By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Director: Vance Wingate
113 N. Haskell
Since the late '80s, GM has showcased the region's first generation of really difficult conceptual art, many of the artists rooted in UNT's experimentation -- though many of these talents have expanded and uprooted since then. Any Gray Matters opening evokes the glory days of Dallas' first kiss with New Wave, punk, irreverence, and ultra-dry wit. Its stable of artists is, well, pretty stable: Tom and Dotty Sale, Johnny Walker, Dolan Smith, Celia Eberle -- they each get an exhibition every few years. Gallery Walk opens a two-man show by Oak Cliffians Brian Scott and Brian Jones, titled Chuck & George. Through paintings, drawings, and prints set against rococo backgrounds, these artists revamp traditional art history to relate the mythology of their lives. Think salon, 1999.
Directors: Steven Cochran, Dina Light
Untitled seems to have a lucky monopoly on a talented core of New York-based Cal Arts graduates, and this time Dante Brebner's work titled Threshold is purely a one-man endeavor filling the venue's clean, modest space. Brebner creates architectural conundrums -- detailed, highly perfected structures as small and complex as they are epic and surreal. Peer through windows, up staircases, and beyond doorways into a very droll and charming world, spiked with its own creepy undercurrent.
William Campbell Contemporary Art
Directors: William and Pam Campbell
Among the Fort Worth commercial galleries, William Campbell Contemporary Art always trots out a respectable show, and this year features the expected cattle call with 25 of the gallery's represented artists upstairs, including Christopher Brown, Tre Arenz, Jake Gilson, J. T. Grant, Billy Hassell, Dianne Cannon, Richard Thompson, Bob "Daddy-o" Wade, Judy Youngblood, Otis Jones, Julie Lazarus, and Scotty Parsons. But downstairs, Mom and Pop Campbell host a solo show by Houston artist Ibsen Espada, whose work blends surrealism with abstract expressionism and is eerily aligned with Joan Miró.
Texas Christian University
Director: Ronald Watson
West Cantey at University
TCU's annual Art in the Metroplex exhibition is jurored this year by Clint Willour, executive director and curator for the Galveston Arts Center. Presenting 58 works by 51 artists, this show screams "anything goes," but the concept is simple: Get a representative sample, in the moment, of what area artists are up to. For a one-stop slice of the metroplex, with nearly every burb and berg represented, you can't beat Willour's multidisciplinary and mixed-media conglomerate.
Modern Art Museum's Annex Gallery
Curator: Michael Auping
410 Houston St.
Director: Rick Stewart
The Modern's annex is opening an innovative show of selected works from the main Modern's permanent collection on a simple theme: blue. Selected by chief curator Auping, who says, "After a Texas summer, blue means cool," Blue is a small but diverse group of modern art standouts like Joseph Cornell's "Untitled Medici Boy 1953," Christopher Bucklow's "Guest," and Robert Motherwell's "Summer Open With Mediterranean Blue, 1974." The Amon Carter Museum unveils its downtown annex for Gallery Night in order to keep some community presence during its two-year closure for an expansion project. Carter Downtown will show the expected Remingtons and Russells, plus Winslow Homer's "Crossing the Pasture," Grant Wood's "Parson Weems' Fable," Stuart Davis' "Self-Portrait," and Georgia O'Keeffe's "Dark Mesa and Pink Sky."
Director: John Hartley
Fourteen local artists, plus two former locals who moved away to pursue art on the East and West coasts, mix it up in Gallery 414's free-for-all format with paintings, sculpture, photography, video, and any other media you can name. The work reflects how different each artist's sensibilities can be and how the level of an artist's experience affects his or her vision. The logistics alone make Terri Cummings' ambitious "Long Distance -- An Attempt to Connect Space and Time" intriguing. Cummings simulates a telephone -- two cans connected by 12 miles of string -- with one can at Gallery 414 and the other at Handley-Hicks Gallery. She hangs family photos along the string, and will maintain these for the monthlong exhibit. Susan Carnahan, apparently frightened by Bozo as a small child, keeps going with the clown thing she began a few years back in still photography.
Arlington Museum of Art
Director: Joan Davidow
201 W. Main, Arlington
Every art museum should have a director like Joan Davidow, and every museum director should have governing board members like the AMA's, who appear just to stand back and watch Davidow's fireworks. Davidow got Dallas artist Tracy Hicks to curate Between Image & Object, allowing Hicks to continue what she calls "heady conversations" with other artists. The result is a wall-hung and floor-sitting dialogue of opposing viewpoints. The imagists work from a fixed perspective, while the object-makers create infinite viewing variety. Imagists, Hicks says, allow the viewer to see only what the artist presents, while object-viewers can interact and move around the piece for multiple views. Objects by Hicks, Lisa Ehrich, Brian Fridge, Erik Gecas, David McManaway, Chris Powell, and Cam Shoepp collide with images by Julie Broberg, David Gibson, Paul Greenberg, Terrell James, Terri Thornton, Jim Muhlemann, Kathy Muhlemann, and Tom Sime.
For a complete list of Gallery Walk/Night events, see the Observer's Gallery listings.