Small Sculpture in Texas ©1993, 2000 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

Introductions '86

The 13 member galleries of the Dallas Art Dealers Association (DADA) opened 12-8 pm July 19, as Introductions '86 "to showcase artists who have not previously had significant showings in Dallas." Ten percent of show sales goes toward expanding art awareness in Dallas. A lecture series and support of a yet-unnamed local arts organization are possible.

Having crossed my heart and hoped to fry, I promised ArtScene' s editor I'd hit all 13 DADAs. Three other galleries-one premiering-also opened shows that day. A forecast thunderstorm waited til Monday, but Introday was heavy and hot-in art and temperature. I visited 16 shows in one, 45-mile, nine-hour art trek through a sweaty 105° summer Saturday.

13 art shows in one day is sensory overload. Sixteen was silly. Much of the art is still a blur, even though I took color video notes at each stop. Perhaps next year DADA will extend Introductions '87 over a three-day weekend.

I started south, galleried north, then looped back to Deep Elm at dark. By ten PM, I was bleary-eyed and seriously fatigued. After the last art reception, I cooled out in the quiet, mercifully dark patio behind the Club Dada (no relation) opening at 2720 Elm. Then I went home and crashed for twelve hours.

Adequate industrial spiral metal sculptures by Joseph Staub punctuated Nimbus' expansive space at 1134 Dragon St.

Up in posh Upper Oak Lawn, I pulled my Toyota among the Mercedes and BMWs in Adams-Middleton's 3000 Maple Ave. lot and interjected into their cool, quiet elegance Alan Seigel's fantasy polychrome cut-out laminated birchwood chairs and loveseats-like carefully folded Matisses-sported "Do Not Sit" signs.

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The Afterimage, Foster Goldstrom and Beverly Gordon galleries are all within a few blocks.

Foster Goldstrom, 2722 Fairmount at Routh was surrounded by sculptures. Inside, a high density flea market of the avant garde was gill-full of quality contemporary art. Prominent among FG's west coast art stars were several strong Texans. Cam Schoepp's carefully crafted copper and slatted symmetrical, shaped wood and metal rhomboids simultaneously showed inside and outside, structure, shape and light. Fully into the spirit of Introductions '86, Foster described them as Schoepp's "fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth sculptures-ever."

Nearby, the new, unDADAed Crescent gallery geared up for its Furniture Show. A former and a current Dallasite- using symbioses of un "art" like details-stole the show. New Yorker Gilda Pervin's dense melange of minutiae, glitter and glopped on familiar objects, created fascinating visual puns. Donald Bell mixed literal, painterly and sculptural elements in a high-backed bench full of ins and outs. Dictionary definitions, uplifting poetry, lilting pastels, personal messages, meshes and a boomerang conspired in his whimsically altered altar, Midnight is for Lovers.

Six more blocks up, at 3317 McKinney, cozy, well-illuminated Adelle M gallery showed off subtly glowing, pit-fired clay vessels by Mark Thorson.

Further up McKinney, Mary Wright gallery's walls showed one lone bold, stone Jesus Morales sculpture stood guard. Then it was north to Snider Plaza, near SMU, where two DADA galleries are next door.

My early fatigue was eased by the light-hearted menagerie at Clifford gallery, 6610 Snider Plaza. Inside were a vivid zoo-full of colorful animalia. The green room, right off the entrance, was vivid with John Nelson's vibrant Equatorial Africa and other fanciful, 3-D wood constructions. Owner Jutta Clifford's office, secreted in a storage cranny between the gallery and frame shop, was replete with bright pull-apart cross section carved animal cut-outs by Wayne Amerine.

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More miles up Central and west to 5950 Royal Lane, Edith Baker gallery showed gayly colored kinetic toys-a giant top, some sproingies and a nursery-rhyming phonograph. These Emily Jenning playthings played 3-D counterpoint to her small, wall-bound 2-D color collaged figures on black and white house-scape. Eloquent segmented, aerodynamic rudder-like sculptures by Jack Maxwell continued the kinetic theme.
Furthest north on the map was Valley House, 6616 Spring Valley. For 35 years it hid in the trees by a two-lane blacktop-well beyond the bustle of the city. Now, Spring Valley is a wide, white swath of freeway. But the Vogel family gallery retains its remote sensibility-with fantasy in the front room and history in the back.

David Everett's articulated, carousel derived woodcarvings were "about memory," he said. Like marionettes, the glimmering translucent polychromed sugar pine and mahogany animals and their human riders' heads turn, paws and arms lift. A lady and a nearly smiling tiger, wide-brim hatted woman floating on a sea turtle and another on a rhino, and jockey on a buffalo combine nostalgia and contemporary craft.

DW, upstairs at 3200 Main, was the only DADA in Deep Elm. The soaring ceilinged salon was resplendent in summer whites and cool, sherbet colors.

Eugene Binder, Conduit and Ron Hall galleries were recently accepted into DADA. Conduit opened Introday, as did nonmembers Barry Whistler and the brand new Ram's Head. Binder opened the week before.

Ram's Head gallery, two more flights up the Herling Building at 3200 Main, was a mixed-bag collection of Mexican birdcage church sculptures, knickknacks and large local contemporary abstracts.

Conduit, at 2814 Elm, showed intricate, cool pastel, spatially ambiguous aerial map-like glazed acrylic paintings by Susan Lecky.

At Barry Whistler, 2708 Commerce massive, short, rough surfaced sculptures by DeWitt Godfrey would have stolen the show, if they hadn't been lost in the crowd.

Houston ArtScene Magazine,
Vol. 7, #14, fall 1986 

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