Your Show of Shows
Gallery picks of the month: Traumatic beauty, oversized inflatables and vanity power
The barriers of physical perfection, candy-colored kinetic objects, an obsession with fame — these are this month’s reasons to get out of the house and into your local art gallery. Below, our round-up of the must-see shows on the Dallas contemporary art circuit for May.
THIS MORTAL COIL: Rebuking the Ideal in Contemporary Figurative Art, various artists, at CentralTrak
Opening reception: May 11, 8-10 pm
Exhibition dates: May 11-June 29
Exploring our cultural preoccupation with beauty and physical perfection, CentralTrak’s “This Mortal Coil” promises to provide far more intense fodder for cocktail chatter than your run-of-the-mill opening.
With seven participating artists from New York, New Orleans, Texas and Japan, each work straddles the line between thought-provoking and disturbing. And no one’s works are more of a conversation starter than Austin-based Denise Prince, who has spent more than three years exploring the connection between trauma and beauty in a series of provocative photographs based on advertising campaigns.
Sourcing her subjects from support groups, the Internet and even the city streets, Price captures her subjects in a way that breaks the rules of fashion photography as it highlights the true nature of humanity.
“It’s about confronting something people may find jarring at first, but it’s got so many beautiful edges to it,” she syas. “[My subjects] are a step ahead of confronting something we don’t want to think about, and they’re not afraid of who they are anymore.”
Prince explores the concept further in a lecture during the exhibition. “Not On Speaking ‘Terms’: Trauma and Beauty” features commentary by the artist’s psychoanalyst, notable philosopher Charles Merward, who processes her work in an experimental live “couch session” on May 16 at 7 pm. Analysis and art have never been so perfectly aligned.
BLOW UP with Anne Ferrer, at Red Arrow Contemporary
Opening reception: May 18, 6-9, pm
Exhibition dates: May 18-June 22
It’s a rule of thumb in every gallery space: “Don’t Touch the Art!” This may prove to be more challenging than usual when “Blow Up” by French artist Anne Ferrer opens later this month at Red Arrow Contemporary.
Working with oversized inflatables in an irresistible range of candy hues and stripes, Ferrer’s work has the viewer longing to jump into the middle of one of her air-filled sculptures. Although Ferrer — who has also shown at New York’s LAB Gallery, the Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio and the Centre Pompidou in Paris — says her work “ravishes you aggressively and with pure pleasure,” this particular ravishing has to be experienced in a strictly hands-off manner.
The largest of the pieces measures 13-by-20-by-10 feet. Along with the inflatables, Ferrer exhibits 34 of her watercolors and five collectible “Rain Flower” coats that leave buyers looking like living sculptures.
VANITY FARE by Drew Merritt, at Global Fashion News Gallery
Opening reception: May 11, 7-10 pm
Exhibition dates: May 11-18
What’s the equivalent of a trendy pop-up shop in 2013? A pop-up gallery, of course. Global Fashion News has teamed with W.A.A.S. Gallery to bring artist Drew Merritt’s “Vanity Fare” to its current location at 3005A Commerce St., the former home of the Factory Girl boutique.
Inspired by his time living in Los Angeles, Merritt uses a mixture of mediums to bring his TMZ-ready technique to the gallery walls. The result is a vibrant comment on the way modern-day viewers approach celebrity persona and the obsession with fame.
Hitting the sweet spot between pop art and pop culture, “Vanity Fare” paintings, prints — even limited-edition shirts — are for sale during the duration of the show in the Global Fashion News space.