David McManaway: Cult of the Commonplace
On view through August 15, 2020
The Grace Museum (open with modified hours)
Abilene, Texas

The art of David McManaway (1927-2010) has an underground cult following. This exhibition presents a long-overdue review of important work from his prodigious 50-year career to reexamine his role as a major artist and influencer in Texas and beyond.

Originally a painter, McManaway moved to Dallas in 1959 and abandoned painting in favor of assemblage art. Today, the artist is best known for wall reliefs he called Jomo Boards; compositions of juxtaposed found objects such as plastic toys, stuffed animals, trash, and other commonplace objects arranged in a seemingly stream-of-conscious fashion. Look closely and you will see that McManaway altered and manipulated the selected found objects in order to generate another level of meaning through placement and telling juxtapositions resulting in clever double entendres that are ripe with humorous commentary on contemporary life in the late 20th century. The mass-produced, proudly useless, late 20th-century cultural discards stand as markers of memory transformed into artist private response to the absurdities and comforts of the familiar.

Image Credit:
Jomo Board #13, Toni’s Cross, 1986, mixed media assemblage, Collection of George and Beverly Palmer