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Heart of Gold (Dressing Table)

Installation view

Heart of Gold (Dressing Table)

Artist: James Drake (American, born 1946)
Date: 1989
Medium: Steel, charcoal on paper, cast bronze, gold leaf
Dimensions:
(a): 32 3/8 x 50 5/8 x 1 9/16 in. (82.2 x 128.6 x 4 cm)
(b): 29 5/8 x 33 7/8 x 17 in. (75.2 x 86 x 43.2 cm)
(c): 8 1/4 x 8 3/4 x 8 1/2 in. (21 x 22.2 x 21.6 cm)
(d): 13 9/16 x 1 5/8 x 5/8 in. (34.4 x 4.1 x 1.6 cm)
(e): 13 3/4 x 1 7/8 x 9/16 in. (34.9 x 4.8 x 1.4 cm)
(f): 13 5/8 x 1 5/8 x 5/8 in. (34.6 x 4.1 x 1.6 cm)
(g): 13 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 5/8 in. (34.3 x 5.7 x 1.6 cm)
(h): 13 1/2 x 2 7/16 x 9/16 in. (34.3 x 6.2 x 1.4 cm)
(i): 13 1/2 x 2 3/16 x 9/16 in. (34.3 x 5.6 x 1.4 cm)
(j): 13 9/16 x 2 5/8 x 9/16 in. (34.4 x 6.7 x 1.4 cm)
(k): 13 7/16 x 2 7/16 x 9/16 in. (34.1 x 6.2 x 1.4 cm)
(l): 13 7/8 x 2 x 9/16 in. (35.2 x 5.1 x 1.4 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds from Jeanne and Michael L. Klein and the Herzstein Family Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2013
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 2013.34a-l
Description
Vanity has long been one of James Drake’s recurrent themes, often manifested as a vanity table or a mirror. Heart of Gold is one of several vanity tables Drake has made in his career. He used the vanity table as a symbol of the human inability to see ourselves, both individually and collectively. His use of the blackened or empty mirror or frame speaks to this blindness and loss. The frame is based on a frame from his mother’s home, so it references a familiar domestic object from his own past. The bronze ball of yarn is a cast from Mayatex, his family’s company that made saddle blankets. In an arched configuration over the mirror is a series of daggers screwed into the wall, each with words or sayings such as “forgive me,” “an idle mind,” or “one mile, one inch.” Drake’s visual language characteristically balances the classical or the baroque with the contemporary. Heart of Gold contrasts an ostentatious neo-baroque mirror with the rawness and unembellished lines of a welded steel table, creating a dialogue between past and present, ornament and simplicity.
Not on view
Publication and Exhibition History: 1990: James Drake, Adair Margo Gallery, El Paso, Texas 1991: Heart of Gold, Shea/Bornstein Gallery, Santa Monica, California 1990s: James Drake, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana 2010: 35 Years: Anniversary Exhibition, Moody Gallery, Houston, TX, group show 2010: A Thousand Tongues Burn and Sing, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX 2011: James Drake: Recent Works, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas 10/2011-4/2012: James Drake: Salon of a Thousand Souls, New Mexico Museum of Art