To my dismay, it turns out the Lowbrow movement doesn't have anything to do with the kind of masterpieces I considered lowbrow art. Rather, it's an "underground visual art movement that began in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and now is a widespread populist art movement that has been called pop surrealism," according to press material from the 4th Wall Gallery, which has brought the work of three prominent Lowbrow artists to Dallas for an exhibition. But if that's considered lowbrow, what do you call Elvis-on-velvet, dogs playing poker and vaguely Native American wolf portraits? Whether or not Lowbrow really means lowbrow, the exhibit, Eyes Wide Open features great work from New Yorkers Cynthia von Buhler, Miguel Paredes and Scott Bakal. Paredes' paintings are vividly kinetic and colorful, while von Buhler's are both understated and surreal. Bakal's Me + the Devil series uses simple shapes and lines to recount the mythology of blues pioneer Robert Johnson; "Crossroad Blues" seems to make a sly reference to "The Old Guitarist" by one of Paredes' acknowledged influences, Pablo Picasso. The exhibit is available through July 31 at The 4th Wall Gallery, 2925 Fairmount St. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Appointments and information are available at 214-740-9400.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: May 21. Continues through July 31, 2009