Heart to Art: Lora Reynolds of Lora Reynolds Gallery (PART TWO)

Part two of my interview with Lora Reynolds on her namesake, cutting-edge, Austin, TX-based gallery. Find part one here. - Brian Fee, Austin Contributor

BF: You show a dynamic lineup of international artists working in various disciplines/mediums. How has the public responded to them?

LR: The gallery receives lots of support and kudos from our community, for which we are most grateful! And it is especially rewarding to see the gallery reach extend beyond Texas. For example when (gallery artist) Noriko Ambe’s exhibition was recognized as one of the Best Shows in a Commercial Gallery, Nationally, at this years AICA Awards Ceremony and when Tom Molloy was selected to represent Ireland in this year's Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates.

Noriko Ambe | Spiritual America: Richard Prince, 2009, Cut book, 12 1/3 x 17 3/4 x 1 7/8 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.

BF: You've hosted some laudable "firsts" at the gallery. Would you talk about these and some of the exhibitions you are most proud of?

LR: Some of our firsts have included the first solo exhibition of Tom Molloy in the U.S. (Lone Star, May 11-June 23, 2007), the first solo exhibition of Susan Collis in the U.S. (Why did I think this was a good idea, October 4-November 11, 2008), and the world premiere of Phil Collins’ el mundo no escuchará / the world won’t listen (July 8-August 31, 2005, which later earned him the 2006 Turner Prize nomination). I am always most proud of the artists' accomplishments and when we are able to share those accomplishments with collectors, curators, students...

Susan Collis | Think twice, 2010, Graphite on paper, 11 1/2 x 8 1/8 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.

BF: I've noticed some unique collaborations in past exhibitions between the gallery and local institutions. Can we expect more collaborations in the future?

LR: The collaborations are another way in which the gallery has been able to connect with the community. We worked closely with Arthouse and the Paramount Theatre to organize the screening of Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler’s film Grand Paris Texas (the related exhibition was September 9-11, 2010). This was the first time the artists had shown one of their films in an actual theater and the result was a major success. The VAC generously helped support the realization of Noah Simblist’s curated exhibition Out of Place (January 15-March 5, 2011). We recently had a solo exhibition by Colby Bird (Dust Breeds Contempt, September 9-November 26, 2011), which was scheduled to coincide with The Anxiety of Photography show at Arthouse, in which he also had work.

Tom Molloy | Graven No. 3, 2008, Pencil on photograph, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.

We have also worked with Fusebox in aligning our programming and exhibition schedule with theirs, including the Practice, Practice, Practice (May 2-June 27, 2009) show curated by Jay Sanders and Michael Smith, that focused on performance and was on view during Fusebox. For 2012, we are working on special programming to coincide with the festival, which will be announced soon.

Pat de Groot | Dark Sea, 2008, Oil paint on panel, 11 x 10 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.

BF: When did you begin using the "Project Room" space, and how has that exhibition influenced or reflected off the show in the main room? When planning, do you consider the two exhibits simultaneously, how they will play off one another?

LR: We started using the space now called the “project room” as such in the summer of last year with a Colby Bird installation (July 17-September 3, 2010). Before that we would show work from our inventory or even extend the main exhibition into that space. I see it as serving two purposes: it allows us to show smaller bodies of work by artists such as Jim Torok's group of seven Walton (September 9-October 22, 2011) portraits or Tom Molloy's eight “Vermeer” drawings (Woman, May 14-July 2, 2011), and it allows us to present more artists simultaneously, whether to introduce an artist who is new to the gallery or a more established artist who is interested in doing a smaller project.

Colby Bird | Drawing, 2010, Spray paint on linen, approximately 10 x 8 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.

BF: You have integrated some very unique painters into the gallery's exhibition schedule. What sort of painting-specific artist tends to attract your eye?

LR: I tend towards paintings that have a careful attention to detail, like Jim Torok's intimate portraits or the textured oil paint canvases of Donald Moffett. This manner of working is one that I am drawn to not only in painting, but in drawing, sculpture, photography, and all media. There are a number of female painters I'm recently excited about including Annie Lapin and Lesley Vance.

Jim Torok | Jos, 2011, Oil on birch, 5 x 3 7/8 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.

I just returned from a wonderful trip to London where I had the great pleasure of seeing the Gerhard Richter retrospective at the Tate. I also attended the Frieze and Sunday art fairs. While in London I visited with Richard Forster, an artist whom I collect personally, and who has kindly agreed to do a two person show at the gallery with Ewan Gibbs.  He and Ewan admire each others' work and have forged a relationship over the last year. I think their joint show will be just gorgeous and fascinating. It will open in January 2013.

BF: That sounds fantastic! What else can the public look forward to from the gallery in 2012, and beyond?

LR: We are working on an exciting exhibition program that will shake things up a bit as far as our programming goes, including the addition of new artists to our roster.  We recently welcomed Hilary Graves as our new director. She moved to Austin from Los Angeles where she was the director of The Box Gallery. The coming year will see some integration of her interest in performance as well as the introduction of new artists, like Bradney Evans, who just had his first solo show up in our project room (Still, October 28-December 2, 2011). We presently have a solo show with Mads Lynnerup (Help is on the way, December 3, 2011-February 4, 2012).

Mads Lynnerup | Astro Bright #8, 2011, Cut, acid-free paper, 23 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.


Lora Reynolds graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and established the gallery in Austin, TX in March 2005 after working with Anthony d'Offay and Matthew Marks Galleries in London and New York. The current solo show by Mads Lynnerup, Help is on the way, runs through February 4, 2012.

Brian Fee is an art punk currently based in Austin, TX. His culture blog Fee's List covers his three loves (art, film and live music) occurring in his other three loves (the Lone Star State, the Big Apple, and Tokyo)


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