PaperCity Magazine

March 2020- Fort Worth

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 83 of 99

PORTRAIT BY DAVID WOO A little more than 45 years ago, Pam and Bill Campbell opened their art gallery in Fort Worth. As the young couple embarked on a business venture that would not only change and define their own lives, they found themselves in the rarefied position of helping to forge a burgeoning community's understanding of contemporary art. I first met the Campbells in the fall of 1984 when I walked into their art space and landed a job as gallery assistant. Thus began a professional and personal friendship that has lasted for 35 years. They were both patient and generous about sharing their time and knowledge with the eager young man I was then. Pam and Bill led Fort Worth's gallery scene into a time when contemporary visual art permeated the city's collective vision, paralleling the rising importance of Fort Worth's spectacular art museums. Here follows our conversation, a PaperCity exclusive. You two have served among the city's leading arbiters of art, taste, design, and aesthetics. What inspires you? Pam: Mostly minimalist works. A couple of years ago, we were at MASS MoCA [North Adams, Massachusetts]. They have a monumental indoor work by Michael Heizer. Four steel pieces placed into the ground comprise the work: One is round, one cone shaped, one a square, and one a rectangle. These move me, as do the sublime, monumental indoor Richard Serra pieces at DIA:Beacon [Beacon, New York]. Bill: Art has to get my attention. I pay a lot of attention to how things are made, how the artist lays down paint, their vision. Defining moments. Pam: Participating in art fairs always proved pivotal because of meeting new clients, interacting with other dealers and artists. Also, launching my appraisal practice almost 30 years ago has opened many doors as well. It led to brokering more art on the secondary market, working with the major auction houses, and sending works to auction on behalf of clients. It's been very exciting to watch some of those artworks set world records. Bill: The exhibit we mounted for Christopher Brown in 1995 opened the eyes of the local art community to the fact that our gallery was in step with the greater art world. Brown's work was the subject of a solo exhibit at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth at the time, all of which brought national attention to the gallery. After all, the art scene is, in large part, about perception. Advice to novice collectors. Pam: I would advise an aspiring collector to look — a lot. A new collector should find someone they trust who understands art and gain from their advice. See any work you may consider purchasing in person first. Educate yourself. Don't be intimidated. Visit galleries. Visit museums. Ask questions. Don't buy art on cruise ships! Bill: I would tell them to get advice from people who have been in the business. Information is the best ammunition. Study and see as much art as possible and meet gallerists and artists. See how the art market works before you make an acquisition. Invest for quality; if it happens to be a good financial investment as well, then great. If not, you still have something you love. Price does not dictate quality. What building in Fort Worth makes your hearts beat a little faster? Pam: The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by Tadao Ando. Even though the city's other museums are beautiful, I love the concrete. I find it very soothing, calming, and always serene. Bill: Anne and Sid Bass' house in Westover Hills by Paul Rudolph, the late architect and former Yale University Professor of Architecture. Museum outside of Texas. Pam: DIA:Beacon because of its collection of minimalist art. The conversation continues at FIVE DECADES SHAPING A CITY'S AESTHETIC CONVERSING WITH THE CAMPBELLS WADE WILSON HAS A SIT-DOWN WITH ICONIC FORT WORTH GALLERISTS PAM AND WILLIAM CAMPBELL ON ARTISTS AND ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING COLLECTIONS AND COMMUNITY, AND WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP THE CONTEMPORARY ART TORCH BURNING FOR NEARLY A HALF CENTURY. Pam and William Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art 82

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - March 2020- Fort Worth