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ADAM MCEWEN
at The Goss-Michael Foundation through July 28
by Todd Camplin

The Goss-Michael Foundation began as a commercial gallery, but soon shifted focus to a more
private collection museum and then they moved from their small Mid Town space to their large
building in the Design District. The private collection spaces have become an important trend
in the art world. Collectors have always been a driver of collective taste, but normally these
collectors would use an art museum as their vehicle of display.
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Now, some collectors are creating their own spaces and displaying these works outside the
museum setting. Often times they are featuring contemporary artists’ work. The Goss-Michael
Foundation focus is on the young and the not so young British artists. The British art scene
exploded on the world stage in the 1990’s and some of the most influential artists  today
are from the UK, so having an art space in Dallas that features these important artists is a
real treat to North Texas.
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The Foundation’s current show features Adam McEwen. Other than the chewing gum paintings,
his body of work is in direct contrast to the flamboyant Baroque style of many UK artists. McEwen
manages to stay understated and a little less interested shock value. Think of the subtleties of using
graphite to make his sculptures. The semimetal graphite helps to create metal molds and the most
common use is in pencils. If you are strong enough to lift them, material in the sculptures could
make a drawing. The fact that he uses ordinary objects like an ATM machine or an AC unit
made in graphite speaks to our need to look at these commonplace items again in a new light.
Installation View

McEwen created what looks to be reproductions of newspapers in a suite of several
chromogenic prints. Personally I think these look too mundane and don’t re-contextualize
the newspaper effectively. I have seen a better attempt from artist José-María Cano.
However, McEwen creates some exceedingly more interesting pieces taken from text
messages. He brings these digital words into concrete space. His wall of painted text
boxes is really quite effective in reflecting our current language and writing shift due to
technology. He even lists your options as if you could touch the words on the wall to click
“options,” “reply,” or “back.”
The Goss-Michael Foundation will display Adam McEwen’s
work until July 28th.
Untitled, Txt Msg, 2008
Vinyl black or white mat adhesive on wall (20 pieces)
24 x 24 inches/each panel
Photo credit: Art Concept, Paris // Courtesy: The Goss-Michael Collection, Dallas TX
Untitled (Jeff, Nicole, Macaulay, Bill, Rod, Marilyn, Malcolm), 2002-2004
C-print - 40 x 29 inches
Photo credit: Nicole Klagsbrun, New York. //  Courtesy: The Goss-Michael Collection, Dallas TX