Dallas Through the Lens of Two Photographers at Kettle Art Gallery

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Justin Terveen
Kettle Art Gallery features Terveen as part of photography month.
Dallas can be a difficult city to be proud of. I'm sure that statement brings with it numerous detractors who will verbally punt me back to wherever I'm from. I grew up here, just to be clear, and even moved back after very quickly falling out of love with New York. But when people ask what there is to like about Dallas, it's a difficult question to answer. "Big city opportunity, small town feel" has become my go-to answer. Look, I'm not an impassioned advocate for much of anything. I'm a doubter, a questioner, an all-things-are-gray kind of person. But anytime I'm returning to Dallas after a trip, I anticipate seeing the Dallas skyline in the distance. It gives me the same feeling that the smell of my parent's home does, or my grandma's perfume, or the embrace of a friend.

That small swell of pride, love, or whatever it is that seems to say home, is the same feeling I get when looking at Justin Terveen's photos at Kettle Art Gallery.

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The Masks We Wear: Liliana Bloch Gallery's Faces Explores Societal Expecatations

Categories: Visual Art

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Liliana Bloch Gallery
One of Alicia Henry's Compelling 'Faces'
Liliana Bloch might run the smallest gallery in town. With just a few white walls cordoning off her art inside Brian Gibb's The Public Trust, she's proving with each exhibition she programs that in the art world, it's not size that matters.

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5 Visual Art Exhibitions to See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

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John Pomara

Digital-Distraction at Barry Whistler Gallery
Put down your cellphone and see some art this weekend. For his latest work, John Pomara found himself interested in the way digital technology simultaneously connects us and disconnects us. Everyone has that friend who's in constant communication with everyone except the people in front of him. These communicative "visual distractions" were the impetus for his new abstract works that debut at the Barry Whistler Gallery (2909-B Canton St.) at 6 p.m. Saturday. See Digital-Distraction during the opening reception or through November 29. More information at barrywhistlergallery.com.

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No One Cares That You Don't Like Impressionism

Categories: Visual Art

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Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Edgar Degas, Family Portrait (The Bellelli Family), 1858-60

Everyone's seen a Renoir, most people know about Degas' dancers, or recognize Manet's Balcony. The ubiquity of Impressionism inspires films, fiction, and even credit card embellishment. "Two Girls at a Piano" reminds a father of his two daughters, so he finds a knock off online; an art student stares endlessly at Van Gogh's self portrait pondering the brushstrokes and the life of a successful artist.

But the overwhelming presence of Impressionist painting can also lead more than a few critics to beg for something different. Please, curator gods, not another Impressionist show! This month alone, Impressionism is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and San Antonio's McNay, and, no surprise, the Kimbell Art Museum -- North Texas' biggest proponent of the art movement.

But who can resist "Starry Night" or Renoir's Dance series? The consistent presentation of the art movement might be considered pandering or populism, if the paintings and the artists weren't so important to the development of modern art. And if you're going to see one of the numerous Impressionism exhibitions that have or will come through Dallas/Fort Worth, see Faces of Impressionism at the Kimbell, October 19-January 25.

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By Reshaping Red Arrow Contemporary, the Stafford Sisters Might Just Be Gamechangers

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Bye, Bye Dragon Street.

Saturday night, the Stafford sisters open their final art exhibition on Dragon Street. Aptly titled, Always and Forever, it's a show revolving around memento mori - or objects that warn or remind of death.

But their gallery isn't dying; it's growing.

"We had two options, we could close or we could change," says Erin Stafford. "We decided to change."

For three years, Erin and Elissa Stafford created some of Dragon Street's more engaging programming at Red Arrow Contemporary. The shows, which varied from an Austin printmaking shop to Anne Ferrer's blow up sculptures, never fell into a particular aesthetic or genre. It was always engaging, but never felt like a commercial gallery. Which is why they knew they needed to evolve.

Earlier this year, they announced plans for a curator-in-residence program, and now they have their sights set on Trinity Groves for late 2015. When they reopen, they intend to be a nonprofit that includes live/work studios, educational initiatives, and exhibition space. To make that happen, the sisters embark down a road lined with paperwork and fundraising, but if they can make it happen, they believe it will be well worth the investment.

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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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