Wednesday, June 04, 2014

HUNTING PRIZE


Richard Nix "Deep in the Heart of Texas"

ModernDallas.net repost of my article

Another Hunting Prize gala has come and gone, but this was the first show I was invited to attend as a finalist. The gala is part charity event, part $50,000 prize to one artist, and part networking event for artists. For every artwork sold at the gala, Patriot PAWS Service Dogs received a matching donation. The artworks are hung pretty tight into a corporate event space. I had Jason Bennett’s painting titled "Jenks stopped hitting me when I told him I loved him" on my left and around the corner was Hannah Dean’s painting "Re-veiled." Both were depictions of the human figure.

The figure was also rumoured to be the likely subject matter chosen this year for the prize. Steve Miller’s painting of Fort Worth from the highway titled, "Texas & Pacific, Across the Tracks," was also near me and I thought that would be the typical of many finalists, but realism didn’t completely dominate at the gala. In fact, there was quite a bit of diversity in the show. Some artists had much higher concepts than others. Among this group of artists that produced drawings were, Richard Nix, John Adelman, and Orna Feinstein.

Richard Nix’s lines vibrated with color in his drawing, "Deep in the Heart of Texas." You felt an explosion radiate around the empty center. John Adelman turns tracing into an art with his work, "61,988 tracings." Adelman is no Banky Edwards, he has no hang ups with his tracing. His drawing of a cathedral stands blurred and erect over a seeminglessly endless negative space. Orna Feinstein drew and epic size drawing titled, "Quantum Amphora #4." Feinstein was in a space that was blasted with sunlight at first, but as the night progressed, I was able to take in her work of lines that simulated organic shapes which reminded me of tree textures.

Untitled (Book of Nature 4) by Natasha Bowdoin was part ink drawing and part gouache painting. Words trailed up and down the work, yet hard if not impossible to read. I enjoyed the organic form that worms like vines. Sherry Tseng Hill’s painting, "Making Small Spaces," reminded me of the works by David Collins which recently showed at Valley House Gallery in Dallas. Thou Tseng Hill allows more of the dimensional structure of the original architecture from her source material to shine through. Not surprising, Tseng Hill is also an architect and a painter.

Because I was encouraged to stand by my art all night to help network and sell the work, I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked looking around. I would have taken more time with Louis Vega Trevino’s, "Windows," or maybe Larry Gentry’s, "Repurposed Crossing." I didn’t even get to visit with the winner of the prize, Winston Lee Mascarenhas and his painting "Rite of Spring," which turned out to be abstract of all things. This broke a great deal of assumptions about the prize and gave many abstractionists, myself included, a glimmer of hope for the future galas.

ModernDallas.net for more images.

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