The Week’s Visual Art, Aug 17-19: Gallery Openings, Gossip, News, And Reviews

Welcome to our new gallery listings. We used to call this space, “This Week’s Gallery Openings,” and that was, more or less, what you got: a tidy list of all the shows that were opening on any given weekend, give or take a few oversights now and then.

Well, we’ve changed things a bit. Yes, each week we will still deliver a tidy list of all of the art openings and events, but we also want to give you a little more. Not only will this weekly post allow you to plan-out where to score free cups of wine on any given Saturday night, but it will also function as a guide, telling you what shows we like or are anticipating, what gossip is circulating around recent openings, and what other buzz is buzzing around the Dallas art world that might make for good conversation fodder in between sips of St. Genevieve cabernet.

And so, the new and improved, the week’s visual art:

Real Things – Explorations in Three Dimensions by Rachel De Joode at Oliver Francis Gallery, 209 S. Peak St., Dallas, TX 75226: The big August opening happened last weekend. While August sees most galleries cut hours or shut down all together while art lovers with fat wallets head to Aspen (I see you Derek and Christen Wilson!), Kevin Jacobs’ Oliver Francis Gallery decided to host his first exhibition by an artist without Dallas roots. In the week since it opened, Rachel de Joode’s show has prompted something of a critical head-butting. In this corner, we have Betsy Lewis, whose sometimes terse, effervescent art riffs on Glasstire I’ve largely enjoyed. But this week Lewis took her first bow as the Dallas Observer’s new art scribe (hand-picked and courted away from Glasstire, rumor on the street has it, by DO editor Joe Tone). Lewis’s piece is a little baffling, throwing the word “poop” around, getting hung up in questions about the nature of sculpture, and seeming generally dissatisfied about something in the work. (Are you just sick of this kind of stuff, Betsy? Just say it.)

In the other corner we have Cassandra Emswiler, also taking a first bow, penning this review for us early this week. I haven’t seen the show yet, but here’s the take away from Emswiler’s review that I’ll be taking to Oliver Francis Gallery this weekend: “De Joode’s ideas and work lie somewhere in between the real things in the space of the gallery and the subsequent field of distributed images and text.”

BEEF: Presented by S.C.A.B. at Angstrom Gallery – August 17, 6 to 10 p.m., 3609 Parry Ave., Dallas, TX 75226: Angstrom Gallery is back in action this weekend, and dealer David Quadrini (who seems to flip flop between Dallas and Los Angeles these days depending on which side of the bed he happens to wake up on) will hand the keys to the gallery over to S.C.A.B. Who’s S.C.A.B. you ask? Well, you haven’t been spending much time in the pit-dog comments section to Christina Rees’ latest shit-storm article, “Dear Young DFW Whippersnapper Artists.” Listen, I’m not going to get into the fray of that particular post, in part because I tend to think that our incessant need to talk about ourselves and our “scene” is one manifestation of a crippling vanity that tends to stifle things around here. But if you have time, do dig through it all. There you’ll find one Eli Walker, who was miffed by Rees’ post precisely because he says that there are whippersnappers whipping their snaps (or snapping their whips, or whatever they are supposed to do). The problem: no one is paying attention to them. What a perfect lead-in to this weekend’s show, featuring a photo of a ripped female weightlifter with large mammaries and seven male painters (including Walker) affiliated with an affiliation of artist collectives (S.C.A.B.). Highlights include Jeff Zilm, Nathan Green, and Arthur Peña. Bring your whip.

“The Yankee Doodles Sing-A-Lot Sing-A-Long” at The Reading Room – August 19, 4 to 6 p.m. 3715 Parry Avenue, Dallas, TX 75226: How did The Reading Room’s Karen Weiner know that Mitt Romney was going to choose this week to tap Paul Ryan to be his running mate, setting up a November election that will be no less than a referendum on how the American people perceive the role of the federal government? Hell if I know. All I know is that Weiner has planned the perfect complementary programming: a Sunday afternoon featuring a Revolutionary War-era sing-a-longs, and hands-on art activities, like flag and banner making, led by Oil and Cotton.

Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas at the Dallas Museum of Art – Closes August 19: Just a note that the very odd George Grosz show at the DMA closes this week. Full review here.

American Vanguards: Graham, Davis, Gorky, de Kooning, and Their Circle, 1927-1942 at the Amon Carter Museum – Closes August 19: Another closing note: If you haven’t made it out to the Amon Carter’s American Vanguards exhibit, you absolutely have to. It is a fascinating historically-minded show that argues compellingly that innovations in American art of the 1940s and 1950s have their roots in a nascent – and highly inter-connected – avant-garde in New York in the 1930s. Besides early pieces by Gorky and de Kooning, there is a fascinating aesthetic dialogue teased-out here by the bringing together work which takes up cubist, abstract, and surrealist considerations while straddling the slippery sloop towards abstract expressionism.

On Public Art: No shows here, just a note to check out Jerome Weeks great write-up about last week’s The Art Foundation colloquium on the subject of public art (from what I understand, video of the entire evening will be posted soon over on Art This Week). Weeks brings up a necessary point: the term “public art” is a strained one in Dallas since much of the art in public spaces is actually privately held and funded.

But regardless of whether we like any of the stuff or not, the question is, if a public space and public art are, in part, expressions of civic values — as they are in [Trafalgar] Square — then what is a public space and public art when it’s entirely owned and selected by a private firm? For that matter, how is an arts website a ‘civic expression’? Outside of the art in DART stations, the Alexander Calder in front of City Hall, the moo-cows in Pioneer Plaza and the striking art deco murals in Fair Park, it’s actually hard to think of an example of a truly public work of art in a truly public, open-air space anywhere inDallas. Yes/no? The suggestion box is officially open.

Other Openings:

“Perspectives” by Frank Sowells at the JANETTE KENNEDY GALLERY of the Southside on Lamar – August 17 : 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM; 1409 South Lamar Street, Dallas, Tx 75215.

“Gothic Abstract” by Adam Rowlett at the R02 Art Downtown – August 18 : 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM; 110 North Akard Street, Dallas, Tx 75201.

“Featured Artist Series 2012” by Michelle Kaptur, Elizabeth Potenza, and Yukimi Matsumoto, at the Kittrell Riffkind Art Glass – August 18 : 12 Noon – 5:30 PM; 5100 Beltline Rd, #820, Dallas, Tx 75254.

“Everyday” by Leonard Volk, at the Samuel Lynne Gallery – August 18 : 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM; 1105 Dragon Street, Dallas, Tx 75207.

“5 Photographers: Ro2 Art Third Annual Photography Show” by Sibylle Bauer, Chris Bramel, Tuba Koymen, Alisa Levy, Byrd Williams IV (with Elizabeth Mellott), at R02 Art Downtown – August 18 : 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM; 1408 Elm Street, Dallas, Tx 75201.

“Closing Reception for CAC JURIED SHOW” with Dawn Waters Baker, Grethe Haggerty, Marshall Harris, Mark Perry, and Damian Robinson, at the Mary Tomas Studio Gallery – August 18 : 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM; 1110 Dragon Street, Dallas, Tx 75207.

Image: Willem de Kooning (1904–1997), Still Life with Eggs and Potato Masher, ca. 1928–29 (detail) Oil and sand on canvas; © 2011 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Collection of The Honorable and Mrs. Joseph P. Carroll, New York. (On view as part of the Amon Carter’s American Vanguards exhibition.

Have information on upcoming art openings and events? Send them to [email protected]