By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Perhaps if you squint in a semidarkened room, Angstrom Gallery owner David Quadrini would look a little like Elvis Presley. At least, he'd be the one singing "Viva Las Vegas" after the April 22 opening and near-sellout of three concurrent solo exhibitions featuring two Vegas-based artists. One of them, known simply as Yek, had been featured in an Angstrom group show. His curved paintings are a favorite of curator/art critic/Vegasite and former local boy, Dave Hickey. Angstrom assistant director Sean Slattery says Yek's first solo show in Dallas was a hit, as was Tim Bavington's. "We could have sold Tim's work two times over," Slattery says. The Vegas painter's work celebrates the fun of visual images. Bavington showed airbrushed, striped paintings and a series of unique images installed as four small panels. The work looks like film stills, with colors shifting down on each panel -- like videotaping a painting. "They're just fun," Slattery says. "They are not ironic and not trying to make you feel stupid or smart. They're just pleasure."
Pure pleasure was Angstrom's MO on opening night, with the yearlong rehab of the nearly tripled gallery space finally finished. With room for three concurrent shows for the first time, Angstrom is looking -- and showing -- better than ever. The third solo artist, Hills Snyder, had installed the newly rehabbed back gallery space with backlit, black-lit "smile-y" faces. Some of the overhead "holes" that reveal the 3609-3607 Parry Avenue space's architectural details were spotlighted with Snyder's acrylic sheeting, backlit with colored fluorescents. Snyder calls his pieces "semi-site" work, qualifying the traditional site-specific installation by not requiring the work to be displayed exactly the same in each venue. "There is no template for his work," Slattery says. "It changes every time it moves around."
Shopping a venue for an edgy exhibition, captivatingly titled "Hand Job," are six local artists who've been fixating on more than an obscene gesture for a couple of years. Dallas artist and UNT professor Vincent Falsetta got the idea to curate a show featuring himself, Rob Caslin, Ludwig Schwarz, Scott Barber, Cynthia Lin, and John Pomara. Proposals are out to several possible sites, including respected DiverseWorks in Houston and Blue Star in San Antonio. "The name for the exhibit comes from the idea of the gesture in the work," Falsetta says. "This group of artists represents a range of art that goes from completely mechanical to slightly more gestural."
—Annabelle Massey HelberE-mail arts news using one or both hands to firstname.lastname@example.org