"Our Sin Was In Our Hips," by Dario Robleto, one of thirteen ArtPace-associated artists selected for the 2004 Whitney Biennial.
News and notes from the San Antonio art scene

Big Time

San Antonian Dario Robleto - known for creating densely meaningful sculptures from transformed mementos such as Civil War bullets and Motown records - is one of 13 ArtPace-associated artists featured in this year's Whitney Biennial. The exhibition, on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC March 11 through May 30, is considered a cutting-edge stamp of approval. This Biennial's curators are Chrissie Iles, Whitney curator of film and video; Shamim M. Momin, curator of the Whitney at Altria; and Debra Singer, associate curator of contemporary art. A new addition to the 72-year-old survey, the third annual $100,000 Bucksbaum Award, which includes an exhibition in the Whitney's Contemporary Series, will be announced during the Biennial.

Robleto, whose work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, among others, was also named one of 10 artists to watch in this year's Biennial by New York magazine.

"Hombre en Caja (Man in the Box)" by José Luis Cuevas, is among the works featured in an exhibition of modern masterpieces drawn from the Museo José Luis Cuevas, the personal collection of Mexico's enfant terrible of contemporary art. The show is on view at the Instituto de México, 600 Hemisfair Park, through April 11. Admission is free.
Robyn O'Neil, whose large-scale graphite on paper triptych drew a lot of positive attention during ArtPace's International Artist-in-Residence 03.3 `see "Drawing conclusions," November 27-December 3, 2003` was also among former ArtPace fellows selected for the 2004 Biennial, as was artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, whose Paradise Omeros and Baltimore screened at ArtPace this past winter. Observers of O'Neil's work are apt to say that they think her smaller drawings are stronger, but one of the strengths of the IAIR program is that it gives artists the opportunity to experiment with their medium and subjects - and sometimes fail.

Modern Memory

The University of Texas Press has just published a book documenting a recent exhibit of the same name, Make It New: The Rise of Modernism, at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin. Assembling images, short essays, and literary excerpts like an avid magpie, the book is an accessible guide to the art of the early 20th century. Including editor Kurt Heinzelmann and the writers Julian Barnes and Russell Banks commenting on the legacy of such seminal figures as Ezra Pound, Joseph Conrad, and Le Corbusier, it reads like rich but breezy clif notes to Peter Conrad's 1999 opus Modern Times, Modern Places.

Another worthwhile art read is UT Press' The Epitome of Desire, Robert Wilson's tale of Ray and Patsy Nasher, who assembled one of the world's great sculpture collections - including works by Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, and Brancusi - and built a center in Dallas so that the rewards of their riches could stay in the state where they made their money. Both books are available by calling 1-800-735-2989. •