Friday, October 16, 2009

Dallas gallery hopping

I prowled the scene this afternoon. Here's what I saw and thought.

At Barry Whistler Gallery, Lawrence Lee is still up and shining with some of the most elegant lines I've gazed upon since I first got acquainted with Fragonard's tree drawings back in the days of Bush I. Lee mines old racist depictions of African Americans and his supple imagination to produce some truly witty narrative-based graphite and ink and tea and who knows what drawings of crazy-assed tall tales that probably make sense only to him. So why tell the stories? Because they look great. And there's always that astonishing line of his.

The image above is from Lee's show at the now-defunct Clementine Gallery in Chelsea a couple of years ago. He's getting better.

Road Agent may or may not be defunct also. It still has the "Installation in Progress" sign on the door from last month. As I understand it, gallery owner Christina Rees has accepted a position as director at TCU's off-campus exhibition space over in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth 1, Dallas 0.

Dunn and Brown is offering Dale Chihuly glass stuff to discerning folks in the Metroplex. Why? I don't know. Maybe the bills are coming due. Still they had a kickass small group show in their "project" space with works by Trenton Hancock (whom I love and not just because he once speculated that everybody's soul looks like a pre-teen Caucasian girl), Jeff Elrod, Erick Swinson, Vernon Fisher, etc.

Swinson's savagely trompe l'oeil sculptures of a pre-hominid creature and a stag shaking off the bleeding"velvet" from its new antlers take the Halloween prize for amazingness and craft.

Down in the Design district, Conduit offered Michael Tole and Joe Mancuso. Too many flowers on one picture plane (yes, that's the point) and painstaking renderings of Chinese decor. Cool, but why? I can't say. Somebody tell me.

I tried to see the new stuff by Dornith Doherty at Holly Johnson, but the place was temporarily shut when I dropped by. Should have called first, I guess.

Over at Marty Walker, I caught a sneak peek of William Lamson's new work, and it was a pleasure. Building on his videos from last year, he set up several ad hoc machines designed to use wind and waves to make drawings during his recent tour of South America. The Chilean coast wave works were delicate and appropriately atmospheric. Others were bolder and more aggressively "expressionistic." Whatever that might mean when a kite is doing the expressing.

Above: William Lamson, Kite Drawing Jan. 31, 2009. 740-915 PM. Colonia Valdense, Uruguay.

The Goss Michael Foundation offered a small Mark Quinn survey. He's the dude who cast his own head in his own blood. If he makes it, he means it. Got it?

Quinn's Mother and Child (Alison and Parys), 2008, a marble sculpture of a nude woman and her baby, was an extraordinary thing to behold. Handsome and at peace with her body, Alison was born without arms and with improperly formed legs. Gallery literature quotes him as saying "She's very beautiful, she just looks different."

He's right.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A food show

My piece is up and running at Project Gallery in Wichita, and I'm quite satisfied with it. Here's a quick, down-and-dirty edit of some installation shots.

The opening was Friday night. Saturday, the gallery organized a potluck dinner. Everybody brought something to share. My wife and I brought some homemade, locally sourced food: home cured bacon, home cured pastrami, a salad of purple hull peas we grew in the community garden, some home canned okra pickles, and some home canned pickled watermelon rind.

I fried the bacon for about the first half hour of the event, feeling a little bit like Rirkrit Tiravanija, but sillier and more bacon-y.

It was a lovely weekend.