So all this comes to mind as the Dallas Art Dealers Association gets set for its annual Fall Gallery Walk on Saturday. The DADA hoo-ha is a semiannual open house of all member galleries. This year, some 27 venues in and around Dallas will be open from noon to at least 8 p.m. The art lineup is staggering, with an interesting mix of solo and group shows, midcareer and new artists, paintings, sculpture, found objects and at least one bona fide freak show. Several of the art spaces are hosting artist receptions from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to kick off monthlong exhibitions and introduce the art-makers to what may be a new crop of art-buyers.
If you've had the all-day and into-the-night art-viewing experience before, you know where to go, what to say, what not to say, how to behave. First-timers, though, and DADA hopes there will be plenty of you, may feel intimidated. Don't worry. It's easy to fit in and quietly slink around the white walls of any of the DADA galleries. Heck, that's what the artists do. It's easy, also, to mutter, stammer and "Hmmmm" (particularly impressive if you rub your chin at the same time) while contemplating a piece of art. Should you get backed into a corner and find you must say something to someone at the Gallery Walk, here are the no-nos. Never say, aloud, "I could do that," or, "My 5-year-old could do that." Here, too, is what you could say, in a very astute, smart, capsulized way. Start with a "Hmmmm," then say, "I think this work is..."
Self-absorbed: Christopher Martin's art at Christopher Martin's Gallery, with hors d'oeuvres probably prepared by Christopher Martin.
Drool-inducing: Sam Gummelt at Dunn and Brown Contemporary or Julie Speed at Pillsbury & Peters Fine Art.
Drop-dead unconscious: Susan Kae Grant's photographic dream images at Conduit Gallery.
Wildly hypnotic: Rob Douglas' new paintings and Lisa Ehrich's new ceramics at Cidnee Patrick Gallery (formerly Edith Baker Gallery).
Mildly prophetic: Pamela Joseph's The Sideshow of the Absurd and James Dowell's Portrait as Self-Portrait at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary.
Puzzlingly complex: self-taught Texas artist Chelo González Amezcua at SMU's Pollock Gallery.
Big as hell: Louisa McElwain's Southwest landscape paintings at Karen Mitchell Frank Gallery.
Hard as a rock: Chris Powell's sculpture at Pillsbury & Peters.
Shamelessly self-promotional: a group show by gallery artists at Florence Art Gallery.