Newsroom

Äppärät Champagne Tour Friday October 9 at 5pm

7 Oct 2015

Champagne Tour

As part of the Chinati Foundation’s Made in Marfa schedule of events over Chinati Weekend, Ballroom Marfa will host a tour of Äppärät, on Friday, October 9 at 5pm.

Curated by Tom Morton, Äppärät is a show about the mammalian hand, and the tools it touches, holds and uses. Taking its title from the name of a fictional, post-iPhone device at the center of Gary Shteyngart’s 2010 near-future novel Super Sad True Love Story, Äppärät is concerned with labor, play and the uncertain zone between the two; with the extension of the body, and the self, through technologies ancient and contemporary; with things (to borrow Martin Heidegger’s formulation) “present-at” and “ready-to” hand; with compulsion and with death.

Äppärät features 13 artists from across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, from major art historical figures to practitioners in the early phase of their careers, including Ed Atkins, Trisha Donnelly, Melvin Edwards, Cécile B. Evans, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Roger Hiorns, Sophie Jung, Lee Lozano, Marlie Mul, Damián Ortega, Charles Ray, Shimabuku, and Paul Thek.

The tour will be led by Ballroom Marfa Associate Curator Laura Copelin. Complimentary champagne will be served in the Ballroom Marfa shop.

Äppärät is on view through February 14, 2016. Read curator Tom Morton’s exhibition notes here.

Äppärät Opening Reception

6 Oct 2015

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Scenes from the September 25, 2015 opening reception for Äppärät. The event featured performance works from Sophie Jung and Roger Hiorns, and was followed by a DJ set by Mike Simonetti. Thanks to everyone who came out!

All photos by Alex Marks.

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Äppärätat Ballroom Marfa

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Äppärätat Ballroom Marfa

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Tobin Levy, Susan Sutton,  Caitlin Murray, Tim Johnson

Tobin Levy, Susan Sutton, Caitlin Murray, Tim Johnson

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa

Duncan Kennedy, Katherine Shaugnessy

Duncan Kennedy, Katherine Shaugnessy

Asa Merritt,   Gory Smelley

Asa Merritt, Gory Smelley

Sabrina Franzheim, Fairfax Dorn, Marc Glimcher

Sabrina Franzheim, Fairfax Dorn, Marc Glimcher

Adam Helms, Maria Julia Marometti, Mathew Day Jackson, Jenny Moore

Adam Helms, Maria Julia Marometti, Mathew Day Jackson, Jenny Moore

Desert Surf Films Photos

15 Sep 2015

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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.

Seven Years in the Making: Steve Earle Wrap-up

17 Jun 2015

Steve Earle, June 14, 2015. Photo by Alex Marks.

Steve Earle, June 14, 2015. Photo by Alex Marks.

Rainbow outside Steve Earle and The Dukes, June 14, 2015. Photo by Lesley Brown.

After seven years of trying, we were finally lucky enough to host the legendary Steve Earle and the Dukes in Marfa last Sunday, June 14, 2015. It was worth the wait. He played for two hours; the house was packed; it thunderstormed; and the most epic double rainbow of all time formed outside the theater, right before Steve played. Couldn’t ask for a better sign.

A huge thank you to Steve, the Dukes, Eleanor and Chris Masterson, his crew, all the wonderful people from far and wide who came to the show (we even had some folks from Japan!), and all the folks who took a risk on standing room tickets to join us (we think it worked out?). We also want to thank Matt & Mikelle Kruger, Ballroom Marfa members, and our ever-wonderful, ever-supportive friends at Big Bend Brewing Company, SAVED Wines, and the Crowley Theater.

Particular shoutout to our sound and light team — Rob Crowley, Gory Smelley, and Chris Hillen — and all the others who made it happen: Lesley Brown, Tim Crowley, JD DiFabbio, Hilary duPont, Cuca Flores, Liz Janoff, Mallory Jones, Vance Knowles, Marfa Public Radio, Alex Marks, Jose Martinez, Jeff Matheis, Tom Michael, Suzy Simon, and Jonathan Wyckoff. It’s a pleasure and gift to work with all of you.

In case you missed the show, check out the photos below, listen to the interview with Steve Earle over at Marfa Public Radio, and purchase the poster, designed by Mishka Westell, here.

Agnes Denes, The Living Pyramid

22 May 2015

Agnes Denes. Photo by Stefan Ruiz, courtesy of the New York Times.

Agnes Denes. Photo by Stefan Ruiz, courtesy of the New York Times.

In 2005, Earthwork artist Agnes Denes, known — according to Interview Magazine — for her “stunning and environmentally confrontational public works,” created her large-scale work Pyramids of Consciousness for Ballroom’s exhibition Treading Water. Three of the pyramids were filled with various substances –– clear water, oil, and polluted water from the Rio Grande. The fourth pyramid was a mirror that allowed viewers to see themselves, and consider their relationship to water and its current environmental concerns.

Last Sunday, Denes presented another large-scale pyramid project, The Living Pyramid, installed on the East River waterfront at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York. The work was created using several tons of soil and planted grasses, and stands 30 feet high and 30 feet wide with the city skyline as its backdrop. Visitors at the opening were invited to participate in planting wildflowers along the outside of the structure, contributing to the pyramid’s growth as it remains on view until August 30th.

In a May interview with Maika Pollack in Interview Magazine, Denes discusses the function of pyramids in her work, as well as the process for her other iconic works such as Wheatfield–A Confrontation (1982) (where she planted and harvested a wheat field on a landfill in lower Manhattan) and Tree Mountain-–A Living Time Capsule, a manmade forest she planted in a mathematical pattern in Ylöjärvi, Finland.

Sam Falls Limited Edition Vinyl from Ballroom Marfa

1 May 2015

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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.

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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.

Thank You + Marfa Myths Polaroids by Alex Marks

20 Mar 2015

We just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came out to Marfa Myths last weekend, and everyone who made it possible. The festival was beyond our wildest dreams, and we can’t believe it actually happened. We’ll be doing a proper wrap-up soon, and adding all the photos, from Alex Marks and Luis Nieto Dickens (our former intern [!] who traveled down to shoot for Oak NYC), but first we want to share these amazing Polaroids, taken by Alex Marks, part of our ongoing Polaroid portrait series. They kind of capture it all.

Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

Grouper by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14,   2015.

Grouper by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas,   March 14, 2015.

Co La by Alex Marks, Marfa,  Texas, March 14, 2015.

GABI by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas,    March 14, 2015.

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma by Alex Marks,  Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

Weyes Blood by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14,  2015.

Weyes Blood by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

Suicideyear by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas,   March 14, 2015.

Bitchin' Bajas by Alex Marks,   Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

Steve Gunn by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14,   2015.

Steve Gunn by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas,   March 14, 2015.

Gregg Kowalsky by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14,  2015.

Thug Entrancer by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

Tamaryn by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

Iceage by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas,  March 14, 2015.

Iceage by Alex Marks, Marfa, Texas, March 14, 2015.

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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

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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.