Conversation with McArthur Binion moderated by Dennis Scholl

March 26, 2015

Posted In: 2015 Featured Artists, Featured Artists


McArthur Binion   b. 1946 Icecicle: Juice 1976 oil stick, Dixon wax crayon on aluminum 71” x 45”

McArthur Binion b. 1946
Icecicle: Juice
oil stick, Dixon wax crayon on aluminum
71” x 45”

Born in Macon, Mississippi in 1946, McArthur Binion’s artistic practice spans over forty years. Growing up as a young African American man in rural America and later becoming immersed in the energetic, but predominantly white, Abstraction and Conceptualism scenes in 1970’s New York shaped Binion’s very particular visual language. Collaging personal imagery and materials with layers of waxy chromatic textures, themes of labor and a love of process have led to a multi-faceted practice that blends autobiography with form. Binion received his Bachelors of Art from Wayne State University and became the first African American to graduate from the Cranbrook Academy with a Master of Fine Arts. He has been a Professor of Art at Columbia College in Chicago since 1993.

Recent solo shows include DNA Study at Kavi Gupta CHICAGO | Elizabeth, Ghost:Rhythms at Kavi Gupta CHICAGO | Washington Blvd., and an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston. Recent group shows include Piece by Piece: Building a Collection at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Prospect.3: Notes for Now in New Orleans, Another Look at Detroit: Parts 1 & 2 at the Marlborough Chelsea and Marianne Boesky Galleries, New York, Ice Fishing at the Max Wigram Gallery, London, Above and Below the Surface: Eight Artists at the Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination in the American South at the Studio Museum, New York, Black and the Abstract, Part 2: Soft Curves/Hard Edges at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and Outside the Lines at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.

Dennis Scholl

Dennis Scholl with photo credit

Dennis Scholl is a collector of contemporary art whose willingness to experiment and encourage artists and curators to push boundaries is well known in the art world. He is currently touring a show drawn from his collection entitled, No Boundaries: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Abstract Painting, to six U.S. museums.

Scholl created a series of initiatives dedicated to building the contemporary art collections of museums, including the Guggenheim, the Tate Modern and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, which resulted in hundreds of patron-funded art acquisitions. He has served on the boards and executive committees of the Aspen Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, the Pérez Art Museum and the Linda Pace Foundation. He has been named three times to the annual WESTAF list of the Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Nonprofit Arts, and along with his wife, Debra, recently received the National Service in the Arts Award from the Anderson Ranch Art Center.

From 2009 to 2015, Scholl was the Vice President / Arts of the Knight Foundation. He oversaw the foundation’s national arts program, including the Knight Arts Challenge and Random Acts of Culture.

Scholl is a five-time regional Emmy winner for his work in cultural documentaries, including films about Tracey Emin, Theaster Gates, Wynton Marsalis and Frank Gehry. His first feature documentary Deep City: The Birth of Miami Sound, premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival. He recently produced an animated short, The Sun as a Big Dark Animal, which was an official selection at the 2015 Sundance International Film Festival. He is the co-founder of Betts & Scholl, an award-winning wine producer in Australia and France.

In 2012, Scholl was named a Harvard University Advanced Leadership Fellow, focusing on the role of culture in community engagement. Scholl is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.

Previously, Scholl was a practicing attorney and CPA.


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