Capsule Reviews

Our critics survey the local art scene

Maya Schindler Maya Schindler paints a world in which plastic drips blood and bears flesh wounds. Hung from the walls of the front gallery, one finds eight large canvases depicting huge sirens captured and made still while twirling in frenzied motion. Each painting is slightly different from the other, some crimson, scab-like and spewing blood, others bearing a flash of whiteness at the center that signifies blinding electric light or open, seething flesh. In contrapuntal fashion, the adjacent gallery space gives over to the cold, dehumanized pulse of video--a real siren rotating, soundless and projected bigger than life on one wall. This Israeli-born artist says a lot by way of the flatness of a few bold icons. Hers is a consciousness-raising message and wake-up call for an America that seems willfully somnolent and adrift. Through December 8 at Angstrom Gallery, 3609 Parry Ave., 214-823-6456. Reviewed this week. (Charissa N. Terranova)

Bodies Past and Present: The Figurative Tradition in the Nasher Collection In this succinct array of sculptural pieces now showing in the two main galleries on the street level of the Nasher Sculpture Center, one is not so much challenged by the figure of the human body but carefully taught by it. Offering a lesson on modern art in the 20th century, this tidy exhibition packs an intellectual punch. In two rooms, from Matisse's "Decorative Figure" (1908) to Oldenburg's "Typewriter Eraser" (1976), we are told a story of intellectual displacement, the exciting unfolding of humanism's transposition in the last 100 years. Through the not so lugubrious game of abstraction and contortion, we are shown how modernism immediately brought with it a dismantling of man as front and center in the universe. This is brought home with the forthright prominence in the front gallery of the vaguely bulbous and modernist amazon figure by Gaston Lachaise, "Elevation (Standing Woman)." While bisected by two rooms, one filled with pre-World War II forms and the other post-World War II forms, the show offers a continuous yet largely nonlinear tale of the fall of traditional humanism in the academy. Ongoing at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St., 214-242-5100. (C.T.)

 
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