Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Agenda Weekend Wish List

This is the inaugural year for the D Art Slam which begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday at f.i.g. downtown. I'm hoping that there are some really great artists participating and that they have a good turnout. The incentive for artists is to sell work and be one of nine artists chosen for a feature in D Magazine. I had my concerns about the event and chose not to enter, but I'm curious to see how it turns out this year.

D Art Slam
at f.i.g.
Ayman Ali Alamoudi - Bio-Digital at Central Trak Saturday night

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Remains of the Day

Willie Doherty – Requisite Distance at The Dallas Museum of Art
Artist talk and exhibition
Through August 30

Willie Doherty’s photography and film are both attractive and unsettling. The feeling of his work is like a fairytale where a child is chasing a mysterious creature through a forest and while the audience knows it won’t end well they can’t turn away.

It would be difficult to talk about this work without mentioning the history of Willie Doherty’s hometown, Derry in Northern Ireland. The clashes in Northern Ireland were based on a schism between loyalists who aligned themselves with English rule and were often of protestant faith versus separatists who sought independence and were often Catholic. As a child Mr. Doherty bore witness to the fight between the separatists and loyalists known as Bloody Sunday, the effects of which remain influential.

Living a life in harm’s way often gives rise to fantasy as a means of escape. In the movie Pan’s Labyrinth by Spanish director Guillermo del Toro a child is faced with things that are beyond her years, the Spanish civil war and a sadistic stepfather. Her escape comes from visions within the natural world. Although the relationship is beneath the surface a parallel exists between the visions in Pan’s Labyrinth and Willie Doherty’s film Ghost Story.

Within the narrative of Mr. Doherty’s film, supernatural visions referred to as a “daylight wraith” appear. The wraith figure is an apparition whose presence indicates an impending or recent death. The romantic vision of Ireland’s landscape in the fading light of dusk acts as both to lend an unsettling mood and a separation from the dearth of documentary work that has taken place to report on the fighting in Derry.

The texts that Mr. Doherty has put together in Ghost Story reflect the violence and supernatural in poetic vignettes. Irish actor Stephen Rea narrates Ghost Story, and his delivery in combination with the words transform scenes of Irish landscape.

To hear Willie Doherty speak about his work it becomes clear that a sense of honesty is paramount. An honest portrayal of his home and experience is central to his mindset, but the humanity of loss and escape takes the mind to other, sometimes uneasy places.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Agenda Weekend Wish List

I'm going to keep it simple this weekend. Two things are on my list, and I'm cheating a little because the Willie Doherty artist talk at the DMA is tonight. Memorial weekend has some non art related things in store for me and I also hope to get some painting done.

Nick Z -
And A Small Child Shall Lead Them at The Public Trust
Willie Doherty - Requisite Distance at The Dallas Museum of Art

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Immediate Gratification

Patterson at The Goss-Michael Foundation
Closing May 30

From an icon of masculine prowess: the motorcycle to an image of the Spice Girls naked there is no mistaking the sexual charge in the Richard Patterson exhibition. Pulling source material from popular culture Mr. Patterson recontextualizes those images into an artist’s space of painting, collage and sculpture. The classic painter’s technique of bait and switch is utilized in the extreme. The sexually suggestive to purely sexual hook can turn a viewer’s gaze, but Mr. Patterson shifts the attention to an artist’s concerns with formalism once he has you. Aesthetically the show is mixed, from maquette sketches for proposed sculptures to refined oil paintings (pictured here). Once past the fast-love I believe that there is an artist searching for something deeper than a fleeting satisfaction, but I could be wrong.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Easy Tiger

The Tigersprung gallery talk at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary.

A friend of mine says that it’s okay to glance at the past, but that I shouldn’t stare. Looking to the past for cues as to where we’re headed is common. From seeking reassurance in an economic downturn to searching for inspiration for new work the past often feels like a foundation for the future. The German word Tigersprung is used to describe fashion’s leap into the past and into the ever-changing future. Tigersprung, the title of Ulrich Lehmann’s book on the history of fashion was the inspiration for the Dr. Charissa Terranova curated show at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary.

In her Saturday afternoon gallery talk Dr. Terranova pointed to time in the ephemeral nature of fashion, the commodification of art, and blurred lines between the everyday object and high art as the major concepts behind the show. The restless tiger bounding forward does seem an especially applicable metaphor for the fashion industry and has felt increasingly relatable to the plastic arts. Stories of MFA candidates picked up by galleries who are searching for the hot new thing fits lock step with a commodification of art. That also means that artwork sometimes seems to have the lifespan of a pop song rather than a symphony.

Dr. Terranova pointed to Libby Black’s sculptural recreation of couture products as a dual reference with art as a product to be bought and sold, as well as a singular object made by the artist’s hand. The blurring of lines between everyday objects and art objects has a historical basis the Dadist work of Marcel Duchamp, but remains a relevant topic a century later.

The Sundance Channel’s show Iconoclasts paired fashion designer Stella McCartney with artist Ed Rusha. At the end of the show Ms. McCartney pitched the idea of using some Rusha paintings as a fabric design for a line of clothing. A designer and an artist at the top of their respective fields coming together for a project seems like the ideal realization of the Tigersprung concept. If that collaboration came to fruition there would likely follow only a brief glance at the past before the next project would surely follow. The definition of fashion is the production and marketing of new styles of goods, with great emphasis on the new.

Charissa Terranova at The MAC

Tigersprung by Ulrich Lehmann

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Agenda for next Thursday, May 21 at 7 PM

From the Dallas Museum of Art website: "Join artist Willie Doherty and Charles Wylie, the DMA’s Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art, for a discussion about the video works and photographs featured in the special exhibition Willie Doherty: Requisite Distance."

The Agenda Weekend Wish List

I'm sharing a manageable list of things that I hope to see and do this weekend.
I try to choose the things which look most compelling for myself, and I think you might enjoy them too.

Dr. Charissa Terranova will discuss her curatorial process of Tigersprung: Obscure Couture with a walk-through of the exhibition at
The MAC Saturday at 2 PM.
Architectonic at CADD Art Lab
Featured on Artforum: Richard Patternson at Goss-Michael Foundation

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Focus: Rosson Crow Closing at The Ft. Worth Modern

I was upset that I missed Rosson Crow's lecture at The Modern. That was partially the inspiration for my idea to create a selective 'best of the metroplex' calendar which has (d)evolved into this blog. Taking in the show I found something unexpected. I was able to see her process for the first time that appeared to start with sketching out the scene on the large canvases with thin and loose washes. To my surprise the next layer was comprised of masked areas that gave a hard edge but were left with all the under the tape bleeds. With her painting this otherwise sloppy move seemed to gel with the expressionistic layers that surrounded them. Beyond the process I had my own feelings about the work. I felt opposed to those who talk about the paintings as if they were back drops, despite a picture of Crow standing in front of one in a majorette outfit which apparently helped to reinforce that idea. I see her paintings fitting into an evolution preceded by Anslem Keifer. I first found Crow's work online and found her counterpoint of sorts, Kristen Everberg who also paints empty interiors at about the same time. Working in a very muted palatte there is more control in Everberg's work and yet drips and free brushwork are there too. I can't help but make an association between the two painters. I wish that The Modern would bring Everberg in for a Focus. If that happens I hope I find out about her artist talk before it happens.

Rosson Crow's Focus at The Ft. Worth Modern closes this Sunday.

My Agenda

The Dallas Art Agenda focus will be primarily gallery openings, lectures and art related events in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area that I find especially exciting. It could be my attitude (and not the city) changing, but this feels like a particularly vibrant time for our arts community. Some galleries have or are closing their doors such as And/Or Gallery, Gerald Peters Gallery and Brooke Berman Gallery to name a few. On the other hand there have been Art Socials at CADD Art Lab, Art Motel night at Marty Walker Gallery, gallery talks, art walks and lectures. I hope that the energy in the art community that I feel is resilient in the face of economic downturns and the other adversities that will come along after that. It feels like a perfect time to celebrate what I see as the best the art scene has to offer.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tigersprung: Obscure Couture at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary

Tigersprung first caught my attention because of the premise: fashion meets art, the title and curatorial efforts of Charissa Terranova, and the inclusion of the artist Libby Black. Ms. Black's fetishistic devotion to high-end designers returns to earth in her obsessive but folk-like craft. The innocence of the construction is echoed in the Zen title of the work (featured right), Wherever you go, there you are. Also of note, a performance by Amy Revier who's head was swallowed by her pony tail in an Ann Hamilton stroke. She was seated atop a Cabinet of Dr. Caligari bookkeeper pedestal and typed away at what appeared to be stream of consciousness thought. I remember a similar performance in college with two girls typing away dressed as secretaries. They both typed on either end of one long sheet of paper until the typewriters tore the paper in two. I think it was about the role of women in society, but I was and may still be more attracted to the discussion of culture more than politics.

I'm looking forward to hearing Charissa Terranova discuss her thought process while curating the show this Saturday at 2 PM in The MAC Gallery.