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Interview with Karl Kilian, conducted by Sarah C. Reynolds.


I grew up in Houston. I wasn’t born here, but we moved here when I was two or three. My mother’s family had been here for a while. My connection with the de Menils came rather flukishly. George (de Menil) and I were in a carpool together when we were probably in the sixth grade. I laid out of school for a semester in college and came back to Houston, and my sister and her roommate who was in the art history program [at University of St. Thomas], said that there was a class in Netherlandish painting, so I signed up. Then everyone said, “Hey, don’t you be taking that course. You should be taking the survey that’s being taught by Jermayne MacAgy.” So I did both. That was the second semester of my sophomore year. Jerry died at the end of the first semester of my junior year. But in the meantime it was a small group of people and the de Menils took sort of exceptional interest in some of us—we just began to be friends. And then I worked for Dominique, I guess, on a couple of shows. Well, I stayed at St. Thomas and graduated from there because of the art history program. Then I went to New York to go to the Institute of Fine Arts, but I continued to work for Mrs. de Menil on several of her exhibitions, so we stayed in touch there as well. Some of [the help I gave her]was with writing. For a person who wrote very well, she was a little insecure about her English. She always wrote in pencil. You could see where she’d been because there was always a little pile of eraser dust on the table where she was working.

I worked with her on an exhibition called Made of Iron for some time in Houston, and it annoyed her that sometimes she would walk into a gallery and confuse bronze with iron. She would ask about a piece and she didn’t want the person in the gallery to have to say, “Well, that’s not really iron.” So she gave me a pair of tiny pocket magnets, and we’d walk into the gallery and she would nod at me, then disappear with the gallery owner while I would go and see if the magnets stuck. If they did, then the conversation would begin about that piece. To her, this was something she was serious about that was very funny, too. Nothing was conventional.

When I moved back to Houston to begin school at the University of St. Thomas, Helen Winkler (who had become a friend by then) and some others took me to an art gallery to see the work of an artist they liked a lot. It was Kathryn Swenson’s gallery, and it was Jim Love’s second, or maybe third show there. And that kind of really threw me in to all of this.

Dominique de Menil with Karl Kilian. Courtesy of the Menil Collection.

Seeing and doing

Jerry MacAgy was involved in so much of what was going on at that time, and was also sort of a conduit because I was not only aware of what she was doing right then, but would [also] learn about what she had done earlier. In addition—and this would be a little bit later—Rick Barthelme was a close friend, and his older brother Donald Barthelme was the director for a year of the Contemporary Arts Association. So kind of depending on who you were or how much you wanted to do for it, there was a lot here to see and to do. St. Thomas at the moment I was there was really kind of the nexus for all of this. I mean, if you look at the openings of one of Jerry’s shows, or later—well, really more Jerry’s than Dominique’s—everybody went because it was probably the only thing going on that night in the arts. But it also meant that you were right in the middle of things.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Houston reflections: art in the city, 1950s, 60s and 70s. OpenStax CNX. May 06, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10526/1.2
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