This weekend is an odd one in Dallas art land. With the Dallas Art Fair opening next weekend, quite a few galleries are squeezing in opening receptions so as not to lose patrons to the upcoming signature Fair events. And in a large number of this weekend's openings there's an emphasis on pulling out all stops, which apparently means bringing in lavish, gaudy art. For my taste, it's disappointing to see Erin Cluley Gallery replace the fabulous Kevin Todora show with the glitter vomit of Chivas Clem. C'est la Dallas?
One of the shows to take seriously this weekend is the Conduit Gallery exhibition featuring Susan Barnett, Jeff Baker, and Vincent Ramos. The Dallas-based Barnett is one of the most vivid painters in the city, combining technical geometry with abstract painting. For this exhibition, she's adopted the lens of particle physics to examine heady subjects like The Theory of Everything and unrecorded histories surrounding the building of the atom bomb. See her work alongside exhibitions of Baker and Ramos. Opening reception takes place from 6-8 p.m. Saturday.
Human Occult Powers Circuit 12 Contemporary isn't throwing stones or killing birds, but they are introducing you to a bunch of new artists in just a few exhibits. Human Occult Powers explores the mystical thing we call human existence and the magical process of creation. It's an eight-person exhibition featuring paintings, sculpture, sound and video that take an interest in making the unseen seen, or some kind of supernatural something like that. If the gallery's owners, Gina and Dustin Orlando, have proven one thing, it's that they have damn good taste. Swing by the free opening reception from 6-10 p.m. Saturday. More information at circuit12.com.
Paul Booker - Flow Through Paul Booker's paintings look like they might come to life. For this exhibit he's created paintings on panel and watercolor on paper that are rich, complicated works he winds the color through that bring to mind elements of the natural world. See the work at Cris Worley Fine Arts in an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Saturday.
Haute Fauxxx If you're like me, it's very easy to window-shop for a new life. I do it at NorthPark all the time. I walk through Pirch or some other store I can't afford and imagine a life that's fancier. More fashionable. I'm guessing it's a struggle I share with many artists who spend much of their life scraping by, while the upper classes enjoy the finer things in life. Things like art. But when it comes to art and fashion, a lot gets lost between perception and reality. This gap is what Jesse Meraz explores in his latest body of work. Haute Fauxx, the artist's first exhibition in a decade, assembles "displays" to "employ the trappings of falsehoods, fantasy, and enchantments that relate to consumers' attraction to "prestige" goods, fabricated truth and glossy lifestyles." See it at RO2 Art (110 N. Akard St.) in an opening reception 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Or through May 4. More at Ro2art.com.
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Chivas Clem: Desperate to Appear Sophisticated and Other Titles Maybe it's just me, but I thought glitter was treated in the art world as a "been there, done that." Let it not be so, says Chivas Clem! Interested in the idea that painting is dead, he stirs glitter, metallic confetti, and other materials into resin and then pours that onto the canvas, and these creations are said to "evoke ejaculate, oil spills, makeup, and children's craft projects gone awry." Doesn't sound particularly classy, but it sounds royally messy. For this exhibit at Erin Cluley Gallery, he pairs these paintings with sculptures made from used VHS tapes. Does this count as post-skills? See it in an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, or stay at home with your bedazzler gun.