Robert DeWeese: A look Ahead
This exhibition was curated by Terry Karson. Terry curated Robert's Retrospective Exhibition at the Yellowstone Art Center in 1990, the year after his death. He also curated Gennie's Retrospective at MAM in 1995. Terry spent countless hours through many months working on each of these major shows, each time keeping meticulous records of the process of selection, the task of reviewing all of the records of their work from their disheveled files of slides, and examining the condition of the many works chosen from the dusty archives of their studios, as well as from the archives of the museum collections.
Many of those hours were spent in the company of my mother and myself in the sanctuary of Mom's studio. I often assisted with the physical schlepping and cleaning of paintings, and was part of the team of folks who prepared the stacks of prints for Dad's retrospective overflow into exhibition spaces throughout Bozeman - at the MSU Helen Copeland Gallery, The Jessie Wilbur Gallery, then at Beall Park Art Center and The Artifacts Gallery downtown Bozeman. It was a major production of cutting beautiful archival matts, mounting prints with archival materials...a treatment seldom seen by either of their work over the decades of their production. We only regret that he could never see them "so neat and tidy" as Frances Senska commented in response to seeing his old familiar work so beautifully shown.
Over the years and through these many major exhibitions, Terry Karson became known to the DeWeese family as the premier DeWeese Historian. He knew their work as intimately as any of us who grew up with it. Sometimes I would advise him ... as Terry's meticulous order of things was somehow removed from either of their casual and organic handling of work, often tacked and stacked onto walls over decades of processing old and new work. Terry's concession to me, which delighted me then and for which I am very grateful, was the wall of portraits from this show at the Holter. It looked like his walls at home, and was homage to the way that he worked in his own space.
Please take a moment to read the Curator's Statement from each of the catalogs. Terry's empathic voice speaks volumes to the vitality of community of these spirited and tenacious artists, and to which this historic homage to Robert, masterminded by Terry Karson at the Holter Museum, was testimonial. These two catalogs (click on the links for each) for this show were produced by the Holter Museum of Art, designed and envisioned by friend, Terry Karson.