Sunday, March 20, 2016

FRANCES BAGLEY + RYAN BURGHARD at Cydonia Gallery

Installation shot

ModernDallas.net repost of my article

If your into a little light reading of post structuralist theories, you might want to continue your study with a little visual education at Cydonia Gallery. Sadly the current show of Frances Bagley and Ryan Burghard is coming down this weekend, so your window of opportunity is closing. Even if you’re not into the philosophically dense books, you will still feel a great deal of emotional depth for these two artists in dialogue.

I know this is a last minute write-up about a show I would like you to see, but it took me a great deal of reflective thought in order for me to create words that described my feelings. For me, the two artists almost merged into one with several pieces in the show and other times distinctive voices seems to be cry out their individuality. The best conversations between friends and art comes from waves of disagreement and consensus. The theme I derived from the show was the power shown in multiplicity. Frances Bagley’s piece titled Perch and Ryan Burghard’s piece titled Hold are both made of individual fibers to make a whole object. Burghard’s twined rope seemed to have possibility of an on going functions while Bagley’s cut braided hair has lost function.

Burghard’s Untitled piece made of salt and ammonia in a mason jars with cardboard tubes inserted into each one was quite the spectacle. When I was told that coal miners would give their wives this concoction as a type of floral substitute, I began imagining my grandfather presenting one of these to my grandmother. At first I can’t imagine she would have been impressed, but as the thing grows, the white salt just builds up and falls back into the jar and seems to bloom out over the sides. It must have given her pleasure to see such a strange, yet beautiful expression of chemistry. Image this jar growing crystals next to over a hundred other jars and now you have an event. I see this as something akin to watching stars fall in the sky during a meteor shower. I could have stayed there for hours watching the crystals fall.

Bagley’s piece titled Cho made of fabric and resin also had a flower like quality. Simulating pedals that progressively got smaller toward the center. Unlike Burghard’s Untitled piece, Bagley’s work was like a preserved flower, no longer growing, but kept as evidence of its former life. To me, these two pieces talked to each other, but said very different things.

After seeing several Cydonia Gallery shows, it seemed obvious to me that Dallas’ own Frances Bagley might end up in a show. But finding an artist so well paired with her like Ryan Burghard is, shows the skill and quality of the curation of the gallery. After the closing on the 9th, Cydonia Gallery will be taking a winter break and opening up on January 30th for a show about abandoned places by the artist Oscar Berglund.

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