Monday, September 14, 2009

DADA Fall Art Walk Roundup

DADA Panel Discussion

The day started for me with the panel discussion Art and Economics 101: Pricing and Protection of Art in Today’s Economy. I was pleased to be among mostly artists in the audience so that the conversation was skewed in my direction. Below are a few of the highlights from that discussion with images and observations from some of the galleries Saturday night.

One of the first topics of discussion was the importance of insurance. Charles Lipscomb of Lipscomb Insurance Group noted that 80% of the damage that happens to artwork takes place in transit so that is the most important time to purchase insurance.

Some galleries have artists sign contracts such as Craighead Green where others like Valley House Gallery have a gentleman's agreement. It was recommended that artists who are presented with a contract take it to a contract lawyer to have it looked over before signing. Additionally, in both cases it was suggested that if someone was considering joining a gallery that they contact artists currently represented before making a final decision.

DADA acts as an oversight committee making sure that member galleries act in ethical ways in dealing with artists, collectors, et al. If an artist were to have a problem with a member gallery they could contact someone on the board and get help.

Art Walk Roundup-

Conduit Gallery: Steven Miller
's Fukurama, Jill Foley's The Mountain, Dan McPharlin in the Project Room and Matthew Whitenack's installation

Dan McPharlin's miniature analog synths and works on paper were on display in the project room. McPharlin recently created artwork for a Prefuse 73 album cover. The work has a retro-futuristic feel.

Dan McPharlin

Jill Foley's installation The Mountain is a reworking of her MFA thesis review show at SMU. She earned her graduate degree this past spring. In the three weeks leading up to the opening she worked to make her installation into something grander than she had had the opportunity for in her thesis show. In the large space at Conduit the space that she has created is part cave, part lodge. The construction is hot glued cardboard with a coat of amber shellac. There is a homemade quality to the installation which combines a child's fantasy and Kurt Schwitters' Merzbau.

Jill Foley installation shots
The Mountain

Also in the show Steven Miller
's Fukurama
Matthew Whitenack's installation of a miniature gallery with video and personal artifacts becomes like a nesting gallery within the larger gallery space.

Craighead Green Gallery
Ursula O'Farrell, Arturo Mallmann, Shawn Smith

Shawn Smith's sculptures take the idea of moving something from the digital to the analog world. It looks as if the forms have been pixelated. Smith said that He doesn't use a computer to make sketches for the works, but does draw out designs with pencil and paper. There were also works on paper in show.

Paintings by Ursuls O'Farrell and Arturo Mallmann also on exhibit.

Shawn Smith
Quiet Breath and Ewe

Pan American Gallery opened Howard Sherman's
Bloodthirsty Animal on Two Legs. The paintings had an eighties feel with their oil, acrylic and marker gestures. The majority of the paintings were in the 50" x 60" range with a monolithic painting that must have been about six times larger. At that scale the layering and brushwork have an almost overwhelming impact.

Howard Sherman Soft Target

Marty Walker Gallery hosted Sarah Williams'
Night Vision in the new smaller gallery space. The paintings were well painted night scenes that had a small town feel. When I first saw her work online I expected them to be large paintings, but they are actually quite modest in scale. She has a slightly loose approach that lends itself well to the imagery, making it feel hazy and romanticized.

The smaller size of the gallery wouldn't be important if you didn't know what you were missing. Seeing the space was another reminder of the effects of the economics of the gallery scene. It is good to see a gallery go smaller and weather the economic storm than close it's doors. I wish Marty Walker and all of Dallas' galleries good luck.

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