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The Winter Dallas Art Dealers' Association Gallery "Walk"
February 22, 2003
Story + Photographs by JR Compton
with a little help from Kathy DelloStritto
Danny Williams' circles of possibilities at Barry Whistler
We're not at all convinced that the DADA needs a winter gallery so-called Walk, but we needed to connect with the gallery scene and catch up on some MIAs.
We began at Barry's, because it's close, and I wanted to see Danny Williams' show. We'd expected a stack of nice maps listing the season's walk participants. We found it -- cheap printing on cheap paper, but sufficient.
Williams' painted drawings were simple, colorful and fun. We also noted a photograph of some dogs we'd just seen outside in a car, reminding JR to finally post his Art Dogs page.
We were dismayed not to find The Boyd on the map, so we drove down Elm past the last tree to discover that's where the Studio D we'd already listed in the calendar is. Boyd's another Dead Dallas Gallery.
We always liked Boyd, for the nice mix of fine and graphic art, the comfy living room upstairs, great food at openings, and their genuine happiness to see us. They even joined this site during our time of need last summer.
Somehow we had it in our minds that a lot of galleries were in Deep Elm, but most of them are something else. Barry's, of course, is in a class by itself. Then there's Studio D, Global Fashion News, the Art Bar, Club Clearview. Uh... What else?
We figured the next closest gallery had to be D-Art, so we visited Pairings, only to be impressed all over again.
When I first saw Andrea Rosenberg's exquisite drawing (above), I assumed it'd been created in reaction to the DMA Rodin. Only during the later panel discussion did I realize the local art was pre-existing and truly paired with what they could get from the Mu.
This led me to pair my own pairings.
Looking closely at the Jim Hodges piece Linnea Glatt selected (detail, above right, full image inside), there are obvious visual parallels with Andrea's amazing, shadowy textures, gently dimensional masses, densities and mixes of lines floating in space, not to forget the emotions involved.
Tracy Hicks' Atelopus, 2001 stack of museum jars containing transparent liquids and clear plastic molds of extinct frogs (left - See detail on the Pairings page) and Linnea Glatt's delicate pastel, geometrical shape (right) create another obvious kinship, even directly facing each other across the spacious gallery.
Both employ aggregated three-dimensional shapes comprising rounded forms of translucing, containing glass. The two contrast hard and soft edges, stark reality and pure math, emotion and intellect, free-standing and wall attached display.
Tracy's stack stands in the brightest light in the gallery; Linnea's semispheres are cupped to the shaded wall deep inside the darkened space.
Thematically and structurally similar to Marcel Duchamp's classic The Green Box, Vernon Fisher's long-lost DMA choice by Lynton Wells creates an elusive yet illusive -- even allusive -- collage of mixed meanings, media and montage, employing lines, dark shapes and structural linearity.
Both extensible "boxes" "contain" activated, positive space scattered with real objects, monochromatic forms and light.
Amita Bhatt - Maya's dream, 2001
photographic transfer and acrylic on canvas
We were still annoyed by the clumsy placement of signage for Rick Maxwell's mostly outdoor sculptures, but what's really inside the wall behind his banner is a lot better than I'd originally said. This time, we both liked Amita Bhatt's lovely, spatial layouts in DCCA's Mix.
Across town at what I always called Upper Oak Lawn, but Kathy knew to call Uptown, Stone by Stone's still there, but "We're not having art shows anymore." Not exactly a dead gallery, then. But another one bites the dust.
At the bottom of the street, we found this sign, but nothing that looked like it had any of the advertised substance.
Happy surprises from the James Surls archives at Pillsbury Peters' extensive, museum like galleries, the most elegant place for art in Dallas.
Jeffrey Brosk wood piece at PillsPete caught Kathy's eye, because of the natural hole in the center. Shadow cast in that hole was interesting and changeable. The heavy wood was solid and steady but the hole and it's shadows are not. I liked the luscious wood, not so much the hole.
Roger Winter - Graffiti, 2000
oil on museum board
Continuing surprises from Roger Winter. Still his exquisitely detailed daubs of painterly paint that can't help but remind us of painting by the numbers, although it certainly is not.
We'd got complacent about Winter's land and cow-scapes (one of JR's claims to fame is a photo inside the back of a D-Magazine on the same page as Tom Landry playing poker. It's The Editor mooing in front of a Roger Winter cow painting -- photo by JR's old Dallas Times Herald darkroom mate Andy Hanson), out comes some startling new imagery like the graffiti above.
Saw Patricia Meadows, Edith Baker and, of course, an ebullient Cidnee Patrick at her eponymous uptown gallery. Denise Brown's brown OCD art for this show took three years to assemble.
Kathy thought the unrelenting brown of Brown's work seemed dirty. JR was just amazed by all that wood burning detail.
We ducked in and out of The MAC in fewer than five minutes, tops. We didn't care about anything but Kelli Connell's intriguing interactions and structural configurations of limbs in their Local Art Closet. Her show is called Dichotomy.
Kathy says the "Girl pictures were either doubles that are digitally combined or the models are twins. ??? The twin / mirror image thing was fascinating."
JR kept remembering Kelli's Giggle, that he'd really liked in last spring's DCCA fund raiser, Wish.
De rigueur, we skipped several of the old hat galleries on the tour, in strong favor of anyone who might actually show Dallas art.
Karen Mitchell Frank: Is it a lamp or does it just plug in?
Dunn & Brown: It's a travesty to show this giant, poetic Vernon Fisher (we assume; it wasn't labeled -- unless it's another one of his me-too students, although nobody has the simple subtle poetic flow of VF) spiral in surprising bright color so small, but the text'd be illegible at nearly any size on this page, and there's all these other pictures.
D&B is as large as PP but the space seems emptier and more expansive. It's still a little subtle to find the smallish front door, but once inside now, all the spaces are contiguous, extending in a white forever all the way to the back of the expansive building.
Shadows at Dunn & Brown
After looking at art all afternoon, everything JR beheld turned into more art.
More shadows on the drive-thru at
McDonald's to ingest some caffeine.
The last MIA gallery we had to check was Gray Matters -- apparently closed (again, although they have a show opening March 1), but the big sign's still up, and we loved the corrugated textures in the late slant of winter sun on the metal buildings across their alley.