Dallas welcomes a pair of new contemporary galleries to the art scene this week, and each of them offered a glimpse into their points of view during preview parties Thursday night. Here’s a roundup of the night:
The story: A collaboration of the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas (which includes Barry Whistler, Pan American Art Projects and Conduit Gallery). The inaugural exhibition, Indexing the Moment, features sculpture, painting, photography, video and conceptual works.
Location: Main Street between Neiman Marcus and the new Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The space: A former jewelry store, this narrow, 4,000 square-foot spot is an intimate setting that allows for interesting juxtaposition of contrasting styles.
The artists: Ted Kincaid, Kristin Lucas, Kenda North, Brent Ozaeta, Ludwig Schwarz, Allison V. Smith and others.
The scene: Downtown scenesters mingled and munched on mini burgers and empanadas as a DJ spun in a hideaway booth. Prime location seemed to be the chairs in the loft space upstairs.
Bottom line: Most of the work is challenging, some of it accessible and a lot of it will serve as a conversation starter into the nature of art. Kristin Lucas’ conceptual piece on her struggle to legally change her name is a rare mix of humor and contemplation.
The story: Dallas restaurant mogul Philip Romano – an accomplished painter in his own right – and fellow painter JD Miller are behind this spot dedicated to 21st Century art.
Location: On Dragon Street’s gallery row just west of downtown
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10 a.m to 6 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The space: Its 11,000 square feet offer plenty or room to browse. In the back, a video room complete with bar featured a documentary about the new gallery by Dallas filmmaker Mark Birnbaum. Other little alcoves provide spots to take a load off and take in a featured work.
The artists: Romano and Miller have several of their thickly textured, brightly colored canvases on display, as well as work from other similarly minded artists.
The scene: The owners clearly have a stable of well-heeled friends (I counted four Bentleys just walking back to my car), and they were out in full force Thursday night. Lots of suits and cocktail dresses. Lavish spreads featuring an array of meats, cheeses, nuts and fruit were strategically positioned throughout the floor.
Bottom line: Much of the art here would be perfectly at home in, well, someone’s home. And judging by the number of colored stickers on the painting title cards, many in attendance were there with an eye to buy.