Plan Your Vote


New Growth: Now Open!

10 Mar 2013



More photos to come next week … thx to Rob Crowley for these teasers.

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Anam The Good Muslim: Bangladeshi Islam, Secularism and the Tablighi Jamaat.
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Post-Growth: The Rest of Your Marfa Weekend

8 Mar 2013

It might seem like all of the heat is happening on Friday night, but rest assured that your Marfa weekend lasts long past cleaning your plate at the community dinner …

• Early risers can join Rashid Johnson for an exhibition walk-through at Ballroom Marfa on Saturday, March 9, at 11:30am. The video above from a walk-through of his solo exhibition, Message To Our Folks, at the Miami Art Museum suggests the sort of in-depth background on offer.

Binder Gallery opens its doors March 2/8/9 from 12-5PM. Featuring new work from Marfa-based artist Sam Schonzeit as well as recent paintings from Robert Terry and “unique digital prints from tumblr glitches” by John Pomara.

• Meanwhile, down at Fort D.A. Russell the Chinati Foundation is offering self-guided visits during the following hours, Wednesday through Sunday: from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM the 15 outdoor works in concrete will be accessible, and from 2:00 – 4:00 PM the two former artillery sheds, housing Judd’s 100 works in mill aluminum, will be open. For more information visit

• Sunday afternoon from 2-6p is your four hour window of opportunity to receive a $15 spirit guide reading from local clairvoyant Daeryl Holzer at FREDA:

Rashid Johnson’s Courtyard Installation

7 Mar 2013

Largest Courtyard Installation in Ballroom History from Ballroom Marfa on Vimeo.

A time-lapse video of the Valley Irrigation crew setting up a central pivot irrigation system in the courtyard — the largest installation in Ballroom’s 10-year history — for Rashid Johnson’s New Growth solo exhibition. Video by Yoseff Ben-Yehuda.

Listen to Ballroom Director Fairfax Dorn’s conversation with the Brooklyn-based artist this Friday at 10am on Marfa Public Radio’s Talk at Ten program. Then join us for the opening reception and community dinner starting at 6pm on Friday evening. An exhibition walkthrough with Johnson takes place on Saturday. Find full details at the New Growth page.

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Recent Jams from Hamiet Bluiett and Kahil El’Zabar

6 Mar 2013

On October 5, 2006, the World Saxophone Quartet, led by legendary baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett, played this intense set at Lovejoy High School in the town in Illinois where Bluiett attended school six decades before.

Kahil El’Zabar and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, delivering a righteous percussive workout in 2005 at Teatro Fondamenta Nuove in Venice, Italy.

Bluiett performs with El’Zabar at the opening reception of Rashid Johnson’s New Growth, 8 March 2013, at Ballroom Marfa. Hear more music from the two icons this Friday morning at 10:30a, right after Ballroom Executive Director Fairfax Dorn’s conversation with Johnson on KRTS Marfa’s Talk at Ten.

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Tom Morton on Rashid Johnson: Infinite Blackness

4 Mar 2013

The Moment of Creation, 2011
Mirrored tile, black soap, wax, vinyl, CB radio, plant, books, oyster shells, shea butter, books, space rocks, ink jet photograph on glass
182.9 x 335.3 x 29.8 cm / 72 x 132 x 11 3/4 in

Recommended reading from Parkett 90: Infinite Blackness by Tom Morton of magazine. An excerpt:

Johnson’s sculptures, photographs, and videos proceed through reference and sheer density of information. His best-known works, shelf-like wall pieces such as Wanted (2011), gather together found items that allude variously to African American intellectual history, pop culture, the anointing of the skin, the free circulation of ideas, and the unstable stuff of value. Stacked books are a regular feature, here, their titles (The Souls of Black Folk, Death by Black Hole, Time Flies) and prominent African American authors (sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the complicatedly conservative comedian Bill Cosby) speaking of whole explosive cosmoses contained within their covers, like energy packed in a hydrogen atom. LP sleeves are also common, including artists like the psychedelic funk outfit Parliament and soul singer turned pastor Al Green. Shea butter is also common—the substance is derived from the African shea nut that is used in moisturizers and cosmetics, in Johnson’s work it recalls Joseph Beuys’ magically charged measures of fat. Houseplants also appear on the shelves, alongside CB radios and ordinary stones transformed into “space rocks” by a coat of gold spray paint. Taken together, we might imagine these things as agents of change. By their grace, a mind is expanded, and a soul gladdened. Rough skin is softened, and carbon dioxide transformed into oxygen. A silence is broken, and dull geology gleams and glitters.

Keep reading, via Hauser & Wirth.

Rashid Johnson’s Shea Butter Has Arrived

26 Feb 2013


“You could listen to the Blakey album while you’re putting on shea butter and reading the Ellis Cose book. Maybe you would kind of understand how I came to make it. Because that’s how I made it, by listening to the album, reading the book and y’know, putting on shea butter which I kind of consistently do throughout the day, which is why my skin is so soft.”

Rashid Johnson discussing his work The End of Anger, 2012 in an interview with the BBC. Click below to watch the full interview.

On Location With Rashid Johnson

12 Feb 2013



On location at the Marfa shoot for Rashid Johnson‘s video work, set to debut at his New Growth solo exhibition at Ballroom Marfa on 8 March 2013.

From left to right: Samuel Lee Roberts (dancer), Rashid Johnson (artist), Erin Kimmel (Associate Curator), Alex Ernst (Assistant to Rashid Johnson) and Robert Davis (Rashid Johnson Studio Fabricator).

Rashid Johnson on Wikipedia; Rita Ackermann on Hauser & Wirth

11 Feb 2013

Rashid Johnson New Growth

If you’re looking to read up on Rashid Johnson before New Growth opens here at Ballroom on March 8, perhaps his Wikipedia page is not the best place to start. As Glasstire reported from Johnson’s talk at the Art Aspen Preview Party this past August,

It was kind of odd to see Johnson introduced as a “post-black” artist. The notion perhaps came from his Wikipedia entry, which he immediately dismissed, saying as he started “whoever wrote my Wikipedia entry is totally wrong.”

So perhaps your time will be better spent curled up with one of the many PDFs available from the artist’s press archives at the Hauser & Wirth or David Kordansky Gallery websites. Ian Bourland’s “The Brother from Another Planet” [PDF] seems like a good place to start.

And speaking of Hauser & Wirth, Vulture has a profile of their new West Chelsea gallery space in which former Chinati artist-in-residence Rita Ackermann offers the following assessment of the organization’s frank approach to art dealing:

“You can be a great artist but still make really horrible decisions,” says Ackermann, who felt that, when she met Marc Payot, the also-Swiss head of Hauser & Wirth in New York, “it was the first time in my life when I had spoken honestly and completely with a dealer.” Payot tells her, she says, “This is a better one, that is a worse one, that is a piece of shit.”

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Tumbler IRL

7 Feb 2013


Fearless cinematographer Rod Lamborn captures Alvin Ailey dancer Samuel Lee Roberts tumbling through the Far West Texas landscape on the shoot for Rashid Johnson‘s upcoming video. The yet-to-be-titled short film is set to premiere as part of Johnson’s solo exhibition New Growth, opening 8 March 2013 at Ballroom Marfa.