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< AHL #17
words + photos by J R Compton
Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.
AHL #19 >
THIS PAGE 35
Years of 500X Julie
Cohn, Diana Goldberg and Tom Orr's new sculpture installations at Love Field Michael
Wynne Val Curry & David Reedy
at Ro2 Colette Copeland and Shelby David
Meier at 500X Pinky Diablo/Tom Sale Channeling Florence
Dallas Museum of Art Local
art listings via email Giovanni
Ray Jim Hastings Lynn
Rushton Marty Ray Matt
Kaplinsky Graeme Rushing Tony
Orrico at The MAC John
Sexton Lecture & Mini Art Tour Photos Art
@ Midtown Dallas in Valley View New
stories are bold.
Creative Differences 35 Years at 500X
Paul Booker Pink and Gold Hexagons
I detail 2013 Lexan, ink and steel pins 42
x 56 x 10 inches $5,000
Courtesy the artist and Cris Worley Fine Arts
Member 1999 – 2001
a fan of 500X artists for at least 40 years, somewhat more recently including
Paul Booker, whose work is instantly identifiable, which is a neat trick to pull
off, and several exhibitors do that consistently, while others change
and grow and progress and transform so constantly I only recognize their most
recent work. This is beautiful. Especially up close, but
I've always been drawn to Booker's details so much I hardly notice them in their
soft, full view.
Frances Bagley Chou 2013 fabric
and epoxy resin 36 x 48 x 48 inches $7,000
Member 1980 – 82
This is the main reason I didn't want to publish this review before the opening. I didn't want to deny the thrill of experiencing this for the first time in 500X, where it belongs. I see every Frances Bagley piece I can see, and then I usually spend more time staring and wondering and appreciating. It falls into a natural rhythm:
What Am I Looking At? Head jerks back in shock, so more soaks in. Surprise. Of course it's a Frances Bagley; who else? A tear or more likely a little slobber dribbles as I continue to stare. Then I don't move anything but eyeballs to stare more, quietly shuffling what I know about her work from all the way back to her Vessel show a jillion years ago and maybe a little before that, through all those flights of fancy. To this.
You probably should not, but I touched it ever
so gently. It looks like it could blow away, but it only gives a little,
then it might break. It was solid not strong. Wax, maybe, the color of a
plastic bag blowing in the wind. I like it better when its white base doesn't
show, but until she figures how to float it without one, it's necessary. Too
close to the floor it might get kicked. I hope people don't
crowd it, so many more can watch it not move or ripple in the inevitable
breezes in that drafty old warehouse.
Randall Garrett eating,
drinking detail 2013 oil, latex, tempera,
and kaolin on printed cardboard 66.5 x
53 inches $3600
Member 1992 – 96
Instantly recognizable au current Garrett style.
The full piece was featured (smaller) on the 500X
site. I love the stomped, squishy detail of it, and as I watched it,
I remembered Randall long ago looking spif in a medium-brown sports coat and
a string tie that might come from fantasy, walking away from the desk in the
lower gallery by the stairs, after he'd been director awhile, toward the front
door looking so much like a gallery owner, playing the part. Then he disappeared
awhile and came back as one of the most aesthetically successful of
500Xers who ran galleries.
Michelle Demanche T9_36:9.
Where does your garbage go? 2010 digital image on aluminum,
State 2, 30 x 40 inches $1100
Courtesy of the artist and William Campbell Gallery
I have seen real lines on trees implying
imaginary landscape connections, but marks as marks
surrounded by brilliant autumn
leaves let me want to believe this was done more recently than 2010, this
year, before the ice storms rocked our world. But I can still get lost in lines
and tree forms and leaves as it mixes reality and reality dressed as fantasy.
Still life, if you will. If you won't, it could be a setup in a studio, but it
hardly matters, it's mixing and making it up as we go along
wondering if it's real.
Don Taylor Eric 2013 oil
Member 1979 – 86
I made these photos before the show opened and had expected to show up at 500's big, rust metal front door about the color of this painting, pound on it — with a great unrelent of rhythm going for maybe five loud echoing seconds using both fists — till someone — current 500X President Clayton Hurt, in fact — unlocked the door, we introduced us and him, and he let us in. I hadn't expected a tour through the show, but we enjoyed it, taking pictures along our way.
Though this is a painting, I thought it was a box in a collection of beautiful boxes along the far wall of the project room downstairs. I picked this one for special attention. I still think it's a box, but a painted one whose latch is secret, and I appreciate the eloquent indigo stretcher that contrasts its luscious brown and red orange face I so like looking at.
I have been privy to a few not-quite-finished
exhibitions, and I have it down pat. Instantly photo work I like or pisses
me off or confuses me. Walk, piece to piece quickly. Stop. Look. Decide whether
to raise the camera. Click or walk to the next. There was a righteous lot
of stopping for this show, thus all these photos, and by opening night I needed
to add more. The lighting was already nice Thursday before the opening. That
helps. Great mix of artists whose work I know on sight and I don't.
This I liked from the instant I noticed it in the office, I think, because I did not find it in the often awe-filled 35th Anniversary exhibition on opening night. But I was so busy shooting labels so I could properly identify all these, I didn't notice I didn't find info for this one. It was on Hurt's tour, just not in the show though it would have been in good company there. So I don't have more than his name. I've decided this piece, that was just the wall near Hurt's desk on our official tour, is not in the show proper, but I'll happily add caption text when I learn it. I still like this color and stripe coordinated stack exceptionally, and I don't mind including it here.
There's lots of think and rest and pausworthy space between individual instances art, for a change in an anniversary show. Obvious a pro designed it — former member Leslie Murrell who now works at the Modern in Fort Worth. Impressive. Felt good. Comfortable easy, not jangly between the art or because too much occupied the same space under too similar circumstance. So much better than all jumbled up so everything fits like most anniversary shows, which seem to have been happening every year since forever, but may have been more intermittant, too-easy occasion. We attended early opening night while it was still thin, then escape before the crowd.
I've found that for looking at 500 shows without the crowd, Sundays afternoon after openings are better (It is only open noon - 5 Saturdays and Sundays). On a day when the sun shines, especially upstairs, everything transforms. Then are few to no people to interfere with the equations.
Greg Metz Cathedral (Juggernaut
Series / Tatlin Homage 2013
aluminum, balsa, urethane, Styrofoam and Plexiglas 96 x 45 x 84 inches por
Member 1982 – 83
Not quite the shock and awe, flair and excitement
of Metz' giant Temple of Doom piece with Ronald Reagan's head tornadoing
thirty feet up, torquing out of a toilet at the X back in 1984 in a
show by that name, but this piece has its own dynamic, tipsy cubist, surfer-dude
charms with classic references, and it's politically safe. The object is
only slightly marred here with those bright white shims to support its left skidfoot,
and does that pink thing reference flamingoes? Gosh I hope so. Maybe not half
big enough, but impressive, though I miss the wave and splash.
Christine Bisetto Sometimes
look to Jupiter 2013 paper, paint, fabric, rocks and
Member 2012 – 13
Bisetto does wad so well.
The scale on
this took me by surprise. Our guide spoke gently about me complaining
about one of my photographs getting appropriated, but luckily I don't remember
anything about it. I have often stood and stared at what Bisetto comes up with
to call art, and I hope to keep doing that and being amazed, although for this
wadding ordinary stuff to make it sing has to get more difficult,
with more scale, because after awhile, everything looks like art. Then what?
Tom Orr August 6th 1962./August
6th 1950 2011 detail mixed media $7000
Courtesy of the artist and Barry Whistler Gallery
Member 1975 – 79
Step back and this piece is a tad underwhelming, like he'd dragged it out of the massive, garage-like structure Tom and Frances call their studio and just parked it here for passers-by to pass on by. But in any kind of closeness, the image in my camera's electronic viewfinder vibrated like our eyes do watching this thing. Those who get migraines might want to skip it altogether, and I wonder whether it could spark an epileptic fit. But for most of us, it's only like attaching electrodes to our eyelids á la John Lithgow in Buckaroo Bonzai Across The Eight Dimension. And cranking up the charge. Superbly crafted, yet sneakily optically delusionary.
Looking for other allusions to pin art here on,
I found this piece in the still-glowing remnants of Modern
Ruin II co-curated by Thomas Feulmer and Christina
Rees in a Fort Worth house in 2011 since. Classic
Smith Repeat Offender 2010 acrylic
on canvas 60 x 30 inches
Courtesy the artist and Cris Worley Fine Arts POR
Member 2000 – 2004
Chuck is famous for little piles of muti-colored
puddled paint. As she should be. Since there were no dates on what I saw
as I originally wrote this and though here by the time you read this, but
I'm guessing mid-to-late early phase. Late middle was impossible high piles,
then more recently (Which this well could be also, since many artists are showing
new stuff not just more mature work.) the piles are more travel-worthy
as her work travels more. I am enjoying the quiet sewn-together canvas brown
and tan textures under the target splats, and everything else. It's always a
joy to stare Chrolotte Smith work in their tiny detailed faces.
Thomas Feulmer Tired Waterfall
#2 2013 fabric, Plexiglas, dirt, case of Ozarka water
bottles, The Young Physique magazines,
Wet Original lubricant, Ocean saline nose spray, Refresh Plus eye drops, ceramic figurines and pushpins dimensions variable $2500
Member 2008 – 2011
Thomas Feulmer does and co
does superb exhibitions and
creates mind-mixing art.
search for his name, maybe with the second and third letters of his last
name transposed, will lead you through a world of wonder and memorable
exhibitions. I don't know this artist, but I enjoy watching how he thinks as
he twists and turns the mediums and the art and artists he exhibits, but I can't
help confusing some of his work, like this, with that of Cassandra
Emswiler and wonder whether they were teacher and student, their
work seems so connected. Or maybe something is going around, and
I don't know what it is exactly, but I can feel and appreciate the non and anti tradition of it, even if it's still pretty as well as provocative.
The Fence and Stairs down to The Pit at 500X
The anniversary show includes art by: Frances Bagley, Iris Bechtol, Christine Bisetto, Paul Booker, Jim Burton, Matthew Clark, Michel Demanche, Celia Eberle, Simeen Farhat, Thomas Feulmer, Randall Garret, Susan kae Grant, Scott Hilton, Mary Iron Eyes, Dottie Love, Natalie Macellaio, Robert McAn, Greg Metz, Nic Nicosia, Tom Orr, Kerry Pacillio, Lesli Robertson, Tom Sale, Diane Sikes, Charlotte Smith, Don Taylor, John Taylor, Vance Wingate, Tiffany Wolf and Anthony Wright.
The show continues through January 4, 2014.
new Love Field Art by Julie Cohn, Diana Goldberg & Tom Orr
Julie Cohn and Diana Goldberg Luminaria
Two new public art installations will greet travelers at the Dallas Love Field terminal entrance. Tom Orr’s Intersected Passage [top] and Diana Goldberg and Julie Cohn’s Luminaria [above] are the latest additions to the Love Field Art Program, a collection of newly-commissioned, permanent public artworks at the airport.
“These new installations by Dallas artists recall the airport’s past and pay tribute to the future of aviation,” says María Muñoz-Blanco, Director of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. “They are representative of the strength and quality of artwork being created by artists in Dallas and throughout North Texas.”
Dallas artist Tom
Orr’s Intersected Passage was inspired by the original 1958
entrance sign to Dallas Love Field Airport. That sign was restored earlier this
year and reinstalled at Denton Drive and Mockingbird Lane. Orr’s piece
is 17 feet tall and made of colored and mirrored aluminum that arches over
the walkway leading to the airport terminal. Orr's work can also be seen at DFW
Airport, in corporate collections in Dallas and museums in Japan. He received
his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and exhibits at Barry Whistler Gallery
Tom Orr Intersected Passage slight detail photographs by J R Compton.
Goldberg and Julie Cohn’s Luminaria comprises
six, ten-foot tall, pierced stainless steel cylinders with fluorescent interior
lighting. They reflect an illumination of ideas and innovations underlying the
technology critical to contemporary air travel. The patterns in each column represent
computer technology, weather and mapping, routing, thermodynamics, Bernoulli’s
Principle and physics. Images
of other luminaria
Looking Through a
Hole in Luminara #3 — shows
other side of the holes and the waterproof luminator.
Diana Goldberg’s background is in painting, printmaking and design. She earned her BFA from Miami University. Based in Dallas, her public art projects with husband Brad Goldberg can be seen throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Julie Cohn was trained as a painter and printmaker. A long-time Dallas resident, she received her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from SMU. Her creative path includes work in jewelry, textiles and wall coverings, collaborations with architects, and public art.
See also Debora Hunter's night photos of the Luminaria.
Sherry Owens Back in a Moment in a garden off the main lobby 2012
The Love Field Art Program is made possible through
a partnership with the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Department
of Aviation, Southwest Airlines and the Love Field Modernization Program. All
of the artworks embrace themes of flight, the history of Dallas and Love Field
Airport. When completed in October 2014, the Love Field Art Program will include
15 works, including 11 new commissions and 4 pieces that were original to the
Sherry Owens Back in a Moment detail off the main lobby 2012
The new airport also includes the Art Travelers
Gallery, which will feature rotating exhibitions by DFW educational institutions
and arts organizations. The Love Field Art Program is part of the City of Dallas
Public Art Collection.
Dixie Friend Gay North Texas Sunrise detail
of major wall piece in the main lobby 2013
Walldine Tauch One Riot, One Ranger 1961 quelling
a riot in the main lobby
I probably should have paid more attention to how I photographed our danger ranger — JRC
This Press Release was originally written by
although I have extensively edited and rewritten it. — J R Compton
Michael Wynne - Life's Short, Play Naked at Ware:Wolf:House
Michael Wynne Hydrocodone and
Jell-O 2013 vinyl banner 5 x 8 feet
Don't Talk of Heartaches 2013 vinyl banner 5 x 8 feet
Sometimes, when I see it, I can actually recognize art. But usually it's a mystery. I touted Michael Wynne's show at Ware:Wolf:House, 425 Bedford Street across that big white bridge and to the left, in the dying remnants of the Calendar, because what I'd seen of it, looked interesting. I wasn't at all sure I'd like it, but I thought it would be thought-provoking. I'd hoped when I wrote it, I wasn't off my rocker, then was sharply and pleasantly surprised over and over again at the show.
Michael Wynne Gray Painting 2012 Krylon
on cradle board 12 x 9 inches
Love Jones 2012 Krylon on cradle board 12 x 9 inches
These were easy. Colored rectangles with lettered or scratched surfaces hanging on the wall. It's gotta be art, right? When we were there early, there was only one art list, and I only went to the trouble to access it once when I thought I knew what I wanted to identify. But you can see what I saw and decide for yourself. I was pleased, happy and wore such a big smile all through the exhibition, I startled myself.
Michael Wynne later told me, "I didn't provide a checklist at the show, because I always felt titles and dates and things like that was a bit like book-keeping." But he did provide most of the identifications you see here, along with a couple quotes I've mixed in.
Michael Wynne Cafe Merkabah 1993 acrylic and gesso on masonite with wood shelf
Rotten Peaches reminded me of Dimitri Vale who had hundreds of major cringe-worthy celebrity portraits in the big Holiday Inn on Central Expressway that's not there anymore, but his work was widely reviled by fine artists and loved by, well, the motel management and people who believe other people's opinions about what great art it was [not]. There's probably folks who'd have a similar perspective on these, but we loved the cross-cultural attitude and simple, direct presentation. A deep sense of humor pervaded the show, but didn't get in the way.
Wynne says, "I remember those Dimitri Vale paintings from when I was a boy! After spending so much time in doctor offices and hospitals I think I know why most people don't care much for art. It's because when they see "art," it is bad abstract things decorating these places. If that is all I saw, I'd hate art, too."
Michael Wynne Pissing Drunk 2002 neon
Sheriff's Report Fragments 1979
Neon always intrigues me. The Give piece was, I remember Wynne telling us, his "oldest surviving painting. Done in high school." We'll get to it in more detail in a minute. Meanwhile just saying "Pissing Drunk" in large, glowing all capital letters is funny in most contexts. Here, I like the glow, although it made photographing the two pieces on the right a challenge.
I have no memory of the orange object to the right
of the blatant and bent electric wire dangling down and to the left into a socket,
but Wynne calls it, "Student work from college." He says, "They wouldn't
let me show this in the junior/senior show at SMU btw." The text is from the
local sheriff's report that was laid out in a large grid and then divided. That's
why it is unreadable."
Michael Wynne Sundown Playboys 2011 mixed
media on canvas
by Brush Mucle, Wynne's collaborative with Andy Don Emmons
and Fool 1995 acrylic and gesso on masonite
Try to ignore the pink glow here; I could have removed it in Photoshop, but this is accurate to what was there. Consider it ambience. Our eyes adjust to almost any light-color. I had decided not to show these two because I didn't like them and still can't stop cringing when I see them, but I think I can accept that both are cartoon-based, and I don't remember ever seeing Olive Oyl naked before, shown here with Wimpy Burger, whose famous line about a hamburger today I can sometimes remember all of, and I can't even cite culture on the cartoon, but I know I've seen those archetypal characters before and since.
Michael Wynne Give 1974
The bottom of this early painting proclaims October 20, 1974, and Michael told us about it being made for … either a benefit or a competition, but he didn't say he won or got in. It seems obvious he did not sell it. I don't think many viewers would have been ready for this in 1974, but it's grown on me since I saw the show. Glad I got a pic; now I'm almost to the place where I'd wonder how much he wanted for it.
Just then I had trouble accepting it. So it's one of my better reasons for photographing works that challenge my understandings of artism. For a first-ever art piece, I'd give it an A+ now, but probably I would not have if I'd seen it for the first time in 1974, although even then I was experimenting with conveying multiple messages in the same space on newspaper pages.
Artist and Stencil
I saw this and wanted Wynne to pose through it, so I could photograph him inside his art. I thought I'd be able to figure out the text, but I cannot. When it was on the floor before he picked it up, it seemed to include words like think, mojo, join in.
Michael Wynne Gin Bottle Galaxy paint collage September 10 2011
This shocked us, it was so unlike anything else in the show and … so … perfect. I don't think even this accurate photo does it justice. Then, when I couldn't discover the title and date info, Michael took it off the wall and showed us the back:
Michael Wynne Gin Bottle Galaxy (reverse) September 10 2011
Wynne's site the whole show in smallish images halfway down the page
Val Curry & David Reedy One Day at Ro2 Downtown
Val Curry and David Reedy sculpture with child for scale
When I still thought these stacked objects at Ro2 downtown had to be clay, I gestured with my right foot as if to boot these castle towers and watch them fall and crash. I would not have, in fact, my need to draw back my foot and aim it at these marvelous clusters of sculptural entity embarrassed me, as well. But my foot felt the need to pretend. Then when I learned from Ro senior that the pieces were much lighter and less solid than clay, I was surprised, but preferred to believe and not test them. I wish I had, at least, hefted one chunk.
Val Curry and David Reedy Stack
reclaimed paper and other media various sizes
$40 - 150 each
Though that inclination was real, I was enchanted by this exhibition of utterly simple shapes, ordered or scattered around the space. Like wandering into Home Depot's bricks and pots department with most of the lights turned off. All that shape simplicity still so readily recognizable as sculpture, especially when piled up like this.
pyramids in the corner
Or jumbled into a corner like this.
Val Curry and David Reedy
Or making enough of a ball on the dark floor against the slowly oozing brick wall. Just so perfect. Superb in their apparent near effort=free unpretention. I want to call this Sphere Subtended by Gallery Reality.
Colette Copeland + Shelby David Meier videos at 500X
Colette Copeland 3 Days in Limbo 2013 video
These first two shots are from the same video, and I must have liked it, as I love these stills from it on screen on the wall at 500X, but I don't remember much more several weeks later. Video is a continuity I could not capture with a still camera, so I have forgot the narrative but remember the fire.
Colette Copeland 3 Days in Limbo 2013 video
As a kid I had fire trucks called on me twice for setting fires in the under sides of mattresses; and my best friend and I set the general's backyard on fire another time — then had to stamp it out with our bare feet. My most vivid memory of Viet Nam is a C47 pouring every-tenth-round-is-phosphorescent, dragon fire into the wild around Tuy Hoa Air Force Base on the South China Sea, halfway between Saigon and the DMZ, and though I'm still fascinated by fire, I left most of my pyromania in Nam.
Shelby David Meier A proposal to
exhibit Donald Judd's 15 untitled concrete works
in 500X Gallery 3D model 2013 $1,000
The one other video that stays with me, because I have this and other stills, and because it was a long-known trajectory, almost like a plot, so I vividly remember its POV winding through the halls, rooms and stairways at the X to this space two sets of stairs into the bottom gallery that's called "the pit," where were potentially Judd's work. Intended as a moving proposal, it became art on the way and kept moving. Scinillatingly so. If I had the time, I might have watched it over and over till I recognized every space, but as it was I snapped several shots on its liquid way through walls and spaces in 500 Exposition Avenue.
These two videos at 500 were in different shows and at different times.
Fun for me was remembering each place and space at the venerable X through the digital tour. Over its several decades I've been in one private and/or public room after another, on the roof one year for fireworks, up the major-sculpture elevator with a big chunk of metal, heard, seen and photographed poetry in the pit, oft visited what's now the members' niche but at least twice was a vibrant performance space, The Man In Black still shocks after all these years, on through the building, following memories, wondering where we were.
One frame is never enough.
at Webb Gallery in Waxahachie
Blind Jefferson guarding the way back to the restroom and stairs up
I'd visited Webb Gallery in Waxahachie before, but it had been decades, and I didn't remember it like this, although I'm pretty sure I'd seen this poster before. Probably exactly there. This occasion was an opening reception for Pinky Diablo (nee Tom Sale)'s latest show, there that night, although I thought I'd became much more enraptured by the there of the gallery and the deep community feel and being, than anybody's art in particular.
I didn't knowingly differentiated Tom Sale, A.K.A. Pinky Diablo 's work from everything else in that amazing collective space, but it turned out I actually and early photographed several of the works in the show while wandering around looking for the rest of his show there. I'd seen the big suitcasey things on the right as we came in the front door, but too many people were looking to take pix then, so I wandered off, eventually finding these, which I did not recognize as Tom/Pinky's but photographed them anyway, because they're so strangely beautiful.
Like any good museum, long explanatory stories about many of the pieces were immediately adjacent otherwise inexplicable artwork.
"Florence Nightingale was like many educated Victorians in her interest in collections. Organization of vast collections of objects from the natural world drove the new scientific interest of taxonomy. Nightingale also seemed to collect objects psychologically important to her. These gold plated animals were all pets belonging to her and written about in various letters home. The cat and lizard are from her journey down the Nile in 1849. The toad was a visitor to her tower rooms in Scutari. No information has been uncovered on the remaining animals, but it appears they were important enough to her to have had them plated."
"Fishingnet found at Dr Harry Verney's Claydon House. Sir Harry was Florence Nightingale's brother-in-law and according to Nightingale was complicit in hiding the mermaid and possibly, later, allowing her disappearance. Pinned to this net was a note in Nightingale's hand: "She is about as useful as a jellyfish in a corset."
Ottoman Bird Servants
"These taxidermied birds were commissioned by Florence Nightingale after the Crimean War to show the excess of the Ottoman court for a display arranged by her for the War Office. While these are not the actual birds used in the Sultan's palace, Nightingale claimed that she knew from reliable sources in Constantinople that the Sultan Abdulmeccid had a flock of trained birds of various sorts that would serve delicacies to the Sultan and his entourage in his new gardens at the DolmabachePalace on the shore of the Bosporus. The Ottoman Empire was becoming fascinated with the wares and luxuries of the West and French tableware was being used for the first time by Ottoman royalty. The peacock was supposedly the Sultan's favorite and could hold a dlicate candy server in its beak and place the candy piece before the sultan."
Tri-cycle Sheelcahair with Scissors and Photographs
I know nothing more about the wheelchair than it was a dominant figure on the gallery landscape, and that I had to photograph it, though apparently not its placard which I'm only now seeing on the floor. Much later I learned this about the scissors on a title placard on the wall near them:
"This collection of scissors was collected by Florence Nightingale during her interviewing process when choosing nurses to take with her to the Crimean War. Candidates were asked to bring what they thought would be an appropriate pair of nurse's scissors. Nightingale then used the type of scissors brought in to help determine whether the candidate would be chosen. Nightingale never spoke nor wrote of how this process was important to her. It is known that one nurse was sent home from the British Barrack's Hospital by Nightingale for "wasting free time drawing a pair of scissors in her room."
just no telling
Not having been there in that gallery for all that time, I could not tell where the general ambience and permanent collection left off and Tom Sale / Pinky Diablo's fantasies began, but it hardly matters. It was the most interesting art space I've been in this century. This is a box, and many of those were definitely in his show, but whether this was, I don't know. I liked it then, and I like looking at it among all that marvelous clutter now, but the wall behind it isn't gray, so perhaps it is somewhere else.
Cassady, Kerouac by Buz Blurr and Brubeck
Thematic heroes, likely drawn from photographs. Buz Blurr sounds like a pseudonym, but who knows? If the Brubeck portrait is signed, it's signed too small to see in a photo.
Two Guys Talking
Behind whom are several large boxes I immediately attributed to Sale/Diablo, because I remembered long ago Sale works with odd or ornate outsides and miniature figures inside, though I didn't see any little people in these big boxes.
Girl running with two dogs through the gallery
The space was rife with a distinctive sensation of community. A gathering place where almost anything goes, but gently and open. Where, if you felt the need, a top hat and a red cross armband fit right in with cowboy boots and matching shirt and scarf and where mothers with small children could unload around a ersatz coffee table and just talk. It felt deeply and deliciously comfortable soon as we walked in.
Interesting Book Talbe
If I hadn't been so busy photographing everything in sight, I might have settled at this table piled with very beckoning books. I saw them early and promised myself a little time that I never found, to peruse several that might historically contextuaiize more Florence Nightingale strangeness.
More children there than I remember in any other gallery. It felt right.
Eventually, I remembered from Pinky's months-ago Facebook ramblings that he'd been channeling Florence Nightingale. I liked that he did that, and often thought he was making about the best use of Fb pages I'd yet experienced from an artist, but after weeks of it I tuned out. Curious to have attended the show — and liked it enough to photograph it, even if I didn't know that was it.
Colorful Crowd, Colorful Space
More info in Fort Worth Weekly's Obsessed by Florence: Artist Tom Sale turns Florrence Nightingale's life into "a vast and strange artistic adventure." Then there's Webb's website.
Several Artists at The Dallas Museum of Art
Koki Tanaka Everything is Everything 2006 8-channel HDV Video
This audio-dominant multi-screen video at the Dallas Museum of Art is the only art I can even rembmer now without my pictures. My camera is my memory. Has been since college although I used to remember other stuff, too.
the alternate, single-screen version on YouTube is almost as facinating as the synchronized and sometimes synchopated, multi-screen presentation. These screens on the DMA hallway wall look small. They weren't.
Jackson Pollock Cathedral 1947 detail enamel and aluminum paint on canvas
Oh, yeah, this. I've long wished I could do my up-close photo thing with a Jackson Pollock, and I'd got myself into a little trouble there earlier when I just wandered into the barrel vault galleries without stopping at the front desk to do whatever they were doing. No signs told me to stop and pay, so I just wandered in. I'd like to have got even closer to this one, but this was as close as my favorite art lens would let me, and at the time I thought it more than acceptable.
Not a great photo but the whole thing on the DMA site.
Robert Smithson Mirrors and Shelly
Sand 1969-1970 fifty 12-inch x 48-inch mirrors,
back to back; beach sand with shells or pebbles
I imagined stringling strands of multi-color yarn or string or rope to place this elderly art about continuity into this latest century of discontinuity.
I wandered around looking at everything and asking before snapping, but when I went up into the European galleries I almost always visit, to see the non-boogie Mondrians and couldn't find their Van Gogh, I stepped back down from whence I came. But the art cops stopped me in my tracks and kept telling me to go back the way I came, and I kept trying to assure them I was. They wanted me to go back around but wouldn't tell me where back around was. "Around what?" I kept asking, and since I hadn't come that way, I didn't know, but they didn't believe.
Getting nowhere, I yelled down and across the big gallery to Anna, asking her to tell the dolts I was legal, except it turned out I wasn't. But they desisted when she showed them her ticket — I never had one, but they let me go down the stairs to where Anna was. Museums are sometimes such fun places.
Down our long way through the long, dark falling skateboard run, we stopped again and watched and watched and listened to Toki Tanaka's lovely videos and soft and hard sounds. Again. Perfect.
Theatre Entrance carts
This is a little nothing
that almost looked like it could be something art. It is the little, brown-carpeted
alcove into the theatre off the learning channel that holds these wheelie,
I'm guessing chair-holders?. Especially in museums, but pretty much anywhere,
I see art even when it so obviously is not. Art or Not Art, that's almost always
the question. I'm especially wary when a picture of not-art becomes art
simply by taking it and somebody looking. Though maybe not this time.
Art Event E-Lists
Since I finally realized that I wasn't going to have the time, energy or inclination to do the Dallas Arts Calendar anymore, I've been scrambling for an art calendar I'd want to look at and that I can trust. I was, before I changed phone number and email address, a member of the Yahoo group, DallasArtOpenings that Dallasite Jim Mathis, whom we often see at art receptions and shows, operates and sends out basic opening information via email. Subscribe by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
But there are no pictures, and sometimes the
text is underlined and acts like links except they don't take me anywhere.
The best email list with very nice, mostly color pictures, I get comes from CADD (Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas), and they list shows at their member galleries chronologically by opening date, but it is in larger type and almost always includes one nice-sized pic for each event, so it's very pleasant on the eyes, and I often attend just on the strength of those pix lined neatly up along the left edge. I have no idea how to get it, or how I got it, but it's great.
I checked CADD's website and found last month's and part of the month before's listings still up. Many of them had already closed, and I didn't find a way to sign up for the newer, emailed version, there, either, but I am happy to be on their email list.
DADA's website isn't even close, very non-intuitive and linear in a spatial world. Their calendar has tiny, red-number days that, when clicked, deliver us to a page headlined by the show name, but the place is only in small text on the map that sometimes pops up or in the text under the map. The only pix on the page are DADA event links that are the same on every page, down the left side.
It's so strange to have to decide what to see
when I can't see the art, but that's what DADA gets for being so linear. I loved
getting color postcards, but emailed jpegs are almost as good.
If you have another elist or you know of one, forward me a sample
and/or a web address, at my latest email address listed on the Contact
page, and I'll check it out and add it here.
Art Seen Lately
Giovanni Valderas post-nostrums
mixed media on paper 2013 $1,400
One of several pieces by Giovanni Valderas that startled me, so I just stared and stared at them, trying to figure them out, then abandoning that, stared to enjoy. These two are Black men, with bits of cloth as clothing and odd wood objects floating on and off the figures, which are each notched into the bottom right corner. Each portrait is stacked out from a largely neutral ground. Flat to set off the figures, but with lots of little textural and shape protrusions in and out of the frame. I especially like the shadows
Giovanni Valderas spiritual architect
mixed media on paper 2013 $1,400
I had thought to only show you the upper piece, but they're both so solid, so sure, specific, pure with splendid presentation, I felt obligated to show you both. That way you get a better idea what they're about physically. I love the shadows and their raggedy shapes along the edges. And the odd suspensions floating above and before the bodies and faces. Each piece works out from a tightly-controlled color spectrum, set off by the dark, nearly monochromatic face in their vivid, sewn rag clothes. I have no idea who those guys are or were — saints or sinners, but the unity created by the disparate elements gives me pleasure and pause, and I am startled by their presence. Great introduction to an artist. Thanks 500X.
The internet tells me Valderas is based in Dallas;
he's been creating a stir in galleries here and in Houston;
and his work has
grown more sophisticated and dynamic in the last year, and substantially
2010, without losing the work's rough
edges, vivid colorations or concentration
on human figures. From what I've seen, this is the best he's done.
Something about 500X lets that happen sometimes.
Timothy Harding Canvas Stretched
at 72" x 72" and Covered
in Graphite Un-stretched and Re-stretched over
41" x 41" Frame graphite on canvas 2013 $3,500
at 500X September 21 2013. Yes, I'm a fan of Tim Harding's work, and I curated
a show, and with any luck I'll get to again. But I don't automatically
love everything. Like most artists, sometimes his experiments stumble
or don't pan out. But he keeps at it, often returning to the
semi-finalists, but that just lends him a base from which to set his
new directions. Sometimes Tim's off on so many new directions I can't keep up.
I admire that in any artist.
Ray Meet Me at Midnight
Water Tower oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches
On the first day of this year's White Rock Lake Artists' Studio Tour, Anna and I visited only places we'd never been before — plus our dear friends Marty and Richard Ray. I already had an inkling to buy one of Richard's usual stack of $40 paintings, and for awhile I carried another, much milder one with purple flowers around their extended studios, wondering if I should get it. I'd seen this one, but never quite decided on the other. Then I put the flower one down somewhere in Marty's studio, and wended back to the $40 stack and chose this instead, quickly photographed it, and I was surprised by the differences between the two. Before I left with my booty, I put the other one back in the stack.
The flowers were pretty, but this one was personal, a glimpse into the soul of Richard Ray, not just just something he saw and painted. It has to do with his childhood, growing up at Buckner Orphans Home — the H on the purple tower area on the left — and it's psychologically a little darker, with those rumbling clouds rolling over the dark houses below. The three dark human forms and the five little flames.
A couple years ago, well after this was painted, I suggested that Richard — who most often paints pictures of beautiful and colorful landscapes, often involving either or both White Rock Lake and the Dallas skyline — "explore some of his own darknesses," wherein much creativity — and creative blocks — reside.
Of course, we all want to think everything is hunky-dory. It's all good, and we're doing fine, etc. I know I do. But when we do a little Shadow Work — a phrase borrowed from poet Robert Bly's expressive, easy and inexpensive A Little Book on the Human Shadow, about exploring the dark side of our personality — we are sometimes able to set our creatively free — or at least freer.
I didn't mention the book to Richard. I didn't even think of it. I just thought he might like trying something heavier. I don't know anyone who paints more than he does.
I wasn't so much attempting to cure Richard of demons as suggesting he take his work a little deeper and darker than everything in his paintings so pretty and light. I reread Bly's book every few years and sometimes feel imbued with its gospel, and thereby needful of a little proselytizing. My own deep dark diving hasn't brought up much new imagery, but it has freed me to attempt whatever presents itself, including some that I thought could not possibly lead me anywhere.
I liked the paintings he showed me a couple months later, some of which used imagery from growing up in the orphanage, which figured prominently but not always discernibly, in those as well as this painting. If I'd known about this one then, I might not have bothered him with shadows.
This is he and his friends standing on the tower setting hula hoops on fire — he told me they easily ignited — then dropping them down. I always like his starry skies, distant skyline and low-lying clouds, but the hoops with tiny flames that at least this once transformed into a human form falling, gets to me. Now I can't imagine choosing the flowers instead, even if I so nearly did.
When I asked why there was a hole in the moon, Richard said he didn't know. "Maybe some hidden meaning."
A subset of my own art collection involves the 'dark' or scary art that many artists believe they should never show — or even create. Work whose imagery sometimes sneaks out of their brushes. Only a few brave artists show such work. They believe — and they may be right — that many viewers find those visions distasteful or scary.
In my J R's Collection pages, which badly need updating, I even have alternate links around some pieces, so timid folk can skip over the scary ones, but also another link directly to a list of the scary ones. I always think that when we show who we really are, without actually showing our human selves as in self-portraits, we get at the core of what we're up to in art.
But then I prefer the scary stuff, and I have several leering
down at me now as I write this, and every day of my life. But there's also a
wonderful one of Richard's featuring The Texas Star ferris wheel, some golden
trees and a fading downtown skyline. It always makes me feel good.
Jim Hastings This Is Ernest Johnson
2013 graphite 6 x 10 inches
This is probably
the most interesting finished art piece I saw on Anna's and my shortened
version of the tour. Very different, simple, direct presentation about the guy
in the drawing, who I bet looks a lot like this. It's not photographic,
but we get the picture and learn much about Ernest and his staring-straight-ahead
personality, even before we start reading the words, which are either cleverly
or by happenstance, crammed into the little space Ernest's broad shoulders allow,
while keeping on the blue lines and right of the red one. It's an honest drawing
on an honest piece of paper. Dimensionally, it nearly pops off the lined notebook
Rushton Prickly Pear unfinished
graffito on linen 2013 20 x 30 inches
We know Rushton and have visited her studios on the tour before, and she has been a Supporting Member of this site, but we'd lost track, and we were pleased to see her again at Artworks Studio, where she was working on this realist color abstract. Check out her Member's Page at the link above, for more visual information, especially Consider the Lilies and I love you more than Fish.
From what Rushton told us, this so-far brightly-colored
image might well be a reflection of some shadow sides, and the choice of subject
and title, superb.
Richard and Marty Ray A Show of Hands
I didn't get it the first twenty times I looked at this at Marty and Richard's studios on the White Rock Lake Artist's Studio Tour. It had to be explained to me that the exhibition was of and about our own prehensile, multi-fingered extremities. I liked it way before that, and the joke does not detract.
When I asked, Marty told me, "A Show of Hands is from a collage I did and gave to Edith Baker as a gift. I did a pencil drawing of it on the canvas, and R (Richard) painted it, his own color schemed totally. This is an M & R collaborative painting.
I liked it soon as I saw it, seeing well past
the actual imagery into styles integrating both Richard's and Marty's figurative
work. Marty has
often done gallery
scenes, but this one's distinctive, probably because it borrows from two
distinctly different ways of seeing.
Unsigned and unidentified painting
I don't know who did this. I snapped it at Artworks Studio on Shoreview Drive. Lynn Rushton, whose work we know well, was listed on the tour at that address, and I was unprepared for so much other work by other artists, including this. Much of the work there was neither signed nor dated, and I'm pretty sure Lynn didn't do this, but I liked it just enough to put here.
The color helps, but that dead-serious stare makes it. Well, that, and the red. Red arms, red face and red in almost everywhere but the dark blue nothing behind and beyond. This painting needs a neck, depth and stronger gender signals, but most else shows a sophistication of style and color. I like staring at it and wondering who that person is, and what's their story? Like many young painters, this artist needs to work on hands.
There was one other woman whose unfinished painting
I photographed. She got upset, complaining that it wasn't finished, and I kept
thinking this tour is about process, and a painting in the process of
being painted is about as process as you can get, only much later realizing
that she and whoever made this painting were not really part of the tour, just
collateral imagists, because Rushton linked their address as that of her studio,
which it is.
Matt Kaplinsky Andy's Flowers
April 2011 acrylic 48 x 30 inches
When I hear the words pop and art together, I think of Roy Liechtenstein's blown-up comics and the comics way of showing action and color. When Pop Art was new, it was exciting. Doing a Pop art show now has its issues, prime of which is that Pop Art isn't new anymore, and it is not really of this era of anything goes. One of what the world doesn't need is another Liechtenstein or Warhol Pop Art rip-off. So one has to approach the subtler and more philosophic aspects of Pop in work for any new Pop Art show, especially one called Pop. Most of the work in this Pop didn't reach that high.
My friend Matt Kaplinsky told me he had been invited to participate in the show in a warehouse cum art community at 1341 Crampton in the Trinity Industrial Area with work by Reagan Sides, William Ross, Tom C. Carlton, Graeme Rushing, Brian A CRawford, Vincent Flas, Larry Maupin, Gery Perrone, Otreb Garcia, Mathew Barnes and Issac Tucker.
Matt, whom I think can pull off any style he sets his mind to, chose to interpret along the lines of Warhol's multiples, specifically representing flowers, and they were impressive, but quality as they were, there was another artist in the show whom I'd not heard of or seen before, whose work impressed both me and Matt. Kaplinsky's work was my immediate favorite, then I began looking more and more closely at work by Graeme Rushing.
Graeme Rushing Suburbia 2013 $$225
Capturing much of Pop's excitement of visual texture and in-your-face attitude, without flipping all the way into dimensionally flat, hard-edged comics style or its segmented presentation, Gushing's work in this show was exemplary. The paintings belonged to each other as distinctly as Kaplinsky's subtly different flowers and vases in bright colors, but each was very different in the stories they told, all of which was about being a little boy growing up.
Graeme Rushing Pop Guns $325
I didn't read the small print here at
the gallery, but while it seems to be mostly texture, telling
us what we already know, this piece is about kids and their guns, and some of
the tiniest print reveals what Rushing really wants us to know. Only a few, subtly-hidden
messages in the gray texture of type, and of course among all those other kids
ready to shoot, there's one who'd just rather not. Our hero, or anti-hero, with
whom we identify even if we would rather not. Quite a story, anti-story,
hero and anti-hero tale told in this painting I first perceived as just a bunch
of boy kids shooting toy pistols in colors that truly pop with but the subtlest
of pop comic outlines.
Tony Orrico - Waning at The Mac September 10
Tony Orrico Faces A Blank Wall
I got myself invited to the VIP Reception for Tony Orrico's Waning, because I am fascinated by performance art, and because I was curious why a select group of Mac supporters would bring someone from somewhere else to come to Dallas to perform a piece of performance art here that he has already performed in other places.
Tony Orrico Having Fallen with VIPs Watching
Of course I always think Dallas artists should be as good at this sort of thing as anybody from anywhere else, but after watching Orrico stand in the middle, more or less outlining himself on the wall, then with graphite in each hand, fall over to one side then the other, keeping his marking device in contact with the wall as long into that fall as possible, creating the drawing shown below, toward the end of his performance, I'm less certain of that.
More Spectacular Landing
The former dancer apparently did not damage himself in the repetitive falls, many of which ended in picturesque splayings of hands, arms, feet and legs. Then when he was finished, he stopped. In several ways, very interesting. In others, kinda tedious. Hardly interactive at all, not entirely engaging, and only vaguely compelling, if at all.
Falling with Graphite to the Wall
Thus wiping out all the terms I've developed to understand the quality of performance art. Yet there's this drawing and that human did it by falling, left, right, left, right for a half hour or so. I stayed and watched and photographed. I told myself it was kinda boring, but I stayed and watched and photographed. 81 images of Orrico performing, a few more of just the audience watching, him bowing at the end.
Tony Orrico Waning at The MAC September 10 2013
I watched and I experienced, and I still don't know what to make of it.
by the John
I did a Mini Gallery Tour
Parking Lots at Richland Community College
After the Lecture
1/1000 f5 -1.33 EV iso 160
Was more in the mood to sit in a dark room listening to a solid good photographer talk about his work, his friends and employers and their work (both of the last two groups include Ansel Adams) than going out on the latest petite art tour before the rah-rah-Dada one on the 21st, but at least I had my camera.
Sexton was inspiring in several dimensions, even brought tears to our eyes a couple times, showed great photographs and told stories of great photographers. What could be better to do in a cool space with a mostly quiet and attentive audience while alternately staring off into space?
I Just Had to Take a
Photograph, As the Crown Left the Lecture,
but Aiming Would Have Scared My Subjects 1/60 f1.7 iso 800
After such intensity of photography and photographers I needed to take pictures besides just of other people's art, which quickly faded in significance, starting with this grab shot — no point in pointing at that many fellow photographers, then I went along for the ride, in and quickly out of too many galleries — although after awhile I just stayed out looking for something, anything really, to photograph — but in all, I found just four actual intended art pieces I felt I should mention that afternoon toward evening.
I've never been what Sexton called a "Zonie" — named for The Zone System of optimal exposure and development created by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer — since I'm happy with enough gamma to show what's happening and frankly bored with all his digital putdowns. But it turns out neither was Adams, who Sexton showed us, burned and dodged negatives extensively to create his best work, thus working well beyond the zone.
I set out to see what I could see in as many tones as I could muster from my little micro Four-Thirds Panasonic G5 that I call my art cam, because its resolution is excellent, and its white balance is simpler and faster to set than any dSLR. It's comparatively cheap and renders deep colors in long tonal ranges while previewing everything in the LCD or EVF, without me having to walk up mountains or out onto deserts or prairies — which that part of Dallas used to be both of — to photograph something without getting to see how it turned out for days, weeks or months.
Two on a Bike Past Half-Priced Books on NW Hwy
1/640 f4.5 -1 EV iso 160
I'd been noticing this couple on their bike; all unprotected skin showing, her in pink; him in blue; his donor-cycle brain pan bare and hers in a big hermetically-sealed gray flamed bubble; his tenny-runners and her bare feet; going fast and powerful past us toward Central Expressway past Half Price Books on NW Highway.
A transition shot if you will, and they did; nonchalantly defying the fates. Certainly more adventurous than I, although I had a smaller one about fifty years ago, so I could still feel the hot wind sizzle, even if Anna was driving and we had the AC and the windows up.
Stained-glass Sconce in the Restroom at Sun
To Moon Gallery
1/100 f4.5 iso 160
Didn't quite capture all the tones in the dark side of this quarter-moon stained-glass sconce at Sun To Moon but appreciated it being there and wondered was there matching glass in the other little room, neither marked by sex. Taking pictures of pictures got less and less appealing, especially shiny photos behind glass, and neither Sexton nor his wife Anne — pronounced Anna — Larsen, are from here, so I hardly needed to photo their art, though I loved seeing serious film photographers' work, probably because I used to be serious at film myself.
John Sexton Fern Log silver
Courtesy Sun to Moon Gallery
Luckily, Sun to Moon sent some PR pictures last month when I started promoting the show there and lecture at Richland College on the New DallasArtsRevue Calendar. Both their photographs are gorgeous.
Dead Bird on the Sidewalk Outside Sun to
1/4000 f1.7 -.66 EV iso 160
Anna sighted this, or I might have walked right through, never noticing — and I've been photographing Dead By The Side of The Road carcasses since the 1960s. I aimed at it, shot once, didn't give it the time or thought it needed, overexposed and misfocused it, etc. I wasn't feeling well, mostly foot pain and three major headaches I could trace. But those are just a photog's excuses. I blew it. We get the dishevelment but not the details.
Like the bird whose detritus this was, I was barely there, with sunlight bouncing off the LCD while looking down into it, bent farther down than I wanted to, not really seeing what I was doing. Able to click, not a lot more. Sexton says digital photographers don't make photographs, as if paper and resin is all that can hold images.
Most Intriguing Portion of Michael Blair's 8
- untitled 5-2
2013 oil and mixed media on canvas
35 x 55 inches $3,500 at Cohn Drennan
Back on Dragon Street: For awhile, Cohn Drennan seemed onto something — new, different. interesting. Now either that's fading or I'm not catching up, but in today's quick romp I saw this vivid area from across the room and had to visit it up close, and capture its soul on silicone. Delicious crisscross of colors and white on white. Vivid as a street fight and as colorful.
Leslie Lanzotti Solomon Jack, Don't
acrylic on canvas 40 x 40 inches $9,000 at Mary Tomás
We'd seen this show and probably this piece, too, but two objects grabbed me at Mary Tomás. This deeply ironic, historical reference to our assassination of JFK just under 50 years ago, that I am already dismayed at the weird possibilities for celebrating that eerie event that even might occur — and a sunlit stairway I've photographed before, but this time better.
Gotta love that white sconce on the green wall behind Supe and The Prez.
Front Stairway at Mary Tomás
1/125 f8 iso 160
Strong lines, a confluence of masses and shapes and light and just that red rectangle for real color. Scrumptious detail, always a little dangerous to go down too fast — steep for stairs, but a handrail up the middle adds stability and strength. A space with an ongoing story, all framed and self-contained. Yum!
More Lines and Masses
1/100 f7.1 iso 160
I continue being fascinated by the lines and masses of buildings and cars, lines and poles along Dragon Street. I've shot these before, too, and again this day, thanks to John Sexton's emphasis on that sharp intake of breath called inspiration — I did this: windshield like a pellicle mirror, simultaneously translucent and reflecting. The façades less than beautiful, but against all those converging hard lines and soft masses of seats, who cares?
Adela Andea Sonoluminescene 2013
gear motors, colored acrylic Plexiglas disks,
flex neon, LED modules 32 x 32 x 44 inches $5,800
I've been shooting these guys in the back room, through the show before Andea's and the past several since at Cris Worley. And this was the first I'd got brave enough to ask the price, but at least I got the name right. I remember it differently, brighter on whiter ground, but my photograph assures me this is it. As if it would know, but I trust it.
The View from Back There
1/640 f7.1 -.66 EV iso 160
I'm still not certain the two buildings against the sky in this farthest-back ground are straight even if they line up with rulers, but we got tones from dead tar black on the lot to the brightest bright of the silver and white cars stretching back from the treed green park-like backyard you can't see, out to infinity where the up-stepping buildings lead to downtown scraping the sky. Shade, bright and that lovely dark reflection in Worley's window.
Stupider and Me-Tooier Than All Those Dreadful
1/640 f7.1 -.66 EV iso 160
I have not and will not stand in the middle of these shapes to put the I in the too-obvious middle, big and blue all scattered around our city — I even saw one at the supposed Contemporary last week — likely because something similar was scattered around some burg we still look up to.
Fort Worth and too-many other cities in Texas had Longhorns or cows, and at least we got Pegasi for Dallas Sores, empty of distracting and ungraceful colors would have been wonderful. Even black would have been lovely, but after every bad artist in Dallas did at least one, I was nauseous. I wonder if the same guy made the pegasi on Deepest Main made these? Kids must love it. One-step humor plenty for them. I keep imagining the creepy Zollar granting our darkest wishes.
Grackle with Sun-dried Tomato Strip
1/100 f1.8 +1 EV iso 160
We watch birds wherever we go, so I watched this Great-tailed Grackle with his strip of vivid red, sun-dried Tomato from the same condiments jug I'd dipped into for my chicken salad with seven tiny pieces of pecan. He was amazing for perching with that red log balanced for several minutes till I could get my camera, up, running and focused on such a tiny portion of its frame, it and the similarly black chair all lovely rim-lighted, on the shaded patio where no one sat eating while we watched in air-conditioned comfort — fascinating and was sorry to see him fly away, still gripping that long, thick, slab.
Tar Loops in Cris Worley's parking area
1/160 f2.2 -.33 EV iso 160
Finally home to sleep twelve hours, up to put these on a page with words, and now maybe seven more after fat aspirins till my foot don't hurt, and I can't feel my head.
Art @ Midtown in Valley View Mall
Real Estate Badly In Need of Taste
heard something about artist studios and galleries moving to or opening in Valley
View Mall. I didn't think I was all that interested, but Anna insisted we go
out there and visit, so we did, and I was surprised and sometimes even amazed
at what we found, though not always for the better. Valley View still has regular
stores, but in the far end from the door we came in, is mostly "art"
and empty spaces.
Oodles of Space
We went on the Sunday afternoon before Labor Day, and not all the spaces were open, but enough were to get an idea of what's going on, and though I hadn't even considered writing about it, here I am, although the photographs probably tell what you need to know.
Studio, Table, Chair and Gallery Space
If I'd known I would write about it, I might have paid more attention to where I was — which specific space — as I wandered into the deep of the mall's far, art wing. But I didn't. With four specific exceptions, everywhere there runs together in my mind and photographs.
Unencumbered by Taste
So where is this? I can tell the several images above and some below are the same space, because they all have that cross-hatched wood-shingle floor. But a name? No idea, really. Though it could be the eponymous Midtown Artist Studios. The tall man in black is growing on me, but the faces, only some with bodies, will not.
Artists should probably sign their work legibly, if for no other reason than occasions like this.
It may intrigue inexperienced artists to studio with other artists, but I wonder how many will stay over the months and years it can take to learn how to actually make art, rather than just blither paint on surfaces.
Low Murk Looks Significantly Better i
n this photo Than I Remember
No telling what this is. Most art was not identified in any conventional sense. That I could find, except I wasn't really looking, just wandering around taking snapshots. Whichever attracted my attentions, positive or negative, though more of the latter than the former almost everywhere I saw. At first it seems wonderful to have one's art shown. Identifying and pricing and all that other minutiae of business is so far away. But something there is about this place that's keen on selling. Something about paying rent and keeping on keeping on.
A Guy in the Back
Painting Yellow Rectangles
Parts of spaces were clean and well-lighted, and
other parts were a mess. The mess was winning.
Looking Up Through a Mall Skylight
way too much bad art, I sat, then laid back in a wood pew, thinking of naps
but looking straight up into
the nearly white sky through the skylight, serving here as a visual transition
from over there to beyond, which was usually just more of the nearly same.
Looking Up at a Tall Wall
Is it art
or a Skylight Paint Fade Test? Too high for anything easy to
see or appreciate, especially blotted by brilliant sunlight slashing through
the skylight. Illuminated, yes, but hardly safe for delicate
pigments, which is why I think it could be a test. Maybe someone thinks it's
an honor to have their low murk up that high, or maybe it just covers something
At A Place Called Truly Unique Studios
Aesthetics varied wildly from space to space,
although most of it was at least this ... uh ... bad.
Hodgepodge of Art & Commerce
So many busy little details I didn't even look to see if the space behind it was open. I didn't care. I've seen that art before, but never in such striking contrast with so many so busy paintings so close, my mind had nowhere to go but away.
Not Quite As Busy But Still Yuck
Too many artists, beginners or been at it awhile,
have so little way of judging their work, but when it means someone else
can keep their space if they sell sell sell, there's no reason to tell or
even consider the truths of it. Do really bad artists ever want to know?
Presenting Dreadful Art
Some of these might have smidgens of talent, but butting them all up against each other doesn't help anybody. So many of these spaces could use an old gallery hand to help with their aesthetics. As if they would ask, listen or believe.
I Only Rarely Knew Where I Was or Why
This might have been Gallery At Midtown, where was a mindless mix of better than halfway decent art and dreadful dreck.
Audrey Legatowicz Mountain View
felted wall art $490
I stared at this for a long time. Something about it I liked, simultaneous with somethings I didn't. Unbeckoned came the story of a rogue elephant come to this place to lay down its tired bones, integrating itself into the landscape. You may not see it. Once I thought it I really wanted not to, but the sky is amazing. But there's still something wrong about that mountain.
Objects in a Taste-Free Zone
Something about the context in which you place or allow your art, yields unwanted conceptions and reconceptions. If you are shown among the best artists in Dallas, your work looks better, but when art is placed near what suffers, so will yours. Often it is better that your work shows originality than being a third-rate copy of what was long ago a new idea.
KD Hafley Conversation Interrupted
I noticed several of this artist's paintings, especially the butterfly lady — oh, I guess I'll have to show it to you — just below. Obviously, I believe, these were done from photographs and rendered without noticing the tiny but important depth and dimensions of insect bodies and legs, so the depth she wants us to marvel at with those dramatic chin and cheekbone shadows is so overdone, why bother with nuances?
I'm a big fan of butterflies and have had them attach themselves to me, but these butterflies attach more like leeches
Same Artist — That May Even Be She
I didn't want to spend any more time around this work than I had to, so I didn't discover the title, medium, price, etc. I assume it's the same who did the painting above. Although I don't need to disparage the work, it's possible with experience, she (another assumption) could learn to show more tiny and subtle depths by working from life instead of bad photographs. Upraised armpits are never subtle.
One of the joys of working with other artists is the opportunity to see how they do what needs doing with grace and subtlety. I imagine this artist has such a sense of superiority that those possibilities would be under realized.
Finished Or Not — A Couple of Interesting Directions
I remember this as one of the first objects to catch my attention that hot Sunday afternoon, but its exposure and EXIF data shows it was one of the last I shot. I like the wires and tech wires at the bottom, but not the white cups and baubles at the top or the war of red vs. yellow on white below.
It was in a space that looked like it called itself Studio 8, but closer inspection revealed "Studio of 8 artists," though I didn't see eight names anywhere.
A Badly Colored Rip of Georges-Pierre Seurat's
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
1884-1886 in the front window of Kevin Page Fine Art
without any notice of what it is a copy of — or when
Okay, we've seen the Bad & The Ugly, now let's explore some of the good, better and best spaces, art and artists in the art Mall north of LBJ off Preston. They're blatant about advertising for more, so there's an off-chance the place will grow or get better.
Center announces Leasing Opportunities Available on a white on green sign vaguely
like highway signs, "Join our expanding list of unique shops, restaurants
and more. Call 972 551-2939 or visit our leasing office in Suite 2040, www.ShopValleyViewCenter.com.
Come grow with us."
Waleed Arshad title unknown
The first space we stumbled into was the extended studio and gallery space of Dallas Artist Waleed Arshad, whose work surprised me, shocked me a little, then when I got into it, alternately soothed and stirred me. I didn't want to like it, then when I let some of my guard down, I began to anyway. Now, I'm less certain, but I think I liked it, so I want to see more and what he does next, and after that. And when I do, I want to see titles and sizes, prices and year dates. I far prefer his abstracts to those silly shoes.
One of the Walls of Waleed Arshad's work
At least he's working through a long series of essentially similar (body of) work with essentially similar issues. I admire that in an artist. He's not flitting through notions, so I suspect he knows where he's headed, but willing to learn along the way. Even if he's working within a space that's better suited for showing apparel or jewelry than paintings.
I asked Arshad how much his space cost, but he
told me he was getting such a good deal, he couldn't tell
me the price. I wondered if everybody was getting that kind of deal in these
formative months of this nuevo real estate biz that just had to have been a
success somewhere else first.
Not Unlike the Gateway to Deep Elm
but oddly placed, I only stumbled upon it the third or fourth time I passed,
and I wonder who else has walked right by never expecting such a small treasure
on the back of one of a great wide circle of tall load-bearing columns just the
Art Wing's side of the mall's central carousel. I think I might remember a calliope
playing in the dark down distance. Or maybe not. If whoever did this will tell
me, I'll happily credit it and watch for more of your work. Lilting Sci-Fi in
green and yellow with black daylight sky and only a few stars left, a vertical
art mall of the future?
F5: Dream of Returning Home
I'm saving the best for last, but first here's the next iteration of the Art Hotel that apparently went under a couple months ago, although I have fully expected yet another terrible amateur mess of a show from them in their disintegrating space down on Akard Street across The Canyon from Downtown, so many inner-city miles south.
Looking Out from the Art Hotel Experience
When in doubt, throw some chairs on end and float them in a space and call it art. Actually, this iteration of the tried, tired and true actually works to a degree. It's difficult to see how it's different from the art crap in the new art wing of the elderly and probably crumbling old mall, but once this far past the transom, everything begins to change.
It feels like, ahhhhh... Here's a space that understands art and the need to give it some space, place like with like and even recognize its likenesses. Something the old Art Hotel Collective never grasped.
Looking In at What Became of the Art Hotel Experience
Updated, upgraded, and with lots more and more intelligent space between, this new SLANT space is a new experience, and this place lifts the collective sensation of the Art Mall Experience several notches for the few, brave souls who make it this far back into the bowels of it.
We'd seen major examples of the art in this supposedly new show before, at the old Art Hotel, in individual artists' studios, on one tour or another, or all of the above, but here it's aimed for a hoped-for and new art audience, so I guess they can get away with it. There are reasons most galleries find themselves in areas that become known for galleries, and why outliers generally do not succeed, but how they become accepted art areas is by trying new possibilities.
I remember when Barry Whistler moved to Deep Elm, when Conduit moved to the Design District, and Craighead Green moved to Dragon Street, so many of us said none of those would ever work, yet all of them did. And if pigs can fly, then the Galleries At Midtown might, too.
Karen Jacobi Homage to Hokusai collage, framed $365
Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760 - 1849) is the Master Japanese printmaker whose preeminent Great Wave supposedly inspired Debussy's La Mer and Rilke's Der Berg, has seldom inspired such lurid collage. Usually we get a copy, pure and simple, generally not that well done and almost forgettable, except that it reminds us of the master, but not so much of that here.
I'm much less impressed by this needlessly ornate reinterpretation, but I have to notice such a florid sea — maybe especially of recycling text, although all that other stuff complicates what had been an essentially simple, thus powerful, symbol. But then, nothing exceeds like excess, and that notion is redolent of the past Art Hotel experience.
Except for the work that was actually shown there
and now is here, most of the work in Slant is substantially better than anything
we saw at the Art Hotel except during its early months.
Arrowing: These were at Significant Distance from the Art End of The Mall
Two kinds of arrows, wiggly and straight, in
five different colors is enough to pass for new.
The Small Gallery featuring work
by owner Rita Barnard (above)
and smallish sculpture Laura Abrams (front and center)
Almost serene by comparison with any other space we visited at Valley View, Dallas Artist Rita Barnard's The Small Gallery was clean and almost serene. Except for showing her own work from possibly too many years ago, it is a gentle and uncomplicated space as easy on the mind as on the eyes, and I look forward to seeing much larger and more imposing works of sculpture on that natural wood flooring.
This space made all that wandering around through the wilderness of junky other spaces and places on that too-busy mall almost worth the time and effort. Here, at last, is an independent gallery that looks like it will be worth following, and I've already recommended it to friends. So obviously the best gallery space there, I kinda wish it were somewhere more accessible to this inner-city guy.
All Contents of this site are Copyright 2013 or before by publisher J R Compton.
All art shown on these pages are copyrighted by their originating artists. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are copyrighted by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any medium without specific written permission.
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