‘Vanity Fair’ Looks at 12 Marfa Artists

John Wesley, Nail Police, 2003. (Courtesy the artist and Fredericks & Freiser)

When artist Robert Irwin arrived by accident in Marfa, Texas, in the 1970s and saw the “magical” landscape, he got rid of everything he owned and started developing what he called “a conditional art,” which is to “deal with the conditions as they’re given to you.” Mr. Irwin is one of 12 artists featured in “A Marfa Dozen,” a slide show up at Vanity Fair of people who lived, worked or exhibited in the small town. 

While we’ve all heard a lot about Marfa, this slide show features a selection of artists with well-established and developing connections to Marfa. There’s Dan Flavin who exhibited his light work at the Chinati Foundation in the mid-’90s as well as the aforementioned Mr. Irwin, who is also featured in a video on the site, who presented his installation Untitled (Four Walls) at a temporary space at the Chinati Foundation in 2006. The younger generation of Marfa artists includes Elmgreen & Dragset, whose 2005 installation of a Prada storefront, entitled Prada Marfa, looks perfectly real except for the fact that you can’t enter it. And then there are a few former artists-in-residence of the Chinati Foundation, like John Wesley and Charline Von Heyl.

It’s enough to make you want to rent a pickup and hit the road. ‘Vanity Fair’ Looks at 12 Marfa Artists