Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Artforum: Rafa Esparza on “Browning the White Cube”

28 Nov 2017

Rafa Esparza talks about his Tierra. Sangre. Oro. exhibition with Kate Green at Artforum …

My interest in browning the white cube—by building with adobe bricks, making brown bodies present, and collaborating—is a response to entering traditional art spaces and not seeing myself reflected. This has been the case not only physically, in terms of the whiteness of those spaces, but also in terms of the histories of art they uphold.

Adobe bricks are loaded; they signify brownness, the land, and labor. They also reference my own history: my father’s practice of working with adobe and my experience of adobe brickmaking as a collaborative process. By building with adobe in galleries I am bringing all of this—and the muddy history of American soil, colonization, and progress—into a traditionally white context.

Keep reading in Artforum.

ArtNEWS Interviews Ballroom Marfa’s New Executive Director

14 Nov 2017

Photo: Emma Rogers

ARTnews’ Maximilíano Durón talks with Ballroom Marfa Executive Director and Curator Laura Copelin about her recent promotion and vision for the organization.

Copelin sees Ballroom Marfa, which is located in a converted dance hall from the 1920s, as a continuation of the daring artistic vision that Judd first had for the town. “My vision for Ballroom Marfa is very much a continuation of the spirit of its founding: to create new work that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else,” she said.

Copelin said she will continue to focus on commissioning new work that will “really expand the conversation to include disciplines that aren’t usually included in the contemporary-art conversation,” mainly focusing on the ecological and natural sciences and how they are part and parcel to the rich landscape of Marfa, as well as maintaining an on-going dialogue with the town’s community.

“I like to think about collaboration with the community, as opposed to engagement,” Copelin said. “We have such a rich ground to work with in Marfa, with this incredible creative and cultural heritage. We want to contribute to what’s happening and amplify what’s special about this place, and amplify new work by artists who deserve to have a platform to make art.”

Keep reading at ARTnews.

JD Samson & MEN at the Tierra. Sangre. Oro. Opening

26 Aug 2017

The art/performance collective MEN will join us in the courtyard for the Tierra. Sangre.

Oro. opening reception! MEN is led by LeTigre’s JD Samson and Michael O’Neill. These legendary artists believe in the radical potential of dance music and its power to demand liberties through invention and play. The New York Times describes Samson as “a powerful force at the intersection of lesbian, feminist culture and popular music,” and as someone keeping “the term ‘feminist electro-punk artist’ on the map.” Bitch Magazine says MEN’s 2013 album “is an upbeat, fiery electronic album that you can put on repeat three times in a row and still want to hear again.” They’re traveling to Marfa for their first show in years.
Their set begins at 8:30pm, and is not to be missed. To hear more of their music, visit the JD Samson & MEN Bandcamp page. The performance is free, and open to the public. RSVP on Facebook. The evening will also feature tacos by Vicente Celis, and cold refreshments from Big Bend Brewing Co. and SAVED Wines.


17 Aug 2016

  Don’t miss your chance to see After Effect, a group exhibition on view at Ballroom until Sunday August 21. If you can’t make it out to Marfa, check out this video walkthrough video directed by David Fenster. Ballroom’s next exhibition, This is Presence, part of Artists’ Film International 2016, opens September 23, 2016.

Ballroom Executive Director Susan Sutton in Apiece Apart

2 Aug 2016

apieceapart_marfastories_06C-1 “It’s one thing to spend a long weekend in Marfa,” writes Leigh Patterson in Apiece Apart, “and another entirely to live and work there.” Patterson traveled to Marfa along with stylist Alexa Hotz and photographer Michael A. Muller to interview three Marfa women, including Freda owner Susannah Lipsey, ceramicist Mimi Dopson, and Ballroom Marfa Executive Director Susan Sutton. Sutton holds forth on minimalism, her changing self-perceptions, and other women that she admires. “Going into your fear is the only way forward,” she says.

Support Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance on Kickstarter

18 Jul 2016

Pancho Villa Kickstarter-2 Ballroom Marfa is excited to announce the launch of our Kickstarter campaign for Graham Reynolds’ experimental chamber opera, Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance,

the third and final installment of The Marfa Triptych. Join us in supporting this extraordinarily ambitious collaboration through Kickstarter today! Click here to visit the campaign page and find out more about the project and the unique rewards available to all Pancho Villa backers.

Mary Weatherford on “Agnes Pelton and the American Transcendental”

19 Jun 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 3.49.29 PM Ballroom Marfa recently hosted a lecture by artist Mary Weatherford, “Agnes Pelton and the American Transcendental” to complement After Effect, the current exhibition on view in Ballroom’s galleries. The lecture took place at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, TX on May 21, 2016. A painter herself, Weatherford speaks here on the work of Agnes Pelton, a member of the historical Transcendental Painting Group active in New Mexico in the 1930s and ’40s.
The Transcendental Painting Group’s manifesto identifies their aim as carrying “painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new concepts of space, color, light and design, to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual” in an effort to “widen the horizon of art.” Watch Weatherford’s lecture below or visit Ballroom Marfa’s Vimeo page.

Arturo Bandini at Ballroom Marfa

17 May 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 12.47.17 PM Vapegoat Rising, the micro-exhibition from Los Angeles-based artist collective Arturo Bandini, is only on view here in Marfa for a few more weeks, closing on May 29, 2016. Find updated images of the installation on Bandini’s website, and stay tuned for more information about their upcoming micro-exhibition, Dengue Fever, coming to the Ballroom Marfa courtyard on June 3 and on view until August 21. This upcoming program, also part of Ballroom’s ongoing After Effect exhibition, will include work from Kelly Akashi, Marten Elder, John Finneran, S. Gernsbacher, Drew Heitzler, Sarah Manuwal, Calvin Marcus, and Roni Shneior. Do Easy Art Do Easy Art recently spoke with Michael Dopp and Isaac Resnikoff of Arturo Bandini about “the origin of their collaboration and their aspirations for the two-part exhibition” …

Was the desert landscape a big influence on your curatorial decisions?

We used the curatorial premise of the show inside the main gallery space as our organizing principle. Although we did enjoy the idea of imagining our friends works out there in the Texas landscape.

How do the two shows connect to each other? Is the second show a denouement or does it play a counterbalancing role?

Maybe it’s counterbalancing? Mostly we wanted to be able to have two shows. To ephasize that Arturo Bandini functions as a gallery, not a singular installation. It also allowed us to include the works of more people we like. We came up with two shows both reflecting different types of landscape. The first one, Vapegoat Rising, is rock and fog, so it’s a desert show of sorts, but a foggy dessert. The second show is jungle. Dengue Fever, is denser and more colorful. The work is less austere.

Keep reading at Do Easy Art, and find Fredrik Nilsen’s documentation of Vapegoat Rising in our After Effect photo archive.