Depictions of Home at the Dallas Art Fair

by Jessica Fuentes April 24, 2023

As I walked through the 90 galleries spread across the two floors of the Fashion Industry Gallery (FIG) for the 2023 Dallas Art Fair, a common theme that caught my eye was depictions of home. The medium, style, and mood of the pieces varied greatly, from idyllic paintings of houses set amongst trees and beautiful skies, to stylized or abstracted spaces referencing homes. Here are a few of those pieces. 

A painting by Deborah Brown of a elongated shadow of a person walking their dog, with a house in the background.

Deborah Brown, “Tall Palms,” 2022, oil on canvas, 68 x 48 inches. On view at James Barron Art.

A painting of a man pushing a wheelbarrow of coconuts down the street of a residential neighborhood.

Arthur Timothy, “The Coconut Seller,” 2022, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches. On view at Gallery 1957

A painting by Lindy Chambers of an outdoor fire at night near a mobile home neighborhood.

Lindy Chambers, “Burning Embers,” 2018, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches. On view at Valley House Gallery

The everyday moments captured in paintings by Deborah Brown, Arthur Timothy, and Lindy Chambers remind viewers that a house can take many forms and that neighborhoods across the world have their own unique sights and sounds providing a feeling of comfort.

A stylized painting by Cara Nahaul of a white house set among a blue and green landscape with a pink sky.

Cara Nahaul, “Swept inside the windowsill,” 2023, oil on canvas, 43 1/4 x 37 3/8 inches. On view at Alexander Berggruen Gallery.

A painting by Larissa de Souza of young girls playing outside of a building facade with a woman watching a tv seen through a window.

Larissa de Souza, “Sessão da tarde,” 2022, acrylic on linen, 49 7/8 x 80 1/2 inches. On view at Albertz Benda

An intricate painting by Benjamin Styer in the style of an illuminated manuscript.

Benjamin Styer, “Map of Stranger’s House,” 2023, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 x 1 1/2 inches. On view at Moskowitz Bayse

The stylized paintings of homes by Cara Nahaul, Larissa de Souza, and Benjamin Styer range from simple to intricate. Nahaul’s serene scene is reminiscent of the mood captured in Brown’s Tall Palms. Souza and Styer each give us a glimpse inside a home, but in very different ways; Souza incorporates figures and reveals the differing experiences of people in and around the home, whereas Styer uses the vernacular of an illuminated manuscript to show intricate details of an expansive home, much like a cutaway dollhouse.

A painting by Greg Ito of a house surrounded by fire.

Greg Ito, “We Can’t Promise Forever,” 2023, acrylic on canvas over panel, 40 x 30 inches. On view at Anat Ebgi Gallery.

A small wood sculpture by James Surls of a house-shaped piece of burned wood.

James Surls, “In the House,” 1988, wood, 6 x 16 x 13 inches. On view at Sputnik Modern Gallery.

A painting by Emma Schwartz of a large plain white house with a black roof.

Emma Schwartz, “you’d be surprised,” 2022, oil, charcoal, pencil, and pastel on paper, 48 x 60 inches. On view at In Lieu Gallery

Works by Greg Ito, James Surls, and Emma Schwartz present eerie images of homes. Ito’s apocalyptic We Can’t Promise Forever seems like it is pulled straight from news of California wildfires. Though more subtle, Surls’ sculpture In the House hints at fire through the charred appearance of its wood, and doubles down on the ominous with the inclusion of peering eyes positioned at the roof of the house. Similarly, the simplicity of Schwartz’s painting of a massive house with a desolate yard emanates a haunting mood.

Most of the works centering the idea of home were created within the last year or so. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has mostly subsided, I found myself wondering if this attention to home is a holdover from our collective time spent in our homes, or if it speaks to a broader yearning we have for a place of comfort.

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