At the end of the first installment of this series on an exhibition in progress, I had discovered, to my horror, that the most robust source available on the subject of an obscure artist named Rick Barton—an essay by Dave Archer (née David Nelson)—had been removed from the Internet.
Rachel Federman's blog
Exhibitions are often multiyear projects. With a monographic exhibition—one that focuses on a single artist—the subject, even when not alive, can come to feel like a significant presence in the life of a curator. As someone who has focused on artists who came to prominence in the second half of the increasingly historical twentieth century, I have been fortunate to “get to know” some of the late artists I have worked on, not only through research in libraries and archives, but also through conversations with the artists’ family, friends, and acquaintances.
In this unwelcome new age of social distance and self-isolation, when many of us hardly venture beyond the thresholds of our homes, I find myself thinking about Nellie Mae Rowe’s “playhouse.”