Friday, March 20, 2015


Tom Orr repost

Last year when a new book came out titled Texas Abstract: Modern / Contemporary by Fresco Books / SF Design, several artists in Barry Whistler Gallery’s stable were featured, so it made sense he would host a show of his own contemporary Texas abstract artists. Just like the book, the works in this group show were strong examples of each particular artist.

Linnea Glatt’s 5 piece work titled Juncture of Time and Place was displayed behind the front desk, but this did not act as a barrier to me. Her delicate fabric pieces were minimal, meditative circles that progressively got smaller then larger again. A kind of visual palindrome. A closer inspection reveals her fine detail behind the simplicity. Tom Orr’s digital prints may be minimal, but in classic Orr style, the images mess with you eyes. Not to the extreme that an overstimulating Op art piece might, but definitely memorable. After seeing a great deal of art around Dallas, when I closed my eyes to go to sleep, Orr’s print on vinyl titled Wayland floated in my mind’s eye. Leslie Wilkes’ minimalism is clean, crisp with the precision of a hard edge painter. Wilke has made these geometric, symmetrical painting into monuments of harmonious color and simplicity. I felt slapped in the face by their straightforward compositions. I can remember years ago when I had the money, I almost bought a small gouache painting of hers. Now I could slap myself for having missed that opportunity.

Lorraine Tady’s show in June of last year at Barry Whistler felt in between the space of digital and analog. Parts of the work looked pristine and perfectly rendered, yet on the same image, it was clear the human hand had played a role in the creation/destruction of the work. Her canvas, Octagon Vibration Series Cloud #3, felt birthed for that show, but the tension between those two opposing ideas was somehow lost. It appears a new conversation is emerging, but I can’t really tell from one painting, so I think I will hold off on commenting further.

Terrell James is kind of a conundrum for me. Her abstract paintings are hitting all the right notes on composition that interest the viewer. I just feel that so many are now working in this style of abstraction that I am afraid her work could fall among the noise out there. Though I must say, imitators don’t really measure up to James’ eye. I could ramble on about John Pomara, but I finished a review of his show just recently, so I will just refer you there.

Barry Whistler Gallery will have copies of the book available during the exhibition which runs through February 28th. The book was co-authored by Michael Paglia and Jim Edwards and features 33 artists from Texas past and present. The gallery showed six artists I mentioned above: Linnea Glatt, Terrell James, Tom Orr, John Pomara, Lorraine Tady, and Leslie Wilkes. for more images.

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