from several groups across four African countries, including the Bamileke peoples (Cameroon), Dida peoples (Côte d’Ivoire), Kuba peoples (the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Merina peoples (Madagascar), Suku peoples (DRC), and Teke peoples (DRC). Wearable Raffia is scheduled to close July 12, 2020.
Focus On: Ragnar Kjartansson – Opens Sept. 15: A nine-channel video installation by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, loaned to the Museum from the collection of Marguerite Hoffman. Each screen shows one of nine musicians playing a musical adaptation of a poem in different parts of the Rokeby Farm House in Hudson Valley, New York. By nearing one screen, viewers can listen to individual performers, or, at a certain point in the installation, the viewer can listen to the entire ensemble. In addition to the video, the DMA will display a commissioned work from Hoffman’s collection of personal postcards that the artist wrote to her over the course of a year. Focus On: Ragnar Kjartansson is scheduled to close March 22, 2020.
Focus On: Alex Katz – Opens Sept. 15: A focused installation of works by the 91-year-old American painter Alex Katz, one of the most recognized and widely exhibited artists of his generation, and presented in celebration of his appearance in Dallas as the honored artist at the 2019 TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art fundraiser gala in October. This unique presentation brings together a number of themes that characterize Katz’s work: portraits, landscapes, cut-outs, and party scenes. The exhibition will include a painting that is planned to be acquired by the Museum and four from local Dallas collections. Focus On: Alex Katz is scheduled to close March 22, 2020.
Concentrations 62: Wanda Koop: Dreamline – Opens Oct. 20: The exhibition is part of the Museum’s Concentrations series of project-based solo exhibitions that present work by artists in their first US solo museum exhibition. Wanda Koop is an established Canadian painter whose practice depicts how modern urban society intersects with the natural environment. Concentrations 62 is scheduled to close February 2, 2020.
Sandra Cinto: Landscape of a Lifetime – Opens Nov. 15: Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto will transform the Concourse hall with a 153-foot mural covering the walls and ceiling in 24 shades of blue, shifting from dark to light to give the impression of the transition from night to day. The walls will be completely decorated with intricate pen drawings of celestial elements such as stars and clouds. Low-level audio of sounds recorded by the artist (running water, rustling leaves, birds, etc.) will further enhance the artist’s exploration of life and natural cycles. Landscape of a Lifetime is scheduled to close July 5, 2020.
Not Visible to the Naked Eye: Inside a Senufo Helmet Mask – Opens Nov. 23: The DMA’s Conservation and Arts of Africa departments, in an exciting and cutting-edge collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center, will present CT scans of a Senufo helmet mask from the Museum’s African art collection. This kind of mask is worn like a helmet by a medium at initiations, funerals, harvest celebrations, and secret events conducted by the powerful male-only Komo society, which has traditionally maintained social and spiritual harmony in Senufo villages in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Visible attachments on the mask include a female figure, cowrie shells, and imported glassware. The CT scans reveal unexpected materials beneath the surface and objects contained in the attached animal horns that empower the mask. Dr. Matthew A. Lewis and Dr. Todd Soesbe, faculty members of the Department of Radiology at the Medical School of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, assisted with this exhibition. Not Visible to the Naked Eye is scheduled to close in January 2021.
In addition to these new focus exhibitions, Japanese woodblock print master Utagawa Hiroshige’s The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō will remain on view through Nov. 10. Sheila Hicks: Secret Structures, Looming Presence, a presentation of works by the celebrated fiber artist alongside ancient Andean textiles from the DMA’s own collection, will be installed through Jan. 12, 2020.