Saturday, April 29, 2017
Bonnie Camplin is an artist based out of England. She was nominated for the Turner Prize and has an amazing last name. This image above come from the Camden Arts Centre from her show back in January. She has a wide variety of work, but I am attracted by her drawings because I draw myself and she is so free with her mark making. Check out this link about her show. Here is a link to more of her work.
Friday, April 28, 2017
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Thursday, April 27, 2017
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Collage has fallen out of favor here lately because so many people are using collage to scrapbook or slap together a lazy collection of images. So, some artists have started labeling their work assemblage. However, assemblage tends to invade our space, if only just a little bit. You might say assemblage is a modern equivalent of a relief sculpture. I would argue that Howard Sherman is doing both collage and assemblage in this show, while also creating a body of work that is about painting. Take the collages in the back room for example, these works are cut, ripped, and assembled just like a collage, but he is using his own created elements. Thus these works are not using the language of traditional collage. The small works are miniature laboratories where Sherman tries out ideas for his larger works. These are more akin to painting sketches. The larger paintings in the main gallery are also assemblages. Two works are almost completely assemblages with less of a traditional painting structure left. These two works are off stretcher bars and just pieced together with paint on some of the surfaces. The rest have hanging elements but are on stretchers that hold the painting together.
During my first visit, I had a lengthy conversation with Sherman about his evolving practice. My second trip, I noticed that the small collages informed the large painting. I found myself walking to the back room and returning to the main room several times. I also observed that the large paintings resembled faces. I had a similar feeling when I stood in front of a large painting by Chuck Close. Though Close is rooted in realism, both Close and Sherman create a portrait that demands your attention. With Sherman, you don’t just get a portrait, but his abstract approach leaves his work open to more than just the portrait interpretation. Close leaves you with essentially one read.
Howard Sherman has shown several times in the Dallas area. A University of North Texas alum, Sherman is rooted in DFW. However, until just recently his studios have been in Houston. Now he is based in NYC. Shockwaves of UNT can still be felt through his work, although refined, stripped away, and reapplied. I still see hints of Vernon Fisher’s and Ed Blackburn’s influence, but Sherman’s own voice is loud and clear.
Howard Sherman’s show titled Shifting Fancy of the Crowd will be up through May 6th at Circuit 12 Contemporary. Be sure to read every title of each of his artworks. I promise you will get a kick out of Sherman’s playful wit.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
William Betts Senegal, Color Space Series, 2017, Acrylic on canvas,
48 x 72 inches courtesy Holly Johnson Gallery
48 x 72 inches courtesy Holly Johnson Gallery
What shows should you see on April 1st? My first stop will be both Cris Worley and Holly Johnson. Cris Worley Fine Arts for one of my favorite text artists Simeen Farhat. Her work is a true marvel that plays with a powerful subject matter, text. She doesn’t smash you over the head with obvious messages but instead allows the viewer to pick out words and letters to infer information. I am also incredibly excited to see William Betts at Holly Johnson Gallery. I can’t tell you how many times I encountered William Betts’ paintings when I went down to Houston. Betts is known for meticulously painted images of dots that create an abstract image or in some cases a kind of grainy surveillance camera look.
Next, I must go see Howard Sherman over at Circuit 12 for a second visit. I had an incredible conversation with Sherman and I hope to give a full report next week. But in the meantime, I need to give the show one more look. Another must see, without a doubt is the solo show of John Pomara at Barry Whistler Gallery. Like every Star Wars movie that comes out, I have to go see them and so it is with a John Pomara show in Dallas. He has been dropping hints on social media and what I am seeing is quite impressive. I can’t wait to see the paintings in person.
If you want to see some fresh faces, check out Mary Tomás Gallery. A batch of 4 artists are featured at the gallery: Chong Chu, Juan Alberto Negroni, Ellen Soffer, and Thomas Zanz. I will be in abstract bliss. Stephen D'Onofrio and Anna Kunz will add to that bliss with their abstract work shown at Galleri Urbane. Both artists’ painting styles ooze cool. While you're over near Galleri Urbane, drop by Liliana Bloch Gallery to get a collage fix from Vince Jones. I haven’t quite got the hang of making a good collage, but seeing enough great work will help inform that process. I am betting Jones will help me get my needs filled.
By now, your head is spinning with all these great art exhibition choices. I am having a hard time making choices for the best shows to see too, mainly because most of the galleries brought their game face this month. To be honest, I couldn’t list all the shows I wanted to see this weekend. Pace yourself and have fun looking around. You don’t have to go to all the openings, after all that is why most of the shows are up all month.
Monday, April 24, 2017
I know what you're saying, but that is in Dallas. They have moved after their building was sold in Dallas and now they are at 1300 Gendy Street in the Art District of Fort Worth. Cydonia has a very sophisticated program that makes a good pairing with the Fort Worth Modern. Their upcoming show with artist Elise Eeraerts opens the 24th and 25th of March and runs through April 22nd. I think Eeraerts’ minimal/conceptual art objects will be a great introduction to the Fort Worth gallery goers. Eeraerts’ work is smart and simple, yet filled with complex ideas on art hierarchies.
Fort Works Art is a newish gallery space that has been shaking up the scene with some smart shows. The current exhibition of Cordelia Bailey and Dontrius Williams features their photography with mostly black and white photos, but some with a splash of color. Bailey explores pattern and color while Williams’ focus is on people and places of the day to day. I am excited to see Fort Works Art’s next show, opening March 25, titled #28 Grams. The gallery has invited artists off of Instagram to a group show, highlighting the success of Instagram as a platform for artists. Fort Works Art brings some excitement to Fort Worth, but Gallery 414 has become a mainstay for artists in the Fort Worth scene to help them emerge onto the art scene. Their current show of Tarrant County College Northwest campus students looks intriguing. You never know if one or two might be the next artist to watch.
Stanley Whitney’s Focus show at the Fort Worth Modern will be going down April 2nd, so plenty of time to see those raw colors of lines and loose rectangles. I can’t wait to behold these masses of abstract paintings. Whitney makes me feel that formal exploration doesn’t have to be hard edge perfect. His paintings are all about paint with the heroic style of an Abstract Expressionist without the dreary introspective existential dread. Amon Carter has several shows I want to see this month, but I want to take a little time with David Ellis’ video titled Animal. I am big into watching artist make things and Ellis shows his process during his residency in Austin. Some people like cooking shows because they enjoy the process. I am the same way with videos of artists painting in any style or technique.
The Fort Worth Art Dealers Association will be gearing up for their gallery night on the 25th of March. Cydonia (not a member yet), Fort Works Art, the Fort Worth Modern, and Amon Carter might be the top of my list, but William Campbell Contemporary Art is never to be missed if you’re in Fort Worth. Plan for the gallery night, but as Fort Worth art scene heats up, you might want to go more than two or three times a year.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Fahamu Pecou, Shoe Fly, 2017, mixed media on paper,ModernDallas.net re-post (link)
Out in the world is a political circus with people yelling and screaming from all sides. But I like my politics more subtle, quiet, and longer lasting than a soundbite or a tweet. For that, I would go see some art, and not just any art, but the shows up at Conduit Gallery. Robert Barsamian and Fahanmu Pecou may not be depicting the next drama on the news, but rather you will see them digging deeper into the cultural and historical worlds to pull out meaning and give us perspective.
I have seen both Pecou and Barsamian at Conduit Gallery before. Fahanmu Pecou is known for his highly charged self-portrait paintings depicting himself as an art star. I was listening to an interview with Kerry James Marshall on Bad at Sports podcast, and his description of how to find your nitch in the art world made me think about Pecou. After all, I am sure Pecou looked around and thought what the art world needed was more African American art stars, so he started making that happen visually. However, this show is digging a little deeper into the culture of African American neighborhoods. The drawings and shoe installation depict a moment that has so much myth associated with shoes thrown over power lines that not one story can be picked out as the source of meaning. Therefore, meaning has been layered over this act of throwing the shoes. Some have been very negative, particularly by observers looking from the outside of the African American communities. But with such a fluid meaning comes the possibility of strong positive messaging. After all, this act of throwing the shoes and hanging them on lines has traveled outside the source communities and has traveled across the world. The shoes, which sometimes are expensive, symbolize longing. A moment when someone feels stuck and then takes action that symbolizes a way out. The person in Memory as Medicine is in a similar pose to Rage the Flow Thrower by Banksy. However, Pecou is not interested in mediocre irony, but rather he shows a moment of someone preparing to make a real statement. A statement that might be desperate or ultimately futile, but something from the gut, felt deep inside and isn’t that feeling a victory in an of itself.
Robert Barsamian is mining history for this show as a reminder that going back isn’t all sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows. Barsamian might be using a big stick because the messages seem to be clear cut in this body of work. Jefferson's Indian Removal Act is a painting that shows the plight of Native Americans. But this moment of the past makes you think about the Dakota Pipeline issue of the present. American Circus 2017-2022 is a painting of what Barsamian thinks the next four years in politics is going to be, but the objects he rendered are pulled from old sources. I can see how the current political climate has been a real shock to Barsamian’s system. His reactions are at the level of open engagement and holding the past up to the viewer act as reminders or warning signs. I wish in some of the pieces there was a little more ambiguity, but overall each work will likely talk about the past and present for the foreseeable future.
Fahanmu Pecou and Robert Barsamian will be showing their work through the 25th of March. Don’t forget to see the project room with Maria Molteni’s show titled NCAA Presents: Sidelines: Soft Power in the Margins. It is just in time for March Madness.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
I didn’t know much about the French artist Martin Barré, so this was an introduction to his work. He moved from abstract expression like mark making to minimalist compositions. He seemed to be very sparse in his choices in his early work, so minimalism seems an easy transition. Although he lived in France, you would think the work was made in New York, because so much of his work seemed to mirror what was going on in the US. Another artist in the show is an American in Paris, Sheila Hicks who was also working in abstract art, but with textiles. Back when textiles were still not looked at by critics as “high art,” Hick broke ground along with others to bring textiles out of the purely craft world and into the art world. Another French abstract artist in the show is Bernard Piffaretti, who makes quite minimal paintings that feel a bit unfinished. Piffaretti colors can be pretty wild and his simplistic shapes and forms looked like they were made yesterday. I have seen so much work that looks like Piffaretti paintings by young artists, it makes me think that their is not point look at them when you got the originator of the style still making works right now.
Julije Knifer paintings and graphite drawings was the big attraction for me. In fact, I was told by Angela Kallus that I had to go see his drawings. I talked to Kallus, who was at Circuit 12 Contemporary on the last day of the Union Pacific show, which she had an epic flower painting/relief sculpture. I can see why she was so taken by the work, because the graphite drawings accentuated the rough, bumpy surface of the paper Knifer used. Like me, Kallus has an appreciation for subtle textures.
Mangelos aka Dimitrije Bašičević was from Yugoslavia and died before the breakup. But his work was more of a shake up of the communist authority that once ruled the country. He was an abstract/DADA artist the must have went against the grain of the people in power, but he managed to carry on. I think he might be more important if a few more scholars start tackling his work. Maybe a few museums need to explore a show of his work and flush out where he fits into the art conversation.
Gallerie Frank Elbaz show Meandering, Abstractly was curated by Artforum contributor Paul Galvez and will be up through March 25th.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Vernon Fisher, American Landscape, 2016, acrylic on canvas,
45 x 54 inches
45 x 54 inches
ModernDallas.net re-post (link)
If you haven’t been to Talley Dunn Gallery for a while, you should see the changes. In fact, changes will be ongoing throughout the winter and spring. The main gallery now has an added space walled off for small exhibitions. One of the old office spaces in the middle of the gallery is also an exhibition space which doubles as a film screening room. There will be some big changes in and around the main desk as well. I don’t know all the details, but I understand that the main desk will be a nice transition to the main gallery. The art space will not have the look of a storage area. I personally don’t mind looking at shelves and shelves of art. However, someone new to art galleries might think they are walking into the private area of the gallery and miss the main gallery.
Missing the main gallery this month would be a real shame because the gallery is featuring Vernon Fisher. If you look at this body of work, you might notice that the work references iconic cartoons, blackboards, and a few bits of chemistry class. In fact, you might think Fisher is pulling from his experiences of K-12. I certainly do, but something dark and sinister is also lurking in these images which make me conclude that life wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine.
Fisher’s content and images have been influential (directly or indirectly) to the current wave of artists, and street artists. I’m not talking about the self-absorbed graffiti artists that only want to tag their name on everything, but rather the street artists that are interested in content and image. Artists like KAWS who just had a show at the Fort Worth Modern, Ben Eine, or M-City all draw references to pop culture but also attempt to fill their work with more conceptual content. Messages, moods, and emotions can be drawn from their works while still having the characteristics of cartoons, or directly referencing pop culture. You might say Andy Warhol had a bigger impact, but Warhol’s philosophy that the image says it all and nothing is below the surface don’t ring true to this generation of artists, so that is why Vernon Fisher is a more relevant to the driving force of street artists.
In the front room are Erick Swenson sculptures. The stein with snails climbing all over was a big hit with my six-year-old daughter. I love the detail painting involved in the snails. The detail on Swenson’s depiction of the decaying deer was astounding. You have to look really close, but the exposed bones had drawings on them. Don’t forget to check out that new back room with Margaria Cabrera’s nonfunctioning bicycles. These objects are quite humorous to behold.
Both Vernon Fisher and Erick Swenson will have shows up till February 25th at Talley Dunn Gallery. Keep watching the gallery for their remodeling and new exhibition spaces.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Walking Man - Acrylic on canvas,
36 x 36 inches
Representational art has been around since to prehistoric times. During certain time periods, abstract symbols or idealized objects where the dominant style. Other times the more realistic representational art dominated the scene. Only after the invention of the camera and idea of Kant’s unseen world did abstract art rise. The theory of representing the non-objective world seduced many artists. Both representational and abstract art have their roots in religion and spiritualism. Both have been decoupled or reaffirmed this bond, depending on the artist.
To answer my question of what is good abstract art, I think you should go see two shows by Dallas galleries to help guide your journey of discovery. First, visit Haley-Henman contemporary art and then visit the show art RO2 Gallery. Cindy J. Holmes show, titled Thus Spoke Derrida, is a play on the book titled Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche. She is also referencing the philosopher Jacques Derrida, who was influenced by Nietzsche and developed a method of reading called deconstructing the text. Holmes uses this method in order to create paintings that break the figure into gestures of mark making. Her people are more abstract than the Bay Area Figurative Artists but not as abstract as Willem de Kooning. Holmes’ brush work hit much of the language of abstract painting. The cheerful colors seem to contrast with the emotions Holmes seems to be trying to convey in her figures. However, the compositions of the works don’t seem to always work in each piece. Subtle cues that would normally lead your eye around the work are not always there. Still, I think this is a worthwhile painting show to see.
RO2 Gallery is showing Yuni Lee. Her brush marks dance all around the canvas. She has the right balance of rest and movement for your eyes to stay engaged. Lee also understands the language of abstract mark-making, but her approach seems intuitive rather than based on reality. Lee’s background is softer in motion but compliments the foreground. Little marks and color patches combine to create the whole of a complete image. These are successful abstract paintings in the same realm as Murielle White or Trey Egan. Lee’s title for the show is Balance, which reveals the overarching principle she uses to construct her work.
Cindy J. Holmes will be showing her paintings with Haley-Henman through April 1st. Yuni Lee will be showing at RO2 Gallery through April 15th. Further educate yourself by visiting Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art for Jennifer Morgan’s paintings, Circuit 12 for Gina Orlando’s art show, Holly Johnson Gallery for the atmospheric works of Joan Winter, and Valley House Gallery and the very Modern work of David A. Dreyer. You will build a better understanding of what works in abstraction just by seeing enough art.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
David Canright, Ship, 2016, ball point pen on paper,
24x57 inches at Conduit Gallery
24x57 inches at Conduit Gallery
ModernDallas.net re-post (link here)
The project room at Conduit Gallery has the detail drawings of David Canright. Worlds upon worlds are stacked on top of one another to make dense drawings of places and things. It looks as if he intends you to get lost in the drawing as you roam your eyes around these pictures. I look forward to investigating them further to find all the steampunk elements.
Erin Cluley Gallery has a strong show of paintings by Anna Membrino. These large paintings use flat areas of painting next to simulated textures and gradients shapes. The work makes you wonder if they are landscape, still life, abstract, or something in between. I am leaning towards still life, but only by seeing them live will I know for sure, or maybe not. And I can’t miss the Vernon Fisher show at Talley Dunn. This body of work titled The American Landscape shows a kind of cartoon chaos world with an undercurrent of dread. You can feel the dark humor and apocalyptic rising theme. I wonder if Fisher was predicting the oncoming storm of the political landscape.
The last stop on my tour will be Murielle White’s artist talk at Cris Worley Gallery. Art talks can reveal the strength of knowledge and forethought in the artist’s work. However, in the case of Kelley Walker, during his talk at St. Louis CAM last year he showed his weakness in critical thinking. I don’t think this will be the problem for White. Her work is incredibly thoughtful and completely integrated with her experiences. Her work is layered and visually compelling. When I was in grad school with her at UNT, I loved listening to her defend her work during critiques. She was eloquent and you could tell that the work was incredibly personal, yet relatable. I hope to capture a bit of that magic when I hear her talk about her paintings this weekend.
Conduit Gallery will have David Canright’s drawings and Anna Membrino’s paintings will be at Erin Cluley Gallery until February 11th. Murielle White’s show will also come down at the same time as Canright and Membrino, but her talk is Saturday the 4th from 4 to 5 PM. And you have a bit longer to see Vernon Fisher’s paintings, because his show is over February 25th.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Linda Fleming - Voltage, 2016
powder coated steel, 52h x 66w x 2d in
powder coated steel, 52h x 66w x 2d in
ModernDallas.net re-post (link here)
Their opening show is titled 21 to Watch, which is a bold statement to start off a gallery, but I guess it is good to make a splash with your first show. This is a group show of artists they represent, which means you will get a sample of their program. However, for a first show, much of the work had little breathing room from other work in the show. It feels a little like a salon show, without really being one. I don’t know if it was necessary to put all that work out there at once.
Linda Fleming had a sculpture on the wall that was interesting in shape and the areas she cut out. Her use of organic and geometric shapes expressed in line made me think that she would be perfect for a MADI show. Dana Hart-Stone’s huge repeated pattern work on canvas was mind blowing. Don Nice just paints an object. A little informal in style, but the object is recorded and he moves on. In this case, it was a Cracker Jack box, which is my dad’s favorite snack, so instantly I was smelling the caramel. I wonder if the painting also comes with a toy inside? Brian Wall has some pieces in the show, one more monumental and another low to the ground. The two pieces were so different in scale and style that I thought they were made by two differents artists.
Bivins Gallery also represents some estates of artists that have passed. One such artist is Irene Pijoan, who passed in 2004 and had a body of work that is both labor intensive and fascinating to behold. I hope they have a solo show of her work one day. The gallery also works in the secondary market to help collectors find artworks. These artists are normally deceased, but some contemporary artists find their work in the secondary market as well.
21 to Watch will be up through February 11th. Bivins Gallery’s next show will the Robert Hudson’s show titled Between the Lines where you will see his whimsical sculptures and paintings on paper. That show will be up from February 18 through March 25.
Monday, April 17, 2017
signatures of artists
ModernDallas.net re-post (link here)
UTA artist Benito Huerta’s 2015 piece titled Signature Painting or British artist Gavin Turk’s Unoriginal Signature drawings in the mid-1990’s seem to mock the idea of signature having the authority. Most of the big name post-war artists stopped the practice of signing the front because the signature conflicted with what was going on in the painting. Signing the work on the front broke the spell of the painting and into that of the mythic artist. With a signature, the painting was not about the expression or image, but rather about the story of the artist. Many Postmodern writers took up the idea that artists as well as writers were attempting to make you forget the creator of the work, but rather immerse yourself in their work. Of course, the fashion of signing the front has not completely died, but most academically trained artists still follow this tradition of signing the back. In fact, more professional artists create catalogs, numbers or some other organizing system that helps authenticate pieces. However, plenty of artists skip documenting of their work.
Another artist that played with this idea of authentic art was Sol Lewitt. 105 wall drawings and paintings have been recreated from his instructions by a team of individuals at the MASS MoCA. These works were reproduced after his death, but yet these are authentically his art. How is this possible, because he believed that his art could be like sheet music. Follow the notes and you produce music in the same way if you follow his instruction you make his art.
On the less interesting side of things, tons of fabricated artworks are being produced for public art. Artists email their designs and a fabricator and engineer work out the production and installation. Some artists want to meet the demand for their work, so they produce work through a studio, rather than get their hands dirty. Nothing wrong with it, however, filmmakers give credit to all the people that worked on the film. How is it that the conceptual artist is any better than the filmmakers?
So, where does the drive for obtaining authentic art come from? And why do we value this experience over an inauthentic artwork? After all, many museum-goers don’t recognize the fakes from the real works. In the rare case, when an institution reveals a fake, it affects the mystique of the work and people feel less connected. Authentic experience of historical artworks is quite tricky and full of possible pitfalls. Maybe that is one of the reasons I enjoy contemporary art so much. You have the potential of shaking the person’s hand that made the art. You can’t get much more authentic than the experience of someone living, breathing, and telling you about what inspires them.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Berry Campbell is pleased to announce an exhibition of twenty-two paintings and works on paper by LARRY ZOX (1937-2006). Zox's robust paintings reveal a celebrated artist and master of composition who is explored and challenged the possibilities of Post-Painterly Abstraction and Minimalist pictorial conventions. Berry Campbell is pleased represent the Estate of Larry Zox and present our first exhibition of Zox's early geometric abstract paintings from 1962 to 1972. Many works from the exhibition have not been seen by the public in over forty-five years. The exhibition opens on April 20, 2017 and runs through May 26, 2017 with an opening reception on Thursday, April 20 from 6 to 8 pm.
A painter who played an essential role in the Color Field discourse of the 1960s and 1970s, Larry Zox is best known for his intensely and brilliantly colored geometric abstractions that question and violate symmetry.1 Zox stated in 1965: "Being contrary is the only way I can get at anything." To Zox, this position was not necessarily arbitrary, but instead meant "responding to something in an examination of it [such as] usinga mechanical format with X number of possibilities."2 What he sought was to "get at the specific character and quality of each painting in and for itself," as James Monte stated in his introductory essay in the catalogue for Zox's 1973 and1974 solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.3
Larry Zox, Esso Lexington, 1968, acrylic and epoxy on canvas, 79 x 63 3/4 inches. Zox began to receive attention in the 1960s when he was included in several groundbreaking exhibitions of Color Field and Minimalist art, including Shape and Structure (1965), organized by Henry Geldzahler and Frank Stella for Tibor de Nagy, New York, and Systemic Painting (1966), organized by Lawrence Alloway for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. In 1973-1974, the Whitney's solo exhibition of Zox's work gave recognition to his significance in the art scene of the preceding decade. In the following year, he was represented in the inaugural exhibition of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Wahsington, DC, which acquired fourteen of his works.
Zox was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1937. He attended the University of Oklahoma and Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, and then studied under George Grosz at the Des Moines Art Center. In 1958, Zox moved to New York, joining the downtown art scene. His studio on 20th Street became a gathering place for artists, jazz musicians, bikers, and boxers, and he occasionally sparred with visiting fighters. He later established a studio in East Hampton, a former black smithy used previously by Jackson Pollock.
Larry Zox, For Jean, 1963, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches.
In his earliest works, such as Banner (1962) Zox created collages consisting of pieces of painted paper stapled onto sheets of plywood. He then produced paintings that were illusions of collages, including both torn- and trued-edged forms, to which he added a wide range of strong hues that created ambiguous surfaces. In paintings such as For Jean (1963), he omitted the collage aspect of his work and applied flat color areas to create more complete statements of pure color and shape. He then replaced these torn and expressive edges with clean and impersonal lines that would define his work for the next decade.
From 1962 to 1965, he produced his Rotation series, at first creating plywood and Plexiglas reliefs, which turned squares into dynamic polygons. He used these shapes in his paintings as well, employing white as a foil between colors to produce negative spaces that suggest that the colored shapes had only been cut out and laid down instead of painted. The New York Times in 1964 wrote of the works in show such as Rotation B (1964) and of the artist: "The artist is hip, cool, adventurous, not content to stay with the mere exercise of sensibility that one sees in smaller works."4
Larry Zox, Untitled, Scissor Jack Series, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. In 1965, he began the Scissor Jack series, in which he arranged opposing triangular shapes with inverted Vs of bare canvas at their centers that threaten to split their compositions apart. In several works from this series, Zox was inspired by ancient Chinese water vessels. With a mathematical precision and a poetic license, Zox flattened the three dimensional object onto graph paper, and later translated his interpretation of the vessel's lines onto canvas with masking tape, forming the structure of the painting.
The Diamond Cut and Diamond Drill paintings followed. In these, he used regularized formats as a means of revealing how color can change our perception of shape. In a single work he often combined industrial epoxy paints with acrylic to set up tensions between colors that would not exist otherwise. Writing about works like Cordova (1967) and Esso Lexington (1968), Peter Schjeldahl observed in the New York Times: "[Zox] is one painter whoshows an ability to play by the rules without cramping at all an essentially romantic and exuberant sensibility."5 In an essay foran exhibition at Dartmouth College Schjeldahl elaborated: "Zox has clearly adapted Post-Painterly procedures and Minimal pictorial conventions to the demands of a free-wheeling, lyrical sensibility."6 His art of the period is equated with that of Frank Stella and Kenneth Noland.
Larry Zox, Untitled, c.1969, acrylic on canvas, 78 x 72 inches.
In the late 1960s, Zox's paintings, such as in his Gemini series (1969-1972), became brushier; he often incorporated powdered mica into his paints to increase their visual effect. He explored a variety of new means of applying paint early in the following decade, including using squeegees and other large tools. With these means, he moved away from preconception, while introducing a drawing procedure in which the outside limits of a painting were determined by cutting or cropping the canvas.
In the mid-1970s, Zox created a series of paintings in which he explored lateral tensions, leaving the centers of his works blank.
He continued to stretch Color Field limits in the 1980s, combining the detachment of paint staining with gestural brushwork balanced between intuition and intentionality. He created more fluid yet still rigorous paintings in the early 2000s that were receiving critical praise when he died in 2006 from cancer.
Zox taught at the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1967, 1968, 1977, and 1980. He was artist in residence or guest artist at many universities such as Yale, Syracuse, Cornell, and Dartmouth. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship (1967) and awards from the National Council of the Arts (1969) and the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation (1985). Throughout his career, Zox had annual solo shows in galleries in New York City and around the world. In addition to the Whitney exhibition of 1973 and 1974, he had solo shows at the Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (1970), the Akron Art Institute, Ohio (1971), the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (1974), and the Marsh Gallery, University of Richmond, Virginia (1993). He participated in many notable museum and college gallery exhibitions at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York; the Palm Springs Art Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Charles H. MacNider Museum, Mason City, Iowa; the Des Moines Art Center; the Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa; and the Muscatine Art Center, Iowa.
Zox is represented in over one hundred museum collections.In addition to the Hirshhorn, his work is included in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Weserburg Museum, Bremen, Germany; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Dallas Museum of Art.
Valton Tyler, Salute to Glory
oil on canvas
David Dike Fine Art is having their annual auction this January 20th. If you want to get a sense of Texas history depicted by the artists, this is a perfect place to experience the past. If you have in your head any cliche notions about art from Texas past, this show will help dispel any preconceived ideas.
Sure, a few pieces are cowboys, after all this is Texas, but the diversity of art is pretty impressive. Lots of landscapes, some portraits, and still lifes works are available, but there is also some non-objective abstract work that deals with formal elements on display.
Edmund Kinzinger’s Cubist Nude is a great example of a cubist work. I am reminded Braque’s Large Nude, only Kinzinger uses more vibrant colors and his nude is far less coy. Plus, I could conceivably afford Kinzinger’s cubist work. William Lester has several pieces that are in the regionalist style that exaggerated the landscape, similar to Thomas Hart Benton. Speaking of Benton, there is one of those too. For a bit more of a surreal look, Kelly Fearing has made an image of a hanging textile with birds pecking at a blue floor. Deforrest Judd’s work also has some high Modernist style and reminds me a bit of Georgia ‘O'Keeffe. I enjoyed the simple line work of Robert Preusser. Phil Kimbrough has two works that remind me of Stuart Davis in style, which I enjoy.
Only a few times have felt so connected by a random portrait, Emily Guthrie Smith managed to make a portrait of a girl with which I somehow felt entranced. Smith was part of the locally important group of artists that came out of Fort Worth. Valton Tyler stands out as one of the strangest artists in the auction. I know the Valley House shows his work. Surreal doesn’t fully describe him. He’s more of an enigma because he is hard to pin down as belonging to anything. I have seen him described as futurist and I guess that is somewhat accurate.
Personally, if you want to build a collection that fills in some of the history of our area then this would be a great place to start. Or if you are just interested in some traditional pieces that are made by at least recognizable artists with some reputation, then this would be a good place to start collecting. Also if you want to look around to see where we have come from, and then go visit the contemporary art galleries, you might get a little context. No matter the reason, the at least the preview shows if not the auction itself will be worth your time to see.
The previews for the artworks are on January 10-14 and 16-20 from 10am to 5pm at Wildman Art Framing in the Design District. There is also a preview reception on the 19th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Bidding is on the 20th of January and starts 12 noon sharp.
Saturday, April 08, 2017
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The Artsy Podcast (link here) is an exciting podcast that covers the art world. Above, Alexander Forbes is one of the voices you might hear. Unlike other podcasts, this one is staffed by several commentators and you might get a short interview, a perspective on an important cultural event, or maybe some exciting artist that has made a splash on the scene.
Monday, March 27, 2017
The Conversation (link here) is an art podcast that takes on serious issues of gentrification, art production, and making a living as an artist. His interviews are insightful, but sometimes gets a little off track which can be great tangents and other times I stick around just to see where things might go.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
The Jealous Curator (link here) is blog and podcast. She interviews artists that use a wide variety of styles and methods of art production. She plans to change things up after the 100th episode, so I am wondering what she has in mind. In the meantime, I have been going back in old episodes and listening to her past interviews.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
A post shared by Todd Camplin (@toddecamplin) on
I made this drawing in 2007 and I converted it into a painting because I am experimenting with paintings now.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
I am testing out some ideas in oil pastel. The works are messy and fun to make. I started with simple shapes and then work on drawing my abstract text line work. I am also working with some images that don't use simple shapes, but rather a negative space.
Friday, March 10, 2017
My work is featured on the front of a journal: Cosmos + Taxis (studies in emergent order and organization). Go check it out for all the great content and also for my art piece. Here is the link.
Here is their main page with more information (link).
Read my brother Troy Camplin's contribution to the journal: The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley. You will find it at the end of the journal.
Here is their main page with more information (link).
Read my brother Troy Camplin's contribution to the journal: The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley. You will find it at the end of the journal.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
link to see some historical moments. So many zines are online now, that I can't image how much is being lost right now. Just like back in the early film days. So much was lost then too.
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Murielle WhiteModernDallas.net repost.
On January 7th 2017, Murielle White’s much anticipated painting show opens at Cris Worley Fine Arts. I had the privilege of attending grad school with her at UNT. We were two of the three Painting and Drawing majors in the class of 2010. She has a strong Texas presence as an artist, but she is also very transnational as well. All four of her grandparents are from different countries and she has traveled all over the globe soaking in the world culture and reflecting her experiences on canvas. You might think that she would have an international style, but White’s paintings are extremely personal which reflects in her work.
Murielle White uses each part of the canvas as an experiment of paint, drawing, and collage to build a personal story that reflects her feelings and personal narrative, but from a viewer’s perspective it feels relatable in content and form. Colors and images feel much like a collage, but not one that has been contrived in order to create arbitrary juxtapositions. But rather, they are akin to a community wall where people from centuries have added, covered up, and added more. White has mentioned that there are elements of line and shape that represent lines on a map, but her work also breaks down the borders where there is a free exchange of visual information between each part of the painting. The mix between graphic element, thick paint, and thin expanses of color make for a highly charged work of art. I can’t wait to see this show.
Right now, up until this weekend are the works of Anna Elise Johnson. Power, the unseen hand, the movers and shakers; these are some of the stories behind the layered collage styled images embedded in resin and acrylic blocks. The narratives of consequential meetings between power brokers harkens back to the feeling of the 1980’s. Deals for money and ideology between business and state seemed to be in forefront of the headlines and culture, but now they seem to have re emerged with a product of the 80’s taking the Presidential reins. Although Johnson’s images are colorful, in contrast the figures feel mysterious and ominously anonymous. I think the layering of the images between the clear material adds to the content of the subject by implying a “layered and complex” story that is transparent visually, but opaque in what might have been discussed in her meeting narratives. I think someone can get lost in conspiracy ideas or just enjoy the moment’s possibilities Johnson’s works seem to create.
Murielle White’s exhibition titled Mutation will start on the 7th of January and Anna Elise Johnson’s show titled Inner Workings will come down December the 31st. Looks like Cris Worley Fine Arts is a great place to visit as we end this year and begin the next.
Monday, March 06, 2017
Isafjordur (OVS, Westfords, Iceland), 2016
Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson wrote the iconic song Blue Christmas which was most notably performed by Elvis Presley. Often times you see blue is associated with the celebration of Hanukah. Blue can mean color or a feeling, blue can be royal, in the Renaissance it meant the spiritual heavens as well as the sky. Blue is a cultural icon of American taste, expressed in a pair of jeans and in the invention of a music form called the Blues. So, in the spirit of the culture and climate of the holiday season, Barry Whistler Gallery has launched an exhibition titled Tangled Up in Blue.
Around this time of year there is a glut of group shows. It seems that wrapping up art and putting it under the tree isn’t the first gift people have in mind. So, many galleries choose to help people that are out and about looking for something unique by showing a great deal of their stable artists. Some are unthemed, but the better shows are driven by a concept. At first glance, picking a simple theme like the color blue might seem a thin concept, but as I pointed out before, blue has a great deal of baggage in meaning. Not to mention that all the selected artists use blue in these particular pieces to convey their own personal meanings. Otis Jones’ Eight Lines Blue #2 is just one of many works he makes in various colors, but somehow, this abstract painting had just a little more punchiness in the context than the rest of the works in the show.
Lorraine Tady uses blue frequently in her work, so she had three pieces in the show. Tady’s works on paper have beautiful lines and shapes that remind me of blueprints for a building or plans for a complex machine. The blue shapes seem to cut and fade into the paper. I love the size of paper she uses. Her choice of size pushes her drawing outside the realm of anyone calling these works doodles. Mark Williams and Martha Groome also have several pieces in the show. Their paintings have a similar look and feel, but Groome is purely clean and sharp in line and color, while Williams appears to squeegee his colors and shapes onto the surface.
Tom Orr had a piece that stood out, even though it was in a far corner of the gallery. It looked to be an installation just for that space. The blue lines of light played off the plastic laying against the wall. The optical effect of layering the material was also a play with your eyes. Tucked in another corner of the gallery is a piece by John Wilcox. This abstract work is a simple, subtle, somewhat informal, but highly attractive painting in the color blue. Other worthy artists to mention in the show are Danny Williams, Andrea Rosenberg, Max Ernst, Luke Harnden, Terrell James, and Ellsworth Kelly.
If you still have the blues in 2017, you still have a chance to see the show at Barry Whistler Gallery, which will be up until January 21st.
Sunday, March 05, 2017
Bonny Leibowitz - Monument Pile, 2016 at Liliana Bloch Gallery
vinyl, vintage and contemporary textiles, photography of textiles,
pigment on mulberry paper, acrylic and stitching. 78"x65"
I know it is early, but I think this would be a good time to review the year in visual art. Many people might think this year wasn’t all that great overall, but locally our art scenes of the Metroplex had some exciting shows. This encompases both commercial and museum art spaces.
Jackson Pollock’s teacher Thomas Hart Benton had a focus show at the Amon Carter. An impressive show of theatrical paintings. I wasn’t a fan before I saw the show, but I had to admire him when I left. He was in the business of creating a mythical United States with all the ugliness that goes along with the glory. Jackson Pollock’s show at the Dallas Museum of Art was a real eye opener. This exhibition covered a few years of his lesser known black paintings. Pollock was also a myth maker, but his came from making work about paint and what a painter could do. Both men may have had totally different styles and approaches, but their goal to make paintings that were larger than life was achieved.
Can you also believe that the Fort Worth Modern had a retrospective of Frank Stella’s work? That is right, the monumental show made me want to run right back into the studio and make a response piece or two. From the early paintings that were shaped, minimal canvases to the massive maximalist sculptures and paintings of the later work; one visit was not enough for me.
This year’s Dallas Art Fair was the best yet. All the art related activities, events, and other shows during the art fair week help Dallas move a bit closer to an event week like Art Basel Miami, if only just a little. Some artist solo shows stick in my mind, like Jim Stoker’s landscapes at Valley House Gallery. I gained a new appreciation for contemporary landscape. I have been following Bonny Leibowitz for some time and I was excited that after her show at Lillian Bloch Gallery, her current work went up to New York City for another show. Mathew Zefeldt was one of the best solo painting show this year at a commercial gallery. Similar to the way That 70’s Show taped into nostalgia without being just plain nostalgic, Zefeldt taps into the 1990’s digital images, but he reorganizes and makes new images in the style of 16 bit that makes the work seem fresh, yet from an earlier time. Circuit 12 Contemporary had a way of creating great solo shows like Zefeldt and also some amazing group shows.
Last week I mentioned Circuit 12 Contemporary’s group show titled Hot and Wet and a show titled Cult of Color in relation to Adam Palmer’s work, but I must also express that these two shows were the best this year in the category of group shows. The gallery I am associated with also had a pretty amazing painting show by a group of artists. The exhibition was titled Manmade and was helded at Holly Johnson Gallery. Manmade highlighted seven artists that range in style and speaks to what is exciting in abstract painting today.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of positive things to reflect upon in 2016. Let’s hope the arts will flourish even more next year.
Saturday, March 04, 2017
"Piñata Repair Island By Plane"
22x26in. Mixed Media
When visiting the UNT printmaking department back in 2010, I would often find Adam Palmer hard at work preparing screens for printing. I would talk to him about drawing, because he also worked with pens and markers as did I. His work at the time was moving from a more cartoon style, similar to the Chicago Imagist movement, to just shapes and colors. His use of color, however, managed to maintain the animated quality without pointing directly to particular content.
We haven’t talked much since grad school, only social media check-ins, but I have been keeping up with his work. I was incredibly excited to see his strange little toy objects made of plastic at Circuit 12 Contemporary’s Primer store. These little creatures and plants are crazy colorful, and appear to be made from cheap plastic material. I don’t know if he makes his own models or has just Frankenstein's monstered them together, but they are hilariously fun little sculptures.
Palmer is also closing a show this Saturday at the Art Corridor of Tarrant County College Southeast. This show features a colorful array of drawings and prints. To put it in music genre terms, his work is a bit disco meets glam rock with maybe a hint of punk. I am sure some might even see the 1960’s psychedelic musical as possible influence, including those posters by Victor Moscoso. However he personally hold Prince and New Wave musicians in the highest esteem in relationship to his work. I also find his colors quite attractive, because his colors remind me of just about any artist in this year’s show titled Cult of Color at Circuit 12. Even artists like Bradley Kerl, Alika Herreshoff, and Angel Oloshove from Circuit 12’s show titled Hot and Wet feel similar to Palmer in aesthetic color and attitude. You get the feeling Palmer is interested in the dialogue between low and high art. I think this is because he describes his influences as coming from the pop culture of cable cartoons and pop music of his childhood, but Palmer does something that for me is pretty bold.
In school, I was told over and over again, that artists should keep a book and fill it with images and other things of interest. I have a disorganized source I draw upon to build my aesthetic language, but Palmer has his influences laid out on his webpage. This is rare to find in an artist, and I wish more artists would place their sources of inspiration out on display as Palmer has so boldly put forth. Check out his site, and if you can, his show at Tarrant County College Southeast before it closes this Saturday. If you can’t I am sure his work will be popping up again real soon.
Friday, March 03, 2017
Russ Connell - "Stella", 2016.
Welded Corten Steel. 3' x 3' x 6.5'
For several years I have judged the Art on Henderson Project, but I haven’t thought much about what this art is really doing for the community it serves. After all, this project is suppose to beautiful the street and attract people to visit the neighborhood. Is this art also changing the area and raising its profile which attracts developers? How does the community on Henderson see this art venture?
There has been a bit of an uproar in Los Angeles by activities over art galleries “ruining the neighborhood” by gentrifying spaces with art. Picking on art galleries for needing cheap rent might grab headlines, but this argument lacks an understanding of how cities organically change and grow. Locally, Giovanni Valderas has been questioning the developers in the DFW area about their gentrifying neighborhoods without creating a space for rooted residences. But at least, Valderas asking for dialogue. He isn’t point fingers and blaming people. Change in a city is organic, ebb and flow, a mix between the city planners visions, the invisible hand of the market, and a even just a few individual choices can change an area in a city.
When traveling down North Henderson Avenue I stopped in at Muse, a salon, where I meet with Todd Faulk, he notices a great deal of change over the years. New construction, restaurants, and residence have replaced some older buildings. Some empty lots are now under construction. His clients sometimes spoke about the sculptures and Faulk felt that the sculptures sometimes seemed to also fit the businesses or spaces where they were installed. But the Pokemon Go craz seemed to attract the most attention for the sculptures over the summer, because these objects became notable sites in the game. Faulk saw a positive to sculptures and I got the impression he was mostly positive about the changes on his street.
Individual pieces also had an impact. I stop at a place called Jakes where I saw the winning piece by Elizabeth Akamatsu. I talked to a manager, J.P. Miller about what he thought of the art on the street. He seemed excited about the project and was happy to see the artist have a get together at Jakes for the instillation of her piece. I also dropped by Planet Blue, a clothing store, to see third place winner Dasha Wright’s piece. I can’t confirm, but from indications of Planet Blue sales clerk, more than a few photos have been taken of the piece. I am assuming of the selfie persuasion.
I drove up and down the street looking at pieces, but also I started taking note of the surrounding area. It gave me pause as I soaked in the art and the environment around the objects. Sometimes, you can’t see the forest for the trees, and on this occasion I am guilty. The next time I look at 2017 sculptures, I will have to make note of the surroundings and think about how it impacts the viewers and those that live with the pieces for two years.
Thursday, March 02, 2017
Dion Johnson - Sonic Sky, 2016, Acrylic on Canvas,
60 x 80 inches
James Drake is like my favorite band, They Might Be Giants, in that no genre/style is left unexplored. Drake seems to move smoothly through realistic depiction to purely conceptual style works. One moment he my render an amazing figure twisting, showing well defined muscles and the next art piece might be a rendition of a mathematical formula. I think when an idea takes hold of Drake, he tries to play it out and see where it goes. So it comes as no surprise to me that Drake would display a show about mail at Holly Johnson Gallery.
When you walk into the gallery you are confronted with a wall of collaged letters, envelopes, and postcards that are arranged in a way that visually makes the papers appear to move like a river across the wall. The piece is titled Flocking Shoaling Swarming (Blue Kiss) and I can also see a kind of swarm of paper resembling the chaotic arrangement of a school of fish or flock of birds. A large circular collage is on the next wall with inner flowing implied circles. You may think, OK it is mail, what is so special about that? Well, Drake isn’t purging a hoarder collection of mail, but rather he is capturing a moment where print and mail in general is on a decline. Will mail completely disappear in the future? Drake may be implying the coming doom of this type of communication by memorializing these papers into artistic compositions. He even moves towards repurposing his paper through the act of applying his poetry to some of the work. These pieces were particularly exciting and I like the direction of placing meaningful words on top of discarded and meaningless junk mail. You can’t talk about mail art without mentioning Annette Lawrence and her body of work dealing with mail, sorting, stacking. Even though they both used the same type of material, it feels as if they took different approaches to the mail as subject matter.
I am excited to see another show by Dion Johnson. When so many artists are bowing down to the great and powerful Drip, Johnson stops short and gives the suggestion of flow without the drippy, drippy. His colors are charged and each plays off the other to make a harmonious combination of color values. Some color combinations are striking enough to make you adjust to see the work. I also like the organic shapes. I enjoy these energetic and colorful paintings which don’t bore you with just pure line, but rather with line of color that seems to ooze down the surface of the canvas.
Just to let you know, I work with Holly Johnson on some shows and I enjoy dropping by and chatting. Go talk to her this weekend at Dion Johnson’s opening on Saturday, November 19th. Johnson’s show will run through February 4th, and you can see the work by James Drake until December 23.
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
After two months of exaggerated language posts, I think it is time to take a break in return my blog back to a few posts about my articles at ModernDallas.net, my art, other artists I want to talk about, and general goings on in the arts around Texas and Louisiana areas. However, I might just place a post like last month in here or there just for fun. That A/Art site had some great examples of work, and I think I could have posted something for each day of 2017. I was just running out of goofy tag lines. I goes I could have repeated them like click baiters do.