PaperCity Magazine

December 2014 - Houston

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DECEMBER | PAGE 73 | 2014 CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: In the kitchen, a door by Dean Ruck, who's shown with Butler since the 1990s; with col- laborator Dan Havel, the duo are 2014 Texas Artists of the Year. In the living room, a chest of drawers by Josef Frank from Andrew Spindler Antiques. Sol LeWitt woodcut. Pair of custom-made Regency-style bookcases in rosewood by Tom Seaver, courtesy of Andrew Spindler Antiques. The form derives from ancient Egyptian architecture, which was popular- ized in England and Europe after Napoleon's campaigns in Egypt. The rug is a winter loaner from Butler's friend and neighbor, artist Salle Werner-Vaughn. In the book room, bookshelves by Dean Ruck. Le Corbusier couch. Hans Wegner table from Andrew Spindler Antiques. The diminutive wing chair is American, circa 1920s, from Andrew Spindler Antiques. It's upholstered in a polished cotton floral chintz. a shack, it would be irresponsible for me to keep them at home. What might become of them in a hurricane? WHY GREEK POTS AND NOT CONTEMPORARY ART. Besides the fact that they are exquisite, they are the beginning of Western art, and I love them … I have collected contemporary prints and drawings, and even though the prints are multiples, I realized that ultimately I was in competition with my clients. If I wanted to do the best for them, I had to sell what was in my personal collection. The number of times I've had the perfect Terrell James field study in my house then had to sell it is a joke between Terrell and me. And so it has been with my Jasper Johns' Flags. TOP SHOWS AT HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY ACROSS THE DECADES. "Cy Twombly, Drawings from the 1960s," 1985. "James Turrell, First Light," 1990. "Brice Marden, Etchings to Rexroth," 1987. "Herzog & de Meuron 1994," before they had built anything in the U.S., 1994. "Forrest Bess, Paintings," 1986. "Dean Ruck, Hay Room," 1995. A STEALTH ENTRANCE INTO RIENZI. Once when Richard Serra was here, he wanted to visit Rienzi. It was a Monday, and it was closed. I couldn't get Alison Greene or Peter Marzio on the phone to get permission to get in, so I pulled into the drive at Rienzi, rang the buzzer, and said I was Jackson Hicks with an assistant and I need to get in to plan an upcoming event — open sesame. ON HOW YOU AND ANDREW MET. Andrew [Spindler-Roesle] and I met at Houstonian Bettie Cartwright's summer home in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She invited me for dinner, and Andrew was there. TYING THE KNOT. We were married twice under the care of the Live Oak Friends (Quaker) Meeting. The first time was at the Meeting House in Houston. The second time was a month later at the Rocky Hill Meeting House in Amesbury, Massachusetts. THE HOUSTON-BOSTON COMMUTE. I spend at least a week a month there, and Andrew spends at least a week a month here. We usually meet someplace else at least once a month because of family, friends, work or vacation. We actually spend more time together than most couples we know who live in the same house. When we are together, we are together. We work together. We socialize together. AESTHETICS YOU SHARE. We are both obsessed with connoisseurship. Is it real? Is it good? Could it be better? We both love art in its many manifestations and are too frequently indifferent to practical matters. The gallery has radically changed since I met Andrew. If he even gets a whiff that I don't think something is good enough or done well enough, he is unrelenting in making me get it to be better. WHERE YOU FIND NEW TALENT. Artists have always introduced me to other artists. That is how it happens. ARTISTS YOU SHOW WHO HAVE CHANGED ART HISTORY. James Turrell. Robert Wilson. NEXT TRIP. Gloucester, where Andrew and I are hosting a group from Germany attending the opening of the new Fogg at Harvard, then New York for a meeting on finishing Roden Crater, and then on to Basel to the antiquities fair to see Greek pots. The travel schedule is really ridiculous. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. FAVORITE MUSEUM ANYWHERE. I love the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — its mission, its collections, its architecture, its library and all the wonderful people that work there and are my friends. I've grown with it. Andrew and I have the same relationship with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I also love the purity of The Menil Collection. COLLABORATIONS AND THE FUTURE. Devin Borden and I worked together longer than anyone, and we did significant projects together. The Isabel Wilson Tunnel by James Turrell at the MFAH is just one. Devin's contribution to the gallery was so great that we added his name. Like all good things, it had to come to an end. Devin opened a gallery on Main Street a few years ago. I love what he does. We remain friends and see one another's exhibitions. Josh Pazda and I have been working together six or eight years now. He's terrific. As happy as my relationships have been with his predecessors, this seems to be the final fit. I don't think he will leave; I will, and the gallery will essentially become his. I don't plan to ever completely stop being involved with the gallery. I am, however, committed to raising money for the completion of Roden Crater, and that's going to take a lot of time and focus. PARTING THOUGHT. I would like to add something about Isabel Wilson. She was my great patron and supporter.

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