Thursday, March 06, 2014


Lucia Simek and Kristen Cochran - Installation View re-post of my article

On a lark, I decided to visit the Dallas Contemporary again. To be honest, I have not been back for about a year now. Not after my rant about how the Contemporary had become a soul crushing display case for depressingly bad art. Despite my take on the programs and direction, I was welcomed to visit anytime. I thought it best to take a snapshot of just one show this time.

On display are four shows: Faile collaboration, Georg Herold, Kevin Todora, and Lucia Simek + Kristen Cochran. The Brooklyn based Faile collaboration brought me back to just about every outdoor art fair, some flea markets, comic conventions and a few art galleries I have visited. People all over the United States use this purely nostalgic imagery. They all use the same images, referencing the same era of the 1950’s and 60’s. These objects are popular with the tattoo enthusiast, bikers, and of course hipsters. So many people make this stuff that I am not sure how these artists really stand out among the crowd. I don’t think I have read so many words in an art exhibition that had so little meaning or even cleverness. I could use a play on words to be witty with their collaborative name, but I am just too bored with their work to care.

The long hallway was a space I would happily revisit. Lucia Simek and Kristen Cochran were true risk takers and you could feel them testing out ideas. Some walls were smudged and drawn on, while other spaces had leaning objects on the walls that felt ready to fall over. These works were not like an over produced pop album, but rather like impromptu spoken word performances.

The German artist, Georg Herold is classic garish Dallas Contemporary fare. This overly cool artist uses flashy figures, some carpets with brick interactions, paintings that use caviar, and a few other random things. Paintings with caviar, how pretentious can you get. Several pieces, similar to the carpet and bricks seemed purely lazy in concept and execution. Sadly, I was attracted to the figures with clothes. I know I rallied against the Contemporary for over exposing fashion in their space, but what can I say, they spoke to me. Well, not literally, but those dressed up pieces of wood are the kind of cool I would rather see a little bit more around the place. At least with these few pieces, Herold hit on something that was more humanizing and yet simple.

In the smaller gallery near the front was the photography of Kevin Todora. At first, I thought these of the work had all the hallmarks of a quick computer aided design. But it turns out that these works are photographs of staged scenes. Though everything looks cheap and easy, it appears Todora has put in a little more planning than I first gave him credit. Yet, in the end, my first impression still wants to linger. I am not sure that I should be engaged because I enjoy the process, or if his image should be able to stand alone. The visit to the Dallas Contemporary was again a disappointment. As always, a lot of flash and little substance.  for more images.

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