Dallas Museum of Art Gets First Pick at Dallas Art Fair With $100,000 Fund

The museum bought seven works by six artists.

Katherine Bradford, Prom Swim. Courtesy of the Dallas Art Fair.

For the second year, the Dallas Art Fair kicked things off by announcing the artworks purchased by the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) as part of the Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program, established in 2016.

The amount of funding, provided by donors, was doubled from $50,000 to $100,000 for the second go around, allowing the museum to walk away with seven artworks by six artists: Justin Adian, Katherine Bradford, Derek Fordjour (two works), Andrea Galvani, Summer Wheat, and Matthew Wong.

Making the decision took a group led by DMA senior curator Gavin Delahunty nearly all day ahead of the fair’s April 6 opening. “We have the privilege of putting our eyes on the artwork before anybody else,” he said at a press conference revealing the works, admitting that “we did have to make some tough decisions.”

Justin Adian, Level Land. Courtesy of Skarstedt.

Justin Adian, Level Land. Courtesy of Skarstedt.

He was joined by the conference by museum director Agustín Arteaga, fair cofounder John Sughrue, and Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Monica R. Alonzo, who pointed out that the fair had grown in scale to the point where Dallas Art Week has been rechristened Dallas Art Month. “All our art lovers and artists said mayor, ‘a week is not enough!'” she added.

“In Dallas, all year long it’s about art,” added Arteaga.

Adian, an artist based in nearby Fort Worth, Texas, was showing with first-time exhibitor Skarstedt, of New York and London. “Since he’s a local,” said Skarstedt partner Brady Doty to artnet News, “it made sense to do a show of his work along with David Salle, who had a show at the Dallas Contemporary two years ago.”

The DMA’s new piece, Levelland, is one of the artist’s works inspired by the area, and takes it name from Levelland, a city outside of Dallas.

Derek Fordjour, <em>No. 73</em>. Courtesy of Luce Gallery.

Derek Fordjour, No. 73. Courtesy of Luce Gallery.

Luce Gallery in Turin, Italy, sold two multimedia works by Fordjour, a Memphis-based artist of Ghanian heritage. The richly colored paintings feature oil pastel over layers of newsprint and cardboard, with an undercurrent informed by violence.

The other acquisitions included a striking photo of a plane breaking the sound barrier, by Galvani; Bread Winners, a painting by Wheat, the largest work joining the DMA collection; and Prom Swim by Bradford, who is also featured in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The first work agreed upon by the selection committee was Wong’s The West, shown by New York’s Karma Gallery.

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