June 16, 2019

THE PRODIGAL GALLERIST

Texas native Sean Horton returns—bringing an international roster with him

Nestled in between Lucky Dog Books and a hair salon, a Mission Revival building on West Jefferson Avenue has a storied past as both a pharmacy and a sanitarium. Now the storefront has evolved once again as Sean Horton (presents), a forward-thinking space curated by a seasoned Texan gallerist.  

Horton helped colonize the Lower East Side as an art enclave in 2006 with his project space Sunday L.E.S. After a decade-plus manning Horton Gallery in New York’s Chelsea and Chinatown and Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood, Horton decided to take advantage of the burgeoning art scene back home.  

“Moving back is something I debated for about two years,” says Horton, who was born in Dodd City and attended the University of North Texas before moving east. “I watched the success of the Dallas Art Fair, and how it became a destination for a lot of my international colleagues. The more I watched it grow, the more I thought I could do something here.”  

 

Left: Katherine “Bernhardt Hawaii Smoke” 2016. Acrylic on canvas. Right: Sadie Laska “Benzodiazepines,” 2019. Acrylic and collage on canvas.

When artist John Pomara brought the empty Oak Cliff storefront Horton’s attention, the timing seemed perfect. Sean Horton (presents) specializes in exhibiting established national and international talent, as well as emerging contemporary artists Horton has cultivated by participating in art fairs such as The Armory Show, NADA Miami and New York, and Art Brussels. What Horton won’t do is show local work—as far as he’s concerned, that’s something existing spaces do quite well.  

Horton’s current show, Justin Adian: Casual Encounters, features hybridized painting-sculpture works by Justin Adian (on view through June 29, 2019). The gallery will be on hiatus until September when Horton simultaneously open two shows: a group show at his New York gallery and a solo show featuring works by New York-based conceptual artist Lucia Hierro here in Dallas, highlighting Horton’s passion for introducing Dallas to national and international artists, diversifying the city’s art scene. 

“There are plenty of galleries in Dallas that focus on Texas artists, and they do a really good job at it,” he explains. “I’m focused on bringing artists from the outside. I think (the space) could be a neighborhood art gallery as well as an international platform that goes around the world. That’s what I’m hoping for.” —Kendall Morgan 

The Details: Sean Horton (presents), 905 West Jefferson Boulevard.