Wild Life and Industrial Chic

Vibrant gallery life flourishes in the Design District

The large, almost-abstract canvases showing at Holly Johnson Gallery--Casey Williams: Winter Light--are prismatic in effect and intellectually complex. These large canvases in pink, mauve and gray are photographic prints reproduced on canvas then stretched on wooden stretcher bars. Though almost non-objective in their pixelation and wet undulating line, they are photos of freighters taken on the Houston Ship Channel. Williams' photos capture the play of form and light similar to the way Monet did in paintings made more than a century ago. As with Monet's "Impressionist Sunrise" or "Rouen Cathedral" series, Williams' permutation of form results in an abstraction wholly in keeping with the new medium awareness of Impressionism. Williams photographs everyday objects not so much for the sake of their specificity but for the way in which his 35 mm renders light on form through chemical on film. He increases the watery abstraction of objects by blowing up the prints and stretching them out in space.

Casey Williams' "Toyokaze" (2002)
Casey Williams' "Toyokaze" (2002)

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is on display through June 10 at Conduit Gallery, 214-939-0064.

Productive and progressive galleries might make community, but they don't make for a convenient neighborhood trot. What these galleries share in no way eliminates the need for a car. While they are all in the Design District, you'll need your wheels to ambulate from place to place. Street life may be livening up a bit, but it's still Dallas. Crossing Industrial Boulevard feels more like a game of run-quick-before-the-truck-hits-you than a neighborly pedestrian thoroughfare.

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