Raised in Lubbock, Texas, artist Terry Allen—who is also an accomplished musician—has consistently made work that blends fact and fiction to challenge hierarchies and engage with questions and ideas around the Southwest border; his work is principally occupied with the social, cultural and economic situation of working class and marginalized people in the region. The work is especially resonant now, as tensions remain high over political and moral disputes related to illegal crossings. Down in the Dirt: Terry Allen’s Graphic Art is an exhibition of the artist’s lithographs, screen prints and etchings in preparation for which Briggs has immersed himself in Allen’s obsessive considerations of border landscapes, temperaments and class conflicts. His research will takes him to locations throughout the southwest to investigate the context of Allen’s work and to conduct interviews with friends, collaborators and the artist himself. Briggs also works with Chris Taylor, director of the Land Arts of the American West program, to organize two scholarly symposia that will feature, among others, Navajo/Dine printmaker Melanie Yazzie, curator of Southwestern art Joseph Traugott, founder and director of Burning Bones Press Carlos Hernandez.
Peter S. Briggs
“History books are being rewritten all the time.”