Monday, June 17, 2013

FRESH TRACKS: AN ABSTRACT DIALOG at University of Dallas Haggerty Gallery




Vincent Falsetta - Untitled

Repost from my article in ModernDallas.net 

I love Dallas and Texas in general, partly because we are passionate about Painting an abstract group show titled fresh tracks: an abstract dialog. The University of Dallas Haggerty Gallery out in Irving attracted me away from my usual Design District haunts, because as the titled suggests, a dialog between painters was on display.I love Dallas and Texas in general, partly because we are passionate about Painting an abstract group show titled fresh tracks: an abstract dialog. The University of Dallas Haggerty Gallery out in Irving attracted me away from my usual Design District haunts, because as the titled suggests, a dialog between painters was on display.I love Dallas and Texas in general, partly because we are passionate about Painting I love Dallas and Texas in general, partly because we are passionate about Painting an abstract group show titled fresh tracks: an abstract dialog. The University of Dallas Haggerty Gallery out in Irving attracted me away from my usual Design District haunts, because as the titled suggests, a dialog between painters was on display.

The moment I walked into the gallery, I was struck by the dark expansive paintings of Michelle Mackey. Black with lines that suggested some dimensionality of space, this abstract work attempted to play in the realm of realism. It simultaneously makes you very aware of the design elements Mackey employs to make the work seem non-representational. Across the gallery I found that Raychael Stine spoke much the same language with a kind of modeled implied object and her use of obvious blended paint strokes that accent her surface. It leaves you with the question, is this supposed to represent something or is this about painting? I have been watching Stine since the early 2000’s and she swings back and forth from the real to abstract. Recently she even took her obsession with her dog in a more William de Kooning direction.

A student and professor dialog is in the mix through the works of Professor Vincent Falsetta and Trey Egan. Random, intuitive paintings of Egan at first seem to be in direct conflict with Falsetta’s planned rendered wavy line abstractions. But with close observation, both are showcasing thick brushstrokes that are charged with colors blended on the canvas. Both also draw your eyes to points of interest, before directing your attention again and again to various other areas of the painting. Egan’s paintings seemed in good company with the various marks of painter Brian Ryden. Both groups of work seemed to rise from a level of automatic painting. Ryden is closer to Falsetta’s works, in that he would rather fill the space than allow a minimalist rest spot to peek in.

David Aylsworth and Marcelyn McNiel pair nicely together as strong complements. Their work is consciously about painting. Texture, drips, imperfect lines all add up to what paint does as a material. These two artists expose the properties of paint without hiding behind realist methods of simulation through tidy brush work.

For me, Nathan Green is kind of a conundrum. I am not quite sure what to make of his painting work. Green’s objects seem like clunky and awkward experiments, without some kind of refinement or resolution. Eli Walker too gave me the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. But I kept returning to Walker’s paintings, because the paint had such a variety, and the pieces seemed to relate to other works by Walker. Small experiences in each piece became evident and drew me into each mark. I see a kind of planning like Falsetta, but intuitiveness of Ryden and Egan.

This is the final weekend of the show, but unlike most galleries, Haggerty Gallery is open on Sunday too. One last observation, in the hallway outside the gallery is a sculpture by Brie Underhill. She is an undergraduate at the University of Dallas and her string work was quite impressive. In fact I toured the whole art village at the university and I saw some exciting things emerging from that program. Maybe it is time to start interviewing students to preview some up and comers.

ModernDallas.net for more images.

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