Contemporary Art

Peace Meals on Sunday


At The Reading Room. There will be a reading and book signing for Peace Meals with author/journalist Anna Badkhen on Sunday, November 28 at 4 pm, 3715 Parry Avenue in Dallas.

As a journalist, Badkhen has covered wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. Her trip to Afghanistan was made possible by a grant from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Peace Meals (Free Press, 2010) is a record of her experiences there, the people she met and the food she shared with them. Badkhen searches for the common denominator amongst peoples in war ravaged areas and focuses on the effects of war on civilians.

Badkhen grew up in Russia and did her first reporting for the St. Petersburg Times. From 2002 to 2004 she was the San Francisco Chronicle’s Moscow bureau chief. Her writing has appeared in The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Ms., Salon, The Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle. Her e-book Waiting for the Taliban became available last month.

Contemporary Art

Erick Swenson

(above) 'Muncie Head,' 2001, plastic resin, edition of 7, 14 x 10.5 x 10 inches
(above) ‘Muncie Head,’ 2001, plastic resin, edition of 7, 14 x 10.5 x 10 inches

At Dunn and Brown Contemporary. While visiting Trenton Doyle Hancock’s solo exhibit, I noticed this piece mounted on the wall of a small room outside the gallery’s nucleus (aka the office) and snapped this photo. It was mesmerizing and so haunting to see it in person. I haven’t been able to find a biography for Erick Swenson, but from the little information I could glean from the internet, I discovered he lives and works here in Dallas and was part of Dunn and Brown’s summer group show, Floor Plan. I am envious of the individual who will eventually own this piece of beauty.

Contemporary Art

Joseph Havel

(above left) 'nothing.,' 2007; (above center) 'forget.,' 2007; (above right) nothing.,' 2007(shirt labels and plexiglas, each measures 24.5 x 24.5 x 2 inches)
(above left) ‘nothing.,’ 2007; (above center) ‘forget.,’ 2007; (above right) nothing.,’ 2007
(shirt labels and plexiglas, each measures 24.5 x 24.5 x 2 inches)

Dunn and Brown Contemporary. During my last visit, these three works of art were on the floor leaning against the office partition wall, and it would have been a shame to leave the gallery without having tried to photograph them. They were begging for it. Even though they are individually priced, in my opinion, they should be sold as a set. Follow the below link to see an up-close detailed view of the labels. Joseph Havel’s art is usually very sculptural and uses common everyday materials such as white dress shirts, curtains, tablecloths, and collars. Through his work with shirts, Havel found that the labels offered another avenue of artistic investigation.

Contemporary Art

Introducing Pip & Pop

'Under the Crystal Sky,' 2009
‘Under the Crystal Sky,’ 2009

Happy capitalism as excessive sweetness. Pip and Pop (aka Tanya Schultz and Nicole Andrijevic) work together as a collaborative duo. Their art practice encompasses installation, painting, photography and wall drawings. Their abundantly detailed and seductively colorful works are made from an eclectic mix of materials such as confectionary, plastic objects and plants, origami, vinyl, paint, and magazine cut-outs. With child-like optimism and playful working methods, they construct and transform everyday objects into elaborate and joyfully excessive artworks that explore notions of desire, abundance and blissful states of being.

Their fascination with kawaii (cute) aesthetics of Japanese pop culture is their main inspiration and celebrates the culture of mass consumption and joyfully embraces the after-effects that flow from the encompassing ecstasy of excessiveness. They term it “happy capitalism”. To see more of their work visit their website Pip & Pop. This has been your sugar fix for the day.

Contemporary Art

One Night Only


The Reading Room. I just received an email from Karen Weiner about her next happening this next coming Monday, November 8. The incredible local produce purveyor Tom Spicer of Spiceman’s 1410 will give an exotic mushroom demonstration–lobster, hedgehog, maitake, matsuke, clamshell, crab, black trumpet. He will provide information about their qualities and uses. Hopefully you remember my last post about The Reading Room and what a unique experience it was for me. I’m looking forward to this one. So come join us. The Reading Room is located at 3715 Parry Avenue. The doors open at 6, and the demonstration begins at 7 pm.

Also for your viewing pleasure…

Contemporary Art

Trenton Doyle Hancock

(above) 'Smoked,' 2010
(above) ‘Smoked,’ 2010

Work while it is day… For when night cometh no man can work. If you can find the quality time, run over to Dunn and Brown Contemporary to see Trenton’s latest chapter of his ongoing saga about devious Vegans and harmless Mounds in an ambitious installation. This coming week is your final chance, because Saturday, October 23, is the last day of this exhibit.

I first encountered Trenton at his very first solo exhibit, Off Colored, at Gerald Peters Gallery here in Dallas back in 1998. This exhibit had been a collection of about 20 of Mr. Hancock’s most recent autobiographical works, what he called “regurgitations of the things that I have seen and heard” as a black male. And it was from this show that I purchased one of his works on paper which I will be showing you later on in this post. It will show you how far he’s evolved it the last twelve years. My piece is very simple compared to what he’s creating now.

But first let me show you a sampling of his current show.

Contemporary Art

Art Trolling at The MAC (part 2, the last stop)

Above is a still from Quin Mathews' video now showing in the third gallery at The MAC.
Above is a still from Quin Mathews’ video now showing in the third gallery at The MAC.

The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC). If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought I had stepped into a church. And there was Leslie Connally and Judy Niven constantly reminding me to tone it down while Kitchen Dog‘s play was performing in the black box theater next to the galleries. Normally, all three galleries would have had festive Mexican music shaking the place up for this show, but not on Kitchen Dog’s nights. And then there was the church smell, aging flowers and burning candles.

Contemporary Art

Thursday Evening’s Art Trolling (part 1)


The Impossibility of Doing Nothing at The Reading Room. Across from Fair Park on Parry Avenue in a tiny space, Karen Weiner has set up an unusual kind of gallery experience. Described in her own words, “A project space which, through occasional readings, performances and installations, will explore the many ways in which text and image interact.” Personally I believe that most, if not all, good things happen only in small rooms.