Capsule Reviews

Our critics survey the local art scene

 

Robert Dale Anderson Robert Dale Anderson makes small graphite-on-paper images of organic, tumorous landscapes. Showing in the front-room gallery at Conduit, "Hide Out," for example, is an intimate study of an imaginary tree stump sprouting an elephant-trunk-shaped branch. Anderson's drawings are exercises in chiaroscuro in minutiae. The shifts from light to dark occur frequently and within compact spaces of three to five inches in width. Cascading tendrils offer a monochromatic spectrum of brightness and blackish dun. These are intimate pieces--fare for those who enjoy lavishing teeny objects with the eye. Through June 10 at Conduit Gallery, 1626-C Hi Line Drive, 214-939-0064. (Charissa N. Terranova)

Robert Jessup Robert Jessup's paintings offer animal-eye views, sometimes a bird's and sometimes a worm's, onto a world of colorful mayhem. Though a pastiche of past and current painting styles, from the long-ago work of Peter Breughel, to that of the early 20th century by Otto Dix and Max Beckmann, to today's canvases by John Currin, Jessup's figural pictures succeed in their own right as invitations to a romp in a half-baked cosmos where pies fly and Mother Christmas hides a child under her hoop skirt . In short, these are humorous and technically tight paintings. Hung on the back wall in the second gallery at Conduit, "Singing Cowboy" is large and jolly. While drawing upon 17th-century Dutch genre painting for inspiration, it's really all about Texas. Kookiest of all is "Bank Teller," a bulging-eyed blonde who smiles almost fiendishly while waving a dollar in hand. Through June 10 at Conduit Gallery, 1626-C Hi Line Drive, 214-939-0064. (C.T.)

Shane Pennington's Download The past often functions as a vehicle for nostalgia in art. Whether dusty Victorian wicker and yellowed lace or retro-fancy midcentury atomic kitsch, shades of yesterday bring a sense of longing and sadness and very little else. Then there are those artists who wield the past without knowing it. They just can't shake the feel of an era long gone. Shane Pennington is one of those. His work reveals an artistic and intellectual formation dating from the years of Reaganomics, Alex P. Keaton and the performance art of Gilbert and George. Pennington borrows the look of G&G, leaving behind its most important aspect, namely, that it was performance art largely directed against the system of Thatcher-ite capitalism. Works such as "48 Seconds of Secure and Insecure Laura Lee" seem more an homage to Molly Ringwald than anyone else. Kül's not all let-down, though. Take a gander at the designer goodies for the home upstairs. You're more likely to slake any arty thirst there than in the basement gallery down under. Through June 1 at Kül, 1330 Main St., 214-745-5585. Reviewed this week. (C.T.)

 
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