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DMA's Contemporary Curator Charles Wylie to Leave in June

by Jerome Weeks 3 May 2011 10:50 AM

Another day, another departure from an Arts District organization.


Another day, another Arts District departure.

Today, the Dallas Museum of Art announced that long-time contemporary art curator Charles Wylie — officially, the Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art — will be leaving. He will continue to work until June with Jeffrey Grove, the senior contemporary curator who was hired two years ago. But after 15 years and dozens of shows including the recent Big New Field on the Dallas Cowboys stadium art, Wylie will be leaving … for no reason that the press release gives beyond “starting a new chapter in his life.”

Here’s the full release:


DALLAS, TX – May 3 , 2011 – The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) today announced that Charles Wylie, The Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art, will be stepping down from his position the first week of June after fifteen years of dedicated service.  Wylie will continue to work with Jeffrey Grove, The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, in the coming month to assure the transition of current DMA initiatives, and will act as a consultant to the Museum throughout the summer.

“Charlie has been a crucial member of Dallas Museum of Art’s contemporary art department and the DMA family,” said Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director.  “His tremendous work at the Museum has helped us expand our mission, enhance our standing in the museum community as a major center for contemporary art, and advance scholarship in the field.  He leaves an exceptional legacy for the DMA and the Dallas community. We wish him every success in his future endeavors.”

“Due to its remarkable community, the Dallas Museum of Art has cemented its place as an institution of international importance,” noted Wylie. “I am extremely fortunate to have been part of this, and to have worked with many great artists, patrons and colleagues – it has, in fact, been an astonishing privilege. Given all this my decision to step down was difficult, but after fifteen years at the Dallas Museum of Art, and nearing thirty in the field, I am looking forward to having some time on my own and then deciding how and where to make my next contribution.”

Since joining the Dallas Museum of Art in February 1996, Wylie has organized 32 exhibitions, including the major traveling exhibitions Brice Marden:  Work of the 1990s; Thomas Struth: 1977-2002 and Sigmar Polke: History of Everything, (with Dr. John R. Lane). More recent projects include On Kawara: 10 Tableaux and 16,952 Pages; Willie Doherty: Requisite Distance; Performance/Art; Mexico 200: Tierra y Gente, and Big New Field: Artists in the Cowboys Stadium Art Program. Wylie has also organized exhibitions encompassing major gifts and promised works from renowned private collections in Dallas, focusing on the art of Gerhard Richter, Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Joseph Beuys, Ellsworth Kelly, and Robert Ryman.

Wylie also assisted Maria deCorral with Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, the landmark exhibition featuring the bequests of the Hoffman, Rachofsky and Rose and additional collections and works to the Dallas Museum of Art. Exhibitions of artists living and working in north Texas organized by Wylie have included Linda Ridgway, Patrick Faulhaber, and Annette Lawrence.  He has published eight monographs and numerous essays and brochures.

Wylie’s notable acquisitions include the complete editioned work of Gerhard Richter; Counter Ground, a gallery-scaled commission by Tatsuo Miyajima, and The Eye, a monumental sculpture by David Altmejd. Throughout his tenure, Wylie also played a key role in the annual 2×2 for AIDS and Art benefit auction week at the Rachofsky House in Dallas, which since its inception in 1998 has generated $29 million for the Foundation for AIDS Research, (amfAR), and the DMA’s contemporary art acquisition fund. He is also a founding member of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium Art Council, and has juried exhibitions and spoken on panels at numerous venues in Texas and across the United States.

“Charlie has been a friend and colleague for many years prior to my arrival in Dallas in 2009, and it has been a pleasure to work alongside him for the past year and a half,” said Grove.  “Charlie is held in high regard by his peers throughout the country and throughout north Texas. He will be greatly missed by the museum and the Dallas arts community, but we are all excited for Charlie as he embarks on a new chapter in his life.”

The search for the new Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art will be initiated in the coming months.