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Gerald Burns Drawings 

by J R Compton

Remembering Gerald Burns
Dallas Arts Revue Archive Index


Gerald Burns was a nationally-recognized poet, whose passing was noted by Andrei Codrescu on National Public Radio. Gerald was also a prodigious prosist, oft-published art critic for DARts and The Austin American Statesman and, as you will see here, an amazing illustrator of the Dallas arts scene.

More Gerald Burns drawings are on other DARts online pages, including D-Art vs. The Bath House



This momentous drawing was the first Gerald Burns drawing to appear in DARts ( actually called Texas Arts Revue at the time. It's dated Spring 1983.) Linda Finnel was a popular photographer and co-founder of Two Women Boxing, which produced and sold fine-paper portfolios and art boxes.



Gerald invariably drew in black ink on white paper. Only rarely did he color his drawings. This DARts cover was an exception. 250 copies of this issue were printed -- and the covers hand colored -- in mid December, 1983. Gerald joined me, printmaker Teri Thoman, painter Tracy Hayes Harris, comic artist Marian Henley and painter Dwayne Carter in hand-coloring this issue. I believe I was the perpetrator for this particular coloration. I have one of each of the other colorists in a box, somewhere....



That's me -- in a formerly lifetime -- recording my five-minute, thrice-weekly Dallas Arts Kazoo radio show for Dallas Community FM radio station KNON. News, views and reviews from the world of visual and experimental arts in Dallas. Too-doot-ta-dooo! The object in my right hand is a kazoo.



In case you can't read the tiny print above, the stamp in his right hand says, "This is art." The other one is "This is not art." The straight-laced art critic's choice.



You probably cannot read the book in this unfortunate's pocket. It says "DENSA."




Linnea Glatt's construction was at Connemara that year.



Foster Goldstrom was a popular gallery across the street from Dallas' Quadrangle Shopping Center.



Sculptor James Surls was teaching art at Southern Methodist University and living in Old East Dallas.



The near-downtown ARTS District was busy being born about this time. One of Gerald's continuing motifs was rats and, especially, moles.



Gerald had plenty of imagination, but his drawing tended to be precise in realistic ways. I'm guessing that this poetry reading or lecture happened at The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture in upper Oak Lawn although it looks a lot like upstairs at Paperbacks Plus in Lakewood also, and the stuffed animals were really there -- but ya' never know with Gerald.



This is the Stoneleigh P ( formerly The Stonleigh Pharmacy ) across Maple Avenue from The Stoneleigh Hotel and a popular gathering place and occasional art exhibition space for Dallas artists.



This is very much a self-portrait. The girth, pointy beard and combed hair are definitely Gerald Burns.



The Dallas Museum of Art is inordinately proud of its Stake Hitch, and we've all wondered how far it descends below the floor where it always has been installed.



This was most likely a specific art show, but there's been so much rubble strewn on the floors at 500X Gallery over the years, it'd be impossible to say which one this was.



Gerald didn't always spell artists' names correctly. This Liquid Paper-over spelling correction glorifies the name of Dallas artist, sculptor and event organizer Greg Metz, whose work often tended toward the outrageous and grandiose. Greg now teaches art at the University of Texas at Dallas in Plano.



One of Gerald's better friends in the Dallas art world was Frank X Tolbert, who at the time had won the opportunity to put up a large work on the side of The Grape, a wine bar and Cafe on Greenville Avenue. Next door was a gas station.


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