Tenth Annual Dallas Art Fair

The Dallas Art Fair celebrated 10 years this April!  Since its inception, the fair has expanded to Dallas Art Week and then to Dallas Art Month.  With each successive year it proves to be an elite fair, pulling in galleries and patrons locally and internationally.  I say it each year – this fair is a great opportunity for both collectors and art aficionados to see and purchase some of the best in modern and contemporary art from all over the world.

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With a decade of history, an increasing annual attendance around 15,000, huge sales, prominent dealers and big collectors, the Dallas Art Fair is not only a Texas staple now, but it has established itself as an important fair.  The Fashion Industry Gallery, which has hosted the event since it kicked off in 2009, squeezed in 93 galleries from all over the globe this April.  A large chunk of exhibitors were New York of the galleries – as in 35 of them.

In 2016 the fair announced the Dallas Art Fair Acquisition Program, in which it gifted the Dallas Museum of Art funds to purchase work by artists exhibiting at the fair for the museum’s permanent collection.  Initially the gift amount was $50,000.  In 2017 the gift amount was raised to $100,000.  This year, the tertiary year for the program and the 10th year for the fair, the gift has tripled in size since 2016, now to a $150,000 grant made possible with funding from the foundation as well as private donors.  Agustín Arteaga, director of the DMA, and Anna Katherine Brodbeck, curator of contemporary art, advised the group this year.

The museum selected and purchased works by Geraldo de Barros, Sanford Biggers, Alicia Henry, Shara Hughes, Tony Lewis, Matthew Ronay, and Brie Ruais.  This is such a cool program and I am glad to see it has grown over the years.

   
  
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  Left: Alicia Henry's "Untitled" | Right: Untitled print by Geraldo de Barros

Left: Alicia Henry's "Untitled" | Right: Untitled print by Geraldo de Barros

Two pieces were selected from Texas gallery artists - Alicia Henry's "Untitled" portrait is from our own Liliana Bloch Gallery here in Dallas and two prints by Geraldo de Barros were selected from Sicardi Gallery in Houston.  It’s a win-win-win-win – benefiting the DMA, the fair, the artists, and the galleries that represent them.

I was excited to see The Hole from New York participating this year; they were showing several works by Eric Shaw, including one huge seven by nine foot work.

   
  
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    Eric Shaw, Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 82 × 105”

Eric Shaw, Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 82 × 105”

I was introduced to Shaw’s work through a client of ours who collects him, and I have followed him ever since.  His colorful geometric abstractions are wonderful and engaging, and his process of digital manipulation and planning fits right into the post-analog painting style of many contemporary working artists.

It is great to see all the DFW galleries showing – Talley Dunn, Conduit, Cris Worley, Erin Cluley, Liliana Bloch, Valley House, William Campbell Contemporary, PDNB Gallery, and for the first time this year, Bivins Gallery. 

 Install show of Gallery Henoch's booth; Left to right: Steve Smulka, Eric Zener, John Evans

Install show of Gallery Henoch's booth; Left to right: Steve Smulka, Eric Zener, John Evans

I look forward to seeing the realism works from Henoch Gallery, NY (artists like Robert Jackson, Eric Zener, Steve Smulka), and the work of Taubert Contemporary and Miles McEnery Gallery artist, Markus Linnenbrink each year.  Linnenbrink’s thick and layered epoxy resin and pigment on wood works, particularly those from his ‘Drills’ or ‘Cuts’ series, are wonderful; his approach to color and material has garnered him a following in Dallas. 

   
  
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  Works from Markus Linnenbrink's Drills and Cuts series

Works from Markus Linnenbrink's Drills and Cuts series

The fair was packed all weekend, even on Sunday. It is a wonderful show we are lucky to have in Dallas and shouldn’t take for granted; 10 years ago we didn’t have anything in town that came close to what the fair does.

The Dallas Art Fair is still a powerhouse.

-M.P. Callender

Ginger Fox Gallery

Ginger Fox Gallery has opened a second location in the Dallas Design District!  I always stop by their Bishop Arts location when I’m in the area to see what new paintings Ginger Fox has been working on.  I was in Dallas this week to meet with a client for an install and swung by the new Ginger Fox location on Dragon Street on my way back to the Signet Art office.

Ginger Fox’s work has always been original, contemporary work, and for a large portion of her career the work revolved around magical realism and hyperrealism.  However, in the recent years she has branched out and, with the liberty of owning and running her own gallery, produces work in many different genres, styles, and subject matters.

When you visit the gallery you can see works from all of Fox’s collections.  Her floral abstracts are thick and colorful, the highly textured paint reaching off the canvas at the viewer while colors drip and blur below the abstracted bouquet.  There is a whole series on water that is quiet and composed with reflective hues of blues and whites, which is a serene contrast to the hardedges and bold colors of her Curves and Line series.

Currently in the gallery alongside Fox’s works, are the Swatch Paintings by Dallas-based artist Jennifer Lashbrook.  Her approach to collage involves paint swatch paper arranged to create pixelated images.  

As her artist's statement says, “…from a distance, the colors blend to create a photo realistic quality, with the individual ‘pixels’ becoming more distinguishable the closer one views the art.”  The gallery carries limited edition prints and original works by Lashbrook.

 Ginger Fox standing in the new gallery space!

Ginger Fox standing in the new gallery space!

Many congratulations to Ginger Fox Gallery on the second location!  If you haven’t been to the new gallery, make sure to stop by.  If you are unfamiliar with Ginger Fox’s work, you now have two galleries you can visit to check it out!

-M.P. Callender

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Craighead Green Gallery

I was in Downtown Dallas this week heading back to the office after dropping off an appraisal report for a client and was able to catch the current show at Craighead Green Gallery.

I follow many of the artists Craighead Green represents, and knew Russ Connell had some new sculptures up.  I am big fan of Connell’s large geometric sculptures, and wanted to see the two other artists he was showing with.  If you don’t already know, Craighead Green is known for their three-artist exhibitions.

The current exhibition features the work of Russ Connell, Tom Hoitsma and Kendall Stallings

Russ Connell – Nice To Meet You

Connell is a relatively new artist to the Craighead Green lineup.  He is a sculptor who works in metal, welding and casting his works together piece by piece.   The larger works are my favorite by Connell, big bold pieces with hard edges done in solid colors – I particularly like the Corten Steel works.   Several pieces in the show were a collaboration with muralist Mick Burson, who added his aesthetic to the sculptures with bright and whimsical paint jobs.

This exhibition also featured several of his smaller works; these “Untitled” pieces are a wonderful combination of form in the round meeting bight neon colors.

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Tom Hoitsma – Deconstructed Landscapes

This is Hoitsma’s first show at Craighead Green, and what a showing!  As an abstract expressionist Hoitsma’s work is a winning combination of scale, movement and, most of all, color. 

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His stokes are broad and quick, giving the action-painting feel for the viewer; your eye moving with the application of paint and transition of color.  These were a delight to see for the first time, the layering of color in these large-scale paintings is really what works for them.  They are bold and fast in size and movement, while subtle and alluring with fantastic color combinations and layering.

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Kendall Stallings – Dichotomy & Analogy

Stallings' realist paintings are, “an exploration of the off kilter.”  As his exhibition title suggests, these works are a dichotomy or subjects and places.   Figures are placed into extreme settings and landscapes with opposing or unusual objects.  A businessman in a suit contemplatively looking out to the water as he is stuck in a welded steel canoe tied between two trees, for example.

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The whimsical and contrasting subject matter in these works is fun for the viewer, and the idea of man interacting with the normal, the everyday, and nature is evident, but what brings these works home is Stallings’ approach the canvas.  These paintings are very well executed with the patient hand and detail oriented eye found in great photorealism.

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The show opened February 17th and will run until March 25th. 
Wonderful Show! Catch it while you can!

-M.P. Callender

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Signet Art in Germany

I will be spending this week working and playing in Germany.  Thought I would post a few images as a sort of travel log.   The weather here is clear and COLD.  There is plenty to see and very few tourists.  So, we bundled up and went on a walk about in the historic district of the city.  

Here are some of the gorgeous scenes.

Note the bacchanalia fountain.  No running water right now because of the cold but the larger-than-life figures are lively caricatures of men and women who are enjoying their beverages a bit too much along with froglike demon and an old woman wrestling the skeleton of death.  This large bronze sculptural group  is amusing and amazing. 

In Jakob Kirche, this group of panels from the passion of Christ is interesting.   These panels, which are likely from the 19th C., are in the style of Northern Renaissance paintings of the 17-18th C.  Each panel shows the escutcheons of a the prominent families that likely paid for the commission.  Also, note that although the paintings are representing the final days of Jesus, many of the settings and clothing are typical of Germany.  

The Last Supper, The Torture of Jesus, Ecce Homo (Behold the man—presentation of Jesus to the Jews by Pontius Pilot), Carrying the Cross, The Deposition, The Burial of Jesus—Note: Placing the body in a box, not a tomb

Out exploring –More Later! 

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FIRST COME FIRST SERVE

First Come First Serve opened this weekend at Fort Works Art in Fort Worth.  The opening reception was a big hit, pulling in a packed house to see the huge group show of emerging and established artists. And we mean packed house – doors opened at 6:00 and by 7:30 everyone in the gallery was rubbing shoulders – wonderful turnout.  Patrons were able to grab a scoop of ice cream provided by MELT Ice Creams and listen to music from deejay Ronnie Heart as they walked the gallery.

Part of the gallery’s mission statement reads that the space exists, “…to support the arts, to give back to the community and to inspire youth,” which is exactly what this open call show does.  For many in the exhibition, it was their first time ever to be shown on a gallery wall

Owner Lauren Childs sought to fill the walls of her gallery with the works of emerging, mid-career, and established artists; giving each an equal opportunity on a First Come First Serve basis.  Over 300 artists submissions came in response to the open call, and just over 100 were accepted before the acclaimed gallery space was full. 

 Sculpture by  Dan Lam

Sculpture by Dan Lam

Don’t miss this wonderful show!  It is a great chance to see original contemporary art in a variety of mediums; both 2D and 3D.  The exhibition is up until March 17th and if you've never been to the gallery, it’s located at 2100 Montgomery Street Fort Worth, Texas 76107.