The ARTofficial Guide to the Dallas Art Fair
To celebrate its 11th iteration, the Dallas Art Fair is bigger and better than ever. Although the Fair officially begins Friday, April 12 at the Fashion Industry Gallery, satellite soirees, great local gallery shows, and after-parties aplenty kick in Wednesday and won’t abate until Sunday’s very last mimosa. Fasten your seatbelts, art lovers; it’s going to be a bumpy (but very festive) week! —Kendall Morgan
Erin Cluley kicked things off last week at a standing-room-only opening of her brand-new space in the River Bend development on Manufacturing Street. After a successful five years in Trinity Groves, Erin Cluley 2.0 is large enough she can highlight the work of two artists in tandem.
“(Developer and Art Fair chairman) John Sughrue recruited me to look at River Bend, and it was great timing. I have two galleries now, so I’ll always be able to present someone regional with someone from out of town,” she says. “It’ll also give me the flexibility to do presentations with an artist I formerly might have had to place in a group show in the past.”
First up are the mirror and light works of Baltimore-based Chul Hyun-Ahn and the thread-wrapped steel sculptures of Catherine MacMahon. A highlight of the Fair for the past few years, Hyun-Ahn’s sculptures conjure endless space with an almost Buddhist approach to infinity and emptiness, making them the perfect foil to MacMahon’s more earthly driven works inspired by the landscapes of Wyoming and Montana.
Art Fair patrons can check out the show, plus a Soluna Festival performance of When the Trolls Go Rolling In by Egill Sæbjörnsson, at the official launch of River Bend Wednesday at 6 p.m.
FORM & SHAPE
One of the best parts of Art Week isn’t just the ability to see work from all over the world; it’s also the fact that the locals typically bring out their big gun shows this week. Two other exhibits worth checking out are the sculptural works in “Monumental II” at Barry Whistler Gallery and Mungo Thomson’s stress balls encased in Lucite at Galerie Frank Elbaz.
Artist Linnea Glatt’s fuzzy three-dimensional, black-and-white loops, lines and orbs are both optic and oddly adorable at Whistler, while Thompson’s “Stress Archive” installation of squishy “executive toys” in the shapes of lobsters, bananas, and smartphones make a timely commentary on the pressure we’re under to consume as much visual stimulus as possible in a five-day window.
WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!
Housed in the former Women’s Museum Building in Fair Park, the Vignette Art Fair is the biggest (and longest lasting) satellite fair in town—not to mention the only one that focuses on the work of women. Curated this year by Leslie Moody Castro, who also curated the 2017 Texas Biennial, the fair is featuring the work of 77 artists from all over the state.
“Female and female-identifying artists in institutions across the art world, in general, are underrepresented,” says the organization’s president Jessica Ingle. “We wanted to break the mold and do something completely different. Our artists get 100 percent of the profits from the sale of their work.”
Vignette kicks off Wednesday and Thursday from 6–9.p.m., with a public reception Friday night from 7–10 p.m. and regular hours Saturday 11–5 p.m. and Sunday 11–3 p.m.
BUT MAKE IT FASHUN
Style-conscious millennials have been in the throes of ’90s nostalgia for good reason—it really was just that much cooler, kids. With an eye to the past, Dallas-based photographer Thom Jackson has unearthed an iconic session on Polaroid Pola film with then 16-year-old aspiring model Chandra North in and around classic Palm Springs locations. Entitled “Palm Springs 1990,” his show at Craighead Green Gallery opens Wednesday with a reception attended from 5–8 p.m.
North counts the shoot as one of her favorites ever—which is pretty major considering she went on to grace the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.
“It’s twice vintage,” Jackson says of the show. “You’re looking at the ‘50s and the ‘90s. It was just such a cool time, and Chandra is so special. She’s smart, clever and more intuitive about modeling more than any other model I’ve worked with.”
Dallas Contemporary is also offering a triple dose of fashion fabulousness: The Self Service Story chronicles the first quarter century of the cutting-edge Paris magazine, Yelena Yemchuk’s Mabel, Betty, and Bette shots of fab females, while Kate features early images of the iconic Miss Moss from the Calvin Klein “Obsession” campaign captured by photographer Mario Sorrenti. All open Friday, April 12 with a reception for members from 7–10 p.m.
ONE MAN’S TRASH, ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE
A Houston institution, Bill’s Junk has always run on the adage that “art can be disappointing, but junk always exceeds your expectations.” Owner Bill Davenport is bringing his high/low mix of salvage, kitsch, and curiosities to the outdoor space at Talley Dunn Gallery starting on Thursday at from 6-10 p.m.
Holding court in the courtyard through the weekend, Davenport is presenting theme days such as Friday’s “Watermelon Day” and “Driftwood Day” Saturday. Need a painted rock or a fake pizza? Of course you do!
New York-based artist Francesco Clemente work draws from metaphysical questions of spirituality, mysticism and the nature of self. But for his current Dallas Contemporary show, he’s going a little more local—his oversized wall works are influenced by the Texan landscape of the Trinity River. Opening Friday, April 12, the show will also feature six large-scale sculptures by the artist produced in India.
Formerly development associate of the Dallas Contemporary, Hannah Fagadau is taking the leap into full-time gallerist in partnership with her sister, Hilary, who worked as director of Los Angeles’ Parrasch Heijnen Gallery. Named after the siblings shared birthdays (two years apart), 12.26 will make its official launch in the Design District this fall. But in the meantime, the duo is giving fairgoers a sneak peek at their programming in their Art Fair booth right by Weekend Coffee.
“Our goal is not so different from the Dallas Contemporary,” says Fagadau of their programming mix. “We’re looking at what’s going on in New York and what’s going on in L.A.—my sister will still be based there. We both felt Dallas is really ready for something like this. It’s been a dream of ours to open a space, and I think our timing is spot on.”
ONE & ONLY
Having launched his “One Night Only” series last year, Arthur Peña is back with another ambitious pop-up from 7 p.m.–midnight Friday, this time featuring the work of self-professed queer abstractionist Carrie Moyer. Taking her chosen form back from the hyper-masculine painters who gave it fame, she’ll showcase four new hyper-colored paintings, plus a site-specific installation created from a series of new prints.
“The artists I want to work with all have something specific to say tied to the agency over their bodies or the agency they exercise as an artist,” he says. “Carrie is going up against the male macho-ism in American abstraction, and she wants to push against that in her work.”
Moyer is also participating in a panel discussing “Three Approaches Regarding Abstraction” at 10:30 a.m. the same day at the Nasher Sculpture Center for those who want a deeper dive into her process.
RSVP to email@example.com to get all the pop-up deets.
The Hole Gallery’s booth added some energy to the Art Fair last year—not just for eye-poppin’ programming, but also for @bertiebertthepom, a fluffy Pomeranian with over 375k enthusiastic Instagram followers. Adopted off Petfinder before he found fame as the New York space’s owner Kathy Grayson’s permanent plus one, Bertie is so popular that Grayson will hold a special meet and greet for pet lovers at during Saturday’s Bark and Brunch at Wheelhouse. Come say hello from noon–2 p.m. They’ll have free treats and flower collar charms for all good pups, too!
The Joule is going to celebrate in the most spectacular fashion possible at this year’s The Eye Ball. Held each year underneath Tony Tassett’s massive ocular sculpture across from the hotel, the closing party on Saturday is best the way to celebrate another successful fair. We can’t reveal the full theme, but let’s just say it’ll be a garden party like you’ve never seen before.
Afterward, Ro2 Gallery is back for the second year in a row with an unofficial The Eye Ball after-party across from The Joule in the divinely Deco Dallas Power and Light Building at 1508 Commerce, featuring mixed media works from the African artist AKIRASH.
SUNDAY KINDA LOVE
Finally, local artist and curator Randy Guthmiller wraps the whole damn thing up with “A Place for My Stuff” at the Randy Guthmiller Center for the Advancement of the Arts in the Cedars Sunday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Featuring the eclectic work of local artist Shelby David Meier, the opening will be a great chance to chat about how our city can remain a vibrant center for creativity and culture, even once all those out-of-towners go on to the next event on their social calendar.
The Details: Dallas Art Fair is located at the Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Avenue. Click here for tickets and more information.