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.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

NW LA Artists Directory

So, since I am in the area of Louisiana, East Texas, and Arkansas I have tried to join a few groups and get to know a few artists in the area. I have recently joined the North West Louisiana Artists Directory. Check out their site.  The site features not only visual artists, but actors, writers, and just about anyone participating in the creative economy. I am impressed that they have such a network in this area. I discovered this network through Artspace out of Shreveport, LA. They have shows for artists and other art events at the space.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Brandon Stapp


It is not often I talk about music, but in this case I would like to talk about the career of Brandon Stapp. We go way back to the second grade and every now and then we have touched base with each other. For most of middle and high school, Brandon was searching for a way to express himself. He did a little drawing, some short film making, wrote a little, but when he got to college, he started developing his passion for playing turn table style music. His first break was with the WWHR college radio station where he took the persona of Airon which he used during his Airon Later show and a Near Dark goth show. For more detail on this time at the station, check out this site that goes into detail. I knew Brandon was mixing music, but when my second animation I was producing needed a soundtrack, I asked him if he might be interested. What he delivered was a great track that fit the piece perfectly. Later, I went to a few parties he was hosting while spinning records and I was quite impressed with his talent. Doing the DJ thing can have its ups and downs. He hasn't been able to always play full time, but I am sure the music is still flowing through him as we speak.
He also got passionate about politics a bit and he blogged about things he was running across the internet. His blog is 43 Ideas Per Minute, but it seems he hasn't updated it for a while.  Back in 2007, he wrote to the Bill O' Reilly show and was quoted on the air. Brandon wrote, "O'Reilly, it's amazing how you behave like a spoiled child when confronted with a calm, factually correct guest like Dave Kopel." Check out this source link.
He is also a Facebook friend, but our friendship predates the site by a ton of years. I remember he also writes. One particular short story titled Nine Inch Neal was my favorite. His Facebook account is linked here.
This summer I am going back to Kentucky. Visiting Brandon will be a must do on my list of visits.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Julie Karabenick



Composition 101 acrylic on canvas 40 x 38 in 2011

Blocky abstract work, her paintings are like maps and other paintings are like buildings. I see urban planned abstractions with attractive color schemes. The work above is similar to a topographical map of a city or maybe the insides of a computer. Julie Karabenick is another Facebook friend of mine that makes paintings. I enjoy watching the work progress and I hope you get a chance to visit her site.  She is currently curating an interesting geometric form and structure show at this site. Read the goals of the site here.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Alison McWhirter

‘Interior;into the Peter Pan Garden’ oil
40X40CM


Alison McWhirter makes heavy impost paintings of flowers and abstract shapes. Theses works are buttery like icing on a cake. The compositions are blocky simple forms that capture the essence of the shapes she representing. She is a UK artist and another Facebook friend of mine. Here is a link to her website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hernan Ardila Delgado

An example of one of his Assembles

Hernan Ardila Delgado lives in Barcelona, Spain. He is an artist with a great minimal/post-minimal skill. I was attracted by his work because I love minimalism that still have rustic elements. The juxtaposition of perfect with raw imperfection is quite pleasing. Here is a link to his site. Sometimes I get the feeling his work plays a little bit as sculpture and a little bit as painting. A nice hybrid of the two worlds exist in his work.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cande Aguilar



I first came across Cande Aguilar's painting at the group show at 500x titled Family Ties. We talked a little and became Facebook friends soon after. Here is a link to his page and his Facebook page is linked here. I once said, "His work are like cut up samples of urban life collage in strips," and I still agree with myself. His website has one piece after another that is just eye candy. I don't say that to be negative, but rather I can see how his paintings are luscious. In a world of bland and die abstract painting, Aguilar livens it up.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ariel González Losada


Detail of a drawing

Ariel González Losada uses information, factual images, networking, maps, systems, musical notation and text to create a composition that is complex and engaging. Like John Cage, he is not only working visually, but is also composes music. Here are some great examples of the art images at a Flickr account. Born in Buenos Aires his posts on Facebook are in Spanish, but I love his work, so I am happy to check in with what he is doing. I can get a vague idea. I have heard his work compared to artist Carlfriedrich Claus. But Losada is more systematic and organized where as Claus is more free form. Claus is almost using a kind of automatic writer where words flow all over the page. Here are two link and link of great little articles on his work.  Although both are creating a kind of visual poetry. 


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Richard Andrew Sharum


Image from his Louisiana series of photos.

Richard Andrew Sharum is a Dallas based photographer that has done some impressive large scale installation on buildings: link to an article. He also captures engaging moments. He his website has a slide show of some of his works. It is worth watching. Here is the link. His Facebook page has some images as well, but I can't separate his personal to his professional work. Worth check it out, here is the link.

College Places to visit in Dallas



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.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Brandon Reasoner



Absent Moments III 
48"x 36" Spray Paint, Graphite, Charcoal on Paper 
Brandon Reasoner, 2014

Abstract artist out of Waco, Texas: Brandon Reasoner comes from the legendary and now UNT Painting and Drawing department. His art is mix media which is influenced by the predominant force of gravity in the area: Baylor University professor Karl Umlauf. Although he is also wisely influenced by artist Ed Jasek. Reasoner and Jasek are in the same studio complex together and I believe Jasek has been a great sounding board for Reasoner to help him flush out his ideas. Reasoner is good at improvised mark making. He controls his composition while allowing drips and bleeds of paint to flow and play across the surface.
His recent work is simple and splashy. I see him clearing his composition similar to Kline's abstractions. Black and white gestures of abstraction is no Reasoner's mode of production. Here is a link to his Facebook page.

Friday, January 15, 2016

JESSICA SNOW + JEFFREY DELL

Jeffrey Dell

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

When does visual art seem to blend into the other senses? You will have to visit Galleri Urbane to see Jessica Snow’s and Jeffrey Dell’s solo shows to hear and taste the art. I don’t mean literally hear and taste, but these sensations seem to be at play each show.

Jessica Snow’s exhibition reflects sound through rhythm and color. When you walk into the space and turn left, on the long wall is an installation of individual framed paintings. Between the framed works are lines and shapes applied to the wall. My first impression was that this was was playing on diagramming sentences, but after reading about the show, I discovered Snow was influenced by music rather than grammar in these particular pieces. Snow told me that she was influenced by John Cage’s alternative notations of music. I have an old book with examples of these and I can see the correlations. Reflecting on this wall installation, I see the rhythm in her lines and colors. If you look and linger, the notes seem to seep in and I thought I could start hearing these works as well experience them visually. Many of the individual pieces had a minimalist quality akin to the music of Steve Reich, but the install felt more spirited like Philip Glass current work.

I am reminded of Sol Lewitt and his attempt to make art more like music by giving instructions to his pieces to be recreated, thus reinterpreted. Snow isn’t give us instructions to recreate her pieces, but rather giving us a way to experience the visual while tapping into our sense of sound through music. With this unique installation at Galleri Urbane, we are is likely to the last people to see/hear these pieces perform together to make this music.

Jeffrey Dell creates colors so bright and inviting, I think I could just lick each piece and get a sweet flavor. Lucky for me, the Plexiglass was there to prevent me from trying. I remember past series where he was inspired by cake and parties. The colors in this series seem to be even richer and tastier. Dell also intrigues me with his rhythmic folds of the paper. This highly graphic approach makes the edges of the colors clean and crisp. I know he has done a series like this before, but these works blending color in such lushes ways I couldn’t help but taste each piece with my eyes. I think with each iteration of these works Dell’s images become richer and more attractive than the series before.

The two solo shows titled Side by Side be up through January 2nd. I know visually Snow and Dell make a good pair, but it is clear to me that the fact they both tap into other senses makes the pairing extra special. Kodos to Galleri Urbane for their vision, taste, and listening skills.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

MYSTERIOUS MUCK - GROUP SHOW


Mathew Zefeldt

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

An argument has been circulating that this current generation has far reaching breadth of knowledge, but lack much depth in knowledge. So, if this argument rings true, then you would start to see this reflect in the art being produced. Well, it is true that many of the artists in the current group show at Circuit 12 Contemporary cover a lot of breadth, I still see some meaningful depth behind their images.

Breadth knowledge is reflected in this collage society which we have made through cut-out and ready-made objects in the visual arts, through music in rap and electronic dance, and the grab bag of information through the internet and products through globalization. So, when you see a work by Matthew Craven smashing Op art patterns with images of ancient art objects; you wonder how these two worlds work together. But we don’t question when an ancient object is pulled out of a dig site and plopped down in a minimalist museum space. Craven juxtaposition is no less stark than the act of moving an object out of it’s context. Just a little more obvious, but it did get me thinking about museums and their relations to an object. If Craven is more about the global collage, Mathew Zefeldt is more about the internet collage. Well at least computer images. Minecraft come to mind when I look at Zefeldt’s work or better yet, the bitmap quality computer files from my old VGA monitor on my PC clone. Only Zefeldt’s images grab me and hold me. He uses what looks to be ancient inspired art objects and mixed in with random game elements. A bit cartoony, which brings me to Ryan Travis Christian, like Matthew Craven, he plays of the pattern Op, but he mixes cartoon elements rather than ancient references.

Susy Oliverira had a quirky c-print piece titled Hot Wet Planet with suggestive symmetry to boot. Although this was very leafy and green, I was left feeling unclear where she got the images to make this object. However, her exploration of the natural and artificial dichotomy come across clearly. Jennifer Nehrbass takes a classic James Rosenquist approach, but makes the work charged and a bit uncomfortable. Landon Graves carefully dissects his subject into parts then represents a clean, almost sterile representation. Nina Chanel Abney work is more topical in that the painting is about relationships of power imbalance. Issues of race and violence weigh heavy in her work, but the works could be a painting ripped from the headlines today or fifty years ago. Chanel Abney, like Craven uses collage of the now and the past and ties them together to pull out more meaning.

Like all group shows, it is hard to talk about all the artists, so I highlighted a few I remember catching my eye, however, other worthy mentions was Evan Gruzis, Taylor Baldwin, Tilman Hornig, and Nick Van Woert. I will definitely be dropping by for a second look. After all, the show will be up until January 30th of 2016, so I will have time to further contemplate these artists’ works.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

MYLAN NGUYEN



ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

Last year I happened to find myself at the Public Trust down in Deep Ellum. Brian Gibbs talked to me about his plan to create a space for just one art piece for people to come and see. Now that he has moved to the Design District on Monitor Street, Gibbs has started implementing his plan. Each show is part of his Soliloquy series in which an artist presents a piece as the single focus of the show. So far, Arthur Peña has presented a painting and up now is Mylan Nguyen’s boat installation.

Arthur Peña’s painting was accompanied by live music at the opening. His painting was on the far wall, with all other walls bare. This was not a huge painting, but by being the only piece in the room, I believe it gained a great deal more presence. The Impressionists in their first show attempted to slow down their viewers by allowing each painting enough space for people to see each piece, which was counter to the salon style of the day. We have come so accustomed to this spacing in the gallery, we find ourselves once again rushing through art spaces, and give each piece less time than it probably deserves. Brian Gibbs wants art viewers to slow down even more by removing all distractions and recreating an almost reverent space for one object.

Much of Mylan Nguyen’s work that I have encountered has been little informal drawings with a bit of manga/Yoshitomo Nara influence. These are generally figurative works that are very cartoony, sometime edgy and other times sweat. Her approach presents drawings out of sketch books and loose sheets of paper as finished pieces is not completely foreign. After all, Raymond Petition has made his career presenting an informal product. Nguyen’s current installation incorporates her drawings, but only as part of the whole art piece. I understand at the opening, her boat was on a kind of pedestal which made the work a little less inviting, but that has been removed and now a textile that simulates water has replaced the pedestal. Nguyen also encouraged a friend and I to take a seat in the boat. I carefully entered the boat and I felt quite at home with her piece. I was able to look at the small objects in and around the boat a little closer. I felt swept away as I was sitting in the piece. You might think Nguyen turned to installation to solves Gibbs’ vision, but she has a track record for doing some elaborate installs. Her show at CentralTrak was sprawling and intense. She also explored her own brand of tent display that looked to be a little more playful than Tracey Emin’s.

As I was leaving the installation area, I noticed she had several small pieces framed in the entry room and even some clay pieces. These were charming and I enjoyed looking at each individual piece. Though, I did notice I spent more time with her boat, so I guess Brian Gibbs is on to something.

If you missed Arthur Peña show at Public Trust, it is currently showing with Francisco Moreno at the Dallas Latino Cultural Center until January 15th. Mylan Nguyen’s installation will stay afloat until December 12th.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

THE MAC + Cedars Open Studio Tour



image courtesy of Michael David Needleman


ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

Out of the blue, I was invited by someone to visit this year’s Cedars Open Studio Tour. I must admit, it has been a little while since I took the tour, so I figure, why not. Last time I had a lot of fun meeting artists, but this time I have the added bonus of visiting one of my favorite art non-profit venues in Dallas, The MAC.

The MAC has a new location and this is their second show. Their first was a members show, which shows where their heart lies. Several artists will be there to talk about their work, so I am excited to hear some good conversation about process. As an art teacher I am always looking for tips to pass along to my students. I would like to get talk to David Needleman, he has some conceptual and abstract work I would like to ask him about. I would like to talk to Lindsey Owen about her art works. I have seen drawings on her Facebook art page, but I would love to see her demonstrate her techniques. Seeing Tauma Wiggins make a watercolor would also be a treat.

The MAC will also be hosting a group show titled Lost Worlds, which might apply for the theme of these works, but the Cedars Neighborhood will now be found because of this important institutions move south. For me, the MAC acts as a counterbalance for the Dallas Contemporary. Their mission has been very supportive of the local artists, while bring in relevant artists from outside that inform the artists and art loving community. I see this new space as a potential shift for the art scene as a whole. RE Gallery is already in the area, although closing, but I predict more galleries will move into the Cedars.

Lost Worlds should be an interesting show and not just because all the artists are working in the Cedars. The show includes artist Sheryl Anaya who works in photography and installation, Joshua von Ammon who focuses on conceptual type art, Ali De Vito who uses patterns and colors that feel disconnected, alienated with the look flat wallpaper abstractions, Michael Morris and Sean P. Miller both work in glitch art, and finally Sean David Morgan who has the Deep Ellum style of painting. Like all studio tours, Cedars will have a mixed bag of good, bad, and ugly. However, the MAC has brought together a great highlight show which illustrates the quality of the art being created in the neighborhood around this institution.

Both the Cedars Open Studio Tour and the MAC open this Saturday, November 21st at noon and will be open until six o’clock. The MAC will continue their show of local artists through December 12th.

Monday, January 11, 2016

JOEY BROCK


"Amplified 1" - mesh banner print / shredded original painting on mylar

82" x 63.25"

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

This is the last weekend for Joey Brock’s show at Craighead Green Gallery. He is showing along side two other solo shows at the gallery; Heather Gorham and Jay Maggio. But I kept coming back to Brock’s show, which surprised me because graffiti inspired work rarely grabs me. Brock, however, manages to capture the tradition of abstraction, while obfuscating just pure garish tagging techniques in this series.

When I first encountered these pieces, I thought immediately about Christopher Wool’s abstract series. Both Brock and Wool use the graffiti can spray look, but reflect on abstract tradition of the New York School of the 1950’s. Brock in contrast uses bright colors in his work, yet muted by his use of mylar. Brock also uses the transparent nature of mylar in order to create layers. He paints on the mylar then uses a photograph of a tagged wall or object on the bottom layer. The mylar is cloudy white, so all his work is muted and this defuses his colors into a cloud like mist. Once again, I think back to Wool, because of his use of black, white, greys, and silver. Wool also creates a muted composition, yet more flat. Brock’s color seems to amp up his painting and give a feeling of lightness and positivity.

Joey Brock brings a bit of a conceptual element to his show. Neon letters proclaiming “Quiet the Noise” reflects my feelings when looking at his images through his mylar. He also flattens his images in a few pieces by scanning his work and printing out large mesh banner prints displayed with his shredded original painting. This reproduction of the original now stands as the new original. The process to get to the banner has been included in the same way an artist might include the brushes and leftover paint from a painting for display. This was visually interesting although, I don’t think completely necessary. I enjoyed seeing the shredded painting, but I could imagine having been told the story of how Brock destroyed the work to make the larger banner prints without the evidence on display. I think the pieces would have grabbed my attention none the less. Then again, I don’t see the destroyed canvas as a crutch either. Processes included in these art pieces are revealing about his thoughts on what makes a finished art piece, which isn’t necessarily a painting or a photo on traditional materials.

I noticed Brock also had a few collage paper and mylar pieces. These reflected in color and some style of the paintings. The works also used layering with a different approach than the paintings. I am wondering if these are possible experiments for another show, because the direction for these works seems to be moving away from the rest of the works. All in all the direction of this new work is an exciting step forward. Brock is rooted in abstraction and informed by the street, but now transformed by his use of material and process. He has moved beyond straight painting.

Saddly, November 14th is your last moment to see Just Below the Surface, new works by Joey Brock. Heather Gorham and Jay Maggio are also closing this weekend. Yet, I am sure they would pull one or two out of storage if you ask. They are very friendly and I always enjoy my visit to Craighead Green Gallery.