Friday, April 21, 2017

VERNON FISHER + ERICK SWENSON


Vernon Fisher, American Landscape, 2016, acrylic on canvas,
45 x 54 inches

ModernDallas.net re-post (link)

If you haven’t been to Talley Dunn Gallery for a while, you should see the changes. In fact, changes will be ongoing throughout the winter and spring. The main gallery now has an added space walled off for small exhibitions. One of the old office spaces in the middle of the gallery is also an exhibition space which doubles as a film screening room. There will be some big changes in and around the main desk as well. I don’t know all the details, but I understand that the main desk will be a nice transition to the main gallery. The art space will not have the look of a storage area. I personally don’t mind looking at shelves and shelves of art. However, someone new to art galleries might think they are walking into the private area of the gallery and miss the main gallery.

Missing the main gallery this month would be a real shame because the gallery is featuring Vernon Fisher. If you look at this body of work, you might notice that the work references iconic cartoons, blackboards, and a few bits of chemistry class. In fact, you might think Fisher is pulling from his experiences of K-12. I certainly do, but something dark and sinister is also lurking in these images which make me conclude that life wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine.

Fisher’s content and images have been influential (directly or indirectly) to the current wave of artists, and street artists. I’m not talking about the self-absorbed graffiti artists that only want to tag their name on everything, but rather the street artists that are interested in content and image. Artists like KAWS who just had a show at the Fort Worth Modern, Ben Eine, or M-City all draw references to pop culture but also attempt to fill their work with more conceptual content. Messages, moods, and emotions can be drawn from their works while still having the characteristics of cartoons, or directly referencing pop culture. You might say Andy Warhol had a bigger impact, but Warhol’s philosophy that the image says it all and nothing is below the surface don’t ring true to this generation of artists, so that is why Vernon Fisher is a more relevant to the driving force of street artists.

In the front room are Erick Swenson sculptures. The stein with snails climbing all over was a big hit with my six-year-old daughter. I love the detail painting involved in the snails. The detail on Swenson’s depiction of the decaying deer was astounding. You have to look really close, but the exposed bones had drawings on them. Don’t forget to check out that new back room with Margaria Cabrera’s nonfunctioning bicycles. These objects are quite humorous to behold.

Both Vernon Fisher and Erick Swenson will have shows up till February 25th at Talley Dunn Gallery. Keep watching the gallery for their remodeling and new exhibition spaces.

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