End the year with all the art to make your eyeballs happy
There are a lot of things this year will be remembered for, but being dull isn’t one of them. Although we could all use a tad more stability in 2019, unconventional times make for unconventional art. Take a moment to examine hyper-personal work from London, Toronto, New York, and Dallas before bidding adieu to 2018. —Kendall Morgan
“Fragile Lands and New Orders” by Ori Gersht at Talley Dunn Gallery. Now through January 19.
Political commentary and still life portraits align in the oversized photographs of Israeli artist Ori Gersht. Based in London, the photographer came to gallerist Talley Dunn’s attention over 15 years ago, but a fortuitous introduction in 2016 led to his first Dallas show in Dunn’s space.
Using an air rifle, Gersht destroys rare flowers and fine ceramics, recording the explosions on a high-speed camera with a prowess that makes the final result appear more like an oil painting than a photographic image.
By utilizing botanical specimens with a special meaning in Israeli and European culture —wildflower picking was outlawed in Israel in 1963—Gersht also pays homage to classic still lifes by the likes of Chardon, Zurbarán and Morandi.
“His work is incredible on every level,” says Dunn. “I’m fascinated that the camera is seeing something that we cannot see. Something that’s full of life is being destroyed, and there’s a beauty and something horrific in that at the same time. I don’t want to shape what someone thinks when they see it, but when you do, it just takes your breath away.”
“Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot” by Rusty Scruby at Cris Worley Fine Arts. Now through December 29.
“Should Old Acquaintance” is a timeline trip from the past two decades of Dallas artist Rusty Scruby’s overactive imagination. A type of “greatest hits” that didn’t make it in previous shows, the exhibition features everything from a trail of reconstituted Minute Maid cartons traipsing down the wall (a comment on the secret life of trash) to knitted work inspired by political protestors’ “pussy hats.”
Considered an “unequivocal genius” by Cris Worley, the artist’s mathematical precision proves it is possible to have the left and right brain working in tandem. Scruby often uses the organizing principles of calculus and music theory to turn his source images into lattices of interlocked paper that seem to shimmer and vibrate in multiple dimensions.
“I like to keep my hands busy; I play piano, knit, and garden,” Scruby muses. “I’d go nuts if I’m not working on something. It’s almost obsessive for me. Art is the way I deal with life.”
“Wake” by Pierre Krause at Permanent Research Project, 508 Fabrication Street. Now through December 15, by appointment.
When not helping guests select the latest in luxurious tomes at The TASCHEN Library at The Joule, artist Pierre Krause shows emotional work in local spaces.
Now up by appointment at the Permanent Research Project, “Wake” utilizes everything from repurposed prints by artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ 1990 work (portraying 460 individuals killed by gunshot) to a mixed media canvas utilizing the artist’s hair.
Whatever medium Krause chooses, the pieces are contemplative in a way that feels painfully intimate. “People have used the word prolific with me, and that’s not far off base,” says Krause. “I make a lot of work, and it’s always autobiographical. Everything in ‘Wake’ is as recent as possible and close to my heart. I like to be as honest and that means making work that addresses our culture and frenetic times and what’s literally going on with me in my own head.” To make an appointment to view the show, email the artist directly at email@example.com.
“Status Quo” by Shelter Serra at The Public Trust. Now through January 5.
To celebrate The Public Trust’s move from Monitor Street to 2042 Irving Boulevard, owner Brian Gibb welcomed guests with an intimate set from superstar songstress Billie Eilish, who just so happened to be in town for a sold-out show at the Granada. Booking a superstar songstress to ring in a Dallas space isn’t something a typical gallerist would do, but then again, Gibb is no typical gallerist.
Since publishing the ‘zine Art Prostitute in the early noughties to the 2017 founding of his art book company, Archon, Gibb has always followed his instincts towards edgy and thought-provoking programming and projects. And, if that means cross-pollinating pop art with pop culture, that’s okay with him.
The Eilish set was a harbinger of super-private, salon-style events Gibb hopes to produce in the future, including boldface names both on the canvas and on the charts.
“I feel like the programming is going to be a lot more ambitious,” says Gibb. “The things I’m going to do—there hasn’t been much of a precedent for in Dallas. They’ll be really amazing events, but also the first opportunity for people to purchase work.”
Guests at the performance also got a chance to check out the work of New York-based Shelter Serra after the show. The nephew of sculpture legend Richard Serra, Shelter traffics in the mix of high and low culture, creating Birkin bags out of resin and electroplating baseball caps with copper.
“Shelter’s work is this intersection between luxury goods and things made of basic materials,” explains Gibb. “Works like an electro-plated PlayStation or crushed Dixie cups plated in 24-karat gold explore the intersection between common goods and materials and luxury items. When you take something like a Birkin bag and recreate it in sculpture, which one is more valuable?”
The answer is up to the viewer, of course, but the question makes this show—and all of Gibb’s other endeavors—an interesting exhibit to engage with.
“The Fourth Wall” by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins, Cydonia Gallery at the Texas Theatre. Now through February 9.
What would happen if a poet and a surrealist painter met and collaborated on an exquisite corpse? Most likely, the result would be something along the lines of “The Fourth Wall” from Toronto art duo Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins.
Referencing everything from the work of arthouse director Alejandro Jodorowsky to the paintings of Magritte, the pair anthropomorphizes their objets to deliver a commentary on the self-polemicizing art world. Developed specifically for the Texas Theatre, “The Fourth Wall” acknowledges the audience by addressing the barrier between the exhibition and the people who view it.
“When (owner) Hanh Ho told us she moved the gallery to the Texas Theatre, that piqued our curiosity,” says Borins. “We actually thought about art house cinema and creating an exhibition that’s theatrically presented. It’s surreal to make artworks speak, but we wondered why DON’T they speak? Archetypical personalities come through with maybe a short polemic and a resolution at the end.”
And a dollop of humor, bien sûr.