"Finding one particular thing at one particular time, then letting a world accumulate around it, in rough contingency, nothing quite fitting or not fitting." This is how Dave Hickey describes the work of artist and singer-songwriter Terry Allen, who creates works that proliferate into a constellation of genres as he revisits and revises his original inspirations. A painting may lead to a sculpture, which morphs into a song that takes on many voices and becomes a theatre piece or video installation. Yet, in Allen's endlessly evolving art, "nothing that you might actually see in the world is depicted, nothing is even surreal, because surrealism infers a starting point in reality. The songs are sung by disembodied voices. The stories are told by voices with regional accents. The drawings are drawn because otherwise we could not see what they are about, so they are better read as heraldry, or glyphs, or typologies than anything like pictures."
Terry Allen is the first comprehensive retrospective of this prolific artist's work. It opens with a previously unpublished celebration of Allen by Dave Hickey, then covers his three largest and most important series—JUAREZ, with critical commentary by Dave Hickey; RING, with commentary by Marcia Tucker; and YOUTH IN ASIA, with an interview of Terry Allen and commentary by Dave Hickey. It also explores Allen's other significant visual works—installations, public works and bronzes, and sculpture and works on paper. Highlighting an equally important part of the artist's oeuvre, Michael Ventura provides an insightful discussion of Allen's music. More than two hundred color and black-and-white images flow in and around the texts, providing a sweeping visual gallery of Allen's work in which, as Hickey observes, "not only are there no happy endings. There are no endings."
Terry Allen is a visual artist and songwriter who has received numerous awards and honors, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and induction into the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame. His art has been shown throughout the United States and Europe and is represented in major private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles. He has also recorded twelve albums of original music, including the classics Juarez and Lubbock (On Everything).
Dave Hickey is one of America's best-known art and cultural critics and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant. His books include Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy and The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty. He has written for many major publications, including Rolling Stone, Art News, Art in America, Artforum, Harper's Magazine, and Vanity Fair. Currently, he is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Marcia Tucker was a highly regarded curator of contemporary art, as well as a freelance art critic, writer, and lecturer. She was the Founder and Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and was series editor of Documentary Sources in Contemporary Art, five anthologies of history and criticism.
Best known for his long-running column, "Letters at 3 A.M.," Michael Ventura is a cultural critic who cofounded the LA Weekly and now writes for the Austin Chronicle. His latest book Cassavetes Directs, a memoir of John Cassavetes, was published in England in 2007.
Introduction (2009) by Dave Hickey
Born in a Trailer: Borne Forth upon the Perfect Ship (1992) by Dave Hickey
RING: "A story which swallows its own tale" (1981) by Marcia Tucker
YOUTH IN ASIA (1982-1992)
Terry Allen's YOUTH IN ASIA: An Interview by Dave Hickey (1991)
Terry Allen's Big Witness: A Less Perfect Union (1989) by Dave Hickey
A Few People Dead (1983) by Dave Hickey
Public Works and Bronzes
Sculpture and Works on Paper
This Ain't No Top '40s Song: The Music of Terry Allen (2009) by Michael Ventura
Select Music Performances and Recordings
Select Exhibitions, Installations, and Collections
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