Twofer! Art With Dogs: William Wegman and Raychael Stine

William Wegman, Mistake/Correction, 1975/2011, two silver gelatin prints, courtesy Texas Gallery

William Wegman, Mistake/Correction, 1975/2011, two silver gelatin prints, courtesy Texas Gallery

OK, only one of Wegman’s well known dog pieces is on view in his hilarious show at Texas Gallery. Nevertheless, I could not help but think about how both shows seem to be about the life in the artist’s studio and the simple act of inventing something in its closed space/world. Stine and Wegman do it in extremely different ways (one in the language of gestural abstraction and the other in the language of 1970s conceptual documentation).

Wegman’s series of funny before/after diptych photographs that appear to be taken in his studio remind me of a more immediate, slapstick version of Bruce Nauman. I do not know if there is any direct parallel, but I loved images like BR/OOM (1973), Portable TV (1971/1992), Mistake/Correction (1975/2011). Also, in the exhibition are small watercolors and pencil drawings that have a great sense of personality and immediacy like they had just been torn out of a sketchbook. The work feels as fresh as someone like David Shrigley and was done 30 years earlier.

William Wegman, Big Little Finger, 1974, pencil on paper, courtesy Texas Gallery

William Wegman, Big Little Finger, 1974, pencil on paper, courtesy Texas Gallery

Raychael Stine, Big Pink Pickle, 2012

Raychael Stine, Big Pink Pickle, 2012

Raychael Stine’s exhibition at Art Palace is a set of tight, focused paintings that all reverberate with one another like being in a formal echo chamber. Stine’s dachshund wanders through different works, and is memorialized, animated, and illustrated in a huge range of styles. Bill Davenport already covered this show at length. I enjoyed the exhibition simply for its sense of disciplined play, exploring to the nth degree a narrow range of subject matter.

Raychael Stine, Black Shuck, 2012

Raychael Stine, Black Shuck, 2012

Hurry! William Wegman: Drawings from the 70s is on view at Texas Gallery through December 28, and Raychael Stine’s a little ways away from everywhere at Art Palace ends on December 21!

also by Joshua Fischer

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