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Every artwork on this site is copyright 2009 or before by the originating artist. No reproduction or approximation of these works may be created in any medium for any commercial or nonprofit use without specific written permission from the originating artist.

Art Here Lately #7
Stories + Photographs by J R Compton

Art Talk at the soon-to-open new Dallas Contemporary December 16 2009

Red Hot Idea - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red-hot I D E A

Someone at The Contemp said the event had been on their website awhile, but Anna and I only found out about the talk by James Gilbert, the first artist featured in the first art show at the new Contemp, one day ahead, when they sent out an email. Anna posted it in the Calendar immediately.

Sounded interesting. We went. I took my best camera and lens hoping to root around in the new building awhile. I did.

I was dismayed the bathroom wasn't working yet. I could see a Port-A-Let outside through a window, but no obvious way to get to it, and I wondered what the women who work there or the artist who's daily assembling his work for the show did.

The heat didn't work yet, either, although there was a major spot heater, branded "IDEA," (above) glowing bright red a few minutes before the talk began. It was too loud to continue, and the giant 'small' gallery grew colder as the talk progressed. Good thing most people were dressed warm, many in several layers of gallery black. Some attendees spoke as if they had been in there before. I'd only been inside once, last summer.

And the lighting was minimal. All tungsten, no CFLs.

Getting to that back, south gallery — one of three large, unfinished spaces in the rear of the building, was counter-intuitive. There was no signage, nor anyone to lead us back. We either found the place in the spottily illuminated labyrinth or we're still there wandering around like Poor Charlie on the MTA, going round in big circles.

Back into the space, wind around. Follow big electrical cables through some unmarked doorways, careful not to trip on them. Not much light, why, the artist later told us, the talk was held when daylight was still visible through the windows.

Off to the Left - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Art Talk Off to the Left - no signs

So I wandered around snoopy curious taking lots of photos while there was still cloudy dull light sucking through the high industrial windows. Nobody suggested I not, although the artist later spoke how little he liked people seeing what he was building. He wants it to be a surprise, yet he toured us all and our cameras around that gallery and past the several large pieces of his project.

And his own website spells it out rather specifically.

The new building is a big place that makes so much more sense than the several smaller places they were rumored to have explored on Dragon Street proper — spatial sense, it'll still be a booger to heat and cool and light, but apparently the plans are not to, which makes financial, though hardly comfort, sense.

From Bert Sherbarth, who'd learned it that morning, I discovered that the office spaces along the center of that cavernous building (behind the orange and pink north wall below and the white bar-code south walls above) would have their own ceilings and be heated and cooled, but the massive galleries would be neither, so today's raw weather conditions would continue indefinitely in that building's future.

Cold in winter when it gets cold and hot in Texas summers. An oddly intriguing way to avoid aggressive power costs while creating a deep need for utterly fascinating contemporary art that will bring us out on the worst days.

fusilage - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Warning Orange Arches

Those really are arches, although what they will become is more involved than simple arcs in that airplane hanger of a gallery space. Behind was some of the wood skeletons of a paddle boat with more rounded cross-section structures growing on the far-back wall.

During his talk proper, he asked if anyone in the audience had ever heard of Theodore Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa [in the Louvre]. I laughed, thinking he must be joking to this oh, so serious art crowd. But he was serious. He did not talk down to us in any other respect, but he seemed to believe mainline Art History was beyond our ken.

Gilbert later insisted his work showed humor, but he did not reveal much of it, and although several of the stories he laced through his talk didn't really go anywhere obvious, they did layer the foundation of this large-scale work, and we could understand how his art humor might work. He stressed the importance of comic relief in scary situations, such as disaster.

Serious, but understated, he'd obviously thought through many aspects of his construction on several levels, and it was fascinating to follow his layer by layer discussion of the installation he was assembling. What, why and what reactions he expected.

Raft of the Medusa - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Raft of The Medusa

The audience built slowly as I wandered around that and other rooms. Among the construction, I was very careful where I stepped. I had set my camera to keep me at decent hand-holdable shutter speeds, with ISOs as high as it would go. I didn't want to cause attention or blot out any details with a flash, although others used them during his talk.

Because of his stated fears of having his piece prematurely discovered or judged, I have kept mostly silent about what we learned about this soon upcoming grand opening exhibition, although the info is readily available from a number of places, including some cited here. There is the feeling of a giant puzzle, piecing itself together.

Feminine Pink & Masculine Orange - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Feminine Pink and Masculine Orange — a color scheme

When I first encountered these skeletal forms, I thought repeatedly of the work of Dallas sculptor Tom Orr. I remember seeing a wood boat Tom made upstairs at The Continental Gin building decades ago before many walls were built there. Tom's piece was about space and framing, whereas James Gilbert's Warnings & Instructions, this Inaugural Exhibition at the new Dallas Contemporary, will be about a great many more intersecting ideas, concepts and conceits, and it will be fused with more than a dozen videos expanding those notions.

These structures are the beginnings of Gilbert's installation, although the color scheme he called masculine orange and feminine pink will obtain throughout the huge room of multi-media work. He identified orange as the color of danger, combined with the soft pink of warmth and safety.

The Gathering Crowd - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Gathering Crowd: Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

Hot chocolate with miniature marshmallow lumps was the food fare at this pre pre-opening. And those little, backless stools were what was to sit on listening and staring off into all that immense space. The rocket heater took the freezing edge off the cold but it was still uncomfortable, though we were warmed by the fires of the future.

At last Dallas may be privy to the sort of art Houston's Contemporary Art Museum has made itself famous bringing to that city, and that the Dallas Museum of Art has so rarely brought. That the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Art, created in 1957, whose collection of Picassos and other modernist artists were later absorbed into the DMA after their artists' Communism no longer seemed the greatest impediment, always wanted.

The dream that DARE was founded to be a strictly local version of, but whose vision has got muddled into the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, now again mostly a venue for traveling exhibitions, although for a couple years a sterling vision of what DARE hoped to become. That elusive idea for a space that's always parried into more practical possibilities before.

Local Vertical - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

The Talk Begins

Could now actually happen, despite or perhaps partly because of our New Economic Depression. And the fact that the Meadows Building, where The Contemp and its predecessors, D-Art and D-VAC long-term temporarily resided, finally insisted they find their own space, because that Swiss Avenue space was always intended to incubate nascent art organizations, not let them live there forever.

An eventual total of 24 people joined the gathering to hear visions from the "Dallas resident" whose own website says he "lives and works in Los Angeles, California," though he has resided at UTD's Centraltrak June through December this year and has had shows at The MAC, Light and Sie, and this one at the Contemp, as well as an impromptu living room set up along the Katy Trail. He probably won't stay, but while he's here he's kept busy.

James Gilbert - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

James Gilbert

Before the talk, a fellow artist suggested that the vertical orange section suspended above us (one image up) might not have been placed in the ideal location for an exhibition. I had no idea what the installation was all about then, but I thought it looked great there. Once the whole, extensive, unified puzzle has all its pieces in place, each mini semi-abstraction's placement will make all the sense necessary.

It should be an interesting encounter with art on the grand scale that only the Dallas Contemp can provide.end dot

 

Wandering Around Dallas Looking for Art
December 12 2009

Elm & Expo - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Intersection of Elm & Expo from upstairs at The Sons of Hermann Hall

Started off at Randy Brodnax & Friends Christmas crafts sale in Deep Elm. Liked a lot of what we saw but didn't buy. We also didn't buy anything at Jingle-Bash the week before in the same space (although parking was allowed across the street that time; no valet parking, which we eschew). There we didn't see anything we liked. It wasn't the venue, it was the choices. Brodnax chooses vendors well, and the Sons of Hermann Hall wasn't clogged with junk.

Buy Art Bumper Sticker - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

'Tis the Season

Craft doesn't always make it into Fine Art, but we saw lots of fine art craft at Brodnax.

We did have to walk about a block down from Trunk, where the tracks slice through Elm, Main, Commerce and Canton. It was wet but not raining, pleasant and colorful along our short walk past the colorful Continental Loft and electric substation.

Yellow Cab - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

A Yellow Checker Cab

Next stop was Barry Whistler not far away, but we didn't walk. I was surprised to see new paintings by Peter Ligon there. Anna and I are collaborating on the DallasArtsRevue Calendar these days — she does the work I usually avoid, then I fill in the local color, and she pays attention to what she sees there — like I rarely do. So she knew what was happening where, and that's where we went this almost pleasant though barely sunny Satty afternoon.

Peter Ligon - White House, Three Trees - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Peter Ligon   White House, Three Trees   oil on canvas   20 x 24 inches   $1,650

I've been following Peter's progress since the early 80s when a long-gone mutual friend introduced us. Over the years I've seen him arting at the lake and other places and watched his work grow into a great long series of large drawings of local color spots all around town, two of which are in The Back-room Invitational I curated, now at the Bath House Cultural Center.

Brand new paintings are at Barry Whistler. Even before I knew whose they were, I bee-lined to this lovely house painting there; I didn't recognize his style, at first — there was at least one other pristine white house there — holding their own with Takako Tanabe, Danny Williams, Mark Williams, Jin-Ya Huang, Kirsten Macy and the weird but wonderful abstract paintings with small brown animals by Racheael Stine.

Upon perusal I see the Peter Ligon I know from those drawings in this little (20 x 24-inch) paintings' sketchy skies and trees and the stark architectural delineations of space, but Peter's previous paintings were never this bold before. Great to see his progress and find his work in a major Dallas gallery.

Sarah Williams - untitled #1 - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Williams   Untitled #1   $50

Next stop 500X. I guess we're still exploring the new crew there, wondering how they'll fit in the 500's colorful history. Besides the "In Case of Fire" fire-extinguisher box and the gender-stereotyped bathroom decor that've that've slowly deterorated over several groups through the X's last decade or so, I settled on a pair of demure little drawings by Sarah Williams, both apparently called Untitled #1.

LIke a quick, 'you-can't-miss-it' travelogue drawing scribbled with instructions on how to get there,' they were ultra simplistic yet detailed with everything but a trace of surrounding fauna on that side of the road. No glitz, no flash, no inscrutable art flourishes. Gentle, straightforward and simple.

Upstairs at 500X - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Julie Barnofski   untitled #18   photograph

I also this photo upstairs of a woman's shoulder, hair, clothing patterns and textures, big button, flyaway hair, the barest visible patches of skin and the darkened corner of a room lending the composition space and depth. Looking up at her, we wonder who she is and why she's here in this unassuming portrait.

Window at 500X - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Window at 500X from the wood stairs into the main gallery
(viewing out to where the tracks used to be)

I-30 to Central, then off to Dallas' original Contemporary — The MAC, where we seem to have interrupted a big bad auction of various stuff including, shudder, low-grade "art." Past that clutter and the left-over ornaments from the Blue Yule party last Saturday was Philip Van Keuren: Forty Years of Works on Paper, 1969-2009 including many beautifully austere black & white photographs I've seen in faculty shows at SMU and other venues over the decades ...

Untitled (for David), 1971

Philip Van Keuren  Untitled (for David)   1971   ink, paper, collage on wood   9 x 12 inches
from the Collection of Jan Lee and David Bates

And a wall of rectangular geometric color pieces that stole my breath and highjacked my mind for many minutes. We both hovered near the rectilinear wall of lilting colors, experiencing the simple hues, textures and juxtapositions of these dated collages.

Mary Benedicto - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Mary Benedicto   Phallus Shurzz   2009

On the way out, I noticed the familiar form of fifteen vivid branches of lurid colored French Ticklers suspended from a lime green chandelier, a surprise favorite left over from last August's McKinney Avenue Contemporary Member Show, XV hanging over the bistro section just inside the front doors, even though the piece was supposedly designed to stand off-kilter, not suspended like most illuminated chandeliers. This one was lit, not lighted.

Scott Wade -

Scott Wade's Dirty Car Art — sculpting Santa Claus in Dust

Outside, under the drive-through portico was a man leaning over the back of a dark sedan. We'd briefly watched him spray dust over that rear window on our way in. Now on our way out, we stopped to watch him sculpt and brush into the layered window a temporary Coca-Cola Santa Claus. Another of The MAC's traveling art shows.

Then, after supping on shrimp and cole slaw at the nearby S & D Oyster Company where Anna's ex worked for many years and the food's still great, we stopped at Ahab Bowen vintage clothing where I sat on the porch and photographed vivid feather boas while Anna shopped.

Orange & Blue Boas - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Orange & Blue Boas

That done, we drove down to Dragon Street where we got curious stares from inside PanAmericanProjects and not much open else down the street except shows we'd seen. From there it was a short hop to The Dallas Contemporary's opening-soon space on Glass Street, where we couldn't see much that had changed since the last visit a month or so ago.

The Contemp's New Blue Ramp - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Except a new blue ramp and short stairs leading across the concrete to an inner loading-dock-door I couldn't back up far enough to get it all in without the chain-link fence still surrounding the building, so I turned the camera over 45 degrees or so. Lovely ramp, eh? Will look even nicer when they paint the nearby roof struts warning yellow, nes pas?

smiley face - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Smiley Face at the Contemp
Their only new art.

And a smiley-face graffito on a telephone pole near the front. I photographed the shiny chrome handrails up the front stairs for the umpteenth time, and looked up the sculpture attachment on the downtown-side corner to got this:

attached sculpture - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Sculpture Installation on the front of the new Contemp

I also strained to see inside the one bit of glass I could access without climbing and saw not a lot of obvious improvements since the last (only) time I've been inside last summer.

In the Contemp - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Inside the Contemp

The far back, yellow walls may have been somewhat improved, and the floors seem smoother and no longer littered with junk left over from the metal fabricator that occupied the space previously, and do you suppose this 'blue' room is where the board of directors brown bags their meetings? Through the jagged, larger unframed door space on the right seems to be the start of a tile bathroom with faces of holes for fixtures, but being ready for an exhibition in January seems a stretch.

Caddywampus Motel - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Caddy-wampus Alamo-esque Motel across from ArtCon5

We had planned to attend the ArtCon5 auction tonight (See our much-illustrated ArtCon3 story from two years ago), because Anna was going to put art together in the two hours allotted in the damp, unheated warehouse south of the river on Commerce yesterday. Instead she got ill and had to not, but we were still interested in spirited auction action.

All week, I've been pondering why elevated, supposedly sophisticated an intelligent KERA-FM and their Art & Seek site would get into a sponsoring position for ArtCon5. Have they not seen the quality of 'art in these auctions? Do they even care?

See our story for lots of good and bad examples. The quality hasn't changed in the intervening years. Wouldn't KERA want at least the veneer of quality? Yes, there are some excellent, fine art artists participating, but there's also a lot of what can best be called dreck.

To select the artists, they chose the first 150 artists who accepted their open invitation, sight unseen.

Sponsoring by radio stations usually doesn't entail money changing hands. It's simply means the station provides a barrage of free ads, and the benefitting agency this time was a good one — not as local art and artist-centric as EASL certainly, but good for the community at large.

But the quality of the art auctioned is a low average with a few outstanding ringers rising above the rest, and you'd think our local National Public Radio monopoly could find better art and artists to promote themselves with.

Perhaps someone at EASL should contact 90.1.

Until we saw we had to walk two long unlighted and unsidewalked blocks down a fast-moving, busy boulevard from the muddy parking lots up the street in the rapidly falling darkness. Doable but hardly desirable. After photographing the dilapidating motel across the street, we joined the herd roaring back over the bridge from Oak Cliff uncertainty.

Not that the event was unattended, and I'm sure they raised a bucket o' cash for this year's charity. Anna sent me a link to an album of photographs by Justin Terveen on Facebook showing a lievely crowd and plenty samples of the sort of art I'm talking about.end dot

Back to Downtown - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Back toward Downtown

Triple Underpass - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Up Under the Triple Underpass and back into the city

top


November 21 2009

Cedars Open Studios

Blow Glass Demo - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

My Traditional Blow Glass Demo Pic

Anna and I had planned a busy day of art. On our list were The Cedars Open Studios tour, Kim Cadmus Owens at Holly Johnson, and something else I forget. Oh, FuNcTiOn. Our first stop was at Jim and Mary Lynn Bowman's studio at Bowman Hot Glass, where were lots of good eats, the band setting up, glass blowing demonstrations downstairs, an SRO crowd of people looking, up and down the stairs,

[Previous Cedars stories: 2005 and 2002 and 2001]

Bowman Glass - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Candy Bowl

And beautiful, interesting, colorful glass objects all around.

Bowman Dog - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bowman's Dog

And art dogs, too.

James Watral structure - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

James Watral Structure

Next door were ceramic objects by another old friend, James Watral, and work by several other artists, some pretty famous around here.

Red Room - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Red Room

These shots are here, because they are my best photos that day, not necessarily the best anything else. It was an experiment I was uneasy about. I usually haul my giant Nikon and a big, constant aperture, unstabilized wide-angle zoom lens (Nikkor AF 17-55mm f/2.8). But that day I just didn't feel like hauling all that heavy metal. The little Canon weighs 5 ounces. The Nikon and that fat lens is nearly 62 ounces, more than a dozen times as much.

Art Ka Bobs - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Art Ka-Bobs

I'd been lusting after this and that small, pocketable, new camera for the last several months after I bought a tiny (hides behind a credit card) Canon SD780 IS for a couple hundred bucks. All those lusted-after cams were twice and more than that. Bigger, too. Most of them would be cramped in a pants pocket.

I think I shot the Art Ka-bobs in Rick Maxwell's studio ...

Flying Pig - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Flying Pig

The 780 actually fits in my pocket, although I usually carry it around in an O-ringed bag on my belt. A soft dangly. I tried that art day, but the bag was recalcitrant about letting go of the cam sometimes, so I switched to my shirt-jac's big, soft pocket, where it and I were happy. Easy in, easy out.

valve - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

John Kuehne   Valve   oil on canvas   $300

I especially wondered if it would be good enough — excellent enough — to photograph art for DallasArtsRevue. After all these shots, I'd say yeah, although it distorts some at wide angle end of the short zoom [the setting I usually use, because it has its widest and most useful aperture and at that wide angle, most of the scene will be rendered sharp]. And I've mostly taken care of that with Photoshop. I only shoot art that impressed or fascinated me on some level. Or that pissed me off, though there's none of that this time. My usual rules.

Lisa Carroll - Undone

Lisa Carroll   Undone (ordinary spin   paper   14 x 15 x 1.5 inches   (detail)

After the Art Ranch and some eminently forgettable other places nearby, we mosied over to South Side on Lamar, always a fascinating visual space worthy of extensive photographing. Much as I liked Lisa Carroll's pieces in the gallery there, I was startled how much they resembled Lance Letcher's earlier work. Although he has no corner on the market for obsesso-compulsive paper tearing and knotting back together, and these were different, intricate and interesting. Fascinating swirls and spins.

Copyright 2009  JRCompton.com   All Rights Reserved.

gallery

There was other art there, but except for making interesting pictures against the lime fluorescent green of the train yard that runs through the giant space (used to be real trains there and much lower, when that was the Sears & Roebuck Headquarters. for North Central Texas), I didn't pay it much attention. Nice enough, I suppose, but hardly original. I'm pretty sure we visited other art places in the neighborhood, but the only visual engagement at most of them was to wince and protect my mind.

Rocking Boats - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Rocking Construction Project at Corinth Park Artist Studios
across from Metroplex Produce, who has a luscious wall painting

This project reminds me of Dalton Maroney's boats and major sculpture projects by Tom Orr upstairs at the Continental Gin building a decade or more ago. Not so much in artistic value, as in materials and vague shapes.

This is not a follow the tour kind of a page. Just these are the best pix, though they are mostly chronological. I may have been lightly engaged by other images, but usually I'd put enough effort into the ones that zinged me to make a good shot.

 

FuNcTiOn at Corinth Park Artist Studios

NOW - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Cathey Miller   NOW   interior installation

Like this. Not exactly sure where this was, I left my tour map in Anna's car. Oh, the event is called FuNcTiOn, at a place called the Corinth Park Artist Studios, although we didn't see anything that looked like any sort of traditional studio. But then we didn't explore the entire building, either. We might have, if we'd understood where we were. It had a Cedars banner out front, and we visited there, because Anna found out about it on FaceBook, and it sounded — and looked — interesting.

A large building with crumbling walls and empty windows around a large grafitti-strewn 'yard' out front and loud darkness inside. A guy with a microphone kept saying, "test. test" till I tuned him out while exploring the forward area of the dance space where were labyrinthine smallish rooms, darkened and gill-filled with art and art-like installations, my fave of which was this amazing multi-dimensional space of Cathey Miller's work. A perfect fit for the site, the darkness and the zeit- or platz-geist. (Platz means place.)

Tania K - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Tania Kaufman  

I remember when C J Davis began poking his canvases, helping prod painting into the third dimension. All those silly questions. Is it painting? Does it matter? Wasn't sure I liked this, but I was startled by seeing it. Pink and gray and black and multi-dimensional fingers protruding. I like it.

World's Smallest Studio - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

World's Smallest Studio

This particular tiny space at the end of the labyrinth was billed as "The World's Smallest Studio," and signs urged us to have our photographs taken there, almost enough space for two people to stand close. Cramped. The lighting was set up, but no photog in sight, except me and Anna. A rough, but intimate space. Warm, cozy and claustrophobic.

Projector - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Obe-jay d' Projector

Sucked back from the darkness by my trusty little camera, this odd, art-like projector projected images some might call art on the wall of one of those darkened rooms. I love it as object. Utterly simple, straight-forward construction. Purpose obvious, direct. It worked without a lot of hoo-haw. Eminently practical. Magnificent in function-following form.

Flames - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Flames

And flames back out on the sidewalk out front. Local color. Or should I say LoCaL cOloR?

Cardboard with Drawing - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bert Sherbarth   Cardboard with Drawings

Here we are at Bert Sherbarth's studio in The Cedars proper, right across the dirt and gravel street from a clanging (I've heard it in full operation; I'm sure Bert has, too.) steel mill with big trucks and the noisy glow and spark of molten metal. Essentially, The Cedars is an industrial area with great, large manufacturing and other comparatively inexpensive spaces now often used by artists and craftspersons.

The one question I overheard most often that day was, "How much do these spaces cost?"

Journal Page - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bert Sherbarth   Journal Page

Bert's working on a story about his visit to arid and unpopulated West Texas, and this is his journal. I told him if he didn't get the story together in type, I could just photograph the pages of texture and shapes in his journal.

Sherbarth Color

Bert Sherbarth color

Always fun to track the latest work by an artist I've been following for decades. An old friend used to work in the offices in the building downtown with a hole through the top of it that had lots of Sherbarth drawings. I remember his angular wood furniture, and these disjunctive yet interconnected and maxi-textured spaces fit into that ouvre, though he's veered off in strange odd directions all through those years.

Blue-bound Barbed Wire - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Blue-bound Barbed Wire

Out on 'the porch' workroom tables, were bound stacks of barbed wire, as intriguing for their shape and contrasting colors and textures as the general strew of organization all around. Great for a loose snapshot on that cloudy bright day.

Bert with Barebed Wire - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Bert with Barbed Wire Box

Pulled apart, this barbed cube fits right into Bert's body of art. Sharp, a little dangerous, skeletally into the third dimension. Anna's in the red coat. No chickens in the yard.

Another Art Dog - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Another Art Dog

I'm terrible at names. Even worse for art dogs' names, but here they provide pleasant, recurring transitions. Into and out of. This time down the street. I usually remember cats.

American Beauty -

American Beauty Mill Foyer

This is my first Cedars Studios tour in a few years (4). Last time I saw the American Beauty Mill it was intriguing for its exterior architectural details I happily photographed even then, but I didn't get into it, or into the building, though artists may already have been living there. And only by going all the way into and up into and through its sense of immensity today, did we learn what an amazing visual space it is.

Stairs - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Stairs

Shapes and contrast all around, everywhere, except most of the windows were too dirty to photo out of.

Cones - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Cones

Many of the shapes, very strange, unless you know about early last century flour mills, and I know nothing of it, but loved being near all these, often quite large and peculiar protuberates, empty, open and closed spaces. Photogenic dream spaces all around.

Am Bu Valley - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

American Beauty Mill Courtyard

Like a medieval castle. I didn't see a moat, but would not have been surprised by one.

Grate View - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Grate View

There was a smaller shed out front near the security fence, with bars over a deep-down under-the-floor space full of strange machinery, whose lower, interior spaces seemed dark, dank and acrophobed far down there, a lot like a real moat.

Inside Corner - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Inside Corner

See what I mean with the castle metaphors? This is down in that courtyard seen from above above.

Shapes Shed - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Shapes Shed Windows Out

And these in open apertures through another metal shed in back of the castle, shot with syncro-sunlight flash or otherwise these would be the dark silhouettes they first appeared. Like a lot of situationally great art, you had to come up close to fully appreciate their colors textures. The fascinating details of shape drew us in.

Did not see a name on this and other arts on this page but would happily entertain naming them here. My latest email is always on the Contact Us page.

Art Dog Lookout - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Art Dog Lookout — Tail Down

Another one of those amazing visual transitions. As if the notion of this not-all-that-friendly dog's haunches stayed in my mind through to our next art stop, well off the tour. We assumed there'd be art in this cavernous space we'd been in before and found lots, but not this trip.

 

and Dragon Street

Isaac Leopard at Craighead Green - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Isaac   Leopard   at Craighead Green — Tail Up

At Craighead Green Gallery, where we'd gone to visit with Kim Cadmus Owens' work down the street. CG was on the way, and why not stop. Interesting art in the front, the big garage doors open front and back to the breezes, and the artist thereof documenting his own work. Anna talked with him while I checked focus, exposure and those other photographic niceties on the stuff I'd shot so far. Pretty fair dinkum. I'm fully impressed.

Kim Cadmus Owens - Alama Plaza Motel

Kim Cadmus Owens   Alamo   2009   oil on canvas   64 x 95 inches   $16,500

Down the street at Holly Johnson Gallery, we were blown away by Kim's latest work. When I selected her work for my guest critic's choice artist for John Pomara's Pix2 at UTD January before last, I knew it was only a matter of time before Kim Cadmus Owens' work reached critical mass and appeal.

It took a little longer than I anticipated, but we're both big fans of her work, and it was great to see Holly Johnson had perceived the same skill and executions. Great also to see some startling new work that extends some facets of her work that have excited my visual understandings and previous verbal inabilities to wrap my words around.

Her use of color, especially those long, straight, vivid solid parallel lines and contrasting, high density hues amaze me every time I see them.

Kim Cadmus Owens - Cheap Trick - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Kim Cadmus Owens   Cheap   2009   oil on canvas   48 x 48 inches   $7,600

And her sense of space and three-dimensional intuitions of light and shadow and placement. It was grand to see startling new work by her, and in the scale she controls so carefully. As well as some of the older pieces that led me to follow her since I discovered her work in a studio upstairs at the Continental Gin Building several of their open studios ago.

Wow!

Mr. Lucky - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Ellen Frances Tuchman   Mr. Luckee   2009  
mixed media on Mylar   36 x 48 inches   $3,800

Another, much more compressed and smaller-scale wow to Ellen Frances Tuchman's work at PanAmericanProjects down the street toward Oak Lawn Avenue. Stand back with me and my little camera, and we can see a Mr. Luckee's face and architectural details behind, all made of tiny pieces of rolled and shaped paper.

Tuchman's show at Pan Am is one of its last, and I am pained to realize that so many Dallas artists shown there over the years now have to find another space, in this economy.

Two Clowns - Photograph Copyright 2009 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Fu and Man Chu

After a quick tour of the lake, conversation with friends there and quick shots of frightened ducks and coots, we stopped at Lovers Pizza in Casa Linda and were settling into our Veggie Works pizza slices when Richard and Marty Ray came in the door to order to-go food to watch movies by.

They joined us and somewhere in the middle of conversation of what we'd all seen and enjoyed today, this ensued, perpetrated, no doubt, by Man Chu, but ably exacerbated by Fu, too.end dot


See the continuing
ThEdblog for oddly illustrated notes on my progress through this website and the rest of my life.
 

All Contents of this site are Copyright 2009 or before by publisher J R Compton.
All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in any medium without specific written permission.

Continued on Art Here Lately #8

 

 cumulative index count

 #7