Black Room: South
218.4 cm x 132 cm (86 in. x 51 15/16 in.)
(Omaha, Nebraska, 1977 - )
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2009
This tapestry is from a series of eight made while the artist was living in Austin. Each tapestry references a compass direction, as indicated by its title, as well as a time of day and season of the year. Duggins adds an additional, less predictable cycle to the mix: the evolving relationship between nature and man. In Black Room (South) Duggins depicts a hearty, fully-grown tree crowned by leaves and surrounded by fawns at noon on a summer day. In Black Room (Southeast), the same tree begins a transformation. Beneath pink blossoms that indicate early spring, the tree’s branches begin to turn into lumber planks. Southeast is the first step in a narrative sequence that outlines the progression from Black Room (South) to Black Room (North) and back again. In the latter, the tree has fully transformed into a seemingly manmade wooden dome, shown standing on a snowy winter night. Originally displayed in a circular room that referenced civic spaces, Duggins alludes to medieval tapestries to give each scene historical weight. Additional tapestries narrate the fall of civilization in the artist’s ongoing narrative about the natural landscape and the forces that control it.