Against the wall

Despite regional rivalries and hard times, the Fall Gallery Walk has picked up its pace

Priority: Run

How many of us can't wait to see this big show of Austinite Melissa Miller's paintings? OK, just the art hounds -- but trust us. This is the show. Not only does it mark the opening of DVAC's long-awaited new building, but the epic, wrenching, and dense animalscapes of Miller's imagination possess any room they invade. Think modern-day Delacroix with a Garden of Eden fixation and a narcotic sense of movement and light. This is the kind of show that restores your faith in the sheer power of painting. And hey, the beloved Annette Lawrence has built a site-specific installation for the new space's garden.

Barry Whistler Gallery
Director: Barry Whistler
2909-B Canton
(214) 939-0242
Priority: Walk

Computer-manipulated organic images swarm like dust mites in David Newman's "Mathesis Universalis" gelatin silver print.
Computer-manipulated organic images swarm like dust mites in David Newman's "Mathesis Universalis" gelatin silver print.
The Arlington Museum of Art launches ex-TX, a show of former Texans' work. Pictured: "Double Bonzai" by Lisa Nichols.
The Arlington Museum of Art launches ex-TX, a show of former Texans' work. Pictured: "Double Bonzai" by Lisa Nichols.

The always wise Barry Whistler hosts Dallas artist Lorraine Tady in a follow-up to last year's promise. The wait pays off: Her high-density, large-scale abstract paintings, drawings, and sculptures employ aggressive textures and painted scraps of wood, which in their odd way meld to create incredibly serene shapes. If you like obvious reference in your artwork, this show may not be your thing. But if you respond to visceral implication, give it a shot. She's an artist's artist.

Conduit Gallery
Director: Nancy Whitenack
3200 Main, Suite 25
(214) 939-0064
Priority: Walk

Fort Worth-based Kirk Hayes graces us with his New Paintings; it's his first solo exhibition at Conduit as the sophisticated gallery revamps its lineup. Hayes takes the potentially coy trompe l'oeil technique (his 2-D works look like 3-D layerings of hard paper and cardboard on wood) and puts a rather obscene, disconcerting spin on his subject matter. High-tech skill plus low humor equals pretty damn interesting. In the Conduit Annex: This mighty-mite art space hosts a site-specific installation, Annabel Daou: a million years. Daou is a Connecticut-based artist often shown in London, making this non-Texas art rather unique to Gallery Walk. Oh, yeah -- she used to live around here.

North Dallas

Valley House
Directors: Kevin and Cheryl Vogel
6616 Spring Valley
(972) 239-2441
Priority: Run

The Vogels have occupied this idyllic North Dallas location for 45 years now, and the gallery's lush grounds feel like an oasis in the middle of a soulless cityscape. The artwork is worth the trek, and this show is no exception: David H. Gibson: Selected New Work is a stunning exhibition of the Dallas artist's black-and-white gelatin silver print photos of Southwestern landscapes (with a bit o' Western Europe thrown in). This artist rejects newfangled techniques for real-deal pictorial traditions, a la Ansel Adams. Some of the works are hugely panoramic, and some are smaller -- but all are epic in scope and pristine in their lack of human interruption.

University of Texas at Dallas
Director: Richard Brettell
UTD, Main Gallery at Campbell Road and University Parkway, Richardson
(972) 883-2787
Priority: Walk

The Good/Bad Art Collective, a herd of conceptual artists based in Denton, have broken with their "one-night-only event" manifesto and installed a show with a one-month run at this progressive university gallery. Titled Sweet Movie, it illustrates Good/Bad's fundamental penchant for exploring concepts in several dimensions at once: video, objects, interactive elements. In this case, the group plunges into the idea of consumption and expulsion as queasily represented by a dinner party and its messy aftermath. The key word here is expulsion. And it's only coming at you from 11 video monitors. You may wanna call the gallery before you head that way, just to make sure Dean Kratz hasn't pulled the plug on this show.

The Alternatives (non-DADA members only)

Angstrom Gallery
Director: David Quadrini
3609 Parry Ave.
(214) 823-6456
Priority: Run

This 3-year-old space, which continues to sear a path through Dallas complacency and expectation, has expanded. Thus Quadrini can launch both a group show (in the large gallery) and a solo exhibition (in the small gallery) at once -- three times the work for him, three times the fun for us. He doesn't hesitate to show worthy regional artists, although this opening showcases four from the slightly nether region of Las Vegas. The group show, titled God Don't Make No Junk, consists of works by the Rev. Ethan Acres, Jim Shaw, and Jeffrey Vallence. Acres tweaks the Southern religious tradition with sculptures and photographic veneers that are as earnest as they are irony-laden -- better humor through faith. The solo exhibition -- Victoria Reynolds: Sins of the Flesh -- is a startling set of now infamous marbled-meat paintings. In the abstraction of close-ups, Reynolds manages to capture the (ahem) beauty of these slabs of raw sirloin.

Board president: Tony Schraufnagel
500 Exposition
(214) 828-1111
Priority: Run

The 21st birthday of Dallas' leading alternative co-op is marked by Barely Legal, a group show of the works by the 11 current board members: Steve Cruz, Brad Cushman, Dorothy Duvall, Keitha Lawrence, Rosemary Meza, Jo-Ann Mulroy, Mary Nicolett, Steven Price, Derrick Saunders, Tony Schraufnagel (see "Melding through welding"), and James Wade. Given these artists' very different methods, the key word here is "variety." Upstairs at 500X is the complementary exhibit 21 & Up, an eight-artist show with ties to the art school at the University of North Texas. Artists are Paul Booker, Chris Hart, Mary Hood, Tudor Mitroi, Jennifer Pepper, Johnny Robertson, Luke Sides, and Marshall Thompson. Look for Robertson's amazingly dense and gorgeous canvases, and anything out of Thompson's bizarre-genius brain.

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