A Home for 'Progress' (and 'Border Crossing')
Coming to the University of Texas changed the course of Luis Jiménez's life, not to mention his career, so it's only fitting that UT's Blanton Museum of Art be home to two of the late sculptor's epic fiberglass works.
On Wednesday, the Blanton announced that, thanks to the efforts of an anonymous donor and longtime museum benefactors Jeanne and Michael Klein, its permanent collection would now be home to Jiménez's Progress II (1976), a massive sculpture of a vaquero roping a snarling steer with glowing red eyes, and Border Crossing (1989), the image of a family – man carrying woman carrying infant – heading north across the Rio Grande. The former work, which was recently refurbished through the support of the unnamed donor, has been on display in the second floor collection galleries for a few months now and proven to be a very popular draw, according to Blanton curator at large Annette DiMeo Carlozzi. The latter, which was a gift from the Kleins, has just been installed on the museum’s mezzanine. Given the Blanton’s holdings in both art of the American West and the Latino experience, these works will show how easily artists in the last century crossed those borders. And they're splendid examples of how Jiménez was, in every sense, larger than life.