Capsule Reviews

Our critics survey the local art scene

Lesley Dill Dill combines a variety of material--horsehair, wire, thread, tea, glue, ribbon, paper, felt, organza--to create work that is at once precious and weird. The wall-scaled "Blonde Push" brings to mind the enormous fringy brushes of a car wash without the whim and froth of suds. Long strands of cream-colored horsehair hang from text rendered in twisted wire above. There is a high level of craftsmanship combined with an intriguing sense of obsession in Dill's work--a monomania of the fine and delicate. Through April 21 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave., 214-953-1212. (Charissa N. Terranova)

Margaret Meehan: Innocence and Otherness Cutesy pink heads of little alien girls line the space of this small gallery, resulting in one of the best-kept secrets in Dallas. With walls painted in pastel stripes and whirls, delicate gouache and pencil drawings of prettily deformed lasses and small leaden-eye figures rendered in ceramic as if porcelain, Meehan has created one of the most fascinating environments in the metroplex. "Annie" is a seven-inch head with four eyes. "Ann(a)" is a two-headed girl with pink polka-dotted collars. And "Imogene" has an extra mouth for one eye. Weird, yes; provocative, yes; and feminine indeed. Meehan transforms the traditional "feminine" into a pastel-colored fantasy of dainty abnormality. In turn, the shift marks a subtle transformation of femininity from passive to powerful. Through April 7 at Gallery 219 in the Fine Arts Building, Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Drive, Mesquite, 972-860-7162. (C.T.)

Patterns of Progress: Bird's-Eye Views of Texas This is a show for those image lovers truly interested in the hybrid possibilities of art. The maps of small-town Texas dazzle not so much because of their avant-garde intermingling of media but the way in which they mark a fusion of art, craft and economic development. Some 60 oblique urban views of cities in Texas line the walls of the galleries upstairs in the Amon Carter Museum. Made by itinerant mapmakers in the last three decades of the 19th century, they are testament to a boom in city growth driven by railroad expansion. The urban grids offer a pragmatic strain of beauty, the tedium of which is broken by detailed vignettes of local buildings in the framework of certain maps. Through May 28 at the Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-738-1933. Reviewed this week. (C.T.)

 
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