The Modern's Urban Theater Is a Must See Exhibition This Fall

Categories: Visual Art

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Keith Haring

Much of the art on display in The Modern's newest exhibition doesn't belong in a museum. The very title, Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s, implies the art's original presence in the streets. Even today, after decades of moving the risky stuff off the streets and onto the white walls, the juxtaposition between some of the art and the expansive, pristine space it occupies seems disconcerting. And it's for just that reason that this is one of the best exhibitions you'll see this fall.

In the New York of the 1980s, before the sanitization of Times Square and Chelsea, artists weren't striving to be art stars or hoping for their big break with a commercial gallery. No, these artists were taking over abandoned warehouses, painting over subway advertisements, and using their art as social activism. It was rough, rebellious and raw.


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Visit the Nasher Sculpture Center's New Exhibit for the Questions and the Spinny Chairs

Categories: Visual Art

From the foyer, you can hear the squeals of delight echoing from the garden of the Nasher Sculpture Center where visitors have climbed into the spool-like creations known as spun chairs. They are on display as part of Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio, an exhibition that surveys the work of the UK designer, known for approaching projects by asking questions.

It's an atypical design exhibition, as its neither a retrospective (at just 44, Heatherwick has projects planned for years to come) and it doesn't come bearing the signature of the architect. There are no sketches leading to models, culminating in buildings, many of which look alike. Certainly this is the way many architectural firms work. Thomas Phifer and Partners, for example, designed restaurant and pavilion at Klyde Warren Park. If you Google, "Thomas Phifer," you'll see an array of buildings that look vaguely familiar. Walking through Provocations at the Nasher, the only thing you'll see repeated is the question mark. And to really engage with the exhibition, start with the questions.

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Luscious at RO2 Art Is Dessert for the Eyes

Categories: Visual Art

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Erica Stephens
Don't you want to lick it?

I'm not for dessert after dinner. Honestly, I'm not much for sugar. I don't put it in my coffee; I don't crave pumpkin pie in the fall; and icing gives me a headache. But when it comes to art, my personal taste would manifest as an 11-year-old girl - all sugar plums, lollipops, and lots of color. By god, lots of color.

Certainly, I'll look at any piece of art and consider its place in the contemporary or historical movements of art. I am a huge fan of Francis Bacon, but I'd rather hang a Kandinsky on my wall. Give me Matisse over Picasso, and above all color my walls, Marc Chagall. All of this explains my drooling over RO2 Art's newest exhibition, Luscious: Erica Stephens & Julon Pinkston.


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Cusco Couture: Mario Testino's Alta Moda Brings Fashion Magazines to Life

Categories: Visual Art

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Mario Testino

The walls of the Dallas Contemporary's main gallery wear unfamiliarly dark shades of black and maroon. When it's empty, the space seems more reverent, more immersive. All you hear is the click of your heel meeting the floor, and all you see are the rich, vibrant colors of Peruvian costumes. Mario Testino's Alta Moda, on display through December 21, invites viewers into the pages of a magazine spread, but this time he's traded celebrity portraits for a peek into his pride for his native country, Peru.


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Erin Cluley Gallery, Cydonia Gallery Are Now Open

Categories: Visual Art

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Kevin Todora

This weekend, the gallery scene expanded in two divergent directions with the opening of both Erin Cluley Gallery and Cydonia.

Over the big, white bridge Erin Cluley Gallery became the first commercial art space in Trinity Groves - although not in the area's conventional strip mall of restaurants. Tucked into a residential neighborhood, somewhere behind Babbs Bros Barbecue, a large garage door that once lifted for cars in need of oil changes, now lets sunlight trickle in to illuminate the work of artists.


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The Subconscious Storyteller: Benjamin Terry at RE Gallery

Categories: Visual Art

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Ben Terry

By Justin Hunt

The storybook nostalgia of South Dallas' RE Gallery is the perfect milieu for the exhibition of Benjamin Terry's latest works, the unconscious mind. While Terry's previous ventures focused principally on large, technically adept, two-dimensional works, the current series is a breakthrough of shape and color in much smaller packages. Rather than exhibiting the dark recesses normally attributed to the subconscious ("Repressed memories" anyone?), Terry's works - on display at RE Gallery through October 12 - are light and free.


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10 Visual Art Exhibitions to See This September

Categories: Visual Art

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Ruth Pinell
As the calendar flips to September, gallerists across the city sweep the cobwebs from the corners of their gallery as they prepare for the return of the visual art season. One of our favorite spaces in the city, The Power Station, presents Ruth Pinnell: Bridging the Gap. Sure, she happens to be Power Station owner Alden Pinnell's mother, but this doesn't look like nepotism, so much as an homage to the woman who inspired his interest in art. Ruth worked as a diverse artist for much of her life and her work has been exhibited all over the world. Opening Friday, September 5 this exhibition focuses on her serial photography, drawing, painting and print from more than three decades of her career. See it at the opening reception from 5- 7 p.m. Friday.

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When Artist Gary Sweeney Quit His Day Job, He Made Plans to Visit Dallas

Categories: Visual Art

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"Donated Artwork" by Gary Sweeney

Being an artist can be a tough gig, especially if your heart is set on living indoors and enjoying the occasional meal. Naturally most artists find themselves working more than a few odd jobs to keep the lights on. So when California native Gary Sweeney was given the chance to work as a baggage handler for airports, right after graduating from U.C. Irvine in the in the early '70s, he jumped at the chance. After 35 years that include numerous public art pieces and only a few damaged suitcases, Sweeney is quitting his day job.

"I've got 35 years with it and they're offering an early out," Sweeney says. "It's truly a hard job to give up."

One of his first stops as a free man? Dallas, where he'll exhibit some of his newest work in Problem Child at Red Arrow Contemporary September 6-October 18.


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Goss Michael Foundation Charts New Waters, Invites Dallas Along for Voyage

Categories: Visual Art

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Goss Michael Foundation

The first time I met Kenny Goss, he wanted to show me his art collection. We were meeting for an article about the annual fundraiser, MTV:ReDefine, but first, would I like to see his Damien Hirst?

While famously associated with the pop singer George Michael, the Goss-Michael Foundation is more or less the brain child of Goss and for years Michael's whispers are all but absent. But as it turns out, the art space deserves its own kind of celebrity. Behind the doors to the square, white building on Turtle Creek, you'll not only find imported British art, but local programming that charts new waters.

"We've always been committed to bringing in young British artists, but we wanted to come up with a way to get local artists involved," says Goss. "People know us for our British art, but we're also doing a lot more than that."


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Casey Gray Updates the Baroque With Emojis and Spray Paint at Circuit 12

Categories: Visual Art

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Casey Gray

In much of Casey Gray's art, there's a humorous tension between message and medium. Imagine if the 17th century Flemish painters had worked in spray paint. Conversely, picture Peter Paul Rubens on a skateboard. See? Funny. This was the crux of much of San Francisco-based Gray's early work, in which he explored the subject matter of Baroque still life using a complex method of layered spray paints and stenciling.

"I decided to start at the beginning with what is Art 101, like still life painting," Gray says. "I wanted to see how I could paint an apple, part of that also has to do with challenging the idea of tradition with non-traditional techniques in the face of artistry. But more so it was about developing an entirely visual language."

Lately, his work is a bit more true to his daily life, with beach scenes and digital media. It's these motifs that will be on display in his first Dallas solo exhibition at Circuit 12 Contemporary, Of Land and Sea, opening with an artist reception at 6 p.m. September 6.


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