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Art Here Lately #10
Art Ranch, Conduit, Craighead Green, Plush, Marty Walker November 20 2010
Tom Orr Reflection Screen 1, Reflection
Screen 2, Black Reflection Screen 2010
each wood & plastic 8 x 9 x 9 inches $900 each
The best things all night at galleries and spaces were Tom Orr's presentations of deceptively simple object reflections and projections at Marty Walker, James Michael Starr's very large and sparer new sculpture at Conduit, and the amazing, superb, utterly wow Shreepad Joglekar and Ian F. Thomas Ergonomics of Futility [below] performance art at 411 Tyler, a few doors up from MFA in Oak Cliff. A lot of other art in between, some of which is worth mentioning here, and show and tell we will.
Tom Orr's trio of color and black & white
were small tour de forces of illusion and delusion. More
about those down the
My Traditional Jim Bowman Glass Blow Photo
at the Art Ranch in The Cedars during their annual art tour, but we didn't
go any farther — Anna's still nursing
a twice-broken foot, and I need more time between those things.
We did what we usually do, watch Jim Bowman blow and manipulate glass before
a gathered crowd.
Rick Maxwell Crocodile Totem (detail)
In a studio around the inside corner in that same
extended, corrugated space, a bunch of artists showed work in crowded circumstance,
too often unidentified. I attribute this totem-topping crocodile with bifurcated
lower mandibles to Rick Maxwell, who often shows startling wood notions in
that space. If it's not Rick's, somebody let me know.
But this remains completely unknown, shown
more because it was there and eventually useful than any part of an organized
gallery-like exhibition. An inside-out blueprint for a print perhaps. Everything
of it was backwards, and drew me to its the complexity of force-field lines
emanating like energy waves melding into the dark sky. Much as I liked it
in reverse, I tried photographically reversing it, and left it better dark
Three Globes Cooling on a Bench
Fresh blown glass jugs and a bowl enjoying the
cool night air amid conversation and community out near the front gate of
Art Ranch, which is what we've been calling the extended, Jim & Mary
Lynn Bowman, James Watral and Rick Maxwell, et al Spaces on the edge
of Downtown almost overlooking the Canyon since before there was a Cedars
James Michael Starr Ripples 2010 Book covers and welded steel 98 x 76 x 68 inches
obvious lineage from my 'Box
Spider' piece Jim made for
the 30th Anniversary DallasArtsRevue show last winter, these four-legged
book bugs towered over gallery-goers at Conduit that Saturday night in
the big front room at Conduit. Masterful use of all that space, great
lines and fine shadows. I had thought he didn't care for the form, why
he let it go, but maybe its absence centered him on the conceptual figuration.
Mine dominates my sculpture room, these could do a fair bit toward taking
control a much larger space.
James Michael Starr Continental
Iron shot, book and rotogravure newspaper images, steel 24.75 x 40.5 x 15.25 inches
This urban area-targeting comet falling fast and
jangly toward earth has Starr's familiar sepia toned image on the metal ball
at its base, then trails jagging millions of miles through space. Not an
altogether different form factor from his Daddy Longlegs, but
not immediately connectible. A feeling of headlong rushing toward a small
planet lost in time.
Roberto Munguia Expira 2010 casein and gouache on panel 24 x 24 inches
Rich colors and precious objects, some more than
others, in the big room at the back of the gallery.
Velvety soft circular folds and down into, and
the colors are all wrong, but is
that what I'm thinking it might be? With all its glitter and plush curcum
folds? Precious object indeed.
Ellen George Tis 2010 polymer clay and steel pins 35 x 25 x 2 inches
I remember Steve Wyman scatter grouping like-color
plastic found objects on walls in the 1980s when that technique was newer.
Now every gallery has at least one champion of the form. I liked the preciousness
of this medium, with its soft rounded shadows, and individuated rhythm of
shapes. Then wondered whether we'd ever get past those shape dance gatherings
on white walls around us.
Marla Ziegler Twilight Tide glazed clay 60 x 108 x 5.5 inches
Speaking of which. Marla Ziegler of a remarkable history of soft ceramic shapes and subtly polished precious objects has got herself into squiggles and splats not so much new and different as familiar but with a different beat, and among all that rhyming shape not much room for her markings, oversized textures and Watral-like pattern colorations that prove the art of it. I could see one of those black drizzles in my living room — wonder if she'd sell them by the piece. Simplifying sometimes runs the risk of over-simplifying. Needs more than just new shapes. I could dance to it. But I miss her gentler rhythms.
Nancy Brown Gold into Turquoise 2010 acrylic on canvas 8 x 16 inches
re-re-reopening, this time on the early end of Dragon Street in a space fronting
Cunningham Architects' army of office spaces in a big
room with a giant "Please Keep
Out Of" ... something ... sign at the beginning of a long line of low cubicles.
Fascinating how Randall Garrett always finds intriguing spaces (now on Dragon,
yet) and shows work that's fresh, in startling new forms, as often beautiful
as they are consternating simple.
Brandon Behning Lavender Box and
Brown Box 2010 acrylic on cardboard, tape, wire
5 x 4.75 x 1.75 inches and 7.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
A band was setting up in the middle,
but when we arrived, the front room that is now Plush was almost empty. As
I concentrated on several species of small furry art, suddenly the room filled
with art-interesteds. Even less traditional forms were nearby. This felt
safe to appreciate, but ....
Brandon Behning Hieronymus Victoria
Alouwicious Leviticus Lionel
Selgenerallen 2008 mixed media sculpture 5.25 x 5.25 x 3 inches $450 and
Raoul Axana Pantera Bioul 2008 mixed media sculpture 7 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches $450
This shook my understandings. I recognize
Dali's dripping clock on the right unraveling distance and time, but what's
maybe a herd of gold lamé cows
or sheep at left caught my unawares. I shot these then wondered how I could
possibly either explain what they were or why I was so attracted to them.
I almost didn't show them I was so baffled by both questions. But that's
how new forms work.
Billy Zinser Macrodon on top of Marty Walker Gallery
this soon as we saw it and were wowed by the unanticipated scale. I
liked the colors and juxtaposition atop a serious gallery, especially
for a show called Small Works, even if it is right before Christmas.
Those are certainly rich painterly
Zinser colors. More, generally smaller, Macrodons are
available online considerably less expensive than the five- to twelve-hundred
dollars ones there. My guess it's six or seven feet tall. A blast
of color and shape.
Thomas Feulmer Asleep with Shadows 2010
bronze, ceramic, mattress ticking, nylon, string, felt, pompom balls 6.5 x 7 x 8 inches
Many artists are mixing common, odd or untraditional elements into three-dimensional and flat art these post Post-Modernist times. Some thought-boggling good like this, which puts me in mind of the more or less two-dimensional work of Dallas artist Bernardo Cantu and then I stumbled on Sedrick Huckaby [down this page] and probably other artists beyond North Central Texas, mixing and matching the unmixable unmatchables, hard black & white and soft color materials.
Especially enjoyed the gallery's illustrated price
list, with tiny color images of every piece with name, title, year date,
size and medium information. Perfect for my purposes. Plenty of information.
Impressive. Fun show but so packed with people in that tiny space I could hardly
Tom Orr Black Reflection Screen 2010 wood and plastic 8 x 9 x 9 inches
Left Brain thinkers engage the obvious evidence in front of their eyes in this intriguing combination of illusory reflections and projections, while us Right Brain watchers enjoy the toy-like fun of it without delving into optics and theory.
What we have are three deceptively simple and essentially similar devices, each holding open-ended geometric shapes, which are completed into cubes by our eyes, minds and the artist's manipulations, then the projected images of those optically illusionary objects are reflected and/or projected onto their receptive or reflective back surfaces, adding yet another layer of illusion by manifesting white and light-colored edges and corners as black on the white screens and black edges on the black screen.
Color or black and white, the bases of all three are mirrors. The color ones' shapes are reflected onto white backs, while the clear half-shapes we perceive as cubes are projected onto the black plastic back as black-edged cubes of light, white or gray sides and an abundance of other lines.
Or something like that. Our eyes complete the shapes or confuse what there is with what we want to see.
It was way too crowded when we got there to get
all three in one shot or move our eyes around enough to test theories
of optical delusions. I didn't take time then but got hooked staring at
these images. Each is finished with Orr's usual quietly elegant care and
craftsmanship, so the illusory devices, the illusions and the objects altogether
qualify as as amazing fine art.
Artist and Title unknown
Walker's adjacent front space, curtained off,
cool and nearly dead quiet with only a couple hyperactive kids till the dad
showed up asking them to be gentle around the art in there, like this large,
wildly romantic high seas adventure only mildly interrupted by updated sea
and sky. 18th Century sky and seascapes glowing anew.
Ergonomics of Futility performance 411 N. Tyler 7-10 pm November 20 2010
Photographer, Money-burner, Central Figure,
in Room with Areas and Directions Denoted with Dotted Lines
Ergonomics of Futility by Ian F. Thomas and Shreepad Joglekar, was presented by Ro2 Art & Ryder Richards [above) in the latest of their lengthening series of temporary art in temporary spaces. Like the performance, this story about it skips around in time and space and understanding. A lot going on at once in different areas and to differing points. More ongoing than end, beginning and middle. Though I didn't see it stop. Might still be going.
Performance Art is so many different things — and most often done badly — that many people don't get it. Like any other art form — or potential art form — you have to engage the thing. Like theatre, which it sometimes resembles in too many ways, you have to employ a willful suspension of disbelief. Go with the flow, if there is any.
Follow the logic. What's going on? Are there ideas in or behind it? Does it make sense or does it engage your sensibilities? What does it look like or sound like? How does it feel? Is it beautiful or ugly, insightful or vapid, intelligent or stupid? Can you identify with what's going on? Does it, like a good movie, follow its own rules?
Is there enough complexity to keep your mind busy as you watch? Do the elements pull together and reinforce each other? Do you get to put it all together yourself or are its ideas forcefed to you?
Performance Art, at its best, is a much more complex undertaking than a painting or a sculpture. Both for its perpetrators and its audience. Trouble is, there's so few good examples of the genre that we don't get to practice understanding or enjoying it often enough. It remains elusive. Its payoffs are far and few between. It's as difficult to find as it is to know it's good.
This one happened to me. I wasn't expecting performance. I was expecting a new space. If I'd know what it was to be, I would not have bothered. What I expect when someone says Performance Art is that I will not enjoy it, that it will be stupid. I was happily surprised to discover that this one was not.
Once we pulled up in front, and I saw that it was cool in there and visually intriguing, and as I began thinking it through and finding that the pieces fit, I took the bait and swam with it. It helped that I had a camera.
Luckily for me, there wasn't a crowd.
Another tub just under the table where sawed books were posted said "TRUST."
Near as I can figure, a central figure, guy in
suit and tie, writing in a ledger, holding what is either
a white cane or giant golf tee or club while tracking ... well something.
Maybe lots of somethings. Like an efficiency expert, deciding the best way,
the right steps through the absurdity all around.
Shreepad Joglekar Sawing Books
Another guy at a small desk
under a bright light at the back meticulously burns and/or
defaces or refaces one-dollar bills. A woman near the front window sits
and types longform text onto an extended paper loop ratcheting up from
a box near the reflecting
"LIE" pan, through her typewriter and up over a curtain
rod at the top of the front window. The text she retypes appears to
be pages from sawed books. Occasionally, the bean counter checks the data
as it comes back down over the curtain rod.
I thought of Duchamp's R.Mutt Readymade and
his quote, "all associations are permitted."
The sawyer saws books whose pieces are delivered
to a low table in either an efficient or random manner. Hard to tell. The
color dotted lines on the floor give direction, flow and a sense of dollhouse
scale. A visual sensibility obtains that's logical, serene and inter-connected,
if absurd and void of easy meaning. Visual puns and synchronicity occur.
Burning money. Typing forever. Four persons do what is done.
The futility palpable but it felt utterly normal. The ritual tedious, but
of interest because that's our lives there.
Rosemary Ramirez Typing
I considered Kafka. Much there is in
all this — tepid action/reaction ritual/rote — that is redolent
of government and so-called organizations and their rules and stupidities.
Wars are run like this. The four players are industrious, steadfast and unconcerned
with the people who stand over their shoulders and in their faces watching,
documenting, talking among themselves.
For awhile, it was difficult to determine who
was performer, audience or documenters, many of whom were photographers.
Never a lot of either. Besides Ro2 (Susan Roth Romans and Jordan Roth) outside,
most there were audience, kept at distance by the proscenium of storefront
windows and front door. I dared enter
the storefront space to see and photograph what was going on in detail. Other
documenters, too, then smatterings of audience sifted into the performance
space. I am still not convinced the man in shadow below is not a secret participant.
But then I accept conspiracy theories.
Ian F Thomas Burning Money in the Back of Room and Counterpoint Watcher
Small-scale art and art-like presentations
in varying forms of display gather around the room. Intrinsic
yet enigmatic parts of the story, the theme, the progression going on in and
around watchers, doers and documenters.
Photographer As Art Object Photographs Sawyer Sawing Books
Images projected in the back left corner
and in an ersatz space in the back. Empty of people when I curiositied
in. That intense red, direct and slants of reflected light blaring, a tool
bench and open-ended projection booth but no obvious tools or activity. Co-producer
Jordan Roth later said it was a break room, but why the glaring lights and cartoon
Stages of Monetary Mutilation
It has been illegal to burn the flag here in this
country, and it is still illegal to reproduce them at the same size, but
America has a long tradition of trashing money and defacing dollars. To paraphrase
Rogers Harris, if you can explain art otherwise, why do it? Performance
art is a slippery supposition that's best understood experiencing it, then
thinking about it later — not writing or reading about it.
Projection Booth in Back
In the moment, the connections are obvious though often unsubstantiated. Later the individuated acts merge into experiential truths. You had to be there replacing deep-seated meanings, purpose and intentions. Like making any other art form, performance art changes everything. The plot thickened by sticking to the story. Self-discipline kept the players in their separate temporary realities, apart from the smattering of audience, ears, eyes and lenses.
She focuses in on the sawed edges of the
book, not sawed in half, but between Power and Play in
its title on the spine.
Photographer, Sawed Books, Pan Reflecting TRUST, Pushpin Tally and Low Table
I didn't want to learn what the backroom projection
taught in lurid 50s cartoon colors. Never more than
a dozen people gathered outside the front door or scattered
inside the performance room/stage. What if they gave a performance art and
nobody came but photographers.
Searing Dollar Bills
Since the late Jerry Hunt banged and drummed on
suitcases in the echoing chambers of the Dallas Museum of Art, Tiffaret
Israel and other resonant spaces, few performance art productions have been
as organized or visually intelligent. Here rote replaced ritual. Sounds of
shuffling and low typing shushed Jerry's exclamatory shouts through the years.
I remember Ann Harkness death-still in a coffin hearing her unknowing audience
gathered around the presumed manikin muttering about the art
of a body in an open casket. There have been others but long ago till Robert
Boland ran spiral at the Coffin Factory early this century.
Checking the Typed Data
Purposed and accidental plays of light accented areas and concept. Here, paper's translucency lends the image of a bureaucrat lost in his data. I never saw any of the four performers inch away from character as they completed and recompleted their assigned tasks in inconsequential choreography. Following dotted lines arcing through the space or staying in the gridded areas. A game on a delineated field.
$1 U.S. Postage Stamp Wisdom Rockefeller Center with Simple Lens Bending Light
Not just in Dallas, most Performance Art is terrible. Boring.
Puerile. This one's great gapping holes of logic and ritual patterns
held it together. I asked them not to but Ro2 sent me a synopsis of the
night's purpose. Like most artists statements it was gobbledygook, and I
only remember the parts I already agreed with. Artists, and especially promoters,
have no real idea what their work is about. Asking begs hype.
Break Room Inexplicable Red
Attenuating heat allows subtler burns. Almost
inevitably the 'decorations' become more subtle and controlled.
A learning curve obtains that shows in the dollars
on the wall and in the empty work patterns of insane and absurd
projects that project artless idiocies into fine art performance
rich with understandings of the pointlessnesses in our lives. That the motions
and spectacles of it were valid, compelling, credible, cogent and coherent
made it something of a triumph.
Cut & Paste Enrique Cervantes Fernández & Gordon Young at U of D November 17 2010
Gordon Young Memento Mori 3 collage 2010 (detail)
who cut and paste using differing paradigms are featured in an
exhibition in the University of Dallas' Beatrice M. Haggerty gallery. Young
employs the traditional techniques of analog tearing, cutting and and pasting
selected portions of printed pages to elicit emotions, not I think, tell
stories, although there may be some of that here, too.
Cervantes captures parts of other images digitally and pastes them
into his photographic compositions via software.
Gordon Young Memento Mori 6 collage 2010 (detail)
When I told Gordon how much we liked his big collages,
he said they were about losing Peter, his long-time partner. Thus all the
backs of people in these image-juxtaposed collages, as if they were going
away. Leaving. But then there's near-violent visual weather, billowing smoke
and cloudscapes peopled with dark silhouettes. Collected into long, wide
compositions of appropriated black and white, sepia and mostly monochromatic
published images, Young's carefully constructed combinations evoke raw emotions
and are the obvious stuff of Strum
Und Drang, passion and regret.
Gordon Young Altered Postcard collage
His vivid cartoon postcard collages
are even more vivid, and less amusing. Here, a macho cowboy's evisceration
births classic beauty. Not sure what that means, but the image is strong,
the collage on-target. It could be the artist doing the cutting here, but
it looks more like the younger Picasso.
Enrique Fernández Cervantes The Switching of the Babies Finally Discovered 2010 archival pigment print
There's more emotional distance in Cervantes' newer work. It's as if he's battled his demons and is settling into the more objective aspects of his craft, although I hope the demons come back, because those involved searching self-expositions that were intriguing to watch and savor. I want more connection among the elements of his constructed photographs.
We saw several pieces — including
the giraffes — in his recent, but much smaller solo show at Brookhaven
College, and others of his stronger but more diffuse emotions in pieces
into Fierce at the now defunct 14th Street Gallery in 2008
when I discovered he could do so much more than the exquisite little black & white
genre scenes I liked enough to invite him to show.
Enrique Cervantes Fernández The
Man Who Sang the Blues for Five Years 2010
archival pigment print 23 x 26.25 inches image courtesy of the artist
His newest work is technically more proficient — the lines of demarcation smoother, and the pieces and objects in them more realistic, though still with deep undercurrents — pun thoroughly intended for this one. I keep seeing this as a CD cover for a New Orleans blues band after the flood, and the distant birds are an eloquent touch. The sun's gonna shine again.
The Deep Elm Art Walk October 9 2010
Lawrence Lee Conversion 2010 ink and charcoal on paper 72 x 72 inches at Barry Whistler
This large drawing on this wall is similar in lush monochrome textures and light negative space ways yet remarkably similar while remaining remarkable and dissimilar with another large lush drawing I remember photographing in that same past-the-front-desk-on-the-way-to-the-office room not that long ago. But I can't find it, and I've just gone through all nine other Art Here Lately pages — and added links at the end of each, so we can all link from one page to the next now.
That Wall in That Room at Barry Whistler's
Not surprisingly, Michael Miller's Today I Am Thankful For All I Have at Barry Whistler was thought-worthy, but the visceral assault of it was a shock. I've photographed pristine art in this room so often, this much color and image-and-shape diversity is startling. Nice turnabout for the gallery. Strange art for Barry Whistler. Nice.
Michael Miller Squeaky Fromme is Free to roam at Barry Whistler
Imbued with the flavor of Deep Elm, Barry's wasn't our first stop, just the best.
Wit's Front Room
Our first stop was at The Wit, deep on Exposition Avenue, a stone's throw from the very active now Fair Park, and nearly impossible to find a place to park, so we took turns. I liked several colorful abstractions but not overwhelmingly. I looked around and went back to the car momentarily standing in front of a drive in parking area, so Anna could go in.
unknown artist and title
I hadn't taken pictures, didn't know where to start, was in there less long than I usually am in galleries, new or not. While I waited in the still running car, so we weren't illegally parked, just semi-legally standing, Anna took these to give us a lay of the land, and the big rolling parking garage door whose entrance we blocked went up and down once, but no vehicles entered or left or honked.
Trying to track down the title or artist's name, I learned online that The Wit's "current" show was in July, though it didn't say what year.
Martin Gerwers Sculpture at Centraltrak
Second stop was Centraltrack, which I've been informed has no capital T in the middle like so many other techy names. The show, Martin Gerwers' The Matter of Matter, was pleasant, even angularly and folded-back interesting, but it posessed little of the space's usual bent for the amazing or even remarkable.
Martin Gerwers untitled
More perhaps than the usual bends and corners with planes and space left over, but nothing to knock anybody's mind off the usual kilters. Easy to admire, but no shock potential. Not, perhaps, up to Centraltrak standards, while simultaneously not being at all bad. The priceless price list listed all the pieces but somebody neglected to mark them or say which color which was or where. Oddly amateurish.
Gisela Heidi Strunck Kite Post poplar,
bubinga, mdt board,
wenge, maple, birch, cherry, purple heart, pvc, metallic floss, acrylic
Mokah meanwhile is generating a quiet but generally deserved reputation for showing high quality art and artists and being brave enough to label everything on the wall next to the pieces, even if Strunck's piece on their site is crooked.
They introduce new, and hold steady with outstanding long-term artists. Quite a feat in trendy Deep Elm. This show was tactile, befitting a legally blind artist, and beautiful, with all those exotic woods so carefully blended. There should have been signs, "Touch the art," but don't sweat on the luscious wood.
Break Dancing at eXcuses
The most exciting thing at eXcuses was, hands-down-and-feet-in-the-air, the break dance contest. The art —. Well, the art ... It is a good thing someone is showing all those fledgling artists. Most need the practice.
Savannah Lindsley Goggles acrylic $350
Next stop was 2826 Arnetic, another bar where were few stand-outs, although standing out there is different from standing out in the better art spaces anywhere. Though these might have stood out in other wheres, also.
Shadowy unto pitch black coal-ness is pictorially interesting, but I would like to have seen some more face under those goggles, though I appreciated the distortions. Especially dark eyes, but that may be the point we either see or don't. Good illustration style, I'd like to peruse the fiction this depicts. All but the bathroom art here was perched impossibly high, the last place you'd expect to find art.
Though there was a nice woman selling her fairly inexpensive pots off in the far corner.
Shaun Reeder Thom Yorke Men's Room Door at 2826 Arnetic copied from a famous photograph
But no-doors barred my fave and possibly the most interesting piece at Artnetic was this on the Men's room door. There was a similar painting on the Women's door, but it didn't have the flair or impact. Both are, as I unfortunately learned from a brief Goog, singers in bands, and copies of famous photographs — a lot of that sort of unoriginality rampant in the upper reaches there, but I was happy, even a little excited about it till I learned the grisly truths.
Mitchell Building Atrium Gallery Space
Last time I was in the Mitchell Building, somewhen in the 80s, friends lived there and instead of walls between "apartments," there were floor-to-nearly-ceiling chain-link fences. Georgia and Lisa were artists, so there was a lot of good and strange art happening in what I called "Women In Cages." Now it's posh and slick, with real walls and a swankish atrium — a far cry from its former self. But a necessary upgrade. The rent's probably gone up, too but most of their taste in art has gone in the opposite direction.
Trace Hayes unknown title for either piece
The art between the front door and the stairway atrium gallery and a lot of what was in the stairway space itself was less and less-than, but we both liked Food Stylist Trace Hayes' rocket ships and the planetoid disks behind. The slatted ceiling made shooting up into the high-hung space a little dicey, but we liked leaning back to watch them blast through space.
DADA's 25 Anniversary Walk & Party September 25 2010
Francisco Alvarado Sonrisa (smile) oil on canvas Brookhaven College
I was expecting High School students, but these college artist winners of Edith Baker Scholarships were remarkably good. No holds barred. This is fabulous. Garish. Shocking. In and out of context. Anatomically correct and then some. That blurs into splotches and smears of pure color that fits right in. Superbly composed. In our face humanity. Strong work.
Antony Sarelli untitled charcoal on paper Eastfield College
I can't be nearly as specific about this giant drawing. I liked it soon as I saw it. Reminded me a little of Francis X. Tolbert's verve and bravado. Big drawings in a world of paintings have to be strong to have a prayer of keeping up. This surpasses. Fantasy character tree with bumps abounding all around.
As real as anyone could hope for. Great, encapsulated negative space. Almost goes overboard with nose and eyes, but saves itself with all the white rubble. Do I see birds in the pond? Imagination runs wild.
Panova Memories from a
Distant World: Bulgarian Spring
clay, pressed leaves, dried flowers, corn husk on wood North Lake College
Much more restrained. Nearly rigid composition of wild things, real, once-growing worldly, things pressed in service as art, but in a few weeks or months they goes back to fade and rot and dishevel. Brave heart putting it together in temporary almost abstractions to remember home.
Mineko Grimmer Gongs Wires Bamboo
Also showing at the Irving Art Center were boxes of tightly-strung wires and lattices of bamboo. The object hung above them comprises ice and pebbles. As the ice melts, the pebbles fall in ones and little bunches. When the pebbles hit and ricochet off the wires, we get an abstracted form of rhythm and music once removed.
The boxes are acoustic, the music simplified but resonant. Took some thinking to figure where the sound was coming from. Before I got into it, I was deeply reminded of the sorts of utterly simple boxes Dallas sculptor emeritus Linnea Glatt used to create to hold her long-ago concepts.
No paint. Raw materials their own contrasts. Ice pyramids suspended every morning at 10:30 and Thursday evenings at 5. As the sign announcing this fact ends, "Ice pyramids last 3-4 hours." Grimmer's show, Gongs.Wires.Bamboo continues through October 31.
In Lieu of a Sunset
Then flying off to our next stop as evening fell with the clouds.
Sam Theis Portrait of Basquiat mixed media
We had watched the new Oak Cliff Cultural Center from the outsides of its big picture windows a couple doors down from the historic (Lee Harvey Oswald's Waterloo) Texas Theatre. Interesting show of professional artists who live and work in Oak Cliff. Although several artists I fully expected to be there, weren't, plenty were.
I have mixed feelings about contemporary artists drawing like famous artists but this colorful and creature-full painting stole my heart. Perfect compositions, plenty of tonal and shape variety. Texture galore. Beautiful, strange and memorable. Impressive. More than a little shocking. Reminds me of the best of George Bailey, but different, of course, and better in some ways.
Jose Vargas He Enjoyed Wearing a Green mask acrylic on wood
This wasn't officially in the exhibition, but it should have been. It may be the best thing there, hung alone in the office on a big, what I remember as an otherwise empty wall opposite the desks and worker (We only saw one but assume there's a growing staff.), because it's remarkably good and would easily stand out in the great premier show at the center, and because Jose hangs their shows. Strong, colorful, intense, human, wow.
Dark Chairs at Oak Cliff Cultural Center
Meanwhile, I fell in love with the gentle moiré of the loose chairs facing what must have been or was going to be a panel discussion. It's the only Dallas cultural center without a theatre to provide cash flow — both ways. Should be interesting.
Tulips at Oak Cliff Cultural Center
I thought of these as roses till I got this image here on this page, but it's tulips. Comfortable in its texture, color and shape among the brochures and flyers on the table by the OCCC's front door.
Morton Rachofsky at The MADI
Next stop, barely in time, but they were gracious as always and still open and entertaining a mixed group of young people, then us. I'm always shy about photographing inside, but took this opportunity after thoroughly investigating every piece that caught my eye or attention inside, to get this superb piece by our friend Morton Rachofsky in just the right garish MADI night colors.
Then to The Contemp, which is a great party space, for the 25th Anniversary Dallas Art Dealers Association's After The Walk Party benefiting the Edith Baker Scholarship Fund.
Even J R dressed up for the occasion. He wore a hat Anna gave him for his birthday and long pants. This guy had a great tie.
It seemed that everyone had more hues than usual. Party party party. Fun, too. Lots of food, drink and things to do and watch and be startled by.
Glitz Fashion Dancers
I'm sure they have a better title. There were other people dressed up who spoke Dada, as opposed to DADA. They weren't the best Dada performers we ever saw. Those were probably the original Victor Dada troupe, who had their timing and vocalizations down pat, but it was a party and a good one.
I had my fun little pocket camera, which is usually good for art, but not for action. There was not much chance I'd catch this dancer in action with a Point & Shoot, but once I got her blurring here or there in the stage area, funning with the camera and Post-Production later was gangbuster fun like the party was, each of us doing our party things.
Seemed a potentially great place for performance art if you don't mind standing on concrete and pushing ways to the front to take a picture or two or see what was going on. No chairs except for eaters and not nearly enough of those, but plenty going on, so it was best to be mobile anyway.
Then eventually we had enough, fetched our car and drove off into the darkness still smiling.
Sustenance 337 Singleton September 11 2010
Tom Orr Snow Cone colored cellophane, acrylic panels, light, shadow and reflection with people
I read somewhere that the big show in Dallas last weekend was at the possibly terminal Centraltrak, which showed slick comic book upgrades in dense colors and even denser dialog [See below]. Nope, Sustenance is easily the most interesting and important show in Dallas this week, maybe this month or longer.
It continues through October 3. Its effects will linger longer.
The space is a gutted warehouse in a colorful recharge neighborhood, deep in the metaphorical shadow (if the sun shone from the north) of Our First Calatrava Bridge under construction and already ugly, in the immediate vicinity of what appears to be an urban landscape edging toward a new Farmer's Market just south of the river.
This event is deeply redolent of Modern Ruin last February [in Art Here Lately #8, another long page, give it time to load], curated by Christina Rees and Thomas Feulmer. This show is another temporary use of an iffy, semi-permanent building to show new art and forms, although that was a much more pleasant building that was razed shortly after that thee-day show.
Sustenance was organized by Anne Lawrence and Stephen Lapithisophon. At 337 Singleton and reported on, more or less, at sustenanceexhibition.blogspot.com.
Across Singleton Boulevard are scattered bits of colorful sculptural objects pushing nearly no boundaries whatsoever, except maybe color. Buildings in that hood are brilliant primary colors. On the Sustenance side, art is less obvious, not kinetic and more visceral and intellectual. Art and installations to think visually about, windows and doorways into perceptual understandings that neither can nor should be put into words. But I'll try.
There's some fine, imaginative and sometimes deep-thought work almost hidden in plain, sometimes trip-over sight around the temporary-use space, but there's much, less accessible and more cerebral work, too. More of the latter than the former, though touring the up and downstairs spaces was a tingling thrill to absorb the visual and aural acoustic intentions from some of this area's best two- and three-D artists.
Get more than a few of our best edgy artists together and what comes out could be — or might be perceived as — dangerous. As the best of this art is. The worst of it is almost too easily overlooked and stumbled over, thus dangerous in an other dimension that's much less perilous.
Frances Bagley The Garden rubber tubing, apples (real and fake) and sound (stage whispering breathing)
Frances Bagley's The Garden is more than a little reminiscent of her Hanging Garden of Babylon [on our Tom & Frances Do Their First Opera page] here with real and fake apples suspended and that empty-brick-rooms-filling, stage-whisper breathing audible throughout the first floor. Might have heard it upstairs, too, but by then I'd forgot I was hearing it. This soft, pipe insulation wrapped and looped and strung horizontally; that hung in vertical rigidity, or what looked it.
Darryl Lauster Pictures of Fires
Big and Small in Which Persons Lose Their Lives
sandblasted acrylic, pencil, laser-etched map, Monopoly and Battleship game parts
This series of hot boxes has hot art, in the sense of immense heat, no fans or AC, no hint of a breeze, just big and little, open spaces in a building gaping with covered and transparent holes to the outside, qualifies. Once was an office building I don't know whose. Upper and lower shelves in an oven, percolating unformulaic art forms. Too hot for comfort, but hot art comforting in other senses, beyond temperature.
Michael Mazurek Hypostyle XL scaffolding,
lumber, concrete masonry units, extension cords, dock lights
Beyond which is Kristin Mariani's Fuller - Ready-made glow-in-the-dark Oxford cloth,
thread, pencil pleating, drapery hooks, aluminum rods, plastic sliders
There's plenty here that faintly resembles Tom Orr's past dissembles [not as eloquent as his deconstructed cabinets at Modern Ruin] just inside the entrance, off to the right, is an assembly — or disassembly — of a room that, if it were simpler, classier, more elegant and eloquent, might have been like Orr's piece at last winter's hit-and-run temp building exhibition.
This one, though, Michael Mazurek's Hypostye XL - scaffolding, lumber, concrete masonry tints, extension cords and dock lights, seemed to fit into this dis- or re-sheveling place, and only the lights illuminating it made it any semblance of art or articulated forms.
More repetition, shape, order or density or something might have made it. When I first saw it I decided upon careful investigation it was what it at first seemed, not art and not trying to be, just there, kind of a mess waiting till after the show for someone to haul it away. This photo is from the afternoon after, when I finally became convinced it was Mazurek's art.
If he says so, well, maybe.
Sedrick Huckaby Girl World Boy Toys The Big Deal and The Truth about Hip Hop mixed media collage, acrylic
No such hesitance about Huckaby's giant faces of magazine stories further breaking down into smaller faces and words in headlines and captions and text. The whole of head and shoulders portraits seem seem disjuncted and un-resolutioned from distance. A little jarring, perhaps.
Sedrick Huckaby The Truth About Hip Hop mixed media collage, acrylic
They start shouting when we instinctively draw near to discover their details and stories, whose intricacies nonchalantly clude in socket boxes and load-bearing poles right up the middle of this mosh vibrating with detailed colors and shapes and that obvious red grid. Vibrant and alive in the dusking darkness opening night yet still awake and alert the next afternoon.
artist unknown light on vase of Bird of Paradise flowers
Each time I saw it, this damp, wet space unnoted on the map except the white curtained proscenium off to the left by the main door — Kristin Mariani's Fuller, a ta-daaah! curtain opens to nearly nothing except a sideview of this but no mention of a fluttering vase of Birds of Paradise lit by a single lamp shining down onto the flowers just left of this doorway at the beginning of Sedrick Huckaby's corner of collages that suck us in to its clipped art details.
Linnea Glatt and Jim Cinquemani - Social Circle
A Watermelon Social — Benches built by the West Dallas Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. Majority of wood salvaged and recycled from long-closed lumberyard building on Main Street. Locally grown watermelon, lights.
Donations benefit Hunger Busters. Look at all those big puffy clouds.
And outside, a delight to see something simple in full 3D from long-time Oak Cliffies Linnea Glatt and Jim Cinquemani. She lately of sewn circles, he of bending metal. She formerly of simple Places — to ponder, perform and be. Everything extraneous carefully strained out of a sculpture large enough to interact in. A Place to Eat Watermelon. A picnic table hexagram with light posts connecting zig-zagged lights wired from a central pole.
I can almost see little flickering
lights over picnickers sloshing down on home-grown
melon. I wanted dirt in pots between the poles along the outer perimeter
for spitting seeds into — something to grow when the tables
go, but all that's irrelevant, immaterial, superfluous
for this undercomplicated set.
Sustenance continues: it will be open
11 am - 6 pm Saturdays and 1-6 pm Sundays through October 3, by which
time Bagley's real apples will be much less difficult to tell from the fake
ones, and those Birds of Paradise should be seriously wilted.
all September 11 2010
Heather Gorham Hear No, Speak No,
See a Little $3,600
acrylic and graphite on wood 30 x 40 inches
After Sustenance we made a quick trip through Marty Walker's oversimple abstraction, a leisurely stay in Craighead Green's cool, white space, where we found our nourishment with Heather Gorham's ouvre upgrade and big, sumptuous chairs to cool out a sugar low, wowed by smaller art in the hall nearby.
Gorham's latest iteration of those kids who've lived in her paintings long as I can remember, seem older, more experienced, maybe wiser, at least not fighting it, the background pitted with understanding, growing like cells. The monkeys benevolent, helping creatures now. Kids with collars are growing up.
Carolyn Brown Peony Pink photograph 24 x 24 inches $1,800
Carolyn Brown's brilliant flower photographs, which she kept insisting employed no filters, like that was some heinous crime kept reminding of Georgia O'Keefe vs. all those painters still afraid to paint flowers, because art school taught them it was trite, when really, nothing is.
Cloud with Red and Wires
Outside CG was this sudden growth of an enormous white cloud climbing into the sky we kept seeing the rest of the day between gallery hop-scotching around the inner city, where the tornado toyed last week, before disappearing into a cloud and not coming back.
Vincent Falsetta Untitled CX 10-3 (detail) 2010 oil on canvas 60 x 60 inches $11,000
Vincent is the painter's painter and maybe the teachers' teacher who squiggles his careful lines and conscientious corners carefully with a big, looks like toothy serrated knife. Exquisitely vigilant in every angled turn and short, slow curves. Standing with my nose inches from those tiny rows and furrows, wanting even closer.
Cloud Past Conduit
Outside, we caught back up with the glowing cloud over Moat City, and followed it downtown to see 500X' new coffee shop affiliate, The Mercantile Coffee House at 1800 Main, just down from the new park and new Bernardo Cantu's odd amalgum of flat and leotard-stretched dimensional add-ons there. Fruit-churned ice cream and topped with more.
Bernardo Cantu The Temple of Chalupes 2009 mixed media 24 x 24 inches
Don't get that solid impression of someone onto something wholly other that often. Cantu's work has it in spades. So foreign to experience, often disconcerting and sometimes beautiful.
More clouds and a leisurely layover at the Latino Culture Center for twin traveling shows of exquisite little artworks. We'd been told not to miss the exquisite, almost tactile engravings of Michoacán artist Mizraim Cárdenas, whose burin engravings commemorate the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence.
Mizraim Cárdenas Las Calsas de Scientes
But we were still taken aback by their delicate intricasies, as we slowly toured the big room up front to soak in as many craftfully etched subtleties as we could stand. Subtleties only vaguely apparent in this attempt to reproduce one of Cárdenas' amazing engravings.
Ángeles Torrejón Mother of the Disappeared 1988 silver gelatin print
Another set of small works, El Ojo Fino (The Exquisite Eye) by three generations of Mexican women photographers all round another room gave us more fine views. I sometimes choose local over traveling works, but work in both these shows are superb.
The clouds meanwhile were turning gray and purple and red into the setting sun.
Next stop: 500X, where the latest bunch seems caught in the task of discovering who they are, especially in relation to everybody else there. This early in their three-to-five year progression, this show shows just how far apart they are. But there's some interesting inclinations. It'll be fun to watch them grow and mix together and play off each other.
Then suddenly apart, and a new gang starts.
Shelby Cunningham B24 Bombing 2010 watercolor paper, fleece $350
I've been up to here with soft toy art for more than a decade, but this simple collage was the second piece to catch my eye at the big X this time. The first, downstairs in the members space, could as easily have been an actual lettuce ball resting in a chip-and-dip bowl multiply pierced with toothpicked canapes of cheese, olives, pickles and sausage. Proposed art where life-like is only a beginning, not an end.
Kerry Pacillio Odyssey of Food 2010 NFS
Then I saw Cunningham's soft B24 bombing anachronistic missile heading the other way. Maybe the best way any war should bomb anyone anyway. I liked the trees, the altitude and the attitude. But I'm still sick of soft toy art till somebody can do something altogether different.
Rebecca Carter Friend Ribbons 2010 thread $350
This is lovely. A part, no doubt, of The New Sincerity. Man on the radio just told me irony is dead. Long live sincerity and direct honesty. Like friendship this wad of ribbons and threads comprise and push back at us eye to eye. Now, scrolling down and up through these last three images, I am discerning a simple pattern runs through them. A pierced and piercing detalia. A complexity of simple. Might that be the new X mantra?
Mark Collop He's Out: Angels 2010 oil on aluminum 5 x 7 inches $125
500's newest crew is yet to coalesce in a serious threat to the old way of doing things, mostly mired themselves in a variety of Old Ways — as are we all, but what caught my eye and made me think awhile was that here suddenly was Art about Baseball that's not schlock, even with pink negative space cut-outs — like Collop's been doing since college, including a couple-years-ago nearly-non-stop visit we had for the DallasArtsRevue exhibition, Fierce, when we visited and scattered larger figures around this end of town.
Adding baseball to art reminds too much of LeRoy Neiman and all the jetsam that floats in my memory's mind. But these "You're Out!" moments involving differing teams and players in edges of vari-colored uniforms holds together without a hint of smarm. Well, maybe a hint, that is pink. Still a nice way to incorporate Collop's cut-outs, into something that makes sense and forces thought.
Sunset Clouds from 500X' Upstairs Window back at downtown
We were hungry and heading down Exposition Avenue after 500X for a favorite Mexican Restaurant off in the neighborhood when we saw opening hubbub at Centraltrak. Went in, enjoyed the art updated comix and high-con colors, talked with friends, then saw people standing around an outside porch area eating food.
We headed in, found real Mex from Taqueria Peorito Tacos on Capitol and East Jefferson but no chairs (except in the office where we snuck in to finish our sampled soft taco meal). Serving sit-down food without offering chairs seemed a misdemeanor, at least.
Ruben Nieto title unknown
More pink negative space, compliled with a dense
abstraction of Batman-flavored commentary and decades deep comix-style motion
and narrative progression.
Continued on Art Here Lately #11
The Art Here Lately Index is always at the bottom of the current Art Here Lately.
See the continuing ThEdblog for oddly illustrated notes on my progress through this website and the rest of my life.
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cumulative index count
= since September 13 2010
1432 @ #9 w ro2 & Levee
279 when dada up