space-invaders The question begs: As painting morphs into so many new lives, doesn't it at some point cease to be painting and become an entirely new medium? The answer to this question is less important than a productive riposte: Who cares if it's sculpture or architecture when it leaks into space and is no longer painting? The repeated splitting of hairs over what an object is--if it's painting or not, if it fits or defies old categories--is hovering close to passé. Shouldn't we be asking ourselves, "What does it do? How does it charge our senses? Is this thing a catalyst for new ideas and opinions belonging to the world--to the realm within or without art?" While space-invaders tickles the line between doing something new and asking the same old questions, it does push the envelope. The show brushes up against boundaries, threatening with a smile to get rid of them once and for all. Offering an array of media, from carpet to video, the show gets kudos for experimenting with literal space--for bringing patterns out front, off the wall, onto the floor and into the temporal realm of lived reality, what is otherwise known as physical experience. Lily Hanson's colorful and amorphous fabric wall and floor pieces hang like spilled form captured and made still photographically but blown up into three dimensions. John Ryan Moore connects brightly colored abstract paintings of astronauts and the space shuttle by thin trail lines of red tape on the wall. Raychael Stine's expressive cup runneth over as her flat painting of a pink mutt continues onto the floor in the form of varying grades of multicolored flat plastic and small heaps of white plaster stones. Though wittily splotched by strokes of colorful paint here and there, Ed Blackburn's comicbook-realist painting "Congressmen Domenici and Tauzin After Energy Vote" seems almost out of place among all the other protean pieces. This is not so much because of its overt use of the figure but because of its confinement to rectangular canvases on the wall. Space-invaders might have been better served by other notions of space. Many ideas come to mind. There are the old standbys of performed space and what the French sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre called "produced space." We mustn't forget the manifold spatial possibilities that beckon at the door, those going beyond the gallery world into that other lived reality, the city and society outside the bully pulpit of art. Through September 17 at the University of Texas at Dallas Visual Arts Building, Main Gallery, 2601 N. Floyd Road, Richardson, 972-UTD-ARTS. (Charissa N. Terranova)
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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.)