Fort Worth

“The Southern Voice”

The Fort Worth Art Museum

The Southern Voice, as recorded by Terry Allen, Vernon Fisher, and Ed McGowin, combines irony and sardonic humor with a touch of down-home charm. It is a voice for recounting dark deeds and broken romances, for making the ordinary seem extraordinary and the extraordinary seem normal. “The Southern Voice,” while more concerned with story-telling than with regionalism, captured this variety and suppleness. Narrative, character, action—virtually unknown ingredients in Modern art—were here shown working with painting and sculpture to create an engrossing exhibition.

All three artists created mixed-media pieces, and Terry Allen’s installation, Ornithopera (The Devil’s Condo) is the most mixed, and the most Southern, of all. A large wire cage the size of a chicken coop encloses a series of smaller cages and boxes, in the middle of which sits a video monitor showing a piano player, dressed like

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.