There’s still a couple of weeks left for a summer getaway by the time
this issue hits stands. Following the trends of North Texans in June and
July, that final vacation might lead you to the mountains in Aspen or Vail,
Italy for Venice Biennale, a culinary trip stateside or abroad, or maybe
you’re among the sojourners who head to East Hampton like our new
friends Anne and John Mullen. A distinguished area, renowned for the
Abstract Expressionist painters who lived there (the most famous of which
were Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner), the Mullens led us to pursue just
how deep this Hamptons connection is with North Texas.
Without any research at all we already knew Abstract Expressionists
Willem and Elaine de Kooning (most renowned for her figurative work)
lived and worked in the Hamptons. Patron had featured the former de
Kooning studio, now owned by Dallas Art Fair’s Chris Byrne, in our fall
fashion coverage in 2014. And we knew that both Southern Methodist
University grads, John Alexander and Dan Rizzie, have places there too.
What we didn’t know was that the Mullens, who spend half of the year
right on the beach in their Springs home, have been instrumental in
founding the Brooks Park Heritage Project—as in artists Charlotte Park
and James Brooks. Both were Abstract Expressionists, the latter another
SMU grad with works in the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection. Steve
Carter takes us inside the art-laden home of Ann and John Mullen and
fills us in on their role as preservationists in Artful Islanders. Nearby, Chris
Byrne has converted Elaine de Kooning’s aforementioned studio into
an artist’s residency program. Justine Ludwig brings us up to speed on
Dallas-based artist Jason Willaford’s summer stay at the residency to create
works for his September show at Dallas Contemporary. Rounding out the
connection, Chris Byrne filled us in on an exhibit of Elaine de Kooning’s
work on view through January at the National Portrait Gallery—alas the
museum is not in the Hamptons, but certainly a quick one-hour flight to
see this important artist’s work, including the likeness of John F. Kennedy
for which she is so famously known.
Summer has been a busy time for arts writer Steve Carter. In our cover
story, Steve caught up with fine art photographer Laura Wilson in between
her own summer trips. Seventy-one of her poignant photographs depicting
“hard-bitten” and “fiercely independent” communities of the West will be
on view at the Amon Carter Museum in September in her self-titled exhibit
That Day: Laura Wilson. Steve takes us inside the artist’s home studio.
This issue is also packed with great design finds in eight pages of Space.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Lee Cullum’s story on Donald
Fowler and his upcoming musical Creep. Several years ago Donald told
me: “I’m writing a musical.” It was one of those times when you nod your
head, knowing your friend is very talented but you’re not quite sure their
dreams will come to fruition. All doubts aside, Donald went on to scribe
said musical for a world premiere at Water Tower Theatre in October. See
you in the front row.
– Terri Provencal
Publisher / Editor in Chief
August / September 2015