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PaperCity Dallas April 2022

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Page 83 of 131

THE TOP 25 MELANIE LAWSON AND JOHN GUESS JR., HOUSTON HARKEY FAMILY COLLECTION, DALLAS P eni Barfield and John Harkey Jr. have been acquiring since the mid-1990s, with early purchases of Peter Saul's Icebox (1960) and Killer (1964), later reproduced on the cover of SCHIRN Kunsthalle's 2017 European retrospective catalog for Saul. They also own early drawings by Susan Te Kahurangi King and paintings by Ronald Lockett (from Souls Grown Deep) and Texas native Gary Panter (art director/set designer of Pee-wee's Playhouse). Peter Halley's Regression (2015) and Wrong Turn (2021) from their collection were recently part of the artist's survey at Dallas Contemporary. The couple's artworks often travel, generously loaned to The Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and New Museum in New York City, among others. This November, Magdalena Abakanowicz's Pregnant (1970-1980) from their collection will be exhibited at the Tate Modern in London. (Continued) M elanie Lawson and John Guess Jr. co-founded H o u s t o n M u s e u m o f A f r i c a n American Culture (HMAAC), and all collecting roads lead back to this institution. The Channel 13 anchorwoman (daughter of Civil Rights leader Reverend William Lawson) and Guess are passionate collectors, with an emphasis on African-American artists, studio glass, and contemporary. John says, "I started collecting in the 1990s after seeing college friends Leslie King-Hammond's and Lowery Sims' curating careers take off, and spending time with [Houston artists] David McGee and Tierney Malone. Melanie began expanding her passion for works by Kermit Oliver and glass art, which attracted us both." The couple's collection encompasses 19th-century American painter Henry Ossawa Tanner, who achieved international renown; 20th-century grand master Sam Gilliam; queen of beadwork and activism Joyce Scott; Richard Mayhew; and modernist Norman Lewis. Guess says, "We have a lot of Kermit Oliver, David McGee, and Hughie Lee-Smith, and glass artists Therman Statom, Ginny Ruffner, and Lino Tagliapietra." Recent acquisitions include Houston talents: Christopher Blay's highly charged depiction of an American flag and Ronald L. Jones' visceral portrait sculpture. (Continued from page 80) Magdalena Abakanowicz's Pregnant, 1970-1980, from the Harkey Family Collection, will be loaned to the Tate Modern this November. Christopher Blay's Blue Light Series, 2021 Hughie Lee-Smith's Temptation, 1991 LANCE BREWER 82

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