Julian Charrière: Towards No Earthly Pole, at the Dallas Museum of Art, May 2–August 8, 2021
“It’s very complicated to find a better sculpture than an iceberg,” says the Berlin-based Charrière. I imagine it’s also fairly complicated to dig boulders from one of the Earth’s poles, coring them out to be arranged in the Hoffman Galleries at the DMA. Charriere’s refrigeration boxes, with their lace frost windows, are backed by the Museum’s fountain and guard the entrance on Harwood Street. Charrière is dealing in a rare material: Arctic ice.
Lisa Horlander: inBetweens at Janette Kennedy Gallery, April 17–May 29, 2021
Janette Kennedy Gallery is in the basement of SouthSide, a mixed-use residential and retail building on the edge of downtown. The first Sears warehouse built outside of Chicago, it is located along Botham Jean Boulevard, a renamed section of Lamar Street between Central Expressway and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, which honors the Dallas man that was murdered September 6, 2018 by a Dallas police officer. The building is now one of the largest residential buildings in the city relative to its age, and it feels as if it will withstand the next century with dignity.
Horlander’s works in the depths of this industrial monolith. The artist’s shaped-painting technique produces floating collage pieces that interrupt chunky patches of air.
Simon Waranch: New Patterns, and Tom Pribyl: The Mess We’re In at Craighead Green Gallery, April 10–May 15, 2021
Living rooms, bedrooms, and empty furniture swerve from an unsteady viewpoint in these paintings by Pribyl. There are slight nods to other forms of still-life painting — newspapers and wine bottles are unattended, evidence of nearby life. These images come from the evening, after the sun has set on a lifestyle formerly considered comfortable. Pribyl has been absent from painting for a decade; perhaps he found the time after being locked away for a few months.
Waranch is a Dallas-born glass artist, though he currently studies at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. The New Forms here are actually old forms, by the name Reticello: a Venetian technique for creating even lacework across the blown-glass object, with small bubbles delicately landing at the center of every parallelogram in the lattice. An immediate distinction to make after describing what this technique produces is that it is very hard to do. That goes for pretty much every glassblowing technique. However, Waranch’s “Skittles” are here as well, which are oblong pastel globules that are undoubtedly in high demand. Being a glass artist requires an investment of time that rivals most mediums, and Waranch has been productive with his time. Among the glass masters he’s studied with is Dante Marioni, of Seattle, a staple of American glassblowing and a recurring instructor at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington.
Kumiko Johnson: Dancing with Moon: Journey to Healing at Pencil On Paper Gallery, April 24–June 28, 2021
These paintings, from the glossy acrylic to the breathy gouche, begin with the brushwork that Johnson learned from her father. The rest she learned at the Tokyo University of Art. She paints every day from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon. Her impulse is freedom and spreading positive energy, with the symbols of her native Japan.
At 75, Johnson is exhibiting for the first time, and doesn’t intend to slow down.
Rusty Scruby: Comfort at Cris Worley Fine Arts, May 15–June 19, 2021
Scruby’s wooden armatures, clothed in knitwear, recall Samantha McCurdy’s ‘snugs,’ which are painted latex stretched into forms that often allude to the upper triangle of the human torso. Scruby works in geometric “units” — he’s aware of the tension between works that inhabit two-dimensional spaces versus three-dimensional forms.
Norman Kary: Chaos Fields; Victor Ortix: Resistencia; and Andy Don Emmons: Stay Back Six Feet Please at Plush Gallery, March 27–June 5, 2021
Norman Kary’s collages are placed on found canvases; he prepares them with a new face before exhibition. His inclination toward found objects follows him from youth, and in this show he makes use of maps and medical lectures, sliced up into stochastic piles. Victor Ortix’s work here feels like it has also been re-formed to convey a graphic message. Andy Don Emmons’ drawings are rambunctious and spiny. Plush Gallery often shows artists who display some Texas flair, personality, and grit.
No Fair at Erin Cluley Gallery, April 17–May 15, 2021
Madelyn Sneed-Grays’ portraiture makes a quick appearance here. It’s gorgeous, but also interesting; delicate, but technically sound. Astute without being showy. This show is another part of the Dallas Art Fair interim — the stopgap for two Dallas Art Fair seasons (traditionally big-buck affairs) that have gone missing during the pandemic. Right now, ahead of the (often lighter) summer group-show season, a lot of galleries are hosting stable-defining group shows. At any rate, I’m elated to check in with as many local favorites as possible (and to meet a new crop of artists as well).
Texas Vignette Pop-Up, 2816 Main Street, May 15, 2021
Texas Vignette is the Dallas art fair that could; from years 2017–2019, it provided women artists with exhibition opportunities concurrent with Dallas Art Fair Week. (The Vignette Art Fair has thus far taken place in The Women’s Museum Building in Fair Park.) Upcoming fair dates for Texas Vignette are tentatively postponed until fall of this year, and in lieu of the scheduled fair for 2020, Texas Vignette organized five grants in the amount of $2,000 for artists who submitted works to the event that Covid spoiled.
For this pop-up event in Deep Ellum, Haydee Alonso, Ann Johnson, Rehab El Sadek, Lisa E. Harris, and Tammy Melody Gomez present work, and seeing an art show in Deep Ellum is surprising these days, as all of the formerly abandoned warehouses and metal shops have tenants now. If exhibition organizers can keep this up, Deep Ellum will be one of the few neighborhoods in Dallas where one can actually experience street life and contemporary art on the same strip.
Tammy Melody Gomez’s installation features a cell clothed in black. The presentation is interactive; a sign on a table requests that participants write a statement describing their modes of self-censorship while out in public. This is an excellent exercise — maybe especially for art-goers. How do you perceive your own behavior in response to expectations? You may lay your burden down at the sculpture for others to read once you have moved on.
Lyès-Olivier Sidhoum: Source; and Carole A. Feuerman at Markowicz Fine Art, April 29–June 19, 2021
This French-originated, contemporary gallery at the border of the Design District and Oak Lawn is so packed with things to look at, it’s too bad that the space is really just a showroom.
Markowicz deals in established contemporary artists, with a hefty representation of French work. Lyès-Olivier Sidhoum’s radial forms are the result of the artist’s meditative routine. He began as a street artist as a pre-teen, before committing to a professional practice in New York and Hong Kong. The pieces are printed with an archival UV process, and look as soft as silt underneath the acrylic barrier.
Carole A. Feuerman, another established artist, has a few hyperrealist sculptures of bathers in the space. Aside from the striking figurative model, the varied surface textures manage to stop time.
Matthew Cusick: Of All This World at Once at Holly Johnson Gallery, May 15–July 31, 2021
Cusick’s exhibition features maps cut and collaged into representational images. For this show, he’s taken the waters of the globe and formed them into giant wave crests. There are a couple pieces in the viewing room which focus on more human imagery, making the most of the color palette these cartographs offer.
Natalie Sirett: Kevin, Wishes & Charms at Ro2 Art, April 17–May 15, 2021
London-based Sirett is in remission from cancer, and her series K is for Kevin is the outcome of 10 months of treatment. During chemotherapy, she kept a ‘steroid-fuelled’ diary, and embroidered those thoughts onto 50 antique handkerchiefs. The collection of textiles, exhibited on the wall, is a reminder that there are many kinds of ‘new normal.’ Carolyn Lazard, a U.S.-based artist and writer, has covered the medical logic of subprime bodily function, and that dialogue feels present in this work as well.