Capsule Reviews

Our critics survey the local art scene

Ellen George Out of Doors Based in Washington state, Ellen George is a sculptor making work that seems at once deep-sea and extraterrestrial in nature. While the work comes to us from the Pacific Northwest, it would seem to have arrived from farther away, evidence of a tiny alien invasion. Tucked away in the walk-in closet-scaled Project Room at Conduit Gallery is George's cute but powerful phalanx of pastel-colored other-worldly visitors that look like they come from galaxies yet unknown. George makes small biomorphic creatures from polymer clay, a malleable and translucent vinyl-based sculptural material. Some, like "Meadow Study No. 22" and "Corsage," are hung cantilevered by thin strands of metal from the wall. Their squiggly-jiggly animate form casts similarly squiggly-jiggly animate shadows on the wall. Mounted on tiny translucent resin consoles are squat little faceless creatures. The "Thin Air" series are bulbous with asymmetrical arms twirling akimbo. "Oracle" offers a display of shell-like forms. And "Quartet" makes for a harmony in diminutive blue and peach form. George's tiny pieces bring to mind the forms of industrial design, in particular the animated but useful objects of Philippe Stark, Alessi design and Michael Graves. Instead of investing the objects with function, though, George charges them with the sheer delight of beautiful whimsy. Through November 27 in the Project Room at Conduit Gallery, 1626 Hi Line Drive, 214-939-0064. (C.T.)

3-D That this exhibition of three-dimensional objects by Caribbean, Latin American and North American artists might make you feel as though you're strolling through your grandmother's attic in no way obviates the thoughtfulness and provocation of much of the work. In keeping with old musty attics is the prevalence of patina--both its physical presence and mental suggestion in the form of nostalgia. Even if the pieces are not old, many of them are meant to convey a sense of moth-eaten lost objects found once again. The array of romantic dust-collecting objects provides the proper mise-en-scène for the more vibrant pieces--work that jumps right into your face and head. Best-of-show goes to the clean, white plastic light boxes of the Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié. Born in Port-au-Prince and trained at the Ecole Nationale Superièure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Duval-Carrié mixes Voodoo and the State, imbedding old prints of the slave trade and African soldiers in thick white acrylic light boxes adjacent to bobbles, bangles and toy animals. Duval-Carrié fuses the timeless mysticism of Voodoo with the hygiene of a plastic modern present. Through November 24 at Pan American Art Gallery, 3303 Lee Parkway, Suite 100, 214-522-3303. (C.T.)

 
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