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The Menil Collection presents Tacita Dean: "Blind Folly" opening day

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Photo courtesy of The Menil Collection

The Menil Collection presents "Tacita Dean: Blind Folly,, the first major museum survey in the United States of work by the British European visual artist Tacita Dean, who lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles. The exhibition, organized in close collaboration with Dean, spotlights her career-defining approach to creating art through unmediated and chance-based drawing processes across a variety of mediums, from film to printmaking.

The show’s title reflects Dean’s desire to let the behavior of her mediums dictate the results of her work. For the artist, the playful British phrase connoting foolishness, “blind folly,” represents her trust in the role chance and fate play in the creative act. She has said that her process is about “how to find by not looking.”

The exhibition will include Dean’s monumental blackboard drawings about the fragility of nature. For example, a melting iceberg and an avalanche rendered in white chalk comprise her series of monumental works depicting the collapsing earth, inspired by sublime narratives found in Romantic painting.

Equally awe-inspiring are Dean’s large-scale “portraits” of trees. In these sprawling drawings on photographic prints, she surrounds cherry blossoms, Jacarandas, and ancient oaks in hand drawn marks. Her drawings of lightning made with carbon paper and cloud formations on Victorian-era slates, will also be displayed, along with groups of rarely shown drawings from her studio on paper, found postcards, and albumen photographs.

A separate gallery presents a rotating group of her 16mm films, showcasing how she conceives the analogue medium as “drawing with light.” Among them will be Dean’s newest film, Claes Oldenburg draws Blueberry Pie, 2023. Together, the selection spans Dean’s more than three-decade-long career and represents her work’s defining themes and subjects related to obsolescence, environmental fragility, and the struggle of the creative process.

The exhibit will be on display through April 20, 2025.

The Menil Collection presents "Tacita Dean: Blind Folly,, the first major museum survey in the United States of work by the British European visual artist Tacita Dean, who lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles. The exhibition, organized in close collaboration with Dean, spotlights her career-defining approach to creating art through unmediated and chance-based drawing processes across a variety of mediums, from film to printmaking.

The show’s title reflects Dean’s desire to let the behavior of her mediums dictate the results of her work. For the artist, the playful British phrase connoting foolishness, “blind folly,” represents her trust in the role chance and fate play in the creative act. She has said that her process is about “how to find by not looking.”

The exhibition will include Dean’s monumental blackboard drawings about the fragility of nature. For example, a melting iceberg and an avalanche rendered in white chalk comprise her series of monumental works depicting the collapsing earth, inspired by sublime narratives found in Romantic painting.

Equally awe-inspiring are Dean’s large-scale “portraits” of trees. In these sprawling drawings on photographic prints, she surrounds cherry blossoms, Jacarandas, and ancient oaks in hand drawn marks. Her drawings of lightning made with carbon paper and cloud formations on Victorian-era slates, will also be displayed, along with groups of rarely shown drawings from her studio on paper, found postcards, and albumen photographs.

A separate gallery presents a rotating group of her 16mm films, showcasing how she conceives the analogue medium as “drawing with light.” Among them will be Dean’s newest film, Claes Oldenburg draws Blueberry Pie, 2023. Together, the selection spans Dean’s more than three-decade-long career and represents her work’s defining themes and subjects related to obsolescence, environmental fragility, and the struggle of the creative process.

The exhibit will be on display through April 20, 2025.

WHEN

WHERE

The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross St, Houston, TX 77006, USA
https://www.menil.org/exhibitions/379-tacita-dean-blind-folly

TICKET INFO

Admission is free.

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