This Week’s Visual Art, Oct 17-20: Gallery Openings, News, Reviews, and More

TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art at the Rachofsky House 

State Fair? What’s that? In the world of Dallas art, there’s only one behemoth event that rolls into town once a year in October and stirs up a flurry of excitement and ancillary activity. That’s Two x Two For Aids And Art, the Rachofskys’ annual fundraising art auction gala to end all fundraising art auction galas. The event raises gobbles of cash for the DMA and amFAR, and it sometimes culminates with the simultaneous and glorious expulsion of both dollar bills and vomit. It’s all for a good cause.

But here’s what’s more important for you and me, the lay (and under-funded) art lover. Two X Two is one of two events we can look forward to each year (along with the Dallas Art Fair) that have helped give something of an international rhythm to local exhibition schedule. Two weekends each year a good number of art world jet setters, curators, artists, dealers, collectors, and other important folk roll into town. And while they are here, they are wined and dined, they mix and mingle, they make connections and generally enjoy themselves. And me and you? We get art. Sweet glorious big name art. Art at the Power Station, new contemporary exhibitions at the DMA and the Nasher, a new opening at Goss Michael. And there’s more. The more these events keep happening, the more Dallas becomes the place to be twice a year, the more excited everyone is going to get about this city. Our collectors, curators, and administrators get excited about Dallas as they show it off, and the collectors, curators, and dealers from out of town get excited about Dallas as they see it in its best light. But don’t forget about you and me. You should get excited. I’ll get excited. Let’s all get really freaking Grotjahn-excited.


“I AM REAL ESTATE” by Nikolas Gambaroff at The Power StationOctober 19: 6-8 p.m. 3816 Commerce St. Dallas, TX 75226.

German artist Nikolas Gambaroff makes paintings about painting only more often than not they aren’t paintings at all, but rather collages of newsprint arrange with multiple layers, the paper torn in designs that reference gestural script while simultaneously revealing sub-layers of textual and visual information. He’s also incorporated his newsprint collages into minimalist sculptures, with healthy doses of Donald Judd, sometimes hanging shiny steal boxes on the walls or arranging chairs on pedestal risers that suggest staging or situational dynamics. This play on ideas of representation, information, surface, and painting-object is furthered still by the occasional incorporation of material “echoes” or visual rhymes: a piece of wood used to make ink prints on a canvas surface attached to frame of the “painting,” or a stack of plates seemingly unrelated to the composition or construction of a work left casually on the floor in the vicinity of the wall piece. But then the entire MO of the Power Station is to take rising art stars and offer them the Monty Python segue: “And now for something completely different.” So don’t be surprised if Gambaroff’s work at the Expo art space looks nothing at all like what I just described.


 “off_Key Exhibition” by John Pomara at Barry Whistler GalleryOctober 19: 6-8 p.m. 2909-B Canton St. Dallas, TX 75226.

In an Art in America review of Pomara’s last show at Barry Whistler in 2010, Charles Dee Mitchell wrote about the tension created by Pomara’s style, which carefully attends to every element of the painting while creating an appearance that feels almost manufactured or accidental – or even accidentally manufactured:

Although he has orchestrated every surface effect, Pomara goes to some length to keep any trace of his hand from the finished work. But a metaphor for the artist’s unobtrusiveness emerges in “Digital d,” a series of abstract inkjet prints produced at the same scale as the paintings. Their palette is dark, dominated by black and acidic green, and some areas have a pixelated look, as though the image had been achieved through digital enlargement. In several prints, a black shape evokes a shadowy head and upper torso silhouetted against a glowing computer screen. It is as if we are looking over someone’s shoulder as he creates the works—perhaps Pomara himself.

I haven’t seen any of Pomara’s new work yet, but this image of the torso and the computer screen does relate to a series of photos the artist recently posted on Facebook under the category “Nude Tumblr Glitches.” These depict female nudes partially obscured by colored horizontal lines created by the malfunctioning internet, as well as Pomara’s own reworking of the digital content. These images offer an intriguing symmetry, that is also present in Pomara’s painted work, between the compositional sensibility of a Barnett Newman and the regimented randomness of computerized glitch. Also on Facebook, Pomara says he also has a show scheduled at the Horton Gallery in New York this coming March, so keep your eyes open for that too.


Glimpse 2012 by Aurora at the Dallas Arts DistrictOctober 19: 7 p.m. – 12 a.m. Flora St. Dallas, TX 75201.

Last year’s popular Aurora event will be reprised in stripped-down form this year, as organizers (artist Shane Pennington is the driving force behind the event) decide to hold the full Aurora event every other year. In between we get a taste (a “glimpse,” if you will). The idea is light, inspired by various “white night” events in cities around the world, and inviting artists to create outdoor works that use light and actively engage the curious public. I’ll admit I’m somewhat disappointed that the full-scale Aurora won’t occur every year, even if I completely understand the financial and administrative challenges to staging it annually. Still, the smaller event does feature twelve artists, whose work will be clustered on the manicured lawns surrounding the new City Performance Hall.


Karla Black: Concentrations 55 at the Dallas Museum of Art October 19-March 17 1717 Harwood Ave. Dallas, TX 75201.

Scottish artist Karla Black, a finalist for the 2011 Turner Prize, is the latest focus of the Dallas Museum of Art’s long-running Concentrations contemporary art series. The exhibition includes two site-specific sculptures by the artist. “Sculptures” is the right word, even though Black’s work, which may incorporate a mix of domestic paraphernalia (bandages, ointments, face cream, powders, flour, clothing) and art store supplies, often mixed with other ephemeral or fragile materials, look like installations or even process-art that verges on performance (like 2001’s Untitled (2000 Alka-Seltzer in the rain)’ which consisted of exactly that: 2000 Alka-Seltzer tablets left in the rain to fizzle down to nothing). Yet while her work shares installation’s site-specificity – the materiality of her work often echoing elements of the space in which they reside, the works frequent inability to exist in precisely the same way in multiple settings – Black insists that her sculptures retain the “autonomy of modernist sculpture.” It is precisely our perception of the fragility of that autonomy that makes Black’s work, in terms of material, space, and temporality, a fascinating exploration of the in between.


Difference? at the Dallas Museum of Art – October 19-March 17 1717 Harwood Ave. Dallas, TX 75201.

If you’ve ever seen Hennesy Youngman’s hilarious video “How To Be a Successful Artist,” you’ll remember his bitingly satiric line: “Being a white man pretty much your voice is the universal voice, therefore anything you make won’t be burdened with any kind of cultural labels that ni**az and b*tches have to deal with.”

DMA curator Jeffery Grove’s latest exploration of the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection is, in a way, an attempt to unbind the work of female artists from the kinds of excessive readings of feminine or maternal concerns Youngman critiques. Installed in galleries adjacent to Karla Black’s Concentrations show, perhaps that artist’s words, as quoted in a Guardian article, are best used to describe the scope of this multi-decade retrospective featuring artists, all of whom happen to be women:

Don’t, though, whatever you do, call this apparent onrush of girliness feminine. She finds this description of her art disgusting. “It is ridiculous and annoying,” she says. “Why do people call it feminine? Because it is light, fragile, pale? Because it is weak, impermanent? When you start going to work on it you realise how ridiculous the description is. How can a work of art be feminine?”


“Daughters Of The Promised Land” by LINDER, at the Goss Michael Foundation – October 19: 7-9 p.m. 1405 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas, Tx 75207.

It’s impossible to mention the Liverpool-born artist Linder Sterling without citing her teenage years spent in Manchester during the late 1970s and early 1980s, or in other words, her enviable luck of being in exactly the right place at the right time. One of her more famous works from this period was the album cover to The Buzzcocks’ single “Orgasm Addict,” a photo montage which depicts a naked woman featuring smiling lips over her nipples and an image of an iron pasted over her head. Like Martha Rosler before her, Linder’s montage coopts and subverts images from advertising, the beauty industry, the domestic sphere, and other pop media in a raucous, brash, and eroticized feminine critique in which nothing is held sacred. Since those early punk-life days she has expanded her practice to include a variety of forms and mediums including performance and video.

You can watch Linder here (sorry, no sound) wearing a meat dress while fronting her punk band Ludus at the famed Hacienda club in 1982. And in this great interview with Morrissey, we learn that Linder met the singer at what could arguably be considered the most important rock show in music history: the Sex Pistols 1976 Manchester concert. Here’s an excerpt from that interview:

MORRISSEY: There have always been vibrations of menace in everything you produce. Yet your general demeanor is very correct and polite, and you are extremely witty. Is art a part of the naughtiness game, in that it excuses us from all adult obligations and we can run riot with the slapdash emulsion? Is it your own private graffiti? Or is your art your droppings?

LINDER: [Musician] Patti Palladin once said that I sounded like Julie Andrews, which, of course, I took as the greatest compliment. Call me Maria. If there are “vibrations of menace” in the work I make, then they resonate of their own accord. When artists set out to disturb—unless they happen to be Goya or Gina Pane—they tend to fail. The Australian critic Robert Hughes once wrote that American art schools began to fail in the ’60s because they taught “self-expression.” “At this,”
he wrote, with bone-dry sarcasm, “no one could fail.” For me, art is the conversion of a personal experience into a universal truth—or making a trip to the chip shop sound cosmic. At this, you have never failed. “Loafing oafs in all-night chemists. . . .” [lyrics from Morrissey’s song “Now My Heart Is Full.”]


Sightings: Eva Rothschild at the Nasher Sculpture CenterOctober 20 – January 20, 2013. 2001 Flora St. Dallas, TX 75201.

Say what you want about the Dallas Arts District, sometimes lumping all of our major cultural institutions in downtown art ghetto can produce some downright delightful strokes of serendipity (particularly when they’re simultaneous scheduling openings to coincide with Two x Two weekend). For example, this week we get an opening of Scottish artist Karla Black at the DMA, and just a couple hundred yards away, a new exhibition at the Nasher featuring the work of Irish-born, London-dwelling Eva Rothschild. Like Black, Rothschild often works with every day or mundane materials, from cloth and leather to rubber and paper, and the two also share occasional glances over the shoulder to artists like Eva Hesse. Yet with Rothschild, there appears to be a more direct linkage to minimalism, and, as with her large scale exhibition at Tate Britain, her work can more aggressively engaged with its setting, simultaneously embracing and transforming, disrupting and re-articulating, while maintaining an elegant coherence. I peeked in the window of the Nasher during installation, and Rothschild’s creation here, like in Tate, completely fills its interior space, buttressing and organizing the environs, yet the form is less angular, featuring a striped, tubular structure with rounded corners that recalls, well, a soccer goal.

And here’s another rather odd connection to Rothschild and Black. During an exhibition at Whitechapel, Rothschild allowed a pack of young boys full access to her work just to see what they would do (video). And in this interview, Black talks about how children seem to be innately attracted to her candy-colored creations, although an experiment like Rothschild’s would likely leave whatever ephemeral beauty Black created utterly demolished.

Want to keep pushing this kid angle? You’re in luck: check out the handy guide in the first issue of D Moms which shows you how to make a Rothschild-inspired kids art project.



“360: Artists, Critics, Curators with Eva Rothschild” at the Nasher Sculpture Center – October 20: 1 p.m. 2001 Flora St. Dallas, TX 75201.

Chit Chat: Inez & Vindoodh at the Dallas ContemporaryOctober 20: 11 a.m. 161 Glass St. Dallas, TX 75207.

Two heavyweight lectures this weekend, including Eva Rothschild at the Nasher and Inez & Vindoodh at the Contemporary. If you still haven’t read Cassandra Emswiler’s review of the Inez & Vindoodh show, you can right here.


Other openings:

“Parallel Visions: Paintings and Drawings 2010-2012” by Marianne Howard, at the Steve Paul Productions – October 16: 6-9 p.m. 2814 Main Street, #101, Dallas, Tx 75226.

“Stitched: Subculture/Subtext” by Marshall Thompson and Joy O. Ude at Richland College Brazos Gallery – October 18: 5:30-7:30 p.m. 2800 Abrams Rd. Dallas, TX 75243.

Harry Geffert / Chuck Ramirez at The Gallery at UTA — October 19: 6 – 8:30 p.m. Fine Art Building, room 169, at 502 S. Cooper Street, Arlington, TX.

 “MADI Geometric Showcase” at the MADI Museum – October 19: 5:30-7:30 p.m. 3109 Carlisle Street  Dallas, TX 75204.

“Assemblage: An Exhibition Featuring Recent Works From The United States & Europe” by Ann Adams, Steven Alexander, Bruce Brainard, Fernando Casas, John Christensen, Stephen Daly, Eric Holzman, Gary Komarin, Leslie Park, John Pavlicek, Eric Peters, Caprice Pierucci, Robert Rector, Christian Renonciat, Hunt Slonem, Joan Steinman, and Thomas Zitzwitz, at the Gremillion & Co. Fine Art – October 19: 6-9 p.m. 2251 Vantage Street, Dallas, Tx 75207.

“Objects Of Desire II” by Tony Barsotti, Mathew McCrimmon, Jeremy Grubb, Danny Kamerath, Chris Kemler, Chris Lattanzio, Wells Mason, Michael Matson, Nic Noblique, Omar Angel Perez, Albert Scherbarth, Chris Simpson, George Tobolowsky, John Webb, Bryan Wetz, Michael Wilson, and Robert Wohlford, at Ilume Gallerie – October 19: 6-10 p.m. 4123 Cedar Springs, Suite 107, Dallas, Tx 75219.

“Child Prodigy: A diverse collection of artwork by Autumn de Forest” by Autumn de Forest, at Wisby-Smith Fine Art – October 19 : 6–8 p.m. 500 Crescent Court, Dallas, Tx 75201.

Gallery Night with David Farrell and Nicole Connor at Elle Realty – October 20: 7-9 p.m. 718 North Buckner Boulevard, Suite 304, Dallas, Tx 75218.

“Works Bt TEC Instructors” by Brett Dyer, Susan Sponsler, Deanna Wood and Mary Wright, at The Encaustic Center – October 20 : 6-9 p.m. 580 W. Arapaho Road, #271, Richardson, Tx 75080.

“The Bonny Studio BIG Student Art Show” by Joe Marchant, Dave Cudlipp, Tulika Bhatia, Mercedes Marquez, Lydia Gowens, Gloria Parsley, Vicki Johnson, Betty Miller, Charles Keenan, Gloria Drumm, Jeanne C. Neal, Joan Kickham, Marie Naklie McCoy, Sonali Khatti, Pam Elins, Mary Alice Binion, Kathy Bernock, Julie Wileman, Missilou Worchester, Jan Perry, Sharon Myers, Annette Morganstern, Liz Sorensen, Angie Gessel, Blandina Gauglitz, Cecilia Perez-Verdia, Janet Allen, Richard Cox, Susan Lott, Kathy Aldridge, Julie England, Leigh Harrison, Britt Aulie, Kim Cooper, Kim Adams, Buzz Baldwin, Kandi Trevino, Ralph Soto, Brenda Birdsell, Bonnie Tollefson, Carol Dingman, Gay Wall, Karen Coe, Karl Melton, Robert Epstein, Scott Armstrong, Susan Clark, and Venu Menon, at The Bonny Studio – October 20 : 6-9 p.m. 580 W. Arapaho Road, #262, Richardson, Tx 75080.

“A Matter of Perspectives” by Scot Miller and R.P. Washburne, at the Sun to Moon Gallery – October 20 : 5-8 p.m. 1515 Levee Street, Dallas, Tx 75207.

“WAYS OF SEEING” by Wilhelmina Adams-Hartsell and Lauren Ashley, at the Smoke and Mirrors Gallery – October 21 : 3-7 p.m. 406 South Haskell Ave., Dallas, Tx 75226.

Image at top: Nikolas Gambaroff, Untitled, 2011 (detail) Acrylic and newsprint, 16.75″ x 23″ (via)