Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Ballroom’s 2016 Benefit Auction is LIVE!

4 Nov 2016

Rashid Johnson The Crowd, 2016

Rashid Johnson
The Crowd, 2016

As part of our upcoming New York Gala honoring David Byrne and Jill Soloway, Ballroom Marfa and Paddle8 invite you to join us for an in-person and online benefit auction. Online bidding begins TODAY, Friday November 4, 2016, and closes at 10pm on Monday November 14. Bidding on select works will conclude as part of the live auction at the November 14 New York Gala. For details on specific lots, please visit Paddle8. The auction features works by John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Tara Donovan, Sam Falls, Loie Hollowell, Rashid Johnson, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha, Yutaka Sone, Leo Villareal, Mary Weatherford, and more. See full list of available auction items by clicking here. All proceeds from the auction will support Ballroom Marfa as we continue to produce ambitious exhibitions; commission extraordinary works that are site-specific and site-inspired; enable profound cultural happenings and connections; and share the landscape of the Big Bend with a diversity of artists and musicians.
Larry Bell SF 6.16.12A, 2012

Larry Bell
SF 6.16.12A, 2012

Loie Hollowell Lingam Twist in Red and Green, 2016

Loie Hollowell
Lingam Twist in Red and Green, 2016

Mary Weatherford Union Avenue, 2012

Mary Weatherford
Union Avenue, 2012

Leo Villareal Target, 2016

Leo Villareal
Target, 2016

Michael Dopp Untitled, 2016

Michael Dopp
Untitled, 2016

Sam Falls Untitled (Absentee 2), 2013 Sam Falls
Untitled (Absentee 2),

Desert Surf Films Photos

15 Sep 2015


Images from the first Desert Surf Films program at Ballroom Marfa, held on the weekend of August 28-29, 2015. The program featured screenings the visionary ’70s surf features Morning of the Earth (1971) and Crystal Voyager (1973) alongside short films by Sam Falls and Joe Zorrilla, and Ian Lewis.

More high desert surf vibes can be found in Stay Golden, a Desert Surf ‘zine designed and edited by Hilary duPont, Liz Janoff and Ian Lewis. It includes contributions from Daniel Chamberlin, Joshua Edwards, Sam Falls, Rae Anna Hample, Nicki Ittner, Tim Johnson, Eileen Myles, Caitlin Murray, Brandon Shimoda, and more. Check it out in the Ballroom Marfa shop.

All photos by Lesley Brown of Marfalite Studios.

Sam Falls Limited Edition Vinyl from Ballroom Marfa

1 May 2015


Created in collaboration with a group of musicians, this limited edition, blue-marbled vinyl stems from a sound piece by Sam Falls, which plays on a loop in Ballroom Marfa’s gallery as part of his 2015 solo exhibition. The limited edition record features a woman’s voice repeating the word “now” alongside simple chords played by four musicians. The LP that plays in the exhibition contains a thin metal strip that causes the record to skip, creating an original composition with each rotation. This sound work speaks to another work in the show, Falls’ video piece Untitled (Now), where he continuously writes the word ‘now’ into sand with a stick before it gets repeatedly washed away by waves at the ocean shore. Roshe Run For Womens
Together the works reflect the artist’s interest in capturing the passage of time and its elements, providing viewers with various mediums in which to consider the present.

Sam Falls
Untitled (Now, record), 2015
12” Vinyl LP with turntable and speakers
17 x 13 x 5 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Ballroom Marfa
Photo © Fredrik Nilsen

“I wanted to visualize how we can see or hear time as it passes to be reminded of its unified past, present, and future; every moment is ‘now,’ or will be ‘now,’ or was ‘now.’ ‘Now’ is a temporal shifter as I see it, and so these works regenerate the word to inform the moment both as specific and as the works progress elliptically ‘now’ becomes abstracted and wholly representational.” — Excerpt from Sam Falls artist statement

Click here to read more in the Ballroom Marfa shop. See more of our limited editions here.

An Artist Statement from Sam Falls

25 Feb 2015

Video still from Untitled (Now), 2014

Video still from Untitled (Now), 2014

A solo exhibition of Falls’ work will open at Ballroom Marfa on March 13, 2015.

This show comes from a few different ideas and places, one of which is the influence of Donald Judd and Marfa. It was my second trip to Marfa that struck me most, the unchanging nature of the place and sculptures, and while my own work has always been informed by minimal aesthetics and continues to be, the element I knew I wanted to incorporate, especially with my sculpture was change. This change has entered my work through incorporating the environment, so that the art reflects time and place, rather than denying or defying it. The reciprocal object exposed to time and environment beyond the artwork is the viewer. The piece which most readily responds to all these issues is the outdoor sculpture made from a 1984 Ford Ranger. When I moved from New York to California in 2011 I bought a new Ford Ranger, so in conceiving this sculpture I first wanted to find the same model truck from the year I was born. The truck had at some point been repainted red from its original tan color, and as humans regenerate their skin cells every seven years, I reversed the process on the truck and had it sandblasted in a random patter down to tan lines and then all the way to steel. Some of the panels of the truck were clear-coated to preserve the visible “skins” of the truck, while others are left to rust in the elements, exposed. The “life” of the truck was removed and repurposed with a new life, substituting the engine block with a marble block and potted cactuses, and the truck bed became a soil bed of succulents native to southern North America. As the copper pots of the cacti oxidize they’ll leave their mark on the white marble, and the succulents inside the truck and in the bed will take on the heart and purpose of the machine, growing with the environment and viewers.

The works on linen in the show were hand dyed on-site in Marfa and left outside to fade in the sunlight, creating images that were masked out by minimal shapes in pictographic images from the ancient Chinese tangram game. The idea came to fruition when reading Judd’s 1994 essay Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular, namely near the end when he states:

“Color of course can be an image or a symbol, as is the peaceful blue and white, often combined with olive drab, but these are no longer present in the best art. By definition, images and symbols are made by institutions. A pair of colors that I knew of as a child in Nebraska was red and black, which a book said was the “favorite” of the Lakota. In the codices of the Maya, red and black signify wisdom and are the colors of scholars.”

I had already begun working with the tangram puzzles but not found the perfect situation for their form. I wanted to use the images on the fabric and then create tables with the game pieces in their resting assembled rectangular form. I was always interested in the divide between Judd’s furniture and artwork, how the designs were quite similar but separated by space and function. In this work the tables function first as productive tools for the artwork, and then secondarily as furniture. I also wanted to mix the media, using some industrial materials that would weather (copper and bronze), along with more static and classical material (marble). The quote above led me to take interest in the history of tangrams and source Chinese marble for the project, while also using the colors red and black in a site specific homage to Judd. The other works on linen are also durational and natural “photograms” which came about in Marfa after seeing the cattle fences everywhere, the grid appearing even out in the middle of the country. I wanted to work with something so familiar to rural Texas as well as the aesthetics of art history, an American theme ever-present in everyday life, its representation, and its abstraction.

Sam Falls at Fondazione Giuliani Gallery

20 Feb 2015

Sam Falls
Untitled, 2014; works in progress, artist’s studio, Los Angeles

A solo exhibition of recent work by Sam Falls opened last week at Fonazione Giuliani gallery in Rome, Italy. The show, on view until April 18th, combines natural elements, such as the moon and the tides, with time-based art practices, highlighting our relationship to what Falls describes as the “gravitational pull of life.”

He presents a series of ‘Moon artworks’ created by dripping wax onto images of the moon in different phases to create prints illustrating its cycle and the residue of the candles he used in the full time they took to burn. He also exhibits new ‘Helium pieces,’ which display helium in two different physical states; one as seen through electric light and another in balloon form. In his statement he describes the helium works and their relationship to the larger conceptual threads throughout the show:

“Most excitingly, the electricity lets us see the color of helium and the balloon gives it form, it is truly representational and quite abstract – I don’t know which one tips the scale and this back and forth gives the work its gravity. The forms of the glass are line tracings of the sides of my family and friends, myself, my dogs. The works show the microcosm of aging; buoyed up in the beginning, full of energy and life, dropping down to a perfect state with time, then eventually resting on the ground, deflated. What has been continues to burn and the balloons serve as a memory of what was.”

Read more at Fondazione Giuliani. A solo exhibition by Falls will open here at Ballroom Marfa on March 13, 2015.

Sam Falls: Light Over Time

16 Feb 2015

Sam Falls: Light Over Time from Public Art Fund on Vimeo.

Artist Sam Falls is known for experimenting with the effects of rainwater and sunlight on different materials throughout his process. He’s left canvases out in the rain, layered UV-protected pigments on metallic surfaces, and placed hand-dyed fabrics in naturally sunlit environments, such as an isolated hillside in Joshua Tree, California, for several months. A solo exhibition of Falls work will open at Ballroom Marfa on March 13, 2015.

In Light Over Time, presented by the Public Art Fund, a series of Falls’ public art sculptures exhibited in Downtown Brooklyn’s Metro Tech courtyard are completed by natural elements; they fade or change color with sunlight, and can be altered by the weather or interactions with passersby.

In Untitled (Thermochromic bench), a blue and purple bench made of glass responds to body heat, leaving colored imprints where visitors sit or children climb. Another sculpture, Untitled (Wind chimes), rings from strong gusts of wind or when its chimes are pushed back and forth. In Untitled (Scales), seesaw-like sculptures change position as the geometric forms on either end collect varying amounts of rainwater.

Two other works, Untitled (Light rooms) and Untitled (Maze), require viewers to walk inside or through them for the full experience, as their colors shift in relation to natural light. In Untitled (Maze), in particular, coated aluminum panels have been selectively painted with protective UV paint so that parts of the sculpture will fade from sun exposure, revealing new layers of color beneath.

The Maze and title of the exhibition also reference a previous work by Sam Falls: a Light Over Time screen-printed accordion book from 2012. Encased in a light-sensitive, aluminum sculpture which looks like a miniature version of the forms in Untitled (Maze), the book was intended to be placed on a windowsill or sunlit table. As Falls writes, “Together the book and the sculpture show light over time, one by hand and one by the sun”––a concept further realized in the interactive and duration-based features of this year’s large-scale Light Over Time installation.

Sam Falls: Light Over Time will be on view in the Metro Tech courtyard through May 29, 2015. The artist’s self-titled solo exhibition opens here at Ballroom Marfa on March 13, and will be on view through August 16, 2015. Visit our event page for more information.

Sam Falls and Los Angeles: City of Art

18 Dec 2014


LIGHT MOVES | Artist Sam Falls with his dog, Penelope, in the north end of his Glendale, Calif., studio. Photography by Jesse Chehak for WSJ. Magazine.

Artist Sam Falls contributes to a conversation with the Wall Street Journal about L.A.’s steadily growing art scene and the Southland’s laid-back vibes. A solo exhibition from Falls will open at Ballroom Marfa this coming March.

From The Wall Street Journal:

“The pace here is more organic,” says Sam Falls as he walks through his current exhibition at the gallery. His pieces—large negative silhouettes created in part by leaving foliage (ferns, palm fronds) on raw canvas out in the rain—are big, ambitious and all about process. He works on some of the larger-scale projects from several spaces, including a converted knitting factory in Glendale and a parking lot near Pomona. “You can get to the next level of your work in a more fluid way here,” says Falls. “Art needs to be incubative…[People] move to New York to become artists with a capital A. Not here,” says Sam Falls. Sure, there is an art market, and there are openings and power players, but there is a welcoming, communal vibe to it all. “I see making my art as almost a blue-collar job.

Ballroom Marfa 2014 Benefit Auction Preview Now on Artsy!

4 Nov 2014

Sam Falls : Ballrom 2014 Auction
Sam Falls
Untitled (California Palm Rubbing 10), 2014
colored pencil on paper
24 × 18 in
61 × 45.7 cm
Courtesy of the artist; Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich

As we make the final preparations for our 2014 NYC Benefit Gala on November 10 as the Prince George Ballroom, we’d like to draw your attention to some of the works that are included in the benefit auction. Artsy, the leading resource for art collecting and education, will host the online auction preview. Bidding on lots will launch on November 4, at 12 PM ET and will close on Artsy on November 10 at 3 PM, at which point bids for all lots will be transferred and executed at the event.

Click here to view on Artsy.

For more information, contact Artsy’s Tania Cavallo at 914.484.6409 or [email protected].

New Work By Sam Falls In Brooklyn

16 Jul 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 4.58.37 PM

New work by artist Sam Falls (who will be having a solo show at Ballroom in 2015) will soon be on view at the MetroTech Commons in downtown Brooklyn presented by the Public Art Fund. The exhibition, Sam Falls: Light Over Time will open on July 29th and will be up until May 29th, 2015.

From the press release:

Sam Falls: Light Over Time is a major installation for MetroTech Commons featuring five new artworks that encourage visitor participation as they explore the effects of the natural environment and time. Several of the pieces on view—like a seesaw, wind chimes, and a bench—will seem familiar to any park visitor, however, Falls has transformed the function and form of these traditional objects. His experiential works invite visitors to see the sculptures both as works of art and usable objects, inspiring a sense of curiosity, discovery, and exploration.

For more info go to the Public Art Fund‘s website.

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