|In the Meadows: Recent Sculpture, Drawings and Prints of James
The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University will present In the
Meadows: Recent Sculpture, Drawings and Prints of James Surls from January
24April 20, 2003.
The exhibition will showcase more than 50 works executed within the past
several years by Surls, an internationally renowned Texas artist best known
for his dramatic large-scale sculptures. Eighteen such pieces, ranging from
4 to 28 feet high, will be among the works featured, most of them created
especially for the Meadows Museum exhibition. Also included will be 15 smaller
maquettes, two wall-sized installation drawings and approximately 20 additional
prints and drawings, several of which are preparatory sketches for his sculptures.
The works will be displayed both inside the museum and outdoors on the museum
Working primarily in wood and steel, Surls creates colossal pieces incorporating
images of flowers, needles, houses, diamonds, knives and eyes. His works
symbolize the many forces of naturemale and female, vertical and horizontal,
open and closed, rough and smooth, active and passive.
Three public lectures and a Family Day event will be held at the museum
in conjunction with the exhibition. James Surls will present a gallery talk
on his work at 12:15 p.m. on the exhibition's opening day, Friday, Jan.
24, and a lecture titled "Art: The Search for Self" at 7 p.m. on Thursday,
Jan. 30. Ted Pillsbury, CEO of Pillsbury and Peters Fine Art in Dallas and
former director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, will give a gallery
talk at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 4, examining Surls' work in a historical
and artistic context and highlighting the artist's contributions to the
genre of modern sculpture.
On Sunday, Apr. 6, from 1-4 p.m., the museum will host a Family Day with
live entertainment, storytelling, sketching in the galleries, studio art
activities and docent-guided tours. A highlight of Family Day will be a
dance performance incorporating Surls' large outdoor sculpture, presented
by students at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts. The lectures and Family
Day are free and open to the public.
James Surls was born in Terrell, Texas in 1943. He received a B.S. from
Sam Houston State College in Huntsville, Texas and an M.F.A. from the Cranbrook
Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He taught sculpture at Southern
Methodist University from 19701975, then moved to Houston and taught
at the University of Houston until 1982. For many years, he maintained a
home and studio in Splendora, north of Houston; in 1997 he moved to Basalt,
Colorado. Surls has exhibited in both national and international solo and
group exhibitions. His works are included in collections of major museums
across the U.S., including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and
the Whitney Museum of Art in New York; The Smithsonian Institution in Washington,
D.C.; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the
Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth; The Museum of Fine Art in Houston; and
the Dallas Museum of Art, among others.
In the Meadows concludes the museum's year-long "Celebration of Sculpture,"
which included an exhibition of silver sculptures from Mexico, Jun. 30Aug.
25, 2002, and a show of sculpture and drawings by James W. Sullivan, Sept.
15Dec. 8, 2002. "Celebration of Sculpture" is made possible in part
by a gift from The Meadows Foundation. The Meadows Museum will publish a
retrospective of James Surls' life and work in spring 2003. The book will
include an interview with the artist by Dr. P. Gregory Warden, interim director
of the Meadows Museum, and images of the In the Meadows exhibition.