Lisa Cooley and her husband are both natives of
Texas, and those deep roots give her a unique perspec-
tive with regard to the Art Fair. She is proud of her
long history with the area and says, “In the last 15 years
I’ve spent a lot of time in Dallas and Fort Worth. Both
the Modern in Fort Worth and the DMA are very im-
portant to me. Museums aren’t able to grow and do
the exquisite things they do without avid collectors.”
She adds that she’s acquainted with what it’s like to live
in a city that’s not a central hub for art, like New York
or Los Angeles. Cooley notes, “The psychology is dif-
ferent when there’s less to go around. Commitments
really stand out. It makes me want to go to Dallas and
be there and build relationships. It’s a very personal
She also notes that North Texas offers an atmos-
phere that’s very different from other fairs. “There’s
nothing worse than having no one come by and talk to
you. It’s like a special brand of existential punishment.
But Dallas—and especially Chris—is very hospitable.
It’s a huge difference because of little things. They
bring peach iced tea to the exhibitors. Small things like
that make a huge difference and gives personality to the
whole experience,” she adds.
Cynthia Daignault is one artist Cooley is particu-
larly enthusiastic about introducing at the fair. Plus,
according to Cooley, Dallas is poised for tremendous
growth and, in fact, she compares the metroplex to the
remarkable explosiveness of Miami years ago. Cooley
adds, “I don’t want to sound immodest but we really
do have one of the best young galleries in the city.” She
refers, of course, to New York.
Left: Cynthia Daignault, One half of me is yours, 2012, oil on linen, 40 x 27 in. Center: Cynthia Daignault, the other half yours, 2012, oil on linen, 40 x
27 in. Installation view of both works. Right: Cynthia Daignault, when we say love?, 2012, oil on linen, 24 x 15 in. All three: photos by Jason Mandella.
Images courtesy of the artist and Lisa Cooley, New York.