Capsule Reviews

Our critics survey the local art scene

 

forces of evil in a bozo nightmare Plush Gallery heralds its return to Commerce Street downtown with a provocative gallimaufry of witty and mostly small pieces. Reinforcing the oddity of this jumble is its new location in a small boxy office space on the fourth floor of the Manor House apartment tower. The juxtaposition of technocratic building and wacky gallery, container and contained, makes for a surprising experience. Sara Cardona's large acrylic-on-map paper painting "Venus Takes Her Bath" reads like carnivalesque in the office of funhouse management. The long painting of an elastic woman bent over in a backward pose jumps off the wall as though Gumby's wife in a surreal bureaucratic setting. Marjorie Schwarz's small drippy figures of acrylic on wood make small contradictions in space, throwing a little goth in the hyper-mod structure. Peregrine Honig's small resin female action figures, "Avon Girls: blonde, albino, brunette," stand still in action as if triumvirate leaders of a goblin phalanx. Welcome to a place that sets itself in sharp relief. In contrast to the rest of Dallas, which is wont to camouflage its peculiarities in shades of rose and pink splendor, this gallery wears its weirdness on its shoulder. Through September 17 at Plush Gallery, 1222 Commerce St., Suite 403, 214-498-5423. (Charissa N. Terranova)

Object, Photographs by Kevin Todora There's a lot of bang for your buck in this small showing of Kevin Todora's blurred and hazy photographs. Through 16 semi-large photos of facial fragments, Todora takes the viewer on a journey through time. Bringing us momentarily back to the swinging '70s, Todora's re-photographs (photographs of photographs) remind us of gender wars past and present. Wisdom guides this young artist in the choice of materials. Old porno magazines are his preferred subject matter. "Jennifer," "Jessica," "Melissa" and "Heather" are separate photos of women in ecstasy--soft, imagistic shards of the faces of presumably supine and orgasmic women. In contrast and on opposing walls are the eyes of men. "Michael," "Jason," "Christopher" and "David" are pairings of male eyes--men who through the power of their wanton gaze objectify the women of their momentary libidinal desires. Todora takes his cues from Richard Prince, the postmodern appropriation artist who likewise ironically re-photographed advertisements of Marlboro men in the 1980s. Like Prince, whose work is at once ironic and wistful, jokey and beautiful, Todora knows how to concoct visual pleasure by way of consumer detritus. Through September 9 at the Pigeon-Stone Project at Continental Gallery, 3311 Elm St., 214-952-8217. (C.T.)

Star Raiders: long range scan computer tracking of the galactic chart warp energy 0240--eight targets--star date 00.94 orbit established Sometimes the lack of pointed curatorial intention can make a small showing of art successful. Star Raiders offers a smattering of work by talented UTD students that proves just that. Shelby Cunningham's series of blurry urban photographs makes you feel woozily cosmo like the images. Polly Perez marries Minimalism and Pop in her Plexiglas module layered in green-olive forms. Tim Stokes steals the show with this large architectonic billboard that tells us ironically "you get what you pay for." Hidden upstairs, away from the main gallery below, this happy hodgepodge of work is refreshing. Through September 17 at the University of Texas at Dallas Visual Arts Building, Mezzanine Gallery, 2601 N. Floyd Road, Richardson, 972-UTD-ARTS. (C.T.)

 
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