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Dallas Round-up: turn the cattiness to 11.

I visited Dallas this last weekend and had a chance to visit a lot of
galleries. I like Dallas. It feels half-deserted. Like it just woke up
from a plague that killed half its population. So much of it is
abandoned, and the rest feels so empty… And then there are the parts
that feel exactly like Robocop, which was actually (prophetically?)
filmed in D-town.

Maybe I was there during a particularly
strange programming confluence, but goddamn, the art in Dallas right
now is boring as hell. Granted, I didn’t visit every single gallery and
my assessment might be due mostly to poor choices on my part (wouldn’t
be the first time) but I was terribly underwhelmed. Here’s an especially catty run down
of what I saw:

Annette Lawrence at Dunn and Brown (installation view)

Annette Lawrence and Joseph Havel
at Dunn and Brown: This was a big dud. I’d read a review of the show by
Alison Hearst. I liked some of
Lawrence’s work, specifically, the piles of paper strips precariously
stacked in "ziggurat-like forms." But  both of the circles made out of
brown paper bags, Paper Surface Circles seemed more like
remedial high school art class than anything else. Havel was even more
of a dud for me. His cursive text sculptures just scream high school
art show to me. Nevermind the source material for the text, the
work just wasn’t very interesting to me. Both shows
came off as poorly executed and solipsistic. Listen, I can get behind a
good concept in a piece, but experientially, most of these works are a
serious snoozefest. It’s the kind of art that art historians love
because you can write dissertations about it, source its materials and
discuss its intertextuality and so on and so forth. But if you like
your senses, steer clear. But if you’re feeling chatty, maybe you could
get the gallerist to show you some of the Christian Schumann paintings
they have, which are absolutely beautiful, technically impressive,
nothing if not colorful and alive. Also they remind me of Ren and Stimpy a little, which I like.
Johnnie Winona Ross at Barry Whistler

Johnnie Winona Ross at Barry Whistler : zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Talk about monochromatic! Big glossy off-white paintings with some
strips of rectangular darker stains. Maybe if you were a gigantic fan
of Robert Ryman these would appeal to you. For me, these seem like the
art version of macrobiotics.

Dan Perfect at Road Agent : FINALLY SOME COLOR!!!! But once again, the
same issue as the Dunn and Brown show: execution. I like abstract
painting and colorful squiggles, but without a certain level of
technical magic, like Schumann or Christine Gray or Beau Chamberlain,
this sort of work feels really cliche. Like grids of silkscreened
portraits in different colors
. It becomes something that can be
mass-produced by IKEA. [Edit: Charissa Terranova thinks pretty much the opposite thing…]

Brent Ozaeta at The Public Trust looks like it was art-designed for a Jonas Brothers TV special. Maybe it’s not that bad, but it looks like an
art show, if you know what I mean (expression borrowed from Barry
). It looks faxed-in. It’s also pretty devoid of color, a
condition that was quickly becoming the thorn on my side in Dallas.

Lily Hanson at and/or

Lily Hanson at and/or was pretty good. Hanson creates some nice
objects that are very tactile and seem abstracted from something,
though it’s hard to tell from what. Hanson’s work reminded me somewhat
of Jade Walker‘s sculptures. I was looking forward to seeing some new
media work at and/or, so that was a bit of a bummer. Still, a very nice
Scott Anderson at CADD Art Lab

More Than This at CADD Art Lab was my absolute favorite gallery
show. Scott Anderson ‘s large paintings look like 1950’s sci-fi pulp novel covers at some points, and some weird deconstructed architecture or interdimensional rift in others while Jackie Tileston imposes brightly colorful line patterns onto more somber scenes that are somewhat reminiscent of JMW Turner . Kevin
‘s GIF Mandala is spellbinding and technically impressive,
and Lizzy Wetzel‘s installation is magical (and smells like burnt

Vicious Pink at Central Track is a show that "pushes pink from the subversive to the hyperreal. Artists enlist pink
materials to the hilt while straddling the line between high art and
camp. Vicious Pink
hopes to assert that high art and camp can
co-exist." Great, another monochromatic show. That much pink gave me a
headache. Also camp is pretty much by definition never high art
(further reading: Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality edited by David
). Also, making things hot pink doesn’t make them hyperreal, it makes them loud.

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  1. Eric D

    Scott Gordon at Hooks-Epstein
    Orly Genger at Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery
    Troy Woods at McMurtrey Gallery
    Lo-fi No Brow at Art Storm
    Lucinda Cobley at Wade Wilson
    Gilad Efrat at Inman
    Kermit Oliver at Hooks-Epstein
    Hedwige Jacobs at CTRL
    Elaine Bradford at Art League Houston
    Donald Baechler at McClain
    Melanie Crader at Sonja Roesch
    Katrina Moorhead at Inman
    Amy Blakemore at MFAH
    Maurizio Cattelan at the Menil
    Damaged Romanticism at Blaffer
    Anything at Rice Gallery
    Cinema Remixed and Reloaded at CAMH

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