Anchored by the Dallas Art Fair (April 10-12 at Fashion Industry Gallery), Dallas Arts Week has risen to a level of prominence so high sites such as Artsy.com feel compelled to devote a thousand words to its influence. (Even if they do consider our fair city’s scene “disproportionate” in its impact — we beg to disagree.)
The truth of the matter is, the high-profile happenings surrounding the fair have trickled down into the indie arts scene, and there are more must-see shows both on and off the official roster than ever before. Beyond Thursday’s Preview Gala, Friday’s MTV RE:DEFINE and Saturday’s Art Ball — and, yes, the fair itself and the major museum exhibitions — here is an easy-to-follow guide of some of the best events.
Wednesday, April 8
Available to view with a Patron Pass, the Power Station’s Die Schmutzigen Puppen Von Pommern by Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys features oversized puppets with a distinct outsider art edge, although they are technically the descendants of an executioner family in 12th century Pomerania, in case you were curious. These Belgian artists’ deadpan works will be on view through June 12 for those who can’t make it out to Wednesday’s 7 to 9 pm opening soiree.
If there weren’t enough reasons to visit the Dallas Contemporary for Wednesday’s opening (David Salle, Nate Lowman and ArtPrize winner Anila Quayyum Agha among them), the Los Angeles-based duo Friends With You is bringing their large-scale experiential symbol of light and connectivity to the museum through Sunday. Known for their super-sweet if slightly twee canvases, sculptures and installations, Friends With You’s Light Cave is sure to put a smile on every fairgoer’s face.
Thursday, April 9
As a prelude to the much-anticipated Soluna Festival, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra hosts the musical installation de-finition/method listening to painting / looking at music by French artist Claude Rutault, beginning at 2 pm at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Rutault’s highly conceptual pieces transform the wall into the artwork, and the unveiling of this ambitious marriage between sound and vision shouldn’t be missed.
Friday, April 10
Photographer Hunter Barnes, who splits his time between rural Oregon and New York City, gets by with a little help from his friends — namely supermodel Erin Wasson and V.O.D. owner Jackie Bolin. These two have convinced their pal to bring works from his “Redneck Roundup” series to Bolin’s fashion-forward Victory Park boutique for an opening from 5 to 7 pm.
Saturday, April 11
For those that didn’t score admission to the Art Ball (or the Wasson and Bolin-hosted after party DJed by Solange), there are a few consolation prizes. The spirit of New York’s Lower East Side is taking over the Cedars, with a host of young gallerists showing envelope-pushing work.
Patrons can kick off the evening with a 5:30 champagne toast for Chivas Clem at Erin Cluley’s space on the other side of the bridge. Next, New York’s Peter Makebish has teamed up with RE Gallery’s Wanda Dye for a satellite show from 6 to 9 pm at 1505 Gano St. Houston, Dallas and New York-based artists on view include Chris Bexar, Christopher Deeton, Alika Herreshoff, Geoff Hippenstiel, Chris Kysor, Max Snow and Benjamin Terry.
RE also will unveil a temporary installation by Houston artist Falon Land Studio across from its main space. Next door, Homeland Security hosts a collaborative show with the Milwaukee-based experimental space American Fantasy Classics.
Also from 6 to 9 pm is And Now’s one-man show with paintings and sculptures from the former “bad boy of New York art” Dan Colen, who has exhibited at the Whitney, PS1 Contemporary Art Center and the Brandt Foundation Art Study Center. His beauty-is-trash aesthetic is sure to be even more impactful in And Now’s intimate space.
Finally — for anyone who can stay out that late — the evening’s after-after party, with hosts Wasson, Samantha McCurdy and David Quadrini, is taking over artist McCurdy’s That That space in Deep Ellum into the wee hours.
Sunday, April 12
If you were lucky enough to score an invite to last year’s Eye Ball at The Joule, you know that artist Tony Tasset’s iconic sculpture surrounded by the best and brightest art world denizens made for some enchanted evening. This year’s event closes out the week and promises to draw an equally stellar list of boldfaced names to see Leon Bridges and Quaker City Night Hawks perform under the stars.