The two solo shows up at Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas — Sparklines by Lorraine Tady and New Paintings and Gouaches by Leslie Wilkes — explore traditional media in formal ways. Each artists’ works mirrors the other in saturated color and abstracted space.
Wilkes and Tady have exhibited work together previously in group shows including Optic Verve and Parallel Process, both in 2014, and Sonic Architectonic in 2012. Wilkes is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1995) and is based in Marfa, and Tady is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and is based in Dallas.
The current shows at Barry Whistler are a selection of two-dimensional works that combine repetitious gesture with geometric patterns. Each artist builds on their respective body of work, creating multiples varied in size and dimension.
Tady’s Sparklines consists of framed digital prints, on paper and canvas, which elaborate on graphic glitches and printer malfunctions. Both analog and digital error are essential to Tady’s process. The original images are digitally manipulated then printed several times on a single sheet to further distort the original image. Dadaist theories of randomness and chance are at play where the artist relinquishes control as a means for creative liberation.
As you move through the gallery, Tady’s work evolves into large-scale semblances of architectural drawings depicting fictional modernist buildings. Planar spaces are layered on top of connected hand-drawn lines. Floating forms overlap and intersect in exacting chaos. This loose matrix forms a foundation for the compositions, balanced between positive and negative space. The works feel as though they were pulled directly from Tady’s studio walls. The gestural pencil marks and smudged graphite amplify this raw connection between artist and viewer.
Hanging on adjacent walls in the back of the gallery are Wilkes’ recent gouache paintings on paper, opposite her untitled oils on canvas. Much of the visual payoff in Wilkes’ calculated approach stems from her meticulous pencil lines, outlining brightly colored shapes, and the retro color palette radiating a nostalgic sensibility. Wilkes delicately restricts each new surface to three or four colors, and her geometric motifs are further amplified by the square frames enveloping the symmetrical patterns. These visual themes repeat in works throughout the gallery to create an immersive experience on site.
At Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, through November 25.