Monday, November 10, 2014

TEXAS ART IN A DAY

Zeppelin Bend, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 inches

ModernDallas.net re-post of my article

What an incredible cross Texas adventure I had this weekend. I started in east Texas and drove down to Houston. My goal was to pick up an artist’s work and visit the Texas Contemporary Art Fair. I arrived in Houston early and apparently all the art venues and galleries don’t open until 11 on Saturday except for the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, which was open at 10 in the morning. I spent a good 40 minutes looking at work that was trying too hard to be non-commercial, which seems to be CAMH’s specialty to a fault. However, Nathaniel Donnett’s installation in black was the most engrossing experience I have had at the museum. I felt swallowed up by the experience.

Texas Contemporary Art Fair right before they opened. I was taken back by the short line to get in this year. I guess all the other gallery openings, and coming off the long weekend, pulled people away from the fair. I had planned to spend several hours, but it became abundantly clear this would a pretty stale fair. To my surprise, there wasn’t a great deal of exciting work. Dallas’ three galleries: Cris Worley Fine Arts, Kirk Hopper Fine Art, and The Public Trust had some of the better booths and were a highlight of the trip. Houston galleries and non-profits were over represented at the fair. I started to wonder if this was more like the College Arts Association convention rather than an art fair. Don’t get me wrong, I like to visit all the booths and get to know the local scene more intimately, but I thought an art fair was supposed to bring in galleries from around the world with a light mix of Houston. This fair didn’t accomplish its goal to raise the relevance of Houston’s art market.

So, leaving the city behind, I traveled up to Dallas to view the gallery openings. When I arrived, I unloaded art by Julon Pinkston at RO2 gallery. Then I proceeded to visit Holly Johnson Gallery for Tommy Fitzpatrick’s painting show. Instead of images of steel beams, I was faced with bright, colorful licorice forms. Fitzpatrick kept the feel and ideas of building material, while creating a very playful and imaginative take on his usual subject matter. I admire the hard-edge painting style Fitzpatrick employs as well as his twisting and turning objects depicted in his paintings.

Completely drenched from the sudden downpour, I visited a few other galleries before heading home. All in all, the excitement and energy of the Dallas art scene breathed new life after my experience in Houston. Even with the rain, Dallas art galleries were not a washout.

For more images ModernDallas.net

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