Tuesday, December 30, 2014


 Lean 1 and Stack 1, 2014, wood, paint

When I was out and about a few weekends ago, I found myself at a few lightly attended openings. The Reading Room had felt full, but the space is pretty small. The gallery features the strangely odd, sometime humorous postcard project of Jennie Ottinger. I wish I would have brought a stamp to trade with her. Cohn Drennan Contemporary had some very interesting conceptual artists immersed into new media and data collecting. For a moment I thought I might have stepped into Central Trak. Sophia Le Fraga had edited some film stills with subtitles and created a kind of found poetry. Le Fraga’s use of the familiar and pulling text out of context then collaging it with other film stills captures much of the Conceptual art spirit. I was extremely engaged by her poems/art images. Liliana Bloch Gallery’s space hadn’t revved up their attendance either, but in their defence, I did come by pretty early. I hope more people dropped by after I left, because the sculptures of Ryan Goolsby would be well worth the time to see in person.

Ryan Goolsby’s sculptures were on my list of things to see in Fort Worth earlier this year. He was showing a body of work he produced at TCU and some of the sculptures from that show were also at the Liliana Bloch Gallery. Although, in this deep Ellum gallery space, the lighting and general atmosphere worked to accentuate the lines and shadows of each piece much better than the TCU show. I was a bit sceptical that Goolsby’s work would even fit with this small venue, but Liliana Bloch allowed the pieces to migrate on walls around her office area and then into the gallery space. Each piece had plenty of room for you to consider the object. And what objects Goolsby has created. Because the lines of wood are so well fit together and any accent of paint is coated on with extra care to be near flawless, Goolsby has managed to negate a conversation about material and rather the viewer can focus on lines, shapes, and shadows. So many sculptures seem to put an emphasis their material’s capabilities and textures that  little else seems to matter in their work. Goolsby doesn’t seem to be interested in this conversation, but rather his objects transcend their materials. It is easy to anthropomorphize these objects and imagine they have personalities. Goolsby mentioned that Lean 1 and Stack 1 displayed together looked like a “couple”.

Lean 2 made you lean down a look at the different shades of blue painted in the slats. Since there were multiple light sources, the lights split the shadow into three. This gave the effect of multiple lines drawn the the floor by light. I say drawn, because these sculptures are in the spirit of drawing. Lines move and intersect with hints of color. Shapes seem to flatten, while still remaining three dimensional. I enjoyed the play of light on Goolsby’s pieces and his hints of color made his sculptures more attractive. Ryan Goolsby will be showing his sculptures at Lilian Bloch Gallery through December 6th. 

ModernDallas.net for more pictures.

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