A Boy From Texas
December 3 – December 9, 2019
Cristina Grajales Gallery in cooperation with Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present, A Boy From Texas, a solo exhibition of recent sculpture and design by Robert Wilson. With The Corning Museum of Glass, Wilson has developed an installation in blown and cast glass reflecting on nature, fragility, and rebirth, in memory of his childhood in Texas and early theater works and installations developed in rural America.
“As a boy, I never wanted the guns my father gave me, nor to go deer hunting with him. The only thing positive about the experience was that we would get up early in the morning and go out on our own to sit in a blind, waiting for a deer to appear. I always liked being alone, having this space, a place for my mind to have its own thoughts; perchance to dream. A boy from Texas.”
Renowned for his masterful use of light in theatrical productions across the world’s most important theaters, Wilson has often cited the expansive horizons of the Texas landscape as a source of inspiration for his stage environments. His earliest performance works were actions of extreme duration, “silent operas” with no words, few sounds, and slow, exacting movements: theatrical movement at the pace of nature.
A Boy From Texas is in part homage to the work of George Paul Thek, Wilson’s close friend and collaborator on early performances. Thek’s visionary installations were environments of fantasy and detritus constructed over a span of weeks by an ensemble of artists working collectively. Recurring in these installations was the motif of a stag as well as a room-sized “tomb” in the form of a truncated pyramid, envisioned by Thek as a site of rebirth and renewal.
A Boy From Texas presents an installation of cast truncated pyramids and hand-blown deer exquisitely fabricated by Corning Glass. The fragility of the translucent deer stands in counterpoint to the ancient geometry and seemingly infinite depth of the pyramids. This tension sustains them, like the sole inhabitants of an endless landscape.
Born in Waco, Texas, Wilson is among the world’s foremost theater and visual artists. His works for the stage unconventionally integrate a wide variety of artistic media, including dance, movement, lighting, sculpture, music, and text. After being educated at the University of Texas and Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, Wilson has been honored with numerous awards for excellence, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, two Premio Ubu awards, the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, and an Olivier Award. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the German Academy of the Arts, and holds 8 Honorary Doctorate degrees. France pronounced him Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (2003) and Officer of the Legion of Honor (2014); Germany awarded him the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (2014).
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