September is here, and the art season is finally kicking into high gear. Aside from the opening of the Dallas outpost of LA-based street art center Lab Art and the big reveal of gallerist Erin Cluley’s eponymous space in Trinity Groves, there’s another new venue ready to make its mark on the Design District.
We’ve also got the gallery debut of an acclaimed Dallas commercial photographer, some psychedelic still lifes by a San Fran spray artist and a sexagenarian with a razor-sharp sense of humor.
“Of Land and Sea” by Casey Gray at Circuit 12 Contemporary
Reception: September 6, 6-10 pm
Exhibition dates: September 6-October 5
Drawing from such disparate influences as Dutch Golden Age painting, skateboard culture and computer graphics, San Francisco artist Casey Gray’s electric still lifes are so vivid they almost vibrate off the canvas.
Working in the medium of spray paint, Gray’s canvases bring back the cartoonish realism of the golden age of airbrush art. His exhibit of 15 new paintings at Circuit 12 Contemporary broadens his appeal with fresh figurative works that wouldn’t be out of place on the cover of a reissue of Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero.
Says owner and curator Dustin Orlando, “Once I heard his work was spray paint, I got an immediate appreciation for it. Although the imagery is textbook of what you might see in a ‘fine art’ gallery, he’s mocking that whole system or gallery presentation of decorative work.”
And in the Circuit 12 tradition of setting off the artwork with complementary backdrops for an immersive viewing experience, Orlando has created gradient walls in sunset hues, all the better to showcase Gray’s innovative technique.
Geof Kern at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery
Reception and book signing: September 6, 5-8 pm
Exhibition dates: September 6-November 15
If you’ve found yourself drawn by a surrealistically beautiful ad buried in the pages of your favorite fashion magazine’s September issue, chances are it was shot by Geof Kern. His work has enlivened campaigns for Neiman Marcus and the cult Japanese label Matsuda — so much so, Kern’s imagery seems to be less about the clothes he was shooting and more about the alternate realities he creates.
After debuting in the fine art realm four years ago with a solo show at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Fine Art Gallery, the Dallas-based talent is finally being recognized on his home turf with an exhibition at Photographs Do Not Bend.
For Kern, having a solo show wasn’t so much of a goal as an inevitable outcome of over three decades in the industry. He explains, “I don’t know if I’m a newcomer or latecomer to gallery work, but I’ve been a photographer a long time, and people have always asked me if I sold prints or had a book.
“I’m a commercial photographer and most of the works are from advertising. When I started 35 years ago, photography wasn’t even considered art.”
Times have luckily changed, although Kern’s aesthetic has remained wonderfully consistent. He doesn’t yet have the glossy hardback monograph he so richly deserves, but Kern will be on hand at the opening reception to sign a catalog published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Anyone lucky enough to catch Gary Sweeney’s 2013 overview at Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio will be pleased that Big D is getting a solo exhibit from this wryly humorous artist. After participating in a 2012 group show, Erin and Elissa Stafford are bringing Sweeney back to Red Arrow Contemporary with 20 mixed media and print pieces.
Says Elissa, “We went to his 60th birthday when we installed the last show, and I was like, ‘I want to be you, you’re awesome!’ We love his sense of humor. He’s a Peter Pan that never grows old.”
Whether Sweeney is explaining why dog owners are psychopaths or sharing his family’s old vacation photos, the former airline baggage handler’s work is most definitely a conversation starter.
“EX-Y: Representations of Contemporary Masculinity” by various artists
Reception: September 12, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: September 12-October 25
If there was any doubt the Design District was still holding strong as gallery central, Cydonia has arrived. The newest ambitious space on the block, Cydonia is the brainchild of Goldsmiths graduate Hanh Ho, who worked for the likes of the Cranford Collection in London before returning home to be near family.
Ho says the timing for Cydonia is just right. “There’s a need for it. I wouldn’t have gone away to school if I felt the dialogue was here, but now the mayor has done a lot for the arts, and there’s a lot of galleries opening now.”
With a heavy emphasis on European talent, Ho is launching her space with a group show about modern masculinity encompassing performance, video and painting. Sponsored by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Lokal_30 Gallery, the show includes a performance by Warsaw-based artist Jan Mioduszewski September 12 at 7 pm.
Next up? A solo show by Glasgow School of Art graduate Paul Knight’s photography and sculptural installations opening the first week in November.