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Sculpture Hopping at the HOP

Story + Photographs by J R Compton

This is a work in progress, or then again, it may be finished. I'm not sure yet.

Michelle O'Michael - "Big Red Mother"

Michelle O'Michael - La Mujer Roja 2000 - polychrome steel

Red Mother so vivid it rendered the first photographs I made of it six years ago "too hot." The color bled off Michelle O'Michael's lines and curves. Not a problem for contemporary digital cameras but fierce in the digital Dark Ages when HOP opened in 2001. Here, the color is as real as it can be but I've photoshopped the concrete this Red Mother curls onto, because it was too bright and competed with the art. In real life, we hardly notice with all the curves and circles and connecting. But still, it's just so red.

Can't say I don't have favorites, and we didn't find all those, but if I photographed it this trip, and it's on this page, there was something about each piece that moved me. That made me think I could make some sort of sense with it in words. Besides rendering it in an image I still liked. Not always easy even in bright, sweaty sunlight on a overly hot early October day.

Jerry Daniel - H O P Entrance

Jerry Daniel's MM Dancing - concrete, steel, from the side, it looks like two people dancing.
From the front — it is the gateway piece at HOP — it forms the Hall Office park— HOP logo.

Jerry Daniel's elegant, curving shapes blend and bend meaning. I've liked this piece long after the logo-ness of it wore off. Last time I photographed it I photographed it from almost the same place, up through the trees. This time I got flags in, too. But the play of light off the flowing triangulars of MM Dancing

Elisio Garcia - Maternal Caress

Elisio Garcia - Maternal Caress, 1999
Cordova limestone

Big bold woman again. This time carved of limestone and holding a baby. Botero

David McCullouch -

David McCullough - Quanta: Celtic Spirit Catcher, 2000
acrylic, F6 cement, foam, wire

First time I saw this I wasn't nearly as enamored as I am today, now. What seemed fru-fru now centers in magic and is so very different from all the linear steel, cute bunnies and horney toads of Texas sculpture. It probably helps  that I've captured a longer spectrum of colors and shadows, and masked soft the ugly concrete that holds it up, separating it sharp from its ground and backgrounds. There's a rollicking array of shapes and colors and forms so rarely seen in big solid sculpture.

David Graeve - Window Iris

David Graeve - Window 36/Iris. 2001
glass, aluminum

I don't even remember seeing this last time, though it probably has not moved. What helped is I saw it transfixed in back-light, the way we are supposed to see translucent materials, with light transing through it, bright against a darkened shadow background. Front lighted glass loses all its depth. Coax a little light through it, though, and its dimensionality zings.

David Hickman - Butterfly

David Hickman - Butterfly

I liked the horney toad and failed miserably to render the bunnies (more like jack rabbits with their tall ears and rude noses) this trip, but they're in the thick of it on the page from last time. Ever a fan of butterflies, I like even more the motions David Hickman engineers into his lighter-than-air steel fact and fantasy pieces.

I watched David enrapture many of the best sculptors in Dallas at a Texas Sculpture Association meeting once when he spoke about connectors. He knows all about them, and they play a major part in his spinning, turning and balancing pieces, many in industrial and institutional sites all over town — at at the State Fair, too.

Art Shirer - The Wiz (detail), 2001

Art Shirer - The Wiz (detail), 2001
steel and paint

Art Shirer's best work literally moves, wiggles, cranks, bobs, spins or something to engage our sense of mass or three-dimensional lines in motion — and interaction. He loaned me two little finger-cranked pieces for a showing at my home during a previous WRLASTour. I hated to let them go back, they were wonderful to behold and engage. A large, clanging, spinning one of his older pieces was the star attraction at the DARts Big As Art Night, Too show.

His piece at HOP spins in the wind. I like the whole of it, and you can see it in action (via annimation) on his Supporting Member page. But that experience is nothing like seeing it spin in person on the edge of the front pond at HOP. I photographed it soon as I saw it back then (though that pic doesn't do it justice). Here present is its marvelous base, all curvy, complex, sturdy and brilliant blue. Good enough a sculpture on its own, and supporting something amazing.

Why are so many outdoor sculptures red, when they could be blue?


Mac Whitney - Texas Zavala - steel, paint

Clean, sharp lines, strongly delineated shapes, shades rendering the same color in a cantelevered balance into its own specturm.

Mac Whitney - Loebau

Mac Whitney - Loebau

Mac Whitney's work can vary by

Mac Whitney -

Mac Whitney - Marfa I

I shot the whole of it, just so we'd know where its details hide within it. Undistinguised in totality ...

Mac Whitney -

Mac Whitney - Marfa I

... Its details, like this illusive wall of pinking sheared steel reflects and refracts and reframes

Mac Whitney - Uvalde

Mac Whitney - Uvalde

I didn't expect this to be another Mac Whitney. So very different in concept, shape and details from the others above. My visual understanding is in mild shock. I see kitchen utensiles for mixing in these thin-lined tools — and a river raging, its more delicate textures trailing in the wind.

Sandi Stein -

Sandi Stein - Empire - limestone

A tower of basic limestone bricks, threes and fives of stacks layering crisscross textures and linear associations of shapes within shapes on top of shapes high into the darker blue air up there. That awful ugly slab of concrete again holding it up, I probably should have put more effort into eliminating it from our view. Or HOP should get something darker to base the work that need it. Otherwise. So simple, so complex, so fine.

James Surls -

James Surls -

If you've ever seen a James Surls drawing or print or sculpture, you've likely seen those eyes and petals growing off slender, curving stalks. All the more natural, since Surls started — in my memory, at least — as a sculptor of large, heavy logs. The textures came later.


Tim Glover of Houston - similar shapes

I think these are not Surls textures, but they are similar. I perceive these lined fronds as a joke in the Texas sun. Shadow shapes that cast only linear shades, which is no shadow at all. No respite from the sun, but a little fun on its way to simmering ground.


Gunnar Theel - New York Right Angles #23 - steel

If a New York Minute is quick, how angular are New York Right Angles, and are the other 22 Back East?

black wheels

Linda Fleming - Lightnig Ball

A trio of parallel circles inset with rectangular towers of


Andrew Rogers, Australia Rhythms of the Metroplex bronze

A lyrish musical intstrument emanating lyrical sounds curving against a squared off landscape of buildings, roads and

Andrew Rogers -

Andrew Rogers - Growing - bronze

Sprout-like bronze angling up from basalt concrete and dirt.

Paul Kittelson - Staples

Paul Kittelson - Staples, 2001 - stainless steel

Benches, like staples out of the box, stuck together


There's lots of sculptures by many Dallas and Texas and other artists. But Hall Office Park is large, and visiting all the art outside is a monumental undertaking (both puns intended). On a hot day it's especially draining, although breezes do acrue in places. Sculptures on hills, in valleys, in ponds, in ditches. Subtle sculptures, blatant sculpture and a lot of sculpture in between.

There are a few places with high density sculpture population, but mostly the stuff is scattered out among the buildings. There's great sculpture, lousy sculpture, boring sculpture and delightful sculptures. We did not see it all, by any count.

Abstract sculpture and naturalistic sculpture. We were out there on an especially hot, early October day. I hadn't given the weather much thought. Till I was out there on the prairie in the thick of it.

Something in me wants to go out there again, and look at every piece. Next time I go, though, I'd have to print out both maps at both links in the bottom paragraph below. But neither of them is complete.


The Texas Sculpture Garden, "the largest private collection of contemporary Texas sculpture ever assembled and made available to the public," is inside the Hall Office Park at Gaylord Prkway and the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco — Exterior collection open daily dawn to dusk; interior art open weekdays 9-5 and Saturdays 9-noon with with work by Frances Bagley, Joe Barrington, Betsy Daves Bass, Alice Bateman, Jim Bowman, James B. Cinquemani, Roger Colombik, Jerry Daniel, Jerry Dodd, Eliseo S. Garcia, Harry Geffert, Polly Gessell, Tim Glover, David Graeve, Joseph Havel, Edward Lee Hendricks, T. Paul Hernandez, David Hickman, David Iles, Paul Kittelson, Arthur Koch, Ken Little, Heather Marcus, David McCullough, John Brough Miller, Jesus Bautista Moroles, Richard Neidhardt, Tim Nentrup, Michelle O'Michael, Tom Orr, Sherry Owens, Michael Pavlovsky, Damian Priour, Zad Roumaya, Art Shirer, Isaac Smith, James Sullivan, James Surls, Karl Umlauf, Mac Whitney and Marla Ziegler

www.texassculpturegarden.org/images/TSGTourGuide.pdf identifies a few of the original outside sculptures located near the main building at 6801 Gaylord and 20 of those inside that building. But there are many more pieces scattered around the extended grounds of the office park. www.texassculpturegarden.org/images/InternationalArtGuide.pdf identifies some of the rest.




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