California Dreaming at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Jack Goldstein | By James Russell | D Magazine


This summer, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth hosts two exhibitions highlighting the development of the twentieth century art scene in the Golden State. David Park: A Retrospective, which opened last weekend, and the highly conceptual Disappearing–California c. 1970: Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden, Jack Goldstein, which opened last month, weave together two modern art movements from different parts of California.

Guest curated by Phillip Kaiser of Los Angeles, Disappearingoccupies 13,000 square feet of the museum’s entire first floor. It is thematically organized, exploring how the three artists stretched the limitation of disappearance through performance. The show gets its name from Burden’s 1971 work “Disappearing,” in which he vanished from December 22-24.

Only a few years before, Ader created the installation “Please don’t leave me,” the show’s earliest piece (1969). A messy, tangled cluster of light fixtures dangle in front of thin, capitalized letters demanding “PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME.” Of course, you have to leave the piece to continue through the show. (You’re not left to languish for long: Burden’s “Survival Kit” has all the viewer needs to proceed: a joint, a fake $100 bill, a candle, an army knife, and other essentials.) Goldstein’s videos, which show him moving, sitting, and exploring, round out the three artists’ early works.

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