There's a new gallery opening in the Dallas Design District with impeccable breeding: Called Site 131 — a reference to its address at 131 Payne St. — it comes from entrepreneur and art collector Seth Davidow and his mother, Joan Davidow, a legendary figure in the local art world.
The gallery will present four exhibitions annually, showing emerging and under-recognized artists who address a similar issue, concern, or way of working.
"I wanted to create, together with my mother, a venue to engage her passion of unveiling new art and making contemporary art accessible to other young collectors," Seth says in a release.
Joan, whom Texas Monthly dubbed "Texas' avant-gardian angel," will serve as curator, bringing in artists from Texas, United States, and abroad. A release describes the gallery's core pursuit as spotlighting each grouping of artists "to engage both experienced and new audiences, from under-exposed students to apprehensive adults, to foster new ways to look at and think about contemporary art."
Joan served as an art critic for KERA and has worked for museums and galleries including the Dallas Museum of Art, Arlington Museum of Art, and Dallas Contemporary. A collection of her art is on permanent display at the University of Texas at Dallas.
The opening exhibition, "Layering: Different Strokes," features works by Lauren Muggeo, Marjorie Schwarz, and Art Peña. The trio, whose paintings differ greatly, nurture individual ways of applying paint: Muggeo's freeform, floating images dart across an almost underwater surface; Schwarz's cautiously and intellectually layered ground slowly builds to an opaque area; and Peña's meticulously and repetitively applied paint swabs a dotted, checkerboard façade. An essay by Kevin Reuben Jacobs will address the artworks.
Located on the west side of the Design District, Site 131 occupies a portion of a newly restored 1950 Trammell Crow industrial warehouse. The gallery debuts on December 19, from 6-9 pm, and will be open Fridays and Saturdays from noon-5 pm, or by appointment.