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Four Texas Painters

Wednesday, May 02, 1984–Wednesday, May 30, 1984

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Artists: Linda Blackburn, Derek Boshier, Melissa Miller, and Randy Twaddle

The state of Texas has recently blossomed into a vital regional art center. Gathering together large paintings and works on paper, the exhibition Four Texas Painters introduces artists Linda Blackburn, Derek Boshier, Melissa Miller, and Randy Twaddle to Chicago. These four artists share narrative orientations and techniques that combine the bold and the painstaking – characteristics that make their work especially relevant to a Chicago audience, since Chicago art of the same time demonstrated similar tendencies towards an aggressive visual approach and personal and narrative content. 

In large canvas arenas, Austin-based artist Melissa Miller’s bears, tigers and other magnificent beasts dramatize elemental confrontations and the 20th-century human condition. Miller, who had not thus far exhibited in Chicago, was chosen for the 1983 Whitney Biennial and was featured at the 1984 Venice Biennale.

The transplanted Englishman, Derek Boshier, responded to the “wilds” of Houston as only a contemporary of David Hockney could. He offers humorous comment on David Bowie, corporate boardrooms, the cowboy and other subjects through a parade of large, bright, thickly painted canvases and small drawings and prints. 

Linda Blackburn, a painter from Fort Worth, sifted through art history and popular culture to create her personal pastiches, in which she draws from Cubism, cartoons, Roman wall paintings and other sources. Within these pastiches she injects personal, introspective meanings into widely known cultural signs.

Randy Twaddle’s aggressively tactile, multi-paneled, monochrome paintings juxtapose the cross, the wedding couple, the blindfolded golfer, and the chain-link fence. This Dallas artist explores the shifting significance of such symbols in art and contemporary life.

Four Texas Painters will be accompanied by a lecture on Texas art by Forth Worth art critic Susan Freudenheim. Freudenheim, former curator at the Fort Worth Art Museum, selected the works in Four Texas Painters.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

Four Texas Painters is supported by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Art and Design’s College of Architecture, Art and Urban Planning.

This exhibition was also funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Linda Blackburn, Derek Boshier, Melissa Miller, Randy Twaddle
Four Texas Painters

Gallery 400
Chicago, IL
May 2–26, 1984

Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 2, 1984, 5–7 pm
Curator Lecture by Susan Freundenheim: Wednesday, May 2, 1984, 4 pm

Texas has recently come of age as a vital regional art center. Gathering together large paintings and works on paper. Gallery 400 introduces four Texas painters to Chicago. Linda Blackburn, Derek Boshier, Melissa Miller and Randy Twaddle share narrative orientations and techniques combining the bold and the pain-staking. Significantly, Chicago art exhibits similar tendencies toward an aggressive visual approach and personal and narrative content.

In large canvas arenas, Austin artist Melissa Miller’s bears, tigers and other magnificent beasts dramatize elemental confrontations and the 20th-century human condition. Miller, who has not thus far exhibited in Chicago, was chosen for the 1983 Whitney Biennial and will be featured at this summer’s Venice Biennale.

The transplanted Englishman, Derek Boshier, responds to the “wilds” of Houston as only a contemporary of David Hockney could. He offers humorous comment on David Bowie, corporate board rooms, the cowboy and other subjects through a parade of large, bright, thickly painted canvases and small drawings and prints.

Linda Blackburn, Fort Worth painter, searches through art history and popular culture. Her personal pastiches drawing from Cubism, cartoons, Roman wall paintings and other sources, infuse personal, introspective meanings into widely known cultural signs.

Randy Twaddle’s aggressively tactile, multi-panelled, monochrome paintings juxtapose the cross, the wedding couple, the blindfolded golfer, the chain-link fence. This Dallas artist explores the shifting significance of such symbols in art and contemporary life.

Susan Freudenheim, critic from Fort Worth, will lecture on Texas art Wednesday, May 2 at 4 p.m. in Gallery 400. Freudenheim, former curator at the Fort Worth Art Museum, selected the works in Four Texas Painters.

This exhibition funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

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Postcard: Four Texas Painters

CURATOR BIOGRAPHY

Susan Freudenheim HeadshotSusan Freudenheim, former curator at the Forth Worth Art Museum, recently curated New Talent in Texas, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. She is also a contributing editor to Texas Homes Magazine and free-lance art critic for publications including Art in America, Dallas Observer, Art and Auction, and Art and Architecture. Freudenheim received a BA from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; and an MA from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Melissa Miller Head ShotMelissa Miller (born 1951) lives and works in Austin, and is currently teaching at Laguna Gloria Art Museum School. She pushes beyond traditional portrayals of animals, obscuring facile symbolic interpretations with parody, humor, and narrative – consciously anthropomorphic, serving as allegories of human behavior. Miller has held solo exhibitions at the Amarillio Art Center, Amarillo; Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and Texas Gallery, Houston. She received a BFA from the University of New Mexico.

Linda Blackburn Head ShotLinda Backburn (born 1941) lives and works in Fort Worth Texas, where she is currently teaching painting at Mule Alley, a co-operative art center. She has held solo exhibitions at Ralph Carr Gallery, Fort Worth; Texas Christian University, Forth Worth; and Mattingly Baker Gallery, Dallas. She received a BA from The University of Texas, Austin; and an MA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Derek Boshier Head Shot1Derek Boshier (born 1937) lives and works in Houston where he is currently teaching in the Department of Art at University of Houston. He has held solo exhibitions throughout Houston at the Graham Gallery, Contemporary Arts Museum, Robin Cronin Gallery, and Texas Gallery; as well as internationally in London, Cardiff, Brussels, Munich, and Paris; in addition to numerous group shows. He received a BA from the Yeovil School of Art, Royal College of Art, London.

Randy Twaddle Head ShotWhile repeating only a small group of emblems and restricting himself to a black-and-white palette, Dallas-based artist Randy Twaddle (born 1957) has been able to heighten contrasts among his subjects by experimenting widely with surfaces, textures ranging from hard-edged to loose and thick. Maintaining a careful balance of form and content, the paintings are consistently ingenious though not naïve, simple but not simplistic, and expressive yet never facile. He received a BFA from Northwest Missouri State University.