Present Tense: Now and Then
Featuring over 100 works by more than seventy Memphis-area artists selected by guest curator John Weeden, Present Tense sought to reveal the spark of creativity that makes our city such a vibrant and fascinating place to visit and to live.
Outdoor sculpture, video and installation pieces, photography, oil on canvas and a range of sculptural and three-dimensional works from established artists such as Greely Myatt, Hamlett Dobbins, Nancy Cheairs, NJ Woods, Dolph Smith and Pinkney Herbert as well as next generation of notable newcomers were featured. Present Tense has filled the galleries, residence, and gardens with outstanding examples of varied contemporary art practices found in our city since the turn of the millennium.
To bid the exhibition farewell, we thought we’d take a moment to look back at some of the community’s response to Present Tense. Whether the reviews were positive (for the most part they were) or, perhaps, less than favorable (maybe there were a few), there’s no mistaking the fact that Present Tense started an artful conversation in Memphis.
So travel with us down memory lane and take a look at this show in the past tense. And for those who haven’t seen it yet, you still have until this Sunday, April 14th!
“Present Tense isn’t an entirely unprecedented event. The Dixon has been increasingly supportive of regional talent, and by originating exhibits like 2012’s Modern Dialect (an eye-opening alternative history of American art in the 20th century), the museum has shown an eagerness to celebrate not only the acknowledged masters of Impressionism but a great variety of exciting artists who have fallen through history’s cracks.”
-Chris Davis, Memphis Flyer. To continue reading the article, click here.
“The process of winnowing, which Weeden called “painful, especially letting a piece go after all the work of hunting it down,” produced a show that probably anyone familiar with the local visual art community will regard with pleasure yet find some quibbles with. People who have watched the development of emerging artists or the success of mid-career artists or who know the old school figures among the college and university faculties will certainly be able to number artists who they think should have been included or excluded.”
-Fredric Koeppel, The Commercial Appeal. To continue reading the article, click here.
“Big things can happen when people share a vision. Just look at the exhibition that opened in early February at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Not only is it attracting new visitors and exposing traditional art lovers to unfamiliar genres. It’s also the largest exhibition in the museum’s 37-year-history, filling all the galleries, the original residence, and sections of the garden with contemporary works by Memphis artists.”
–Marilyn Sadler, Memphis Magazine. To continue reading the article, click here.
“The greatest piece of art you’ll see today (or possibly ever) is this portrait of Prince Mongo riding a Tiger, painted by Alex Warble. And while it may be the best painting you’ll see today, it’s only one of the 100 works by Memphis artists on display at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens right now.”
-Kerry Crawford, author of the I Love Memphis blog. To continue reading the article, click here.