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The Hired Hand Anselmo Gonzales was moving among the milk cows under the shed. It was dusk, and all around the barns and out past the lots where the live oaks began, the fog was hanging. Anselmo made only a thick muffled sound as he walked around under the shed on the dried dung. He wore brogans that were tied with fodder string and hard as iron. A cold mist had been falling all day. Now the water was beginning to run off the edge of the corrugated roof over Anselmo. better not that old man. I got to go pull his old Buick with those damned old mules ain’t even this pasture.” He cursed again. “Never get me no supper that old man slip in a ditch.” He spat on the ground and patted the cow on the flank /once. “That all the juice you got this day old lady,” he said, and moved to the next one. IF YOU BUY A CAR, A HOUSE; If any of your policies expireCALL Bow Williams Automobile and General Insurance 624 Lamar GR 2-0545 AUSTIN, TEXAS Represents ICT Insurance Co. and other standard stock companies LET’S ABOLISH THE POLL TAX’ DALLAS That show of which goes by the formidable yet \(when you come to think bition is to begin its tour of the state next month. And having seen it set up in the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts where it will remain until November 18, I think.that this display of 77 works would fare better throughout the state were it to be accompanied by the same THE STATE FAIR ART SHOW I In one place, it was falling drop by drop onto the clean, silvery top of a lard can stuck in the scum outside the shed. The old Jerseys with their heads in the feed bins made hol Winston Bode low blOwing sounds from time to time. They were eating bran. Anselmo filled the last bin and stopped for a cigarette. He stood at the edge of the shed and looked out at the fog on the trees. He wore an old aviator cap with the flaps turned up. It was too small for his head. Anselmo had broad, high cheek bones. And his teeth were buck and they pushed out his upper lip. He looked more stupid than he was. The protruding upper lip moved as Anselmo snuffed from the cold, still staring. He looked down, as if the snuffing had waked him, and began dribbling tobacco in the cigarette paper he was holding between two fingers. When he had his cigarette, he walked over to the milk bucket on a post. As always, he walked hunch shouldered, holding his arms out a little. He was a big Mexican. At the back of his head, his black hair stuck out from under his aviator cap. In the other pen, Anselmo’s wife came through the mud, looking down. She stopped at the gate and peered through at Anselmo. Then she stood holding her arms close to her breasts that hung without benefit of brassiere in her T-shirt. She was huddled in an old mackinaw. She looked Unhappy from the cold. “‘s get dark early.” She spoke in Spanish, sounding like she had been taking a nap. She was a short, smooth-limbed girl with a rounded belly. Her face was heartshaped and pretty, with eyes slanted like an Eskimo’s. She wore blue jeans, and a kerchief wrapped around her head. “This weather make the roads slick, eh?” she said. “Pretty soon now,” said Anselmo. “Mr. George slip in a ditch.” Angelita laughed, or cackled. Anselmo spat a soft curse. “He Angelita was now sitting on the gate. “Ahhhh!” She gave a throaty warning cry. “Damn you calf!” said Anselmo. He jumped up and ran after the strong hungry little heifer that had squeezed through the gate and was sucking furiously, head lowered and swinging from side to side, at its mother’s full bag. Anselmo caught the calf by the neck with one hand and by the tail with the other, and threw the stiff, gawky, heavy animal completely around. It bawled in enormous outrage. “Ab& la puerta!” Anselmo bellowed at Angelita, a n d she jumped off the gate and threw it open. Anselmo began to shove the calf toward the open gate grunting and talking through his teeth. “Son of a gun get your mouth in that other pen.” The calf was long-legged and mean to handle and when it lurched it nearly threw Anselmo down in the mud. But he spread his legs wide and slapped down his feet hard and kept pushing the calf toward the gate, piloting it with the tail. At the gate opening, he jerked the calf’s hind quarters in the air and sailed it into the other pen. “There you little old calf,” said Anselmo. He walked back to the milk bucket, sucking in air and sticking out his lower jaw as he made a sidelong pass at Angelita. “Chinghaaaa,” Angelita spat in high suspended Spanish profanity as she stepped back easily, her arms still folded. The water was falling drop by drop from the tin roof of the shed. It was cold in the caw lotsmelling damply of cow dungand night was falling fast now. exhibit with which it shared the Dallas museum during the hectic weeks of the Fair. I refer, of course, to that incredible outlay of official portraits of every last President of these. United States. Walk into that alignment of stolid humanity, file past frame upon frame of . pursed lips, transcendent stares, clasped hands, and vacuous miens amid which Barnard’s flamboyant bust of Lincoln with its great cantilevered eyebrows almost cries out, and then bolt Alto the adjoining room where the contemporary stuff is displayed and watch the world brighten, the walls expand, and the very air turn to ozone, so refreshing will it seem. Such elation is needed, for by far the most conclusive inference that one can draw from the show is that such beefy stuff as the style of the presidential portraits has been thrown for a conclusive loss here in Texas and that, at the moment, nothing has come forward to take its place. There were a few ventures into Abstract Expressionism and its neighboring wastle land s, but these, with their indiscriminate technique and stupefying titles, were almost uniformly feeble. Still lifes were also in the minority and thin in quality \(though Cynthia Brants’s “Flowers Near a Window” was adjudged worthy of portraits and figure studies were rarely attempted in both mediums, with Dickson Reeder’s alert, sensitive “Walter Martin,” a winner of the $650 purchase prize, being outstanding. Also noticeable, yet not as noteworthy, were David Cargill’s little terra cotta “Woman” which possessed a nicely rounded charm, Cecil L. Casebier’s “Picador” which was almost too arbitrary in its boldness, and Janet Raser Fauce’s lovely “Young Girl” which, had she but brightened its pigments and loosened disregard the past thirty of forty years, is part and parcel of the Western tradition. Before the turn of the century, however, art schools taught drawing in a totally different way. The students were expected to copy plaster casts of the then fashionable Graeco-Roman bronzes and marbles. Anatomy was taught from a quasi-medical standpoint, and a student could fail an examination if he named an obscure muscle incorrectly, even though he might have been fully aware Philip Evett of its shape and function. In the University’s enlightened Art Department, as in all the best art institutions, drawing a n d painting from the live model is the order of the day, no matter what the students subsequently study. Anatomy is taught only insofar as it helps the student to understand the form and movement of the human figure. The teaching staff of the school is an impressive one. Headed by the well known art historian and critic, Dr. Donald L. Weismann, it numbers among its 21 mem up her technique, would have come close to being a Renoir. More individual notes were struck by Ethel Brodnax in her “Yellow Feathers,” a near ab straction in black and gold; by Keith McIntyre in his “Natural Dissection,” an assemblage of delicate colors nicely balanced and unified by slashes of black which belied its gory title; and by Bror Utter in his “Wedges,” a work that possessed an immaculate technique and some lively, charming colors. All three were awarded prizes, and considering the success and verve of their Harris Green surface accomplishment, which was as deep as they wished to go, they were quite deserving. LANDSCAPES dominated for the most part, as well they might, since this state has more scenery than it does of anything else. The approaches to the subjects were healthily varied, ranging from the blatant, gilded effect of Ralph White and the evocative impression of John Guerin to the cleanly planed view of Loren Mozley. Stephen T. Rascoe in his well: blocked “Oil Fields at Night” and Donald Weismann in his deft and haunting “Place Remembered,” both prize winners, had an abstracted approach to nature that was both formally and realistically satisfying while William Lester in his $500 award winning “Three Peaks” proved once again, if it needed proving, that his brilliant color and bold design are continuing delights of this region. A majority of the others in this genre proved less impressive due to a certain slackness of execution, as for instance Ruth Tear’s “Ribbons of Concrete,” a good idea that failed to solve all its problems, and Peter Vatsure’s “Sand Storm,” a well conceived effort that cloyed by its similarity of means. That some of the landscapes were rather unhappy attempts stems more from the laudable attempts of their creators to be different and to rise above the bald, flat presentation of the scene just as God left it. The landscapes were the most consistently satisfying portion of the show, and the fact that nowhere to be found was there one of those blighted daubs with its pallette of faded blue jean hues devoted to still another apotheosis of our state flower proved to be the most satisfying of alL Landscape, along with a great deal else, figured in Kelly Fearing’s $1,000 first prize winner, “Yellow After the Rain.”. With its razor sharp technique, its mood of transfigured calm, and its straightforward presentation. of the complex that harks back to the Sienese and the Van Eycks, it proved to be the most outstanding work of the show. In this fine painting of a demure saint contentedly contemplating the refreshened life about him as turbulent nature recedes behind him into golden calm, Fearing achieved a memorable work that only Weismann and Lester approached for its lingering, individual effect. STILL ITS EXCELLENCE was upsetting. Compared to it, the sculpture seemed even more modest and facile. It set one to lamenting the absence of two such notables as Everett Spruce and Seymour Fogel who had graced many past exhibitions. And in this darkening mood, I wandered right smack into the Presidential exhibition again and was brought up with a jolt. Sully’s simpering “Jackson” was gazing sweetly at me from under his picturesquely mussed locks. I was caught in the tight-lipped stares of countless victims of Gilbert Stuart. I turned and ran. Back to the Eighteenth Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture Exhibition. for me. Our local artists may be going Cezanne’s and Renoir’s, De Kooning’s and Duchamp’s ways more than their own. But their work has plenty of century vigor, is frequently quite refreshing, and is infinitely more varied than the stilted stuff that used to be ground out in the past. When the show moves down to San Anback up to Austin \(February 9and finally way out to Lubbock \(March 15 April should reassure all those who see it that Texas artists are well suited to the century in which they are working and, like it, are moving off in just about every direction at once. , THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 6 October 17, 1956 AUSTIN The cultural growth of Texas owes a good deal to the Art Department of the University of Texas. Situated on the campus in a crowded, hot, frame building, it is a hub of creative activity and devoted .study. Not far away, in another department, the animals which are used for scientific experiments housed in comparative luxury and air-conditioning. This apparent discrimination is, we are convinced, only temporary and does not reflect upon the importance and esteem justly enjoyed by the Art Department. To this school come students who wish to study design, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, commercial art, art education and history, and other such subjects. In common with most European schools of art, the basic foundation and first requirement of students is that they must learn to draw. The department believes that the artist must be basically trained in the art of draughtsmanship, the richest resource for creative performance. This, if we UT’s Growing Art Library bers many nationally known artists. As far as possible, the teaching schedule of these artistteachers is arranged to allow them freedom for continued artistic work. Their accomplishments help them in their teaching, and the students benefit. In this part of the world, where there are no museums and galleries like the British Museum or the Louvre, one would think that the students would be at a disadvantage in not being able to study the art of the masters of the past, as art students can in the larger UU.S. cities and in Europe. Aware of this, the Art Department has devoted a great deal of effort in compiling an extremely fine library in which students may study from accurate color reproductions a n d slides. Dr. Weismann is continuing with this fine collection and is keeping up to date so well that it is a common occurrence for color slides of a current New York Show to be studied in the Art Department before the show closes. I only wish that more public lectures and showings could be arranged to encourage the artistic awakening of Texans.