Your Show Of Shows

4 must-see Dallas art gallery shows to check off your list this December

4 must-see Dallas gallery shows to check off your list this December

Bumin Kim
Untitled White by Bumin Kim at Ro2 Art. Photo courtesy of Ro2 Art
 El Mercado at Erin Cluley Gallery
El Mercado, the second annual exhibition of art and design at Erin Cluley Gallery. Photo courtesy of Erin Cluley Gallery
Rob Wilson
Pets Behaving Badly, Print Suite by Rob Wilson at Erin Cluley Gallery. Photo courtesy of Erin Cluley Gallery
Bruce Lee Webb
Image from As Above, So Below by Bruce Lee Webb at Webb Gallery. Photo courtesy of Webb Gallery
Dan Rizzie
Nizamuddin by Dan Rizzie at Barry Whistler Gallery. Photo courtesy of Barry Whistler Gallery
Bumin Kim
 El Mercado at Erin Cluley Gallery
Rob Wilson
Bruce Lee Webb
Dan Rizzie

Nothing cheers us more than the gift of art. However, if your budget isn’t quite as expansive as your holiday spirit, the city’s galleries still have gorgeous presents, accounted for.  A carefully curated selection of artistic-influenced gifts, a coffee table book examining the beauty behind America’s secret societies and some simply divine sculptural installations are just a few of the things on our holiday list.

“Belonging,” Bumin KimYuni Lee, and Jieun Lim, at Ro2 Art
Reception: December 4, 7-10 pm
Exhibition dates: December 4-January 9, 2016

The personification of drawing in three dimensions. The marriage of strange and familiar forms and patterns. Materials as a metaphor for healing. For the Korean artists Bumin Kim, Yuni Lee, and Jieun Lim, things are not always as they first appear. Curated together by Ro2 Art, the trio’s work encompasses sculpture, installation, and painting, but there is a through line that runs along their very different viewpoints.

The gallery’s co-owner, Jordan Roth, says he was first exposed to the work during visits to the University of North Texas, where Kim serves at adjunct professor, Lee is finishing up her MFA, and Lim is an undergraduate. Although they hadn’t been featured together in an exhibition before, their work proves to be complementary, as they all mix traditional Korean themes and techniques with contemporary global and Western themes.

“There’s simplicity in form that’s apparent in each of the three artists’ works,” Roth explains. “Each of the artists is also experimenting in bending the rules in the use of the material, in the construction of original, shapes, forms, and compositions.”

Although Ro2 has shown sculptural works from the beginning, the way the artists in "Belonging" upend traditional methods of presentation shows a new focus for the gallery, one that bodes for an interesting 2016.

 “El Mercado,” various artists at Erin Cluley Gallery
Reception: December 5, 12-8 pm
Exhibition dates: December 5-24

A success in its 2014 iteration, Erin Cluley’s “El Mercado” is back for round two with a fresh focus on design and reimagined objects. This year, the gallerist has curated some of her favorite local talents, including haute rocks by the jewelry line B. Stellar and fresh prints by Neobantu.

“I’m super excited about working with a couple of my Dallas faves,” says Cluley. “And I’m also showing surfboards by Richard Phillips and Stetson hats customized by René Treviño. (Artist) Rob Wilson and I have been working for months on a beautiful suite of risograph prints titled Pets Behaving Badly. The theme is whimsical, but the final product is seriously beautiful.”

Rounding out the mix will be leather bags from Desert Hide, clothing, prints and a neon piece from Wheron, and embroidered works by bedthread. With kids’ clothes in the mix for the first time, this “Mercado” truly has something for everyone on your list. 

“As Above, So Below,” art from the fraternal lodge with Lynne Adele and Bruce Webb at Webb Gallery
Reception: December 6, 4-7 pm
Exhibition dates: December 6-February 14, 2016

Masons, Shriners, and Odd Fellows alike, for years American fraternal societies have been a gold mine of esoteric knowledge, secret rituals, and iconography. Gallerist and artist Bruce Lee Webb has been fascinated with symbols such as the beehive, the heart in hand, and the skull and crossbones from the moment he started collecting fraternal lodge art in the late '80s.

A discovery of objects from a defunct Odd Fellows lodge led to him being invited to join the organization itself, and Webb says he found the rituals “so meaningful to me. There were about five older men, including a number of WW II veterans, and they had practiced the lines and knew long sections of degree work from memory. (The lodge) was a way of connecting to the small town — they’re related to the old America that doesn’t exist anymore.”

Webb, who is also a member of the Masons and the Knights of Pythias Lodge in Hastings, Nebraska, ultimately exhibited his collection at Austin’s Domy Books in 2011. Approached by a friend, Lynne Adele, who attended the event, Webb was convinced to create what ultimately became As Above, So Below. Complete with a forward from musician David Byrne and images by local photographer Kevin Todora, the coffee table art book will make its debut at the Webb Gallery this weekend with an accompanying exhibition and performance by the Austin band Lost Counts. The authors will move to Uncommon Objects in Austin on December 10, followed by a lecture and signing at New York’s Morbid Anatomy Museum on January 20.

“New Works: Prints and Collages,” Dan Rizzie at Barry Whistler Gallery
Reception: December 12, 6-8 pm, book signing 5-6 pm
Exhibition dates: December 12-January 16, 2016

A Dallas fixture in the go-go '80s, Dan Rizzie’s work could be found everywhere from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth to the walls of Shannon Wynne’s (Meddlesome Moth) storied Quadrangle bistro 8.0. Renowned for his vivid mixed-media works and bon vivant demeanor, Rizzie hasn’t had a one-man show in the area since the mid-2000s.

But this month, Barry Whistler is bringing this Texas-trained talent back to unveil his latest collages and prints, as well as to sign copies of his first monograph, published this past March by the University of Texas Press.

“Dan and I have known each other since the late '70s when I was working at the (now defunct) Gallery Delahunty, and he was showing there,” says the gallerist. “His SMU roots already made him a familiar artist in town, and we reconnected several years ago when he had a special exhibition at the Dallas Art Fair. Since this major 180-page monograph came out earlier this year, it was the perfect time to show a selection of his collages and paintings.”

It promises to be a colorful evening, both on and off the gallery walls.