Artist Andrew Underwood had tried his luck with Dallas’ commercial galleries, meeting with gallerists and opening his studio to visits. Their interest in his work remained elusive.
“I felt like there was no place for me in a commercial gallery in Dallas,” says Underwood, whose “research-based” art projects often combine drawings and multimedia, books, boxes, songs, maps, and photographs. “The response I kept getting was, ‘I can’t do anything with this.’ ”
What followed was a three-step descent into discontent: a trip to New York to see a well-curated show by Thomas Demand at Matthew Marks Gallery, a panel discussion at the Dallas Museum of Art focused on local art, and a subsequent article on the arts website Glasstire written by Lucia Simek that spawned a long chain of comments parsing the various shortcomings of the Dallas “scene.”
“I was thinking about adding my two cents,” Underwood says of the Glasstire comment kvetching. “But what I needed to do was take action rather than just talk.”
Underwood reached out to Simek; Ryder Richards, an artist, prolific curator, and Richland College art professor; and Joshua Goode, an installation-based artist who teaches and runs a gallery at Tarrant County College-South and mostly shows outside of North Texas. The quartet met at a Central Market cafe and began hashing out a plan, a project that could, in whatever small and accessible way, move the needle.
The plan for Fountainhead now is to exhibit it at the Nasher, accompanying a show that opens September 29, 2012 called “Sculpture in So Many Words, Text Pieces 1960–1975,” which consists of conceptual work that, like Fountainhead, also deals with the nature of the art object.
(Many thanks to the Nasher Sculpture Center and D Magazine for aiding in the success of Fountainhead.)