Ffor more than 40 years, Dallas collectors Cindy and Howard Rachofsky have regularly enriched their vast collection
in American minimalism and post-war Japanese, Korean and Italian art. But while they’re best known for these domains, that’s not all they buy. “We have always collected outside of the context of the collection,” Howard said. PaperCity.
“It’s fun and it’s part of an ecosystem. If you collect, you have a responsibility to go in directions that are not necessarily linear.
To date, only a handful of shows have been organized exclusively from the Rachofsky collection outside of Warehouse, their exhibition space in Dallas. But this month, local art lovers have the opportunity to see an unusual take on the collection. Organized by Joan Davidow at SITE131 in the Dallas Design District, “Fresh Faces from The Rachofsky Collection” will showcase recent works by 24 artists, all outside of the core areas for which the collection is known. “’Fresh Faces’ widens Howard’s view of the audience,” says Davidow. “People wouldn’t know he would be attracted to these. I myself had met very few of these artists.
Only a handful of the works from “Fresh Faces” have ever been on display at The Warehouse, making it a unique opportunity to sample what could be described as the Rachofsky’s recent impulse buys. Davidow has selected 29 works, almost all acquired over the past eight years. Works of art vary widely, from massive abstract paintings to intimate embroidery, as well as a whimsical bronze sculpture of a weed by Tony Matelli. “I just picked for the show what resonated with me,” says Davidow. “It didn’t occur to me to make all of this abstract, or completely free. I had such a large assortment to choose from, and I just picked the ones that winked at me. This is how I organize.
Italian artist stands out in “Fresh Faces” Lauretta Vinciarelli (1943-2011). An architect who briefly taught at Rice University in the early 1980s, she has recently benefited from a revival in her work. As Donald Judd’s partner and collaborator, Vinciarelli – who exhibited posthumously at the Judd Foundation in New York in 2019 – designed an unrealized project in Marfa that influenced Judd’s residency at The Block (now part of the Judd Foundation), as well as architectural elements from the Chinati Foundation.
Vinciarelli was a brilliant watercolorist who used this medium in her later years to create luminous architectural studies. In two of these works presented in the exhibition, ethereal geometric shapes seem to float in an imagined space. These are paintings by an artist and a mature architect who moved beyond the built environment to consider more metaphysical spaces. Subtle and luminous, they could be an idea of paradise itself.
Other notable artists are British painter Katy Moran and American artist Rebecca Ward. Moran, perhaps the most famous artist in the exhibition, is represented by two works on canvas dated 10 years apart. Both summaries are inspired by the history of painting: the tightly balanced composition of Lucas (2007) offers French or Italian academic landscape paintings; the muted grid of New Countryside (2017) recalls a street view of the Ashcan school. Rebecca Ward, from Waco, plays with the materiality of the raw canvas itself. She removes either the warp or the weft from her large canvases, leaving transparent negative spaces
which reveal the wooden support behind in discreetly elegant and minimalist compositions.
The great variety of “Fresh Faces”, by artists who are not known, reveals the generosity of spirit and openness of the Rachofsky: they are not collectors who simply hunt for trophies of famous artists. And the collection continues to grow.
“Fresh Faces from The Rachofsky Collection”, on SITE131, from September 18 to December 18; 131 Payne Street, site131.com.