Kris Cox — What Do I Know?
William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers, Fort Worth
Opening reception 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday
For his upcoming solo exhibition at William Campbell, Kris Cox spurs to life the most primitive elements of his native Colorado: Dahlias in the field, Highland cattle hair snarled in barbed wire. The tangles of hair — which are caused by cows rubbing continuously against the wire — symbolize the process of nature and its intrinsically opposing forces. (Delicate, soft hairs mangled against foreboding barbed wire, having originated from massive beasts.)
Cox uses an intricate printing process where he infuses beeswax with wood putty to create depth. He builds up the surface, layer upon layer, burnishing, smoothing and refining. The resulting surface comes alive with the luster and tangible textures of the abundant wilderness. Cox has only recently become interested in figure-based, nature-themed art. “If I am not relentlessly experimenting in my work, unafraid to fail,” he says, “then I should find another line of work.”
Distant Relatives (pictured at top)
South Dallas Cultural Center
3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave.
6 to 9 p.m. Friday
Their trajectories began separately, but photographers Hakeem Adewumi (who’s originally from Dallas) and Moyo Oyelola quickly realized they shared a mutual goal: to tell stories of the multilayered African diaspora through pictures of migration, home and community. Distant Relatives is the first joint collaboration between the two Nigerian Americans who met while attending UT Austin. Their exhibition features photographic work from Brazil, Nicaragua, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Morocco and Zimbabwe. Distant Relatives was recently featured on the Austin-based PBS documentary series, Arts In Context.
Vernon Fisher — The American Landscape
Talley Dunn Gallery
5020 Tracy St.
Opening reception 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday
It’s hard to tell whether the cartoon-esque bunny rabbit is staring at a palm tree in Bakersfield or the periodic table next to it. Expect similar artistic scenarios in The American Landscape, Vernon Fisher’s highly anticipated show of new works opening at Talley Dunn Gallery. At its heart, the iconic Fort Worth artist’s approach to art stems from a lifelong interest in how people make sense of the world. His hallmark blackboard paintings recall grade school lessons, oftentimes replacing sequential logic with discombobulated imagery. Fisher’s works are often peppered with a dash of postmodernism.
Through the Lens: Found Object/Readymade
800 Exhibition Ave.
Opening reception 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday
Let’s say you find a Tupperware bowl on the side of the road. It’s perfectly functional, but scratched and weathered. What has this Tupperware bowl been through and seen? The vibe is different than one you’d purchase off the shelf at Target. It’s almost like it’s lived a previous life or two.
Through the Lens: Found Object/Readymade is guided by surrealist practices. Contemporary Dallas artists use photography and video to highlight two distinct categories of objects: the found object and the readymade. The designation of the readymade upsets the mass-produced object’s functionality, incorporating humor and challenging the definition of art by presenting works that are ready-to-go — chosen first, then repurposed. On the other hand, the designation of the found object connects to the unconscious, hearkening back to the historical context of a bygone era, and to relationships with previous owners. Featured artists include Susi Brister, Francesca Brunetti, Rachel Cox, Shannon Duncan, Paho Mann and Kristy Peet.
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Closing: Tangled Up in Blue
Barry Whistler Gallery
315 Cole St., Suite 120
Bob Dylan just won a Nobel Prize in Literature, so it’s safe to assume that a lot of people like him. But Dallas art gallery owner Barry Whistler likes him so much that he dedicated a 12-artist exhibition after a Dylan song. Tangled Up in Blue, which wraps up its run Saturday at Whistler’s gallery in the Design District, serves as a nod to Dylan’s recent feat. The artists were assigned to use sculpture, painting and drawing to create different interpretations of the hue. The participating artists are Max Ernst, Martha Groome, Luke Harnden, Terrell James, Otis Jones, Ellsworth Kelly, Tom Orr, Andrea Rosenberg, Lorraine Tady, John Wilcox, Danny Williams and Mark Williams.