It's not exactly art, but it's
growing in a
Sculpture Garden, so maybe it's sculpture.
Sometimes I just get
so sick of looking at art, figuring it out
and writing about it, that I just can't anymore. So, for the
last couple weeks, I haven't. I needed the rest — although
we did go off to New Orleans,
and I took a lot of photographs there and back.
Mostly, I've been art relaxing, not going to shows,
openings, etc, although I usually like the summer, its slower pace
and higher liklihood of something new and less commercial.
May 23] my Dada duty finally impelled me to go look
at something art. It was an Orange Ozone Alert Day, but, in
the words on a memorable but anonymous jaywalker in one of
Texican Gilbert Shelton's Flying
Furry Freak Brothers comix, I got that needy, "I
think I gots to walk across the road" feeling.
Said character felt compelled to walk across the
road in front of one of the brothers' driving a car whose horn
sounded funny. So I waltzed across Dallas in my little blue Honda,
whose 'hawn' actually does go 'bleat-bleat.'
I thought I wanted to photograph
the new sculpture garden at the Art
House on Routh. But that was just a cluttered
and graveled back yard with too many sculptures stuck in it.
Nice burnt ended ones of Rick Maxwell's,
seen them and written about them before. I shot one photo
of the cluttered back yard through the locked gate, then got
back into my air-conditioned car.
an underlit blob of green glass
at Kittrell/Riffkind. See below.
stop was Andy Hanson's
show at Photographic
Ennui kept me from my old darkroom buddy's opening — we
shared a temperature controlled, cool running, chemical filled,
old fashioned darkroom at The Dallas Times
Herald back in the early 70s. I've always liked Andy,
so I pretty much owed it to him to see his show — besides
the fact that he stopped Kathy recently somewhere and pointedly
told her I had not visited his show yet. The implication was
I should. And it's true. I should.
Elements at the show at PA were pleasantly informal
and personally revealing — early teen self-portraits in
a face I strained to recognize. Lots of fun mail art and clippings.
But the photographs were presented as history and photojournalism,
not art exactly. Andy's photo journalistic career has seen a
lot of fame and glory.
But it was more Texana and Dallasana than yet another
bleeding art exhibition. So I do not feel compelled to write
more than this about it, except to say that I especially liked
seeing the photos of Lightning Hopkins and Mance Lipscomb.
I was pleased to see that Janet
Kutner (who is juring Craighead
Green's New Texas Talent show
that closed entry today) wrote a long, positive review of
Andy's show in the Dallas Morning News last
I didn't read the story, because I hadn't seen
the show yet. And, besides, I'm too easily affected by other
Except for Dee
Mitchell, whose writing I enjoy immensely. He always
writes stuff I didn't know but needed to and never feeds
back PR pseudo-info that newspaper art writers tend to fill
pages with, like we need to know how the show happened more
than what the art in it is. I still remember Dee's long-ago
stories on 'girl art' and 'high muck.'
He obviously doesn't feel obligated to write
about everything. But when he does write, he nails it. I only
wish I could afford to pay him to write for these pages sometime.
From Lovers Lane, I wandered north through the
lush green hills and expensive estates, up toward Valley
House, which is so north into North Dallas that
I rarely attend. But I always feel comfy there. I know and like
the people. They're friendly, and they show lots of good Dallas
artists — David Gibson, Art Shirer,
Sherry Owens and the late Hari Bert
Bartscht to name just the few that leap to mind.
Philip John Evett - Guide,
maple, 25.3 x 14 x 16.5 inches
David Everett - Night
11.5 x 13.5 x 8 inches
I was enthralled with much that I saw at that busy little show, especially Guide,
above, which just seemed so elegant, angular and guarded, yet revealing.
One-armed and single-footed, balanced. The more I look at it above,
contrasted with the Night Heron, the more
similar they appear. I like the startled, orange fish, and
I love herons.
After meeting, greeting, and photographing my many
favorites in their busy show that's going down tomorrow (Great
timing, Mr. Art Critic), I wandered around the grounds of what
is surely Dallas' best and most beautiful Sculpture Garden.
Thomas Woodward -
Sudden Flight, 2003
93 x 73 x 102 inches
Oh, the Dallas
Museum of Art has a big, fenced in, exterior,
concrete apron, patched with grass, that they call a sculpture
garden. And there's that graveled pad behind the Art
The Dallas Center
for Contemporary Art (D-Art) has an area
they sometimes call a sculpture garden, but it's usually
empty so doesn't quite qualify. The Irving
Art Center has a big busy field with a walking
fence around part of it. And there's probably more places
that I can't think of now, that call themselves a sculpture
Merashe Kadshman - Segments, 1968
170 x 59 x 12 inches
What other local sculpture garden has
its own, real, live rabbit?
or a brace of orange flowers?
Does Connemara still
exist? (No. The neighborhood around it, always some problem,
grew into a subdivision full of much more trouble. So it wasn't
rural and remote anymore.)
But Valley House has a real, capital letter Sculpture
Garden, and as it usually does, it both soothed and fed my art-weary
John Brough Miller
Wind Sweep, 1996
John Brough Miller
Whimsical Homestead, 1996
detail, 78 inches
Then came another soul-soothing
As is always happening, a couple more Dallas galleries
dropped off the face of reality recently. I was thinking about
that — and the chore of eventually putting them and the
bunch more that have kicked off since we last devoted DARts word
and picture space (back when it was printed on paper, DARts featured
a long-running series of photographs by Norman
Kary and brief stories of many of our more prominent Dead
Dallas Galleries) into some sort
of historic context.
I got a little panicked
by the ongoing offing, and decided that I
had to visit one particular gallery I never had, but have
long wanted to. I like their postcards, their neatly scribbled
logo, their friendly PR manner, and I was pretty sure I'd
love their gallery.
I imagined it as a crowded little storefront with
one big window letting lots of light transluce tiny treasures
of liquid sand.
It was bigger than I thought. Crowded some and
spare some, too. Glass in many dimensions, forms, styles, presentations,
shapes and colors throughout.
Oh, my! I was a kid in an eye candy shop. I acquired
a broad grin, and the more I saw, the more I grinned.
I am a major fan of translucing color. If you
are, too, you might appreciate some
photos in my My Windows story or the couple of pieces [Jim
Bowman blown-glass bowl or Alex
Troup's Love Box] in JR's
The gallery took me awhile to track down. It's
in the plot of shops sidled up next to the Tollway tucked back
in the south east corner at Beltline Road. Now I finally know
where it is, I'll go back and back. And back.