For his debut at Blaffer Art Museum, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition, Coolquitt will recombine 60 discrete sculptures and tableaux made between 2006 and 2011 into a site-specific installation which, in its singularity and temporariness, reflects on the condition of the gallery space as a codified place of encounter for people and works of art. The exhibition will also include pieces that occupy a hybrid position between autonomous artworks by Coolquitt and what the artist calls somebody-mades and in-betweens. Somebody-mades are assemblages of objects that are presented just as the artist found them in the streets, while in-betweens combine such found assemblages with interventions of his own. Presented alongside and interspersed with his own work, these elements serve to further complicate the relationship between the contexts of creation and reception, artist and audience, and blur the boundaries between art and life. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated monograph co-published by Blaffer Art Museum and University of Texas Press with contributions by Rachel Hooper, Dan Fox, Matthew Higgs, and Jan Tumlir.
The moment where a relationship sparks is at the heart of Andy Coolquitt's project, and the artist is invested in its often-foolish idealism. For Coolquitt, our success in attaining the ideal community and perfect communication is not as interesting as where and why we fail along the way. The distance between persons—the gaps, gaffes, and miscommunications—is where autonomy and community are held in balance, forming fertile ground for his artistic experimentation. Former Blaffer associate curator, Rachel Hooper will discuss her work with Coolquitt over the last four years and the gaps that resulted from the process, namely the works that inspired her that did not make it into the exhibition. Perhaps what is missing says as much as what is here. Rachel Hooper is an art critic and scholar, whose articles and books have been published internationally. Currently pursuing a doctorate in art history at Rice University, her research interests include censorship, trauma, and political resistance in twentieth and twenty-first century art. She was associate curator and Cynthia Woods Mitchell fellow at Blaffer Art Museum (2007-2011). NOTE: the title is not a misspelling, it is the title of my essay based on one of the works that will be in the exhibition.