An Art Exhibition Concocts Dreams for You at the Dallas Contemporary

Categories: Visual Art

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Dallas Contemporary

At approximately 2 a.m. Saturday, I jerked awake. In my dreams, my mind had constructed a computer that fabricated dreams based on the tone and pitch of my voice, as I read poetry aloud. On this screen of my subconscious there was a forest scene, and over the futuristic speakers an immediately recognizable "ba bum" played. This dream machine (in my dreams) broadcast the opening credits of Twin Peaks. And that's when I physically shuddered myself out of my dreams.

But here's the strangest part. The computer that fabricates dreams? That was based on an art exhibition I'd seen Friday afternoon at the Dallas Contemporary.


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Five Art Exhibitions To See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

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RE Gallery

Peter Ligon
It would be difficult to dig up someone who doesn't like Peter Ligon's landscapes. Even if you're not keen on landscape painting generally, there's something about Ligon's emotive, messy pieces that don't scream of photo source material. The painter captures every Dallas scene from trees in winter to the East Dallas' MSG-Palace, the Egg Roll Hut. His pieces are at once entirely specific and completely vague, more Impressionist than Realist. His use of light is inspired. And he's a longstanding member of the scene, with a history at the Shamrock Hotel studios. See his work in exhibition at RE Gallery (1717 Gould St.) at the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday. More information at regallerystudio.com.


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Cydonia Gallery's The Depth of Now Prompts Reflection, If No Revelation

Categories: Visual Art

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Julieta Aguinaco
To My Daughter

It's a simple conceit. You can almost hear the artist thinking it to herself: I'll wear my mother's dresses. Entering Cydonia Gallery's new exhibition by Mexican artist Julieta Aguinaco, The Depth of Now, I found myself jealous. At least her mom kept hers. My mother forever interested in discarding. Yearbook notes from college boyfriends? Gone. Bellbottom jeans from her teenaged disco years? Gone. Heaven forbid she keep 10s of outdated dresses. It wasn't a matter of sartorial embarrassment, but an obsession with keeping it simple. So to see the series of photos of Aguinaco in her mother and grandmother's dresses isn't just about her art and a statement about swiftly changing cultures; "To My Daughter" became about me and my mother.

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Five Art Exhibitions To See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

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Ed Blackburn's Ancient History
I find myself pointing to shows at Mountain View College's Cliff Gallery quite a bit recently. I'm not sure if it's just a string of good shows, recently acquired awareness of the space, or if the programming has seen an uptick. Regardless, this weekend the space opens another interesting show. Fort Worth-based artist Ed Blackburn demonstrates interest in using his painting to tell stories. His pieces in Ancient History tell the stories of a man man unwilling to accept a repressive program who gets thrown into a lion's den and a woman who uncovers a genocide plot. See it in the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday. Artist remarks at 6:30 p.m. More information.


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Art Con Turns 10; Let's Have a Party.

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Can Turkyilmaz
Put your bidding hat on.

Art Conspiracy, the coolest art party in Dallas, started a decade ago as a way to raise money for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The brainchild of two Dallas culture-philes, Jason Roberts and Sarah Jane Semrad, that first year a small team cleaned up the then-vacant Texas Theatre, hung the paintings of a handful of local artists, and the community poured in to bid on the work and enjoy the music and company. Named after the conspiracies in Dallas history, Art Con organizers set out to prove that artists could make significant contributions.

Gritty and unpolished, the unpretentious party was an immediate success and continues to grow. Now, with year-round events, the nonprofit organization has raised more $250,000 for a variety of local charities. And if Art Con's executive director, Erica Felicella, were to pinpoint how they've found success, it would be the dedication and the enthusiasm of the artists and the volunteers involved in the event.

"We're the people's arts organization," Felicella says. "From the very first year, I can't think of any way to fully describe the excitement of Art Con and this is a big year for us. It's for the city, it's for the community, it's for the beneficiary, and this year, it's also our birthday."


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5 Art Exhibitions to See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

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Raymond Uhlir

Left Hand First
In daily life, pretty is quite the compliment. Sure, it may rank lower than beautiful or stunning. But every good flatterer knows the power of telling a woman she's pretty. In art, pretty is perjorative. You want to insult a serious painter? Tell her that her life's work is pretty. To be pretty is to be trivial, to be agreeable, to be shallow. But the declaration of beauty is far more complicated. In Left Hand First, an exhibition at Beefhaus opening this weekend, two complex questions are posed: "If there is beauty in the profane is there profane in beauty? Do you head straight for the pleasure and save the hard stuff for last?" The the work of three artists are shown in conjuction to explore this multi-faceted idea. Austin-based Raymond Uhlir exhibits alongside Dallas-based Randy Guthmiller (the man behind the local Zine SHAPES), as well as the duo The Color Condition, who are known for their colorful streamer installations. See it at Beefhaus (885 Exposition Ave.) from 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

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Five Art Exhibitions to See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

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Joachim West

Draftsmen of the Apocalypse
CentralTrak opens a group exhibition that explores violence and "mankind's eventual doom." All the artists in this exhibition use their work to pinpoint or illuminate aspects of violence in either history or the present day. While seemingly apropos for Halloween weekend, it seems the thread that runs through these works is more serious than that. See the work of Simeen Farhat, Thor Johnson, David Quadrini and Joachim West, among others. Opening reception from 8-10 p.m. Saturday at CentralTrak, 800 Exposition Ave.

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Zhulong Gallery's Systema Is an Exhibition at the Intersection of Art and Science

Categories: Visual Art

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Tega Brain
An artist used Flickr to explore how we interact with nature.

Patricia Reed's "The Two" greets visitors to Zhulong Gallery's international group show, Systema. A pair of bright red megaphones frozen in french kiss, any amplified messages lost in the other, in what you can imagine as an echo chamber of yelling instructions. When used appropriately, megaphones can relay instruction to large groups, counting down to the start of a race, or keeping time of a unified march. It's a device by which a leader organizes followers, and it's this idea of arranging life through systems, technology and taxonomy that unites (or, organizes) the exhibition, on display through November 29.


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Anna Bella Papp Is a Rising Young Art Star, and Her Work at the Nasher Shows Why

Categories: Visual Art

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Nasher Sculpture Center
This is Anna Bella Papp, a beautiful young mind in the art world.
Sometimes ink is given to the artists showing at the Nasher Sculpture Center simply due to its reputation. Which is not unexpected: It's the norm in the art world to approach a venerated institution's offerings as more noteworthy than less high-profile spaces. Plus, with bigger marketing budgets, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Kimbell Art Museum and the Nasher can make sure their shows get in front of your face, coating billboards or clinging to street lamps. You're rarely disappointed at a museum show, because they tend to be flashier, the atmosphere whispering the importance of the art. The pristine work hangs on pristine walls, giving you an ideal experience of the work.

Without question, Anna Bella Papp's show at the Nasher benefits from its presence within Renzo Piano's architecturally stunning walls. But it's not like any other show you've seen at a Dallas museum lately. It's quiet, methodical and demands intimacy with the viewer.

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Five Visual Art Exhibitions to See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

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Ella Kruglyanskaya
The Power Station presents Grafika.

Fill October's final full weekend with art. As fall trickles into town in fits and starts, decorate your life at these galleries. And for once, Friday is the stronger night to hit the galleries, although there will be compelling work to see Saturday as well.

Ella Kruglyanskaya's Grafika
Much of Latvian-born artist Ella Kruglyanskaya's work turns an eye on the female form. In Grafika, both her large and small-scale pieces present a caricatured look at the depiction of the body in art. She plays with both bold color and simple sketching for a varied approach on the sexuality of the body, at once cartoonish and serious. See the work in its opening reception at the Power Station (3816 Commerce St.) from 6-8 p.m. Friday. More information at powerstationdallas.com.

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