|todd camplin weekly...
at galerie frank elbaz through march 25
by Todd Camplin
Across from the Dallas Contemporary is a gallery space named Gallerie Frank Elbaz. Originally
out of Paris, the gallery brings voice to some familiar and unfamiliar artists to Dallas. Their current
show of Meandering, Abstractly mesmerized me. I was not acquainted with any of the artists
in the show, but I made a quick study of each person, because their works so captivated my
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|I didn’t know much about the French artist Martin Barré, so this was an introduction to his work.
He moved from abstract expression like mark making to minimalist compositions. He seemed to
be very sparse in his choices in his early work, so minimalism seems an easy transition. Although
he lived in France, you would think the work was made in New York, because so much of his
work seemed to mirror what was going on in the US. Another artist in the show is an American
in Paris, Sheila Hicks who was also working in abstract art, but with textiles. Back when textiles
were still not looked at by critics as “high art,” Hick broke ground along with others to bring
textiles out of the purely craft world and into the art world. Another French abstract artist
in the show is Bernard Piffaretti, who makes quite minimal paintings that feel a bit unfinished.
Piffaretti colors can be pretty wild and his simplistic shapes and forms looked like they were
made yesterday. I have seen so much work that looks like Piffaretti paintings by young
artists, it makes me think that their is not point look at them when you got the originator
of the style still making works right now.
|Julije Knifer paintings and graphite drawings was the big attraction for me. In fact, I was told
by Angela Kallus that I had to go see his drawings. I talked to Kallus, who was at Circuit 12
Contemporary on the last day of the Union Pacific show, which she had an epic flower
painting/relief sculpture. I can see why she was so taken by the work, because the
graphite drawings accentuated the rough, bumpy surface of the paper Knifer used.
Like me, Kallus has an appreciation for subtle textures.
|Mangelos aka Dimitrije Bašičević was from Yugoslavia and died before the breakup. But his work
was more of a shake up of the communist authority that once ruled the country. He was an
abstract/DADA artist the must have went against the grain of the people in power, but he
managed to carry on. I think he might be more important if a few more scholars start tackling
his work. Maybe a few museums need to explore a show of his work and flush out where he
fits into the art conversation.
Gallerie Frank Elbaz show Meandering, Abstractly was curated by Artforum contributor Paul
Galvez and will be up through March 25th.