Robyn Siegel is a life-long art collector and foodie who combined her two passions through a new art initiative, Green House Collection.
How did your passion for contemporary art grow?
I have always been surrounded by contemporary art, so I really don’t know life without it. My parents are collectors and I grew up learning about what they owned. Their collection has always been contemporary, as is the architecture of their home; and in Dallas, that can be very different. My mother has a background in art education, as well as art history, and used the contemporary art landscape in Dallas to teach us about particular periods, mediums, and artists. We spent weekends at the Dallas Museum of Art for art camps and exhibitions. We visited the nearby mall, NorthPark Center, where we passed Borofsky’s “Hammering Man” and Claes Oldenburg’s “Clothespin.” As I became an adult, I sought to contextualize my experiences a little bit more with a Masters in Art History and a thesis that, consequently, focused on art in social space: at NorthPark Center.
Tell us more about Northpark and the art there.
NorthPark may be the number one tourist destination in Dallas, and houses some of the best shopping in the state, but those facts aside, it is a gorgeous monolithic space like no other shopping mall that I know. Think: white brick, polished cement floors, natural light, living plants, clean furniture such as wooden benches inspired by those at the Kimbell Museum. NorthPark Center was developed in the early 1960s by Ray and Patsy Nasher. When they began to collect, first with a Beverly Pepper outdoor sculpture in the early 1970s, they housed their sculpture collection throughout the interior corridors. (These artists include Borofsky, Oldenberg, Shapiro, Stella, Warhol, etc.) Some of the works that were once on display at NorthPark are now housed at the Nasher Sculpture Center in the Arts’ District in Dallas, but the collection continues to grow. For instance, there is now an outdoor Mark di Suvero that is installed inside the mall.
What is the Green House Collection?
The collection has been built alongside Green House Market, a new farm-to-table restaurant opening in Northpark Center this December. The art program is intended to reflect themes around food, community, architecture, design, and pop-culture. It’s a continuation of and homage to the overall program of NorthPark, where clean modern architecture and significant contemporary art provide an opportunity for education as well as simply a backdrop for social activity.
What pieces are you excited about exhibiting?
The collection will feature mixed mediums with a focus on food and form. For instance, a Sean Kennedy hanging work balances cooking pots, a colander, a steel bowl, BBs, in addition to other materials. The collection also features a pie painting by Lucien Smith, Pho (noodle soup) by Darren Bader, a series of lyrical abstract black and white drawings by Ulrich Wulff, a colorful cloud-inspired sculpture by Jason Meadows, a series of black and white photographs of abandoned malls, “American Passages” by Walead Beshty and other works to be confirmed. Art works will rotate every six months to a year.
What’s the purpose of the rotational art program and how do you anticipate it will affect Dallas’s contemporary art scene?
I hope that Green House Market will be a destination where people can learn something new. This falls in line with the overall purpose of the restaurant where nothing is overtly in your face, but if you look a little closer, you will see that everything – from the seasonal menu, the products on the market shelves, the furniture, the design, the music, and of course the art is placed and offered with intention.
How will art play a role in the growth of the city of Dallas? How does the New York market relate or inform art in Dallas?
Dallas is devoted to patronage and art. This model is only getting stronger and taking its own form. It seems that there is a direct relationship between the New York market and a dissemination of information and collection that comes to Dallas. Dallas collectors travel – they look to cities that include New York, Los Angeles, London, and Berlin to learn about art. I want to see more of my peers participate and collect. I want projects to come to Dallas as well as more production that involves Dallas artists. I want artists to stay in Dallas and to be supported. Lastly, I want Dallas to be a continual art destination.
What emerging artists are you following right now? Any that you would like to see make an edition with Exhibition A?
That is like picking a favorite dog. Here are a few artists who I am excited about, some of which you have already worked with: Lucien Smith, Sean Kennedy, Ulrich Wulff, Jon Rafman, Joel Kyack, Patrick Jackson, and Darren Bader.