Is livening your living room or expanding your consciousness on October’s to-do list? We have must-see shows that will make you pause and make you think.
This month, discover where large-scale installations go when they leave the museum, revel in a stylish painter’s fashionable presentation and embrace the systems that run throughout our lives.
“Requiem for a Fallen Structure” by Gabriel Dawe, “Accused” by Sarah Ball and “Recent Paintings” by Vincent Falsetta at Conduit Gallery
Reception: October 11, 6-8 pm
Exhibition dates: October 11-November 15
When site-specific installations come down, what happens to the raw materials? If you’re artist Gabriel Dawe, you bring together the remains of the work to create a “Requiem for a Fallen Structure.”
The Dallas-based thread artist has displayed his “Plexus” series everywhere from Museum Rijswijk in the Netherlands to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, but some of his site-specific works simply can’t stay in their original habitats.
“This show is about the life of the thread after those temporary installations come down,” says Conduit director Danette Dufilho. “We’ve grouped post-study drawings paired with the actual bundled thread. Where his installations are airy and light, when they come down they become relics.”
With something for every aesthetic, Dawe’s bundles and drawings are complemented by small canvases inspired by vintage mug shots of prostitutes, gamblers and smugglers crafted by Welsh artist Sarah Ball. University of North Texas professor Vincent Falsetta’s seismic abstract works complete a very satisfying exhibition.
“SMFW14” by Samantha McCurdy
at RE Gallery
Reception: October 18, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: October 18-November 15
A fresh discovery in last year’s Dallas Art Fair was Samantha McCurdy’s whimsical pastel works cozying up to each other in the RE Gallery booth. McCurdy has perfected her “Snug” series just in time for her first one-woman show, and she’s given it a fashionable twist.
Approaching her exhibit as she would a runway presentation, this artist/stylist created a music video and look book to complement her creations, and her opening will feature a DJ set by Gina Garza as well as signature cocktails in the same lush hues as her canvases.
“I’ve been working in fashion since I was 16, and I really wanted to make an art show just like a fashion show,” says McCurdy. “Designers will have these amazing DJs do a musical score for their runway and work with contemporary artists to build sets for their run. I live very externally, and I want my paintings to experience the same atmosphere — it’s not fair they have to sit on the wall and not come to the party!”
Originally inspired by the exaggerated shapes created by her art’s being stored improperly, McCurdy’s canvases are created in mix-and-match candy-colored hues. Designed to literally “flirt and cuddle” with each other, they’re built with the same dimensions so that the buyer can pick their favorites to snuggle on the wall together.
“It’s like someone saying, ‘I want the shoes from look 4 and the jacket from look 15.’ I’m giving the people who vibe my work the opportunity to choose the pieces they want and create their own outfit.”
“Systema” by various artists
at Zhulong Gallery
Reception: October 25, 6-9 pm
Exhibition dates: October 25-November 29
Systems in all their iterations — economic, informational, environmental and communicative — drive our daily life in more ways than we realize. This is the premise behind Zhulong’s latest ambitious exhibition from gallery director Aja Martin.
“Systems are really interesting,” she explains. “You have an idea, and the more you pursue it, the more it comes to life. [When curating the show] I started to see how things like poetry become a system; it’s a wide yet specific concept. It’s really about work that presents our contemporary experience with systems in our everyday environment.”
But it’s up to you to make the connection between “Systema’s” installations, coding work, photography, video and new media. From Patricia Reed’s multi-handed, modified industrial clock to Tega Brain’s projection “Kilowatt Hours” projection made from a hacked energy meter, each piece deserves more than a lingering look.
Says Martin, “They all work together in one larger system, and I leave that part open to the viewer. It’s still visually interesting enough that someone without an art background can find [these pieces] intriguing.”