Thursday, July 21, 2016

Gary Johnson 2016



The Libertarian Party has put forth Gary Johnson as their presidential candidate. I have taken as an example of his design a bumpersticker from his campaign. So, the smallest text informing the public that he was Governor bring credibility to his campaign. It is small, but telling because he wants to distinguish himself from other candidate running. Gary Johnson's name is large over the red star and two red lines.  The word, "for" is in italics which emphasize the word president. I think this design is pretty conservative in design. Reminds me of McCain/Palin with the use of the star and lines as separator. Red, White, and Blue is common for a campaign for president, but it works well in most cases. This is not really eye catching or inspiring, but is it straight forward and makes Gary Johnson look like a viable candidate, so if it works then it works.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dr. Gill Stein 2016

Every election for the past few cycles of presidents, I have debated the design quality of the campaigns. Normally I would hit the D and the R with my options, but I have decided not to this year for my own reasons. So, what is left but the other parties making a go at it. I will start with Dr. Gill Stein of the Green Party US. This is a particularly eye catching in that the sun draws you in to grab your attention. I like how the dot of the eye also uses the yellow to emphasize Jill's name. The tag line at the top is good for an underdog, but if she rises significantly in the polls, it might be a hindrance. Of course, Green Party usually incorporates green, but yellow is bold choice in a political logo. The combination of using serif and sans serif together create a good contrast. Tomorrow I will be looking at Gary Johnson's 2016 bid for the Presidency.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Artists List

dorothea rockburne
matthew ronay
vincent fecteau
arlene shechet


joel shapiro
linn meyers

Carmen Herrera
robert mangold
richard wright

Saturday, June 04, 2016

François Morellet



An influence of some of my work come from artist François Morellet. Recently pasted in May, he had a great create of making Minimal, sometime Op work.  A few site for you to consider (wiki), (Artsy), and (Artnet).

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Project: Spread Joy With The Worlds Happiest Sticker!

Image of and his iconic smiley face design.

So I get this unsolicited email about a Kickstarter about a smiley face sticker. Normally I move on and ignore these, but his one is so bad I had to share. The image of a yellow smiley face clearly made with a sub par paint program. No mention of Harvey Ross Ball in their pitch. He, of course, is the original designer of the yellow smiley design. I understand the Smiley Company owns the rights, but it is unclear how far reaching those right go. Well, anyways, here is the link to this particular campaign on Kickstarter. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Scott Gleedon









Travels in Ithaca by Scott Gleeson.

Several weeks ago, I was on SMU campus at the Meadows Museum. After getting filled with Spanish art, I remembered I also wanted to see an art show at the Hamon Arts Library. The library’s gallery space was intimate if the walls had small works, but felt small and a little cramped with the decent size works by Scott Gleeson. Luckily each work had a bit of presence to them that I did feel that the gallery wasn’t cluttered.

I have been debating with myself whether to write about the show. Mainly because I can’t decide if all or at least some of the art in the show worked as successful pieces. I feel there are possible problems that I am not quite seeing resolved, so maybe I need further reflection. I have been thinking about beautiful failures that still have great impacts. For example, Wagner’s The Ring of Nibelung (a.k.a. The Ring Cycle) attempts to express tragedy in an opera, but fails to meet the standards of the philosopher Nietzsche. The opera also fails to translate to modern tolerance for long drawn out performances. Rarely the whole opera is performed of the several days it requires. I know the Gleeson’s paintings have a goal of helping heal real psychological trauma while reflecting on aspects of modernist practices. I have read about Gleeson’s thought processes, about his research on avant garde movements, and about his passion to alleviate veterans pain after war. I think he has thought out a great deal of issues that are coming together in his art production, however, I am unsure every piece communicates his thoughts. Then again, maybe I didn't spend enough time to really have the work sink into my subconscious. Even though I experienced the work and read about the work, I think I really need to talk to Scott Gleeson to get the full impact of his goals and ideas.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Deborah Brown


"Belle Epoque" 2015 oil on canvas 60" x 48"

When an artist get represented by a gallery, the feeling is quite exhilarating.  Deborah Brown has just be picked up for representation by Mike Weiss Gallery in New York City. From reviewing their artists that they represent, I can see she will make a good fit. Brown is employing a scumbling technique in her paintings. Only instead of small brush strokes to make objects and figures have the illusion of form, Brown makes broad gestures. Yet, her paintings still look to have shape and form. Brown is a Facebook friend of mine and I have been visiting her page from time to time to see her progress. This news of representation is a welcomed advanced for her career, but I am sure will also help challenge her to keep innovating and creating a great body of work. Knowing you have a gallery that is willing to support your vision really helps to boost an artist's spirits.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

LINDA RIDGWAY + NATASHA BOWDOIN


Natasha Bowdoin, Garden Plot (detail), 2013, site-specific installation with gouache, acrylic, and pencil on cut paper with 
latexacrylic on wall, 10 x 28 x 1 feet.  Photograph by Marc Newton.

Repost of ModernDallas.net article

Last weekend, I had the goal of visiting the Meadows Museum on SMU campus. Not for the Dali painting now up or the Marie Cronin portrait show, but mainly because it had been too long since I had visited the space and I needed a good refresher on some Spanish art. Since Talley Dunn Gallery is somewhat in the neighborhood, I thought I would drop by for a visit as well. I was not prepared for the two exhibitions. Linda Ridgway had sculptures and drawings in the front gallery, while Natasha Bowdoin cut out installations and gouache paintings in the back gallery. I was familiar with both artists, but these two shows are quite the accomplishments. When I walked into Ridgway’s show I was fascinated with the quiet beauty of her images of textiles along with her bronze nature works. When I walked into Bowdoin’s room of paper cutouts and gouache paintings, I almost fell over.

Bowdoin’s show has to be experiences to get the full effect. I know I harp on how a photograph can’t capture the experience an art piece, but this show make browsing an internet site to look at art a crime. A piece like Roots Inside has layers of cut material that can only be properly experience in person. I was getting lost in the construction of this piece. All that paper, thickly layered, felt like I was looking at a highly complex Lucio Fontana painting. But instead of just cutting into the surface, Bowdoin opens you up to a new world behind the cuts.

Garden Pot Revisited is an installation that made me want to break into a line from Midsummer's Night Dream or resight a paragraph from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I felt like I was on stage and Bowdoin’s installation was compelling me to perform. The fact that installation had clearly written words made me curiouser and curiouser. Plants were the clear theme of the installation. Many other pieces were small gouache paintings of creatures that also felt from an imaginary world of myths and fairy tails. Two paintings were works on huge pieces of paper. These works depicted moths, but in the context of the show, these moths felt other worldly.

In Linda Ridgway’s show, I was captivated by the graphite drawings. These drawings are really a mix of print and drawing. A light amount of ink creates a ghost image and she fills in more detail to make a drawing that still looks transparent, even after she adds the graphite. I could image a TSA Agent would relate to Ridgway’s transparent works. I also enjoyed reading the poem by Robert Frost on the wall of Linda Ridgway’s show, which I felt related more to her sculptures.

Both artists deal with the natural world in their works and thus I think this made a nice pairing. Natasha Bowdoin theatrical approach to nature and Linda Ridgway’s subtle, intimate way to representing nature made for a wonderful images and fueled my imagination. Both artists’ shows will be up until May 14th at Talley Dunn Gallery.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

TIMOTHY HARDING at Cris Worley Fine Arts


Installation View

Repost of ModernDallas.net article.

Another fascinating show at Cris Worley Fine Arts is up. Timothy Harding is currently exhibiting his painting hybrids in a show titled Skin. Unfortunately, Friday, May 7th is the last day for this body of work. So, if you haven’t seen it, you have a day left to view his engaging art.

Who is Timothy Harding? He is an artist that has been very active in the local DFW scene. Polishing off a BFA and a MFA from local universities, a former active member of 500x, and he was also throwing it down with the Homecoming! Committee artist collective. He has done countless shows and his work has been featured with Cris Worley Fine Arts for about two years. His work has dealt with the fundamentals of art production. I could imagine Harding saying, “what is drawing, what is sculpture, what is a painting?” Then he pushes those defining terms of art production to the limits until he creates a hybrid art piece or an art piece that plays right up to the edge of the defining features. I think that push towards the edge is why I continue to respond to his work in such a positive way.

Painting has been coming off the wall for some time now and Timothy Harding’s paintings look as if his are about to fall off the stretchers. The canvas just rolls and hangs making his hard edge straight painted lines appear warped. I was reminded of Oscar Murillo’s MOMA show where he had paintings folded and lying on the floor. Only Harding is more concerned with a level of craft rather than pure expression. The Murillo and Harding paintings smashed what was left of the myth of the picture being a window to another world. Not that the window metaphor hasn’t been destroyed over and over again. From hints of Harding’s past work, I also get the feeling he is blending the painting with ideas that relate to relief sculpture. Maybe it’s because Frank Stella’s retrospective is at the Fort Worth Modern, but I see a kind of kinship between Harding and Stella. Both are debating the limits between painting and relief sculpture. Plus, the minimalism of Harding’s current work and Stella’s old work seem to relate because of their use of the formalist elements of line to make a picture.

Some of these paintings are made of assembled strips that create a kind of collage. I was a little puzzled by these paintings at first, but on reflection, they do fit his mode of operation in creating works. I have seen him deconstruct drawings in similar ways. I personally responded more to the uniquely stretched canvas pieces. The folds and waves flew in the face of painting convention and for that I applaud his show. Although the time is short to see Timothy Harding’s show, at least his work will be making way for yet another fascinating artist, Maysey Craddock. Her opening will be May 14th.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Installation view

Repost ModernDallas.net of my article.

Cult of Color, the title of the current group show at Circuit 12 Contemporary could have easily been about process as much as color. Color doesn’t have to be explained, thus an easy read. But I saw a great deal of deeper craft at work in this family of abstract paintings, and I asked Circuit 12 owners a lot of questions about these artists and their processes.

Jacin Giordano’s color came from a process of building up layer after layer of paint then removal through cutting and scraping. Some of Giordano’s work is built up with paint outside in the elements. Nature and chance become part of his process. All of Giordano’s work is recovered to make more work, so when he removes something from a painting, that part might end up in a sculpture. Timothy Bergstrom made the bright impasto paintings where he laid plexy on top to flatten the paint. Thus squashing and smearing the paint to form trippy psychedelic abstract paintings. The colors were bright and caught your attention, but as you walked closer to the paintings, you were floored by the process. I had to ask how it was made.

Of course, I can’t write only about process. After all the show is about color. Cody Hudson’s paintings are pretty straight up shape and color relationship. I didn’t linger much on his process because his images were simple and direct. Stephen Ormandy had similar shapes as Hudson, but the colors were more electric. When looking at Family Portrait, my eyes hurt a little before I adjusted to the painted surface. Then the pain turned to pleasure in an instant. Lush and plastic, Ormandy’s other paintings might have been more muted than Family Portrait, but no less interesting.

An artist I would like to see in a solo show is Lauren Silva. I get the feeling that a few examples are not enough. Her work stood alone well, but it would be nice to see her paintings in conversation with each other, rather than in a group show. Worth mentions was Arthur Peña’s paintings. I like the repetitive mark making. Tomory Dodge and Ivan Gueorguieva round out the show with a flurry of brush work. Dodge’s and Gueorguieva’s paintings felt more like collages than paintings. Crowded and layered with objects, I could imagine these works pasted on rather than painted on. Feelings, of course, are not the same as reality, because these works were clearly paintings. Yet I still felt a relation to collage in these works.

The Cult of Color will be up until May 7th. However, this weekend, Circuit 12 Contemporary is taking the leap into the first Austin Art Fair . This new art fair will has 25 booths, will be indoors, and will be next to the outdoor fine arts festival; Art City Austin.

Monday, May 16, 2016

ART FAIR/WEEK POST MORTEM

Dallas Art fair - Works by Gianpietro Carlesso at Ronchini
Dallas Art fair - Works by Gianpietro Carlesso at Ronchini

repost of ModernDallas.net article.

The Dallas Art Fair broke records in attendance this year. It sounds like sales were fair, but with such a record audience, hopefully several new collectors were born. I know I saw little booklets filled with contact information from most of the gallery booths. Some bought at the fair, but it looks like many others will be thinking about buying in the future. I was talking to a few local gallerist last weekend and most agreed that the contacts generated from a fair eventually pays off, that is if a fair has high attendance.

Dallas Art Fair is all about Dallas. Unlike some larger fairs, flyins from international art buyers is not a real factor at play. Sure, the fair’s reputation is growing, but it is still mainly a local affair. The growing public attending is there for the spectacle, but a healthy percentage haven’t crossed over to collecting. It is not as if Dallas doesn’t have the money to support a fair, but rather more serious collectors have to be created in order to feed the artists, galleries, and other cultural institutions. Art collecting can be a bit scary, especially with such high asking prices some artworks command. However, I think with a little more time and education of the public, Art Week will not only be a spectacle, but also a source for the art market locally and internationally to profit.

So, how can the fair and art week get even bigger. If the fair moves out of the f.i.g. to a larger venue, more galleries could exhibit and also larger installations could be shown. Yet, much of the charm that is the f.i.g. Building would be lost. In the past, a few small satellite art fairs have popped up, but these small fairs never seem to repeat. I visited the local galleries during the fair and I didn’t see a lot of visitors to the spaces. Maybe a two part fair with national galleries and then local galleries. I would go to see both. What I miss at the Dallas Art Fair and what I saw at the Houston fairs is the booths for art non-profits. I think this kind of outreach would further educate the public to the rich, local visual art culture. This would also help galleries from out of town meet local curators. I would also like to see more local and international art media presence. These magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites are part of the food chain that will help people get excited about seeing art, but also educate people about art collecting as well. I understand booths are at a premium, but a spillout on the lawn and around the waterfall at the f.i.g. surely could be made available for the press.

I am happy that some collectors opened their homes to the public for tours. A few galleries and art spaces had events during the weekend. Most places were free to visit, however, it would be nice if all places in the visual arts around town where free, at least during art week. Announcements for awards could be done during or just before Art Week in order to further build excitement. For example, Art on Henderson finalist were announced on April 4th, which is a week before Art Week. I am sure there are hundreds of great ideas just waiting to be tried. I encourage anyone that want to help put DFW on the map next year to start preparing now. Make Art Week international news next year.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

RACHEL HELLMAN


Rachel Hellmann - Installation View

Repost of ModernDallas.net article.

So many exciting things are happening this weekend, I might not get to see half of what I need to see. Dallas Art Fair will be a must, but two other events will capture a my time as well. The Dallas Arts Week Party at Galleri Urbane will be my last event to visit on Saturday. To me, it will be an art week after party. And what better artist to celebrate after looking at a glut of art than Rachel Hellmann, and her formalist, quiet minimalist works. The other event is on Sunday at The Fort Worth Modern Art Museum with their opening of Frank Stella’s retrospective.

Rachel Hellmann’s paintings are on paper and on board. I first gravitated to the works on paper, because I enjoy the play of illusionistic dimensionality. The dimensionality you might get from images resembling disordered stacks of colored and patterned paper. The play of flat on flat is a pleasant sensation. Of course, maybe Hellmann intends these works on paper to reflect more of the sculptural feeling her paintings use, but I see them as more flat. Maybe because when I see tightly composed lines, I am reminded of lined paper or grid paper. A piece like Pale Garden illustrates my thoughts about her simulating this feeling of paper.

The paintings are a kind of relief, which slightly invades your space and makes the work feel lighter than a solid object. The painting Seems to Waver has a few bright colored lines with understated colored lines that are thinly applied to allow the grain of the wood panel to come through. Meanwhile a black triangle points out the right side of the painting. Everything is well balanced in color and line, yet slightly off balanced by the relief aspect of the painting.

Hellmann’s show might be able to prepare you for a show like Frank Stella’s retrospective, because in many ways her work relates to Stella both in his minimal and maximal stages. Stella created strong line paintings that were mostly black, minimal, and flat. Later, Stella created a kind of painting relief that played with the language of painting, while entering a realm of wall hanging sculptures. Hellmann’s paintings are both minimal and relief, only she isn’t maximalist. Maybe if you run through the Dallas Art Fair in 30 minutes, you might come close to the feeling of Stella’s maximalist works. I have run across several Youtube videos of the Frank Stella show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, but since his show will be so near Dallas, you have to go see it.

The Dallas Art Week Party will be Saturday from 6 to 9 and Rachel Hellmann’s show will close on May 7th. Frank Stalla: A Retrospective will open at the Fort Worth Modern on Sunday, April 17th and run through September 18th.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

DALLAS ART WEEK


Rafaël Rozendaal - 15 05 02 Gmail, 2015
Jacquard weaving
56 3/4 × 104 3/4 in
Steve Turner - Los Angeles

Repost of ModernDallas.net

Next Week, the Dallas Art Fair will launch another art filled, long weekend. Already many of the local galleries have installed shows that feature some of their strongest or riskiest works. The MTV Staying Alive Foundation with The Goss-Michael Foundation and Dallas Contemporary will be hosting their annual auction MTV RE:DEFINE this weekend. PumpHouse and Power Station host openings, The Karpidas Collection opens for an hour, panel talk at Site 131, tour of the f.i.g., and even Barbeque hosted by Heritage Auctions; if you love art then this coming week would be a good time to take off from work, so you won’t miss anything.


The Dallas Art Fair is one of the most charming art fairs out there. The f.i.g. space allows for fair goers to move around from booth to booth less systematically than your typical fair. Only in spots does the grid format of most fairs comes into play. I am also happy to see a little preview from their Artsy page. Miles of images can be found on this site of participating galleries. You can find a great deal of information for the Dallas Art Fair on their website.

Some of the galleries I am looking forward to seeing are first of all, local. I keep forgetting to drop by And Now gallery, so seeing them at the fair will make it easier. They have a smart program, so I am excited to see what they bring to the fair. Because I can’t always get over to Fort Worth on a frequent basis, I am happy to see William Campbell Contemporary Art will be present. Their booth will be one I will want to visit. Valley House, Talley Dunn, Conduit, Chris Worley, Erin Cluley, Kirk Hopper Fine Arts and RO2ART are all great galleries I have written about, so it will be nice to see what kind of group exhibition they cook up for the fair.

But a fair wouldn’t be good without the national and international galleries. London, New York, Berlin, and Dubai along with a whole host of galleries from around the world have descended on Dallas. Bitform Gallery from New York looks like they have art from the future. Louise Alexander Gallery from Italy has some clean, elegant work. Brand New Gallery, also from Italy, reminds me of work I have seen at Dallas gallery Circuit 12 Contemporary. For a taste of LA, check out Steve Turner’s Booth. Also on the west coast is Hosfelt Gallery from San Francisco, they have several artists employing minimalist aesthetic while they also maximize with details. I could go on and on, but there are too many galleries I want to visit based on viewing their sites, seeing work on Artsy, or from seeing some of the galleries at past art fairs.

The Dallas Art Fair has done its job in creating a cultural event that would act as an anchor for all other art institutions, galleries, and art spaces to get involved. More and more people have been calling the week of the fair, Art Week and I too will join in this chorus of voices. Preview is on Thursday and the fair is from Friday to Sunday, ending on April the 17th at 6P.M.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Email from Ed Blackburn part 1

A long time ago, (6  or 7 years ago) I took a class with Ed Blackburn. About a year ago, his emails began to populate my feed. These were paintings that were extremely topical at the time. It was like news happened and then I got an email with a painting of the event. I thought of how it must have been like before TV. Paintings were part of the mass media machine during that time. So, these works reach into the past and play with the present. These emails come from Ed and Linda Blackburn's account, so I don't want to assume that everything I received was created by Ed. But his style and engagement in current events speaks to what I know about him and his work informs me that the work below is his paintings. From the work I have seen from Linda, she plays with a different kind of narrative in her paintings. Anyways, here is Ed Blackburn's paintings from June 12 2015.


Loretta lynch


Congressmen speak


Assad

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Allan Kaprow - How to Make a Happening





One of my first papers I wrote about in college was on the post war artist Allen Kaprow. I even wrote a Happening for that class, but I didn't have the guts to pass out the script and have people perform.




Saturday, April 02, 2016

RUSTY SCRUBY


That's Radicchio, acrylic on archival paper construction
12.5 x 11.5 x 2 inches



ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

Beautifully woven structures along with flat paintings populate the walls of Cris Worley Fine Arts by artist Rusty Scruby. I was reluctant to write about the show, because ModernDallas.tv internviewed Scruby. However, the work kept revisiting my thoughts, so I was compelled to write about the work.

Rusty Scruby has shown quite a bit over the years in Dallas, so I have become familiar with his evolution in his art. Most people know him for his photographic structures. His father’s photos and later his own were used to create some images that resembled cubism in light of the digital age. Unlike David Hockney’s photo collages which were cut in more of the style of cubism, Scruby would create a strong pattern of slightly varied repeating images. I saw this past work in relation to time, movement, and blurred memory, rather than purely referencing Modernism. Also, unlike Hockney, Scruby wasn’t capturing a moment like most photography, but rather he was creating a kind of anti-photo that attempts to simulate the capturing of memories. A photographed moment can be contained, but a memory is less clear, less definable, and can’t be recalled perfectly I also understand that Scruby sees mathematical patterns in life, which inform his work. The past shows felt fast and broken apart and that is why this show is a radical departure from those shows.

This show titled Firesticks, captures a moment like a camera, only these are paintings. Some works are more like musings on pattern, but others depicting cactus plants which feel slowed down compared to his past work. Scruby is meditating on these objects and patterns, so the images are clearly defined as if he is staring at the objects and attempting to record them in his head as he see them. Some distortion is occurring through his woven structures, but the image is still stable and quiet. It was clear to me that Scruby was attempting to keep these objects still unchanged in his memory, which of course, is impossible. Still, worthy pursuit when remembering someone close to you.

Rusty Scruby’s flat work took me by surprise, mainly because I had not seen this work from him in a gallery setting. I assumed he worked and sketched out ideas, but this was a real treat to see work that related to his dimensional structures. I don’t know why I found the pattern paintings on pattern structures so fascinating, but these also felt like a departure from his old series. The painting Bright Shade seemed to explode out like a mathematical cascade. I guess the pattern felt like I was tapping into a little what Scruby sees in the world.

Cris Worley Fine Arts with have Rusty Scruby’s Firesticks show up until March 26th. After which will be Timothy Harding with an opening on April 2nd. Knowing his work, I will likely be compelled to write about his show too. I hope it is as good as I expect it will be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Blog About Art

Art blog by Rodney Rogers. Photos of art shows at galleries and museums.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Theo Slaats



03-03-2016 big size upload
(to the Foresters series)
(hand dancing?..)(note for later)


Another artist I meet through Facebook. An artist from the Netherlands in the town of Venlo. Playful drawings of characters and sketchy scenes. For more images of the work, visit the Facebook page site here

Sunday, March 27, 2016

20th art auction with David Dike Gallery

Deforrest Judd

Date of auction was in January 2016.

Deep in the Design District, David Dike with be celebrating their 20th art auction at Wildman Art Framing on 1715 Market Centre Blvd. The gallery has ventured down to the district before to do their annual auctions, but this year it seems the gallery is making an extra effort for their 20th year. If you don’t know much about David Dike Gallery, they specialize in early, mid-century modern, and some contemporary Texas art. Their gallery is located in Midtown Dallas and when I visit, I often see landscapes, still life paintings, and some cubist abstractions on the wall.

The 20th anniversary auction features much of what you might see on their gallery walls, but the number of artworks in the auction would never fit in their gallery space. I find the works on paper particularly interesting. Verda Ligon’s Galveston Harbor print from the 1940’s has lines (real and implied) that move your eyes vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. The lights and darks are compelling as well. Ed Curry’s wild lithograph perspective piece titled The Trees puts you off balance. The two male figures also add to the delightful strangeness of this picture.

Paintings are an important part of the auction, and sure, there are a few bluebonnet landscapes that populate the lots. After all, Impressionist style came to Texas as it did the rest of the world. Texas had to be translated by our artists in the same way the French had to paint their landscapes. You will also find other Impressionist landscapes without our signature flower and Regionalist style art at the auction. The auction features a few relatively contemporary pieces as well. David McManaway’s 1986 assemblage is going to take your breath away. Either you will love it or hate it, but his collection of objects stacked in an orderly fashion keeps you looking. Little treasures are hidden all over this work and thankfully they are left bare to see. I enjoyed Sam Gummelt’s minimal collages which use the city of Waco as part of his titles. Having once lived in Waco, I get these pieces. A more calm, quiet, and realist style of painting is Ancel E. Nunn’s work The Secret Place, which is reminiscent of Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina's World. I love how the figure is stretched out near the horizon line. Three bronze animal sculptures populate the lots. Douglas Clark and Jack Bryant are both contemporary artists working in Texas and both have their own interpretation of the Texas longhorn. Clack also has cast a hare that looks a bit surprised.

The art auction will be live this Saturday, on January 23rd. Bidding starts at 1:00 PM, but I would advise to go early and see the works in person. Even if you plan to bid online, you should see these works in person to get a real sense of the work you like. Online images never really do art work justice. You can also phone absentee bid as well. All information about the auction and the online catalog is at www.daviddike.com.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

WHAT MAKES A GOOD OR EVEN GREAT PIECE OF ABSTRACT ART MADE TODAY?

Paul Behnke, Mini-Corsair, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

What makes a good or even great piece of abstract art piece made today. Creating non-objective art is still relatively new compared to representational art, so many of the rules are not completely clear. For me, engaging compositions is usually a good way to start evaluating the works. Determining if the marks appear to be gestures to decorate the image, or thought out expressions that are attempting to solve balance and unity in the picture. The lines are blurry and with the ever increasing glut of abstract artists out there, it has become increasingly hard to see who is being thoughtful and who is playing to the trends.

Kirk Hopper Fine Art has entered the fray with an offering of abstract artists that declare themselves separate from the current scourge of abstraction, zombification. Art critics, like the rest of the culture, has become fascinated with the concept of zombies. In art, zombie paintings tend to look like decaying walls, sometimes black and white, but generally undistinguished from one artist that made a painting to the next. I have seen a few artists in Dallas that have been bitten, but it is not Zombleland out here. However, I have seen an over abundance of colorful works that are like twinkies, all cream filling with little nutritional value. Opening this weekend is Kirk Hopper Fine Art’s show titled We Are All Dead which is neither filled with zombies or twinkies.

Cande Aguilar uses good practices to keep her abstract paintings fresh with inclusions of collage, vibrant color schemes, and enjoyable compositions that keep you looking at the picture. Nothing dead about her work. Paul Behnke make flatter paintings, but with larger areas of color that Aguilar. His colors look like something out of a spring festival. The colors are alive and his shapes play off of each other quite well.

Back in 2009 at HCG gallery, I was reminded a little bit of Dick Wray’s abstracts when looking at Valerie Brennan’s work. Maybe because I still remember that space and I want to see a connection or just the way the two artists create compositions, but I felt a kinship there. Mali Morris reminded me a bit of David Reed. The smearing effect is his thing, so it is hard not to see his influence on Morris. When it comes to Brain Edmonds, quilts and textiles come to mind, rather than any particular person. His informal geometric shapes combine into patterns that reflect ideas represented by the first abstract artists, quilters.

Karl Bielik’s paintings look to be experiments that might or might not be inform by another painting. I have seen this approach before, where the painting sometimes fails in part and yet successes as a whole, because so much is tried and covered up and other solutions are found. This back and forth approach makes for some lively abstractions.

The show includes artists: Cande Aguilar, Paul Behnke, Karl Bielik, Valerie Brennan, Brian Edmonds, Mali Morris, Sabine Tress, and Pier Wright. Kirk Hopper Fine Art will be opening this show of abstract art on the 5th of March 2016. They are making an argument with this show, but I encourage you to debate about what makes good or great abstraction in painting at the opening. Maybe we can flush this idea out some more.

Friday, March 25, 2016

THOMAS HART BENTON



Thomas Hart Benton (1889­–1975)
Bootleggers, 1927
Egg tempera and oil on linen, mounted on Masonite panel
© T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/UMB Bank Trustee/Licensed by 
VAGA, New York, NY, www.vagarights.com
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston Salem, North Carolina, Museum 
purchase with funds provided by Barbara B. Millhouse, Courtesy of Reynolda House 
Museum of American Art. Art



ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

If you want to see the good, bad, and the ugly about the United States in early to mid twentieth century paintings, then Thomas Hart Benton is your man. Amon Carter Museum of American Art is featuring 100 works by Benton in a show titled American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood. It has been quite a while since Benton has had a major exhibition and I find it quite interesting that he is paired with film making.

I was instantly reminded about two artists in Europe that were interested in film. In 2008, a documentary came out about the founders of cubism titled: Picasso and Braque go to the Movies. It was about early cinema’s huge influence on the development of their style and even color palettes. Benton on the other hand was influenced by lighting, set design, and staging a scene. I see Benton as focusing on the theatrical aspect of film. His murals were often montages of conflicting scenes and characters depicting meandering narratives. Some of the paintings in the shows were used for movie posters, because Benton was able to boil down a scene into just one picture. But many of the paintings feel more Broadway than Hollywood, because his scenes are filled with characters that are compacted onto one stage, rather than depicted in several scenes.

Benton’s style is often described as depicting people as caricatures. I see everything in his composition as caricature. From the landscape, to the objects around the people, everything is stylized and exaggerated. I know some have described him as a realist, but I don’t think this description even comes close to his style. Benton distorts things and people a little like an expressionist might distort a landscape or figure. I am somewhat put off by his pessimism, but then I have to remind myself that authors writing around his time like Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway also have a similar fatalistic approach. Maybe with a great deal more ambiguity than Benton, but I see him in that zeitgeist.

Benton was quite a traditionalist in that he did a lot of preparation for his competitions. Some evidence is here in the show with some drawings and sketches. He also made use of clay and live models to get the lighting and staged scenes just right. His paintings were gridded out and every element was in place when he executed his final paintings. I do admire his attention to detail and method of art production.

When opinions shifted against his work in the art world, there may have been a need of distance before another major exhibition was launched. I think the idea of pairing Benton with film helps viewers with a way into the work for a contemporary audience. However, it would be nice to see a show about Thomas Hart Benton that is purely about him as a retrospective. Lets hope it will not take another 25 years. American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood ends on May 1st at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

JACKSON POLLOCK



Jackson Pollock, Number 14, 1951
Oil on canvas, Overall: 57 3/4 x 106 in.
Tate, Purchased with assistance from the American Fellows of the Tate Gallery Foundation 1988
© 2015 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York



ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

By now, the Jackson Pollock show at the Dallas Museum of Art has been covered by the local and international press. But because the show is up for another month, I thought I would give my perspective on the show and tell you why it was worth a go. Many of the local art scene people kept urging me to see this body of work. Personally I thought I had seen enough Pollock works to make an informed opinion. However, on their recommendations I went and I am happy I made the effort. These featured pieces at the DMA completely took me by surprise. The focus on Pollock’s black and white works showed a side of him that I was unaware existed.

Personally, I appreciated Pollock without particularly being much of a fan of his work. If I was picking my favorite artist out that era, Rothko and his color field paintings would be my choice. I think Pollock’s paintings pretty much ended the Abstract Expressionist. No one before him had ever reached the automatic painting level that Pollock had achieved and anyone after him attempting the same style and action would have the added weight of history to make those marks which would be a little less heroic and less authentically unconscious. The logical response to Pollock by his predecessors was to create minimalist rather than maximalist images. The Minimalist painters attempted to see how little information could be shown to create and aesthetic experience, while the Pop artists attempted to move away from the hand gesture to machine polished look.

I also see Pollock having a hard time getting out of the shadow of Picasso. Especially in this black and white show, I see his figures influenced by Picasso’s cubism/surreal styles. The depiction of the figure seems to flow through all his work, but the bodies represented in these paintings pop out at you. However, these are simplified and more abstract than Picasso. Much like Willem de Kooning, Pollock worked in the female human form in several pieces. Other times, it is clear in this show that he let his unconscious play with his mark making to make something pretty much nonrepresentational. These works captured my attention the most. Not having the more obvious representational elements in these pieces allowed my imagination run more wild. I thought about all kinds of things that related to memories and objects I have seen, but probably was mile away from his intent.

The curation of the show was an impactful element that build context and a bit of suspense in me. The first few rooms were what I would have expected to see from just about any Pollock show. Complex drip paintings that he was famous for producing. Then you are eased into the black and white works. You can feel his transition going on as you walk through these galleries. Finally, you come across a huge complex drip work in the second to the last room of the show. The beginning and end act as frames that place a context around this period of Pollock’s time working in Black and white. You get the sense maybe this at stripping away for other colors was pollock’s attempt to peel away at the essence of his style. Once he had resolved his getting back to basics moment, he returned to the more layered dripped works, only now with a fresh perspective. I hope you get a chance to visit this show of Jackson Pollock’s work at the Dallas Museum of Art. You have until March 20th, so join the museum as a member or just go buy a ticket. It will be well worth your time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I LOVE WORKS ON PAPER


Annette Lawrence Installation. photo credit for all images: Kevin Todora

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

I love works on paper. Ever since I saw a Degas show at the Art Institute of Chicago back in the early 90’s, it occurred to me the that a piece of paper with medium could stand as a finished work. I have often seeked out shows that deal with drawings, paintings, or even sculptures that use this material. The group show at Erin Cluley and most the works in Annette Lawrence’s show at Conduit Gallery are a works on paper bonanza.

When I first walked into the main gallery of Conduit, I was instantly drawn to Lawrence’s drawings on paper, unframed and pinned to the wall. Each paper with her calendar drawings were exposed to the elements of the gallery. So, moisture had slightly misshapened the paper. The pins in the paper showed evidence that these pieces were hanging somewhere else. The material of paper and how it changes was as much about time and history as her conceptual drawings. I think her paper pieces in particular worked on several levels.

When visiting Erin Cluley, the first three pieces that grabbed my attention were works by Nicholas Mathis. The ink on paper drawings were quite lyrical and imaginative. Elements of wind and nature swirl around the image. I enjoyed all the detail work and how he kepted you looked around the piece. I flipped threw his book of small drawings. It was a real joy. Somehow interacting with his work in this way made me feel transported into his studio. It felt informal and intimate.

Zoe Charlton’s collage pieces struck me at first as a little campy, but I wasn’t allowed to let go and so I returned to them. My first impressions faded and I felt that I might be looking at a more complex narrative structure that was filled with dream and political elements. I came away wanted to learn more about this artist. Charlton has an MFA out of UT Austin and examples of her work online make me hope to see another show by her soon.

I was happy to see more work by Josephine Durkin. Her blue and green abstract wall sculptures are quite playful. The simplicity of JM Ritz’s lines to form a face was another attractive group of works. Lauren Sleat took her line for a walk across her paper, Rene Trevino wall papered the sky, Grace Hartigan reminded me of Marc Chagall, and Zanne Hochberg reminded me of Art Brut. Over all, Erin Cluley put together an interesting show and I wish I had time to see it again.

Unfortunately, this weekend is the closings of both the Works on Paper at Erin Cluley and Annette Lawrence: Standard Time at Conduit Gallery. If you have missed Conduit Gallery’s three exhibits this month then drop by early to see them. However, if you want to stay out late Saturday night then go to Erin Cluley, Galleri Urbane, The Public Trust, and Liliana Bloch Gallery. All these galleries are having closing receptions, so you have a good reason to get out and see some art before you miss them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

CHANGE FOR THE ARTS IN 2016

Shiki 1 x Space, 2014, photographic print. Photo courtesy the artist and Zhulong Gallery

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

2016 has had a rocky start this year with a few member of the art community passing and closings of some galleries. I mentioned before that Re Gallery closed, but Zhulong Gallery and Lab Art have also closed.

To be honest, I was never really impressed with Lab Art. So little street based artists interest me. It seems like a type of art that few taggers are willing to stretch the limits in style and form, so you end up with a great deal of sameness and mediocrity. After the first few times I ventured into the space, I was pretty much left unimpressed and then I just stopped going. There is only so much street level rehash Pop art one can take before it gets drab and boring.

Zhulong Gallery on the other hand was a huge tragedy to close. I thought this was the gallery the said what Dallas is, and aspires to be as a city. The program was tech savvy, rooted in Modernist clean aesthetics, strong on content, form, and design. I felt that if with enough time, the gallery would have become a driver of taste. But this was short lived and now we are only left with memories of show like: Azuma Makoto who brought us the tree that traveled the world and the edge of space, the fictional landscapes of Jeremy Couillard, and the sublime images of Anne Katrine Senstad. I have seen several galleries have 3D printed art, but nothing like Matthew Plummer-Fernandez’s objects. Zhulong Gallery was strong in their use of video art and really pushed works that played with new technologies. I felt like this was a gallery where artists that are interested in the new media field could shine. Unfortunately, this is not the first gallery to disappear with the goal of being tech heavy. You might remember years ago the And Or Gallery. They also attempted this model, but moved on to new challenges. Not to say that a gallery with this kind of mission can’t work, it just has to have all the stars align, I suppose.

For a moment I thought WASS Gallery was gone too, but they have renamed the space Level Gallery. Possibly this rebranding is a way for the gallery to show the public they have a new mission in mind for their space. They state that the gallery wants to show socially and politically engaging work. Opening up with oil and gas as a theme already touches on a hot button topic. Maybe Level Gallery will look more like Houston’s Station Museum of Contemporary Art, which would mean a great deal of controversy could be brewing.

I must mention the passing of June Mattingly. She was a fixture in the gallery scene and she was big on supporting Texas artists. She was also a contributing arts writer to ModernDallas.net with her articles’ byline titled Special “Eye” to Watch. I read an archived article about a September openings back in 2010 and it brought me back to all those places. I had seen 6 out of the 7 shows she mentioned. She had me kicking myself for having missed the one. When she left ModernDallas.net to compile her book on Texas contemporary artists, I took the job as arts writer. Thanks June for creating opportunities for artists.

Monday, March 21, 2016

WHAT IS THE POINT OF A UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY?

image is courtesy of John Hernandez

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

What is the point of a university art gallery? A good stock answer would be: art galleries and art museums on a campus function as an educational tool for their students and the broader public. But when I was getting my MFA, I found the campus galleries could also function as laboratories for students to experiment with displaying their work and testing out ideas. Both are good reasons to go out of your way to visit these spaces. It can be a bit challenging when attempting to park near a gallery, but if you plan ahead and get familiar with these spaces you will find visiting exhibitions of raw student talent, facility offerings, and uniquely curated shows rewarding.

The University of Dallas has the Beatrice M. Haggerty Art Gallery. I saw a spectacular show about painting one year that opened my eyes to a few artists that were new to me. Coming next month, the gallery has a Marc Chagall show, which to be honest isn’t particularly interesting to me, maybe because I have seen a glut of his work, but to see 50 original works might make it worth it if you like Chagall. The show starts on February 5th, so mark your calendars.

Pollock Gallery will have a faculty show on the 22nd. I always enjoy this type of show, because it helps you understand the influences the students are under. Slightly similar to the way artists in the apprentice eras were influenced by their masters, students of the University system either fully embrace their professors’ work and guidance, or the students react against it. Either way, this will help guide your understanding of what is coming out of the University. Plus, professors are also generally major players in the local art scene.

On January 25th, UT Arlington has a retrospective of John Hernandez. These are incredibly odd images and the show spans 37 years of his art career. Humorous, cartoony, with dayglow Pop color elements are Hernandez’s mode of operation. I see elements of street art and tattoo images, but melted and twisted into something a little more surreal.

Winter break takes out a chunk of exhibition time for many of the University galleries and UNT is no different. The UNT Gallery, Lightwell Gallery, Cora Stafford Gallery, North Gallery, and the UNT Art Space in Dallas are all closed until February 2nd. However, the University’s gallery on the square in downtown Denton has a must see show of Annette Lawrence. This show runs through the 30th of January and you will see a moment in her career where things begin to gel and inform her current exploration. Speaking of her current work, she also has a show at Conduit Gallery.

Not to leave community colleges out, Mountain View College has come off another strong year of shows. From paintings by Zeke Williams to Lynne Harlow, I don’t think I’ve seen a program at a community college with such a bold and impactful program as MVC. Maybe Giovanni Valderas left a legacy that will continue the next few years. I wonder what 2016 has in store.

Right now the colleges are gearing up for their educational programs, but Master of Fine Art thesis show season will begin soon in the spring, so look for the new talent showing around colleges and universities. You might see the next art star or at least someone that becomes influential to the next generation.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

FRANCES BAGLEY + RYAN BURGHARD at Cydonia Gallery

Installation shot

ModernDallas.net repost of my article

If your into a little light reading of post structuralist theories, you might want to continue your study with a little visual education at Cydonia Gallery. Sadly the current show of Frances Bagley and Ryan Burghard is coming down this weekend, so your window of opportunity is closing. Even if you’re not into the philosophically dense books, you will still feel a great deal of emotional depth for these two artists in dialogue.

I know this is a last minute write-up about a show I would like you to see, but it took me a great deal of reflective thought in order for me to create words that described my feelings. For me, the two artists almost merged into one with several pieces in the show and other times distinctive voices seems to be cry out their individuality. The best conversations between friends and art comes from waves of disagreement and consensus. The theme I derived from the show was the power shown in multiplicity. Frances Bagley’s piece titled Perch and Ryan Burghard’s piece titled Hold are both made of individual fibers to make a whole object. Burghard’s twined rope seemed to have possibility of an on going functions while Bagley’s cut braided hair has lost function.

Burghard’s Untitled piece made of salt and ammonia in a mason jars with cardboard tubes inserted into each one was quite the spectacle. When I was told that coal miners would give their wives this concoction as a type of floral substitute, I began imagining my grandfather presenting one of these to my grandmother. At first I can’t imagine she would have been impressed, but as the thing grows, the white salt just builds up and falls back into the jar and seems to bloom out over the sides. It must have given her pleasure to see such a strange, yet beautiful expression of chemistry. Image this jar growing crystals next to over a hundred other jars and now you have an event. I see this as something akin to watching stars fall in the sky during a meteor shower. I could have stayed there for hours watching the crystals fall.

Bagley’s piece titled Cho made of fabric and resin also had a flower like quality. Simulating pedals that progressively got smaller toward the center. Unlike Burghard’s Untitled piece, Bagley’s work was like a preserved flower, no longer growing, but kept as evidence of its former life. To me, these two pieces talked to each other, but said very different things.

After seeing several Cydonia Gallery shows, it seemed obvious to me that Dallas’ own Frances Bagley might end up in a show. But finding an artist so well paired with her like Ryan Burghard is, shows the skill and quality of the curation of the gallery. After the closing on the 9th, Cydonia Gallery will be taking a winter break and opening up on January 30th for a show about abandoned places by the artist Oscar Berglund.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Year in Review


Trey Egan at Cris Worley Fine Arts - Wanna Be Forevermore, 2015, oil on canvas, 59 x 76 inches

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

Another exciting year in art for Dallas is in the history books. A great number of good shows and events occurred over the past year and one really sad moment as well. I am pretty blue over the closing of RE Gallery. Though I am happy that Wanda Dye is doing this out needing a change in her life and not out of bitter necessity.

Wanda Dye came to Dallas to teach design and architecture, but the Re Gallery and Studio project was something she developed while she was teaching. So, when the moment was right, she renovated a house for a gallery space. Unlike the typical white cube format, Dye chose to keep the walls rough and unfinished. She used the space as a lab for some personal projects around the city. It took about a year to complete for each project. However, the art gallery incorporated in the project increasingly took precedence, and selling art was challenging. Dye told me that she could have kept things going financially, but the urge to move back to help out with family in Alabama and the feeling that shows were getting repetitive contributed to her need to close. To me, it sounds like Dye had learned a great deal from the Re Gallery and Studio experience, but she is now looking for new challenges.

Galleries in town have gotten pretty diverse in their offerings during 2015. A heavy amount of conceptual work has come out of Cydonia Gallery this year. This is a real Idea gallery where her artists explore the edges of aesthetic investigation. I wrote about both Michael Just’s and Bronwen Sleigh’s shows, but I think I could have said something about just about every exhibition, because I had strong views after leaving each show. Public Trust will have a great program going forward in 2016 with the one piece concept. Brian Gibbs has already had a few shows with the concept of displaying just one piece for people to contemplate, but that concept is continuing. I am sure that this idea will grab some press. Speaking of press we couldn’t get enough of Francisco Moreno’s show at Erin Cluley Gallery. It was an epic show with all the flash and color I expect from the gallery. Zeke Williams was another show I enjoyed there. Simon Bilodeau’s show at Circuit 12 Gallery was a wakeup call for owners Gina and Dustin Orlando. Such an ambitious and impressive installation at the gallery convinced him to maybe stretch out his calendar a bit on shows to give more time for people to see the work.

Consistently good shows came out of galleries like Holly Johnson which was nice enough to host my own work. Cris Worley Fine Arts which hosted Trey Egan’s painting show that got me thinking about some trends in the art world, and Barry Whistler Gallery’s show of Tom Orr was particularly stunning, and Galleri Urbane had several shows I wrote about.

I am aware that I am exclusively talking about the commercial spaces, but a great deal of positive events have occurred in these spaces this year and without these spaces and our support Dallas would not have a real visual art scene. So, in 2016, get out and be consistent in seeing art and you will be richer for it.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mieko Hathaway


Mieko Hathaway is a watercolor artist that lives in Jefferson, Texas. For a little while, she had an art gallery in town that featured local and regional artists. Now she is showing in Marshall, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana. He watercolors feature traditional scenes, florals representations, and some architecture shown in her paintings. I meet her when I first moved into town and she introduced me to a great deal of artists in the area. I am very thankful for her generous spirit. I am also impressed by how Hathaway seeks out art lessons by other professionals.

Friday, February 19, 2016

James E. Sanders


One of the best potters out of East Texas lives around Marshall, Texas. I have two coffee cups by him, but I wish I had a great deal more works by him, because his work is quite elegant. He has his own symbols and designs that seem a little out of time and space from behind the pine curtain of East Texas. He just had a show at the Marshall Fine Art Center this winter. He has a show around every December, so I am looking forward to next years show already.

Outdoor Art Fairs

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Peter Drew and his project



Peter Drew asks, what is a real Aussie? This is the current project by Peter Drew. Here is his link. He is putting up a 1000 posters across the country to question the past policies of Austrian government and the current discussion about immigration in the country.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Peter Drew on Art II


This piece by Peter Drew is on art schools. Ouch, is all I can say. I wouldn't have traded my time in art school for all the debt I accumulated.


Ah, the genius.


Finally something about art critics.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Peter Drew on Art


This is from Peter Drew's series on Art. He did several episodes and I though they were entertaining to watch so I thought I would post a few links here.  The first video is on Art Galleries vs Reality.


 This one is on Why anything can be art.


Next is about street art vs the Art Market. Tomorrow I post the other three videos.



Monday, February 15, 2016

Texas sites for Art Professionals

Here are some links to Texas artist site that help provide resources to artists. First is the Texas Visual Arts Association here is the (site). Next is the Art Professionals of Texas or APT and here is their (site). Another site is Artists in Texas and their (site). So, why join these groups. Depends on what path you want to take. It could be a good first step to get noticed. It could be an ongoing career move or it could be a way to network with other artists to put together group shows. What ever the reason, they are groups that are plugged into the competitions and the good places to show. They are worth check out.