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Art gallery picks of the month: Ladies' choice, colorful collages and video vanguard

Art gallery picks of the month: Ladies' choice and video vanguard

Jay Yan at Galleri Urbane in Dallas
Jay Yan at Galleri Urbane. Photo courtesy of Galleri Urbane
Irby Pace at Galleri Urbane in Dallas
Irby Pace at Galleri Urbane. Photo courtesy of Galleri Urbane
Lance Letscher at Conduit Gallery
Lance Letscher, Hot Rod (aircraft), 2013. Reconfigured vintage aircraft, collage and mixed media. At Conduit Gallery. Photo by Kevin Todora
Lance Letscher at Conduit Gallery
Lance Letscher, Secret Name, 2013. Collage on Masonite. At Conduit Gallery. Photo courtesy of Conduit Gallery
Margaret Meehan at CentralTrak
Margret Meehan, Jab, 2011. Archival inkjet print. At CentralTrak. Photo courtesy of CentralTrak
Jay Yan at Galleri Urbane in Dallas
Irby Pace at Galleri Urbane in Dallas
Lance Letscher at Conduit Gallery
Lance Letscher at Conduit Gallery
Margaret Meehan at CentralTrak

October’s art gallery must-sees run the gamut from an up-and-coming Chinese video artist to a Texan master of collage. Add in a lady-centric exhibit inspired by an American folk tradition, plus a photographer who plays with explosions of color, and you have a little something for every artistic palate and palette.

SADIE HAWKINS, various artists at CentralTrak
Preview reception: October 26, 8-10 pm
Exhibition dates: October 26-December 16

First publicized by the Lil’ Abner comic strip in 1937, Sadie Hawkins Day has inspired decades of high school dances and female-driven first dates. In the hands of curator Leigh A. Arnold, “Sadie Hawkins” is also the inspiration for a group show from talented women whose work explores feminist and post-feminist sensibilities in a variety of mediums. 

“Last spring there were several group shows in Dallas and all the participating artists were guys,” Arnold says. “I just started thinking about the last time I saw a strong show of female artists in this city. Why aren’t they getting more exposure?” 

Her solution was CentralTrak’s “Hawkins,” which draws together eight female artists/collectives to examine what turned out to be an underlying theme of  “women waiting on people or doing domestic activities.” This organic undercurrent doesn’t play like Mad Men-era -advertising, but rather as an envelope-pushing look at modern gender expectations.

PREGUNTA NUMERO UNO, Lance Letscher at Conduit Gallery
Opening reception: October 12, 6-8 pm

Exhibition dates: October 12-November 16

For Lance Letscher, dimension is everything. A master of juxtaposition, the Austin-based artist has moved from pencil and paper to lushly layered collages to three-dimensional objects customized and transformed by his original overlays.

Conduit Gallery owner Nancy Whitenack has shown the artist’s work for nearly two decades, and she says his most recent exhibition “relates to putting things together. Some of the collages in the current show are a bit narrative; others are very industrial looking and have planes or trains running through them. Growing up, Lance built model planes and other kinds of models, and he used to race motorcycles, so fast things interest him.”

So much so, the highlights of the exhibition are a revamped and collaged Ducati and a reconfigured 12-by-9-foot WWII fighter plane — customized and collaged by Letscher, of course.

POP! After Dark, Jay Yan and Irby Pace at Galleri Urbane
Opening reception: October 12, 6-8 pm

Exhibition dates: October 12-November 16

Confinement and release are the connectors between the two very different artists showing their work this month at Galleri Urbane. Chinese video auteur Jay Yan films himself sleeping in various environments, from a Plexiglas box to pricey midcentury modern chairs.

Hot on the heels of his appearance at the Venice Biennale, the artist unveils his serial installations created with a literal definition of things being imported from China in mind. His work, as Yan has said, “is also, in a small way, about how art is transported, how some lives inside boxes and is not seen. The artist is the art or vice versa; it becomes related to a kind of worship with regard to the cult of personalities.”

For Urbane owner Ree Willaford, Yan’s visuals could only be complemented by work with an equally impactful effect. Her solution? A show of vibrant photographs by Denton-based photographer Irby Pace. His guerilla paint bombs are captured in a split second, the resulting cumulus clouds adding an energetic edge to urban, suburban and bucolic environments.