Organized by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens with the Eggleston Art Foundation
Over the fireplace in the Dixon Living Room Gallery is a painting by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). A Memory (c. 1910) depicts a woman seated in a genteel domestic interior opening on to a sunlit garden. In subject matter and style, the painting speaks to a particular appreciation of ‘the beautiful’ that has not lost its appeal over a century later.
Inspired by Chase’s painting and the specific architecture of the Residence Galleries, the Dixon has invited two pioneering American artists to present their work in unexpected conversation.
While the title of the exhibition is tongue in cheek, it also acknowledges our distance from the social mores of an earlier time and worldview. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, women of a certain status would distribute printed cards indicating a particular day and time they would be “At Home” to receive visitors. As rigid gender roles loosened and boundaries between social classes began to erode, the practice eventually disappeared, helped along by the invention of the telephone and the more spontaneous communication it made possible.
Today, the Dixon opens its doors to artists working on projects of all kinds, and welcomes audiences diverse in every way.
Although they are of different generations and seemingly different outlook, William Eggleston and Jennifer Steinkamp share an interest in new media and technologies, and an undeniable joy in visual pleasure.
William Eggleston (b. 1939) is acclaimed as the artist who validated color photography as an artistic medium, following his landmark 1976 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. A legendary Memphian, Eggleston’s eye for eccentric beauty and the uncanny in the everyday is celebrated worldwide, and has been documented in numerous exhibitions and publications over the last six decades.
Jennifer Steinkamp (b. 1958) is known for using the unconventional medium of computer animation to produce works of startling, surreal naturalism with subtle political messages. Based in Los Angeles, Steinkamp has exhibited her work internationally, and created many site-specific installations and public commissions.