Your Show of Shows

These are the 4 best Dallas art gallery exhibitions this month

These are the 4 best Dallas art gallery exhibitions this month

David Bates
David Bates Magnolia in a Bowl, 2015, at Talley Dunn Gallery. Photo courtesy of Talley Dunn Gallery
Caroline D
A work by Dan Lam at Fort Works Art. Photo courtesy of Fort Works Art
Matthew Bourbon
Different Versions of You by Matthew Bourbon, at Kirk Hopper Fine Art. Photo courtesy of Kirk Hopper Fine Art
Samantha McCurdy
Dan Rodriguez and Joseph Steffen flank artist Samantha McCurdy at her Pink House Show installation in the designers' atelier. Photo courtesy of Samantha McCurdy
Samantha McCurdy
McCurdy's "Snug" painting gives the fuchsia room a three-dimensional accent. Photo courtesy of Samantha McCurdy
David Bates
Caroline D
Matthew Bourbon
Samantha McCurdy
Samantha McCurdy

Sexy sculpture, an artistic Texan icon, a beyond vibrant painter, and a final farewell for one tickled-pink installation: Summer ends with some bold, bright moments before the fall arts season kicks off. Here are just a few exhibits for collectors and gallery goers to focus on: 

“Coquette,” Dan Lam, and “9Grams,” various artists, both at Fort Works Art
Closing reception: September 10, noon-9 pm
Exhibition dates: Now-September 10

Abstract yet alluring, the large-scale wall pieces and “drippies” from sculptor Dan Lam have a flirtatious appeal all their own. Says the gallery’s co-founder Lauren Childs, “The name of the show is ‘Coquette,’ because it’s beautiful and different and begs to be touched. But in an art gallery/museum, the art is not meant to be touched, so that immediately creates a visceral conflict with the viewer. [Lam] has also titled all the works with very feminine names, many based on popular makeups.” 

Drawn to Lam’s work by her “insanely well-curated Instagram feed,” Childs gave the artist a seven-week residency to produce her oversized wall pieces, a tradition that will continue as Lam is planning to use the space as an ongoing resource to make her larger works. 

Along with “Coquette” is “9Grams,” an all-male show of nine global artists who plumb the same visual territory as Lam, including Hoxxoh, who created a rainbow mural to adorn the outside of the gallery. With an eye for young talent and more ambitious programming coming this fall, Fort Works Art is most definitely one to watch in the coming months. 

“That’s who we want to be,” says Childs. “A gallery that takes risks, supports our own artistic beliefs, and is true to our goal of making a cultural shift for both artists and collectors in Fort Worth.”

“David Bates: Paintings and Sculptures,” at Talley Dunn Gallery  
Opening reception: August 27, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: August 27-October 29

With his angular brushstrokes and folk-art-influenced style, David Bates remains uniquely Southern, even as the Dallas-based artist has garnered attention from coast to coast from such institutions as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of American Art. 

For this, his first show in two years at Talley Dunn, Bates once again turns his eye towards the Texas Gulf Coast, exhibiting oystermen, shrimp boats, and crashing waves alongside his iconic floral arrangements and still lifes. Sculptures bring his lines into a third dimension, pulling bold blooms and reclining nudes off the canvas.

Having said in the past that his painting “has the components of a short story,” it is easy to see a larger dialogue hidden among his brutalist brush strokes. Bates deliberately avoids giving his people and places a specific identification, preferring viewers to fill in the blanks with their own interpretations. 

It’s also not a surprise to learn he has a personal connection with all of his works, especially the ones in this show. Bates says “I would really like to keep most of them. But I have limited space, and the new owners will be the caretakers until the paintings and sculpture end up in museums, hopefully.” 

“If,” new works by Matthew Burdon at Kirk Hopper Fine Art
Opening reception: August 27, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: August 27-October 1

Also playing fast and free with narrative is New York-based painter Matthew Burdon, who opens his first solo exhibition for Kirk Hopper this month. His canvases marry abstract accents with figurative subjects, a methodology he has called “an uncomfortable limbo between heady ideas and dumb form.”

But what makes his pieces so intriguing is the sometimes eye-aching blend of color and pattern. Says the artist, “Color for me is a means to evoke mood. I want to give each painting its own attitude and comportment.  Essentially I am trying to thread together visual connections between the sometimes jarring pictorial differences within my paintings." 

“Pink House Show,” Samantha McCurdy and Gina Garza, at 801 Sunset Ave., Dallas
Closing reception: August 27, 6-10 pm

One advantage of having a relatively intimate local arts scene is the opportunity it affords for talent to cross-pollinate and turn their ideas into reality as quickly as possible. Pulled together during the Dallas Art Fair, the "Pink House Show," masterminded by local painter Samantha McCurdy at the abode of creative directors/designers Dan Rodriguez and Joseph Steffen, proved to be an Instagrammable hit for the last few months. 

Now the installation, which also serves as a showroom for the duo’s handmade hats, fascinators, and handbags, is set to go down with one last bash, giving fuchsia fans the chance to view the space in all its rosy glory. 

“Sam did such a fabulous job of making the art part of the house,” says Steffen. “You can be immersed in a way you don’t always get to have in a gallery space. People come and say, ‘I can’t stop smiling!’ and I’m like, ‘That’s what it’s for.’ ” 

McCurdy’s vibrant “snug” pieces, as well as Gina Garza’s string art, complement the fashion, and the fact that visitors can walk home with any of the works lets them feel comfortable engaging with both the art and the accessories. 

Says McCurdy, “Everything’s for sale, the art and the products they’ve incorporated into the actual landscape. People play dress up and interact with the space. It’s more fun than just going to an installation, because you are able to wear the art.” 

Those who haven’t made it by yet can RSVP for one last hurrah. Even though the space will no longer exist in its current iteration, Steffen promises more visual delights to come next spring. “Our house is always open and changing.”