As collectors hop jets back to the city, abandoning their summer homes in cooler climates, Dallas braces itself for its first big run of seasonal shows. Sure, in Fort Worth that's met with the Fall Gallery Night, a nine-hour long celebration of fresh art. In Dallas we're left to fight through the standard, three-hour art window. There's a lot out there competing for your ocular affections, so we've pieced together a foot path to guide you through it all.
In Living Color at Galleri Urbane (6 to 9 p.m.) -- Start out at this not-directly-on-Dragon space to see what trajectory Don Martiny and Jessica Snow take on their path to pigment exploration with the throw-back titled, In Living Color. Martiny's process is odd, and involves blending polymers and microbubbles with raw pigment -- an idea he had, but couldn't master the execution of, in his former career as a boat builder. He sculpts the material into oversized three-dimensional paintings which resemble plops of material from some god's art palette. It's extremely easy on the eyes. With Snow you'll get tonal exploration via layered acrylics, told through the filter of a highly organized mind. They drip, stack and keep distance with excruciating control, providing reflection on the color itself. (2277 Monitor St.)
Sphere, by Stephen Lapthisophon; Recent Works, by Al Souza; Swann's Way by Sharka Hyland at Conduit -- The night's most sought-after show is at Nancy Whitenack's Hi Line haven where local arts educator and suddenly everywhere artist, Stephen Lapthisophon, offers up Sphere. There's something oddly calming about Lapthisophon's art which hinges on minimal points of sophisticated dissonance. He dips into bacon fat, coffee grounds, charcoal, latex, spray paint and even old movie posters in his process -- a highly conscious approach that redirects the idea of what, and how, we fill the world with things. His end results are loose, abstract, messy and beautiful. He's just wrapped up an installation at Richland College and has a solo exhibition opening in October at the DMA, so see him now without the crowds. In the Project Room you'll find Swann's Way, an exhibition by Czechoslovakia-born artist Sharka Hyland that's been "just on the horizon" since early 2013. Finally materializing on Saturday, the solo show is dedicated to Proust's writings and features hand-lettered renderings of selected passages from Swann's Way, an homage to the work's 100 year anniversary. Check all three shows out from 6 to 8 p.m. at 1626 C. Hi Line Drive.
William Eggleston: His Circle & Beyond, at Photographs Do Not Bend -- The Tennessee photographer's work was the subject of an important 1976 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art that has since been said to bring color photography into the fine art realm. You've gotta love it when a southerner jostles societal ranks with pictures of dilapidated trailers, stone-tinged skylines and forget-me-not coin-ops. His work (the titular "Circle") has inspired others (the "Beyond"), so you'll see Eggleston's ripple effects through photos by Peter Brown, William Christenberry, David Graham, William Greiner, Birney Imes, Bill Owens, Stephen Shore, Neal Slavin and Alec Soth. Things jump between country and western from 5 to 8 p.m. at 1202 Dragon St., Suite 103.
Michael Blair / Angel Fernandez at Cohn Drennan -- Both artists are anchors of the Cohn Drennan talent stable; with Blair you get confliction dipped in abstraction, where density and depth are told through oil and marker. His work is also up now at Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio for the Texas Biennial, but save on gas and see him here. Fernandez' sculptures are movement-rich, at time mimic landscapes and have recently found their ways into collectors hands at museums, universities and cultural centers. See his stuff now while you can.
The Sweetest Taboo at Red Arrow Contemporary -- Whether you pin it on luck, fate or some higher divination, your sex is determined before you enter this earth. That said, gender isn't static. We edge off our masculine and feminine traits as often as we enhance them, and that balance -- or lack of balance -- is the subject of Red Arrow's new four-artist show. Libby Row plucks from her series "Pink," a multimedia look at lady business, told through a domestic lens. Local educator and arts writer Colette Copeland has had her series of Victorian women engaging in aggressive or combative events pop up throughout town -- last year at a 500X show and later at the Dallas VideoFest. Catch her newest goodies Saturday. Gabriel Martinez works primarily with photography, installation and performance to flip the tables on the male gaze. The Cuban-born artist deflates traditional power politics by turning the viewer around to look at men in peril or at moments of sensitivity. Angela Fraleigh tackles the mystical gender divide through a series collage-like paintings meant to give a seductive take on male/female one-upmanship. This opening reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at 1130 Dragon St., Suite 110.
TRIPPER, at Circuit 12 -- There's a vagueness to this show's description, which allows it to flip-flop between concrete and conceptual, but all of the important words are used: LSD, vacation, ego, Sphinx, ZZ Top -- you know, the shit that gets you off your ass and into the gallery. Plus, it's the first solo exhibition at Circuit 12 by Chicago-based artist Josh Reames, whose work was a stand-out in the gallery's 2012 group show, White Noise. Catch it from 6 to 10 p.m. at 1130 Dragon St., Suite 150.
500X Gallery -- Shut the party down at the 500X Members Show, and get a look at who is doing what, right now. The current talent roster reads like this: Bernardo Cantu, Colette Copeland, Diane Durant, Michael Francis, Timothy Harding, Clayton Hurt, Joel Kiser, Shelby David Meier, Bruce Monroe, Chancellor Page, Elaine Pawlowicz, Irby Pace, John Alexander Taylor, and Giovanni Valderas.
That energetic medium mash-up is bound to turn you on to something, or someone, new. Don't miss it, this mainstay artist-run space is a gem. 7 to 10 p.m. at 500 Exposition Ave.