Studio in the Museum: An Interactive Recreation of Charles Umlauf's Studio
APRIL 22 - OCTOBER 16, 2016
The Studio in the Museum exhibition was concerned with the process Umlauf undertook to develop his finished sculptures. Those early stages, sometimes tentative and often more fragmentary, contain tremendous vitality. And the locus of all that energy is the artist’s studio. In his studio, Umlauf drew, carved, modeled and painted. In the studio one senses the raw, unformed moments of developing art. One can see, hear, smell and - if luck holds - feel the same materials the artist used.
Umlauf often explained his need to make sculpture by saying, “My memory is in my fingertips.” That deceptively simple statement highlights how paramount the sense of touch was for Umlauf. Memory holds the past as well as the future, it holds ideas, images, feelings, smells, sounds. In a sense, memory is everything. In Umlauf’s case “everything” was tactile. In celebration of the UMLAUF's 25th anniversary, Studio in the Museum re-introduced visitors to Charles Umlauf in a way that is both memorable and tactile. The basis of the exhibition is Umlauf’s studio, built in 1956 on a steep bluff overlooking Barton Springs Road. He was 45 years old, an artist at mid-career who finally had the means to build a studio that wasn’t a repurposed carport or living room.