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Texas Sculpture Association at VACD

Bob Coffee - Pop the Whip

Bob Coffee of Austin - Pop the Whip - bronze

 Comments and Photographs by J R Compton

Hard to imagine an even dozen pieces this big in VACD's tiny Maple Avenue space, but there they are, marred only by those dreadful dark mouldings top and bottom all around. Nice little show with lots to admire in a variety of traditional and nontrad forms.

Pop the Whip is simple, powerful and fun; Jack punningly simple with intricate, techy texture; and Rachofsky's transitioning wood tower rises subtly from bold to lighter-than-air, 3-D lines.

Brenda Guyton - Jack

Brenda Guyton of Dallas - Jack - assemblage

TSA shows nearly always have a really goofy looking animal made up of some sort of unlikely stuff. It's a thick tradition that Brenda Guyton's rabbit fits right into. That it won the NorthPark prize for most popular sculpture is hardly surprising. The shoppers and shop-owners there usually go for something ... well, goofy. They don't know much about art, but they know what they like, and I'd have to agree.

I didn't use it on the cover when others of these pictures were there, because although conceptually muse worthy, Lewsiville artist Eric McGehearty's execution leaves something to be desired. I'm placing the pic here, so I can talk about it.


Eric McGehearty - Sisyphus

Eric McGehearty - Sisyphus (detail)

Sisyphus, we all remember from mythology, was a ...

Sinner condemned in Tartarus to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill then watching it roll back down again.

This text, from the Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology online, continues into a Rest of The Story complication and completion, but you probably get the point that Sis was engaged in stressfully repetitive, futile labor, not unlike a lot of us in this century. If he were hurtin', we could identify, but...

What that famed story has to do with being suspended by a stiff chain attached to a wall, dangled to the floor near one ragged, detached, knee-down leg and foot, some distance from the other leggless detached foot, then bunching up near the wall, escapes this observer.

If that really is our pal Sis, why isn't he in pain or panic, showing abject frustration, or somethinig? This guy isn't even breaking a sweat. He's barely grasping the chain, and if the rest of him has been worn away by friction and RSD, why has he still a shoulder, neck and fingers?, places where the chain rides.

Faced with one of the mythologically monumental frustrations of the ancient world, this guy is nearly remote nonchalant. Technologically a feat, this sculpture is emotionally tepid.

Michael Pavlovsky - Paradise Column

Michael Pavlovsky - Paradise Column, 2005 - bronze (detail)

Michael Pavlovsky's Paradise Column startled me, at first. I thought, The Gates of Hell, then Why the seashells? It looks good, but again, where's the emotion? If this is paradise, why aren't those folks happy?


Morton Rachovsky - untitled

Morton Rachofsky of Dallas - untitled - wood

Pop the Whip grabbed my attention immediately and still does. But it's Morton Rachofsky's deceptively simple tower that floats me away.

Hard to imagine more different work. Bob Coffee's bold, cartoonishly exaggerated realism vs. Rachofsky's elusively illusive abstraction. Horizonal vs. vertical. Brute strength vs. an intellectual pieced puzzle ...

Both play visual tricks with perspective, and there's playfullness in each — subtle enough in Coffee's whip pop but nearly ineffable along the trajectory of Rachofsky's blocks.

There's lots more styles and formats in the show. One sculptor — Adriana Cobo-Frenkel — has even contravened the rules of decency and good manners by replacing her sold prize-winner in this show with a dissimilar also-ran piece that just sort of sat there taking up space, although a photo of the winner was on a nearby wall. The behavior may becoming a habbit. Ms C-F was simmilarly M.I.A. from an artists tour she was listed on last year.

John Healey - The Last Stand

John Healey - The Last Stand - bronze

There was also a rich impressionistic Frederick Remmington Indian vs. Cowboy, fight-to-the-death-bronze in which the Indians were clearly winning; an over-breasted Annie Davis cowgirl; and a dissected stone heart by Carolann Haggard I thought I'd seen a couple of Corazon shows ago sorta soddenly sitting in a corner.

The Texas Sculpture Association's Winners' Showcase at VACD continues through February 25, 2006. The VACD space. located at Maple Avenue, is open 11-7 Fridays and Saturdays, noon-5 during inclement weather or by appointment 214 239-0251. -JRC


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