Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gallery sights

Some things worth looking at in the Dallas gallery scene (in no particular order):

1. Richie Budd's funny, insouciant and encrusted sculptures at Road Agent Gallery.

Beneath the slops and pours of nameless plastic guck (in this and other sculptures) are items like a dried mouse cadaver, a popcorn machine, dangerous-looking firecrackers, and a Sony Walkman. One piece, Bon Voyage Somnambulating De Pileon (Jamielee Lee), includes a light show, a fog machine, a soundtrack, and (best of all at an opening) a cooler that dispensed cocktails. I'll likely write about it for somebody in the coming week. What I write is up in the air -- which is to say I'm baffled, but impressed.

2. Allion V. Smith's photos -- "Hall Pass" is the show's title -- at Barry Whistler Gallery.

Shot mostly at Dallas' Booker T. Washington magnet school for the performing and visual arts, Smith's cool images deftly evoke a vivid sense of the flavor and aura of a particular place. Pictures are silent, but this show has a soundtrack that has nothing to do with audio recordings. You can see what the place sounds like. My initial reaction was they should be exhibited as a group in a university classroom building. I know just the place.

3. Jackie Tileston's paintings at Holly Johnson Gallery. Quoting extensively from classical Chinese landscape painting and God knows what else, Tileston's works generate an insane, but somehow convincing, sense of pictorial space.

I guess it's the willful shifts from crisp edges to atmospheric washes, but what I find satisfying and instructive is the fact that she can make a painting so divided against itself still seem complete.

4. Aaron Parazette at Dunn and Brown Contemporary. Hard-edge abstraction meets retro-cool typography in paintings of surfer dude vocabulary words gone all strange.

If I can wrap my brains around a portion of his project, I'll whip out a review-like item on this show as well. They look extraordinary, and busting up reading by means of letter forms is a project after my own heart.

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