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Director’s Cut

/ May 18, 2015
Director’s Cut, the exhibition on view in both East and West buildings, features a selection of photographs from recent gifts to the Museum in honor of my 20th anniversary as director of the NCMA. I’m humbled by such generosity. 
Ralph Burns, How Great Thou Art #4, 1991, How Great Thou Art #9, 2002, from How Great Thou Art, 1978–2007, Memphis, Tennessee series, gelatin-silver prints, each 11 x 14 in., Gift of Randy Shull in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler

I first encountered Ralph Burns’s Elvis photographs in Asheville at Randy Shull and Hedy Fischer’s gallery. I laughed. Now that they are in our collection, I can laugh every day.

Uta Barth, Untitled (NW 6), from nowhere near series, 1999, color photograph, 34 x 44 in., Gift of Kristin Rey and Michael Rubel in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler

Uta Barth is one of the extraordinary photo artists of our day. I saw the work many times in the LA home of Kristin Rey and Michael Rubel, collector connoisseurs. I am honored by their gifts along with the complete Coleman’s Café, Greensboro, Alabama series by William Christenberry. Very rare. What a treasure.

William Christenberry, Coleman’s Café, Greensboro, Alabama, 1967–96, 3 of 16 digital pigment Brownie prints, each 3 ½ x 5 in., Gift of Kristin Rey and Michael Rubel in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler

The many gifts from the exhibition Bull City Summer are meaningful in that it is a project I helped to develop. It is so appropriate to have these gifts from the artists Kate Joyce and Alex Harris and a gift of a Frank Hunter photograph from Katherine and Richard Bruch.

Alex Harris, Outside the Ballpark #2, Durham, North Carolina, June 2013, 2013, digital chromogenic print, 20 x 30 in., Gift of the artist in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler
Andrew Moore, Cañeros, Las Tunas, Cuba, 1999, archival pigment print, 40 x 50 in., Gift from the collection of Dr. Carlos Garcia-Velez and Dr. W. Kent Davis in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler

My great friends the collectors Carlos Garcia-Velez, Kent Davis, and Allen Thomas never cease to amaze me with their generosity. The Andrew Moore Cuba photograph is one of his best. The Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons Cuba work is beautiful and poignant; the Carrie Levy photograph of her father in the snow is one of my long-time favorites; and it was Allen who introduced me to Carrie, now a friend.

Carrie Levy, Untitled, 2000, chromogenic print, framed: 40 ¼ x 50 in., Gift of Allen G. Thomas Jr. in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Esa Palabra Mar and This Word Waiting (This Word Sea and This Word Waiting), 2008, Polaroid prints, each 40 x 20 in., Gift from the collection of Dr. Carlos Garcia-Velez and Dr. W. Kent Davis in honor of Lawrence J. Wheeler

On and on. The gift of Ellen Cassilly and Frank Konhaus of the elegant black-and-white photograph of Venice by Elliott Erwitt; Douglas Gordan’s Three Inches (Black) No. 2, given by Miami friends Ed Del Amo and Miguel Tamao; and the Jeff Whetstone works from Paul Coggins and Glen Medders are all exquisite and powerful. 

Two paintings were given by two newish New York artists—major works by Graham Collins and Hugo McCloud. They will be of great importance. And I love them.

Terrific works of art all around. Come take a look.

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