5 Essential Art Events: January 13-15

5 Essential Art Events: January 13-15 (4)
courtesy Ro2 Art
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Rachel Livedalen – To Lisa With Love
Opens Saturday
500X Gallery
500 Exposition Ave.

Rachel Livedalen’s interdisciplinary works explore contemporary femininity viewed through the lens of generations past. Growing up, she loved Lisa Frank so much she’s about to unveil an entire solo exhibit dedicated to the sticker maven. It’s a delightful harbinger of other good things to come in 2017. The collection features new drawings that combine classical Western images of idealized femininity with the ideals, if not the neon kittens, of the iconic 1990s folder designer.

Margins Beyond – Self Taught
Opens 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday
Kirk Hopper Fine Art
3008 Commerce St.

Forrest Bess was born in 1911 near Bay City, off the Texas coast. He grew up in semi-isolation on a small strip of land accessible only by boat. After briefly studying architecture at UT Austin, he dropped out to roughneck in the Beaumont oilfields. There, of all places, he started painting, and his one-person shows ran at museums in San Antonio and Houston. He enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers during the war, but a psychological breakdown forced him to leave the service.

During subsequent stays in mental hospitals (“My brother Milton had me thrown in jail and then transferred here,” he wrote to neighbors from San Antonio State Hospital in 1974), his time and motivation to paint burst alive. Toward the end of his life, the former recluse had garnered a few close friendships and a prominent art dealer in New York. He died of skin cancer in 1977.

Like so many artists, death marked the point at which people started paying attention to his work. Bess’ paintings will be featured along with nine other self-taught artists at Kirk Hopper starting Jan. 14.

In Search of Meaning (pictured at top)
Ongoing through Feb. 4
Ro2 Art
1501 South Ervay St.

Perhaps it’s named In Search of Meaning because several works in the exhibit leave question marks. “Found” is a rendering of what looks like two wayward, depressed sock monkeys. “Tears of a Clown” is inexplicably clown-free and looks more like a toy found in a child’s therapist’s office with two-way mirrors. Then there’s “Night Thoughts,” a relatable concept for many of us after learning someone named their painting “Tears of a Clown.” All of this to say, go see In Search of Meaning.

David Canright – Matter of Scale
Ongoing through Feb. 11
Conduit Gallery
1626 Hi Line Dr. #C

Remember M.C. Escher? He was a graphic designer before there was such a thing as graphic design. In 2017, he has a Dallas-based contemporary named David Canright, whose large-scale drawings feel like distant cousins of Escher’s but are more cartoonish and etched entirely in ballpoint pen. His farcical drawings, which are primarily structures, poke fun at the arrogance of the modern compulsion to build higher, bigger and taller. At the same time, his pictures celebrate the childlike hopefulness that supersized buildings have come to signify. Canright graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied painting.

Nicolas Party – Pathway
Ongoing through Feb. 17
Dallas Museum of Art
1717 North Harwood St.

Swiss artist Nicolas Party worked onsite for three weeks to transform the corridor of the DMA into a vibrant, popsicle-hued landscape mural. Instead of functioning like a traditional gallery, the mural emphasizes the space’s functionality, and the fact that it is a walkway, the main thoroughfare of the museum. This exhibition marks Party’s first solo exhibition in the United States.

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