Guest blogger Gail Sachson M.F.A., owns Ask Me About Art, offering lectures, tours and program planning. She is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and a member of the Public Art Committee.
Not many artists since Pierre Bonnard in the early 20th century have been able to paint the mundane contents of a room with such romance and sensuality. Fort Worth painter Sedrick Huckaby is one of the few. The 35-year-old’s oil paintings of tissue boxes, T.V.s and refrigerators bear a resemblance in their painterly softness to Bonnard’s washbasins, tea kettles and dressing table clutter.
Huckaby, who received his graduate training at Yale, has a passion for paint, which transforms everyday objects into things of beauty. He can do this because he has tapped into a steady and sincere muse: his family. The tenderness he feels for the people in his life – like his grandmother, “Big Momma,” Cousin Ignacio, and his wife and children – tames the paint to soften the things with which they surround themselves – even tissue boxes and coffee tins. Huckaby’s paintings of the people in his life and their interiors can be seen at Valley House Gallery.
At the McKinney Avenue Contemporary through Feb. 27, you can see other evidence of Huckaby’s family love in the show “A Love Supreme.” Part of the show, which was curated by former African American Museum curator Phillip Collins, fills the large gallery’s four walls: A Love Supreme, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, (app. 8′ x 20′ each). They are oil painted depictions of the Huckaby family’s hand-made, home sewn quilts, which first appeared as background in the interior and figure paintings Now, Huckaby says, he realizes the quilts themselves give all the information necessary. They are his history. They are lovingly painted, just as the smaller interiors, and even though we are outsiders and voyeurs, we feel embraced.
The draped patchwork fabrics overlay each other in the paintings and squeeze against the picture frame, as if they were relatives in a large family portrait – too many to fit within the camera’s eye. It would be an injustice to your visit to run through the exhibit. You must accept the invitation to sit and stay awhile. You will be calmed, but you will also be energized with your own personal memories of birth, death and all that goes on in between, which of course, is reflected in the everyday objects with which we surround ourselves. Of the exhibit, Huckaby says, “I hope it’s made in such a way that you want to slow down and contemplate it and think about it in different ways.”