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These are the 4 most interesting art gallery exhibits this fall

These are the 4 most interesting art gallery exhibits this fall

Geof Kern
Three Men Along Sidewalk by Geof Kern for Neiman-Marcus.  Photo courtesy of PDNB Gallery
Ryan McGinness
The Logic of this Work Is Stronger than the Logic of the World in which it Exists by Ryan McGinness at The Public Trust.  Photo courtesy of The Public Trust
Patrick Turk
Dust by artist Patrick Turk. Photo courtesy of Cris Worley Fine Art
Molly McGuire
The Hilton Sisters by Molly McGuire at the Webb Gallery's "County Fair" show. Photo courtesy of Webb Gallery
Geof Kern
Ryan McGinness
Patrick Turk
Molly McGuire

Fall is when the art world gets serious, even if local gallerists don’t always take things quite so seriously. Surrealistic snaps from a talented photographer, a single work from a psychedelic painter, found-object collages that can only be called insane — in a good way — plus bold banners to get everyone excited for the arrival of the State Fair help make September a very notable month indeed.  

“Life, Death, Beauty and Garbage: Selected Work Pictures 1987-1997,” Geof Kern at PDNB Gallery
Opening reception: September 10, 5-8 pm
Exhibition dates: September 10-October 8

With a title like “Life, Death, Beauty and Garbage,” viewers wouldn’t be amiss to assume they’ll be seeing everything but the kitchen sink in Dallas-based photographer Geof Kern’s latest exhibition. Kern had his first successful local show at PDNB back in 2014, and this latest look at his oeuvre is a distillation of his incredibly conceptual style, one that has clearly been copied over the years by other photographers.

With a focus on pieces shot between 1987 and 1997, Kern says he chose these particular works for their appeal to the general public. 

“There could be thousands of pictures in there, but I had to keep in mind what somebody may want to put on their wall. A portrait of Frank Sinatra Jr. may be interesting to me, but why would someone else want it? I almost had to put myself in somebody else’s place.” 

Most of the 84 shots he ultimately chose are artist’s proofs, the first or second printing the photographer does to show a printer what he ultimately wants the image to look like. Displayed informally with clips around the space, they provide a more affordable way to own Kern’s work, and a way of displaying photographs he says “I’ll probably never do again.”

Throughout the time period represented, assignments for blue chip clients such as Bloomingdale’s, Matsuda, Neiman Marcus, and Selfridges — plus magazines such as Detour, Esquire, and Spy — garnered him notoriety. Yet Kern says the industry has changed so much in recent years, the opportunity to impart one’s vision on a corporate gig is a rare achievement indeed. 

“I told Rolling Stone to take a flying fucking leap about a month ago — they were going to do a story on virtual reality glasses and said, ‘Here’s what I want you to do.’ The magazine industry is no longer the magazine industry. Everything has to be ‘real’ now, and everything is becoming the lowest common denominator.” 

One could never accuse Kern of sinking to that level. His work remains inspirational and elevating, even as he says he doesn’t know what will ultimately happen to his legacy. 

“It could go to an institution or a garbage heap like the title implies, but I want to keep it intact in a way. It’s nice to be recognized for making a contribution.” 

“All of This From Nothing,” Patrick Turk at Cris Worley Fine Arts
Opening reception: September 10, 5-8 pm
Exhibition dates: September 10-October 8

To call the hand-cut, heavily shellacked paper collages by self-taught Houston artist Patrick Turk “bananas” wouldn’t be an insult at all. His sometimes 8-inch-deep constructions culled from magazines, books, and other sources take repetition to a whole other level, with images of rock stars, flowers, skulls, and animals layered on top of one another until they create a new visual dimension. 

“They’re really luscious and beautiful and graphic,” Worley says. “He specifically likes [images] from the ’20 and ’60s, but he’ll buy as many copies of whatever he’s interested in as he can, and he doesn’t make photocopies, so his works are so dimensional they’re outrageous. They’re graphic and beautiful and horrible.” 

Based on the Book of Genesis, with a soul singer and Keith Richards standing in for Adam and Eve, the collages in “All of This From Nothing” range from the sublime to the terrible. One piece entitled Manifold Pains required Worley to add a note to the door proclaiming the show includes graphic content. Whether the viewer will be attracted or repulsed remains to be seen, but we promise you’ll never see anything quite like it. 

“Soliloquy,” Ryan McGinness at The Public Trust 
Opening reception: September 10, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: September 10-October 22
Artist Reception: October 12, 7-9 pm

With his “Soliloquy” series, Public Trust owner Brian Gibb took on the ambitious idea of showing a single artwork in his space, and his ability to draw in boldface names has made the series a continuing success. 

Up next is New York-based Ryan McGinnis, whose work resides in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, and the Charles Saatchi Collection. Influenced by logos and corporate signage, McGinness’ Technicolor painting is actually four canvases measuring 7-by-20 feet combined. 

Gibb says he’s been acquainted with the painter, who’ll be in the area for a lecture at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth October 11, through the publication of Gibb’s now defunct magazine Art Prostitute.  

“He was in our first show when we opened the (accompanying) gallery that year. It was a varied edition print on paper priced at $900, which everyone thought was outrageously high. That same work today would cost them north of $9K easy. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Ryan and his work, and I am extremely humbled by his inclusion. Hopefully Dallas will embrace this opportunity and we can keep this work in our city.”

For those that can’t afford the artist’s current prices, Gibb has issued an exhibition poster, which will be complimentary for the first 150 people who secure their tickets to the lecture. If you miss that window, you can try to snag a signed artist print of a detail of the painting — use the code LOCAL214 to pick it up at the gallery. After all, it will clearly only go up in value. 

“County Fair,” antique sideshow banners by Snap Wyatt and banner paintings by Molly McGuire, both at Webb Gallery 
Opening reception: September 11, 4-7 pm
Exhibition dates: September 1-December 18

People who love the State Fair really love the State Fair for everything it embodies — fried food, dizzy rides, and the promise of a cheesy sideshow attraction. The days of true freak shows are long gone, but the Webb Gallery is opening a conveniently timed homage to the differently talented with “County Fair.” 

Including original circus banners painted by Snap Wyatt in the ’40s and ​’50s, alongside contemporary New Orleans artist Molly McGuire’s series of ​“Original Sideshow Attractions,” the exhibit is sure to induce a candy-coated nostalgia in all who attend. 

The Webbs have been fans of the genre since the late ​’80s, when they discovered their first banners on the flea market circuit. 

“The first ones we acquired included a Freaks Past and Present banner by Wyatt from a Chicago dealer that we later found out had been used on the midway at the Texas State Fair,” says Julie Webb. “There is something inherent in the carny orange of a sideshow banner that my eye craves like the orange of a monks robe.”

Because the Waxahachie gallery can’t ever have an opening without it being a significant shindig, the opening will also feature music by the legendary James Hand and ice cream by Carnival Barker.