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So Much Art, So Little Time

Overwhelmed with choices at this year’s Art Fair? No worries. Here’s our guide to 10 must-sees.

Daniel Blagg’s “Ranch View Motel,” 2013, watercolor on paper

Allison V. Smith
What New work from an old friend
Why You may be familiar with the work of Smith and not even know it. From 1998 to 2004, Smith was a staff photographer for The Dallas Morning News and has Texas roots that go back to her internship at The Dallas Times Herald in 1990. Our own Barry Whistler Gallery, which happens to be owned by her husband, is showcasing some of her recent works that show she’s evolved with both a photojournalist’s attention to detail and an artist’s appreciation for the abstract. Her blog (accessible through her website lists her occupation as “photographer, dog mom & Willie [Nelson] fan,” and we can all agree that it doesn’t get much better than that.
Where Barry Whistler Gallery, 2909-B Canton St., 214.939.0242

Ron van der Ende
What Nordic sculpture by way of Wilshire Boulevard
Why Ambach and Rice, a Los Angeles-based gallery, will show Bas-relief sculptures in salvaged wood by van der Ende. And although it’s always fun to take an art road trip to L.A., now that Dallas has a gallery such as Ambach and Rice making the trek here, you can use those frequent flyer miles elsewhere. Van der Ende is based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and his work displays a certain sense of whimsy. To see more, check out van der Ende’s self-maintained website, where he proudly states, “I think visual artists should consider taking charge of their own (Web) representation as a natural part of their field. And why not? It’s cheap, quite—but not too—easy and just plain fun!” This guy’s gonna fit in great here.
Where Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave.,  214.220.1278

Howard Fonda and Mary Temple
What Two exciting voices from New York gallery Mixed Greens
Why Fonda’s oils and colored- pencil works are bold and vibrant—his homepage offers an art manifesto of sorts that reads, in part, “Art is everything and nothing. Everything is everything and nothing. Nothing is everything and nothing.” That may be so, but Fonda’s excitingly colorful work is undeniably worth seeing. Temple, who has exhibited across Texas, contributes two handmade paper pieces, “Winter Light” and “Spring Light.” In describing her work, she says, “Regardless of the medium, themes of trust, transparency and truthfulness remain in tact.” 
Where Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave., 214.220.1278

Richard Phillips and Julian Schnabel
What Phillips’ Negation of the Universe, and Schnabel’s An Artist Has a Past (Puffy Clouds and Strong Cocktails) 15 Paintings Over The
Last Decade

Why Phillips’ first U.S. solo exhibition will feature both old and new works. The Schnabel exhibit will feature 15 large-scale paintings—but really, is there anything he does that doesn’t feel big? Schnabel spent a number of formative years in Texas, so make him feel at home, which shouldn’t be hard since the guy’s usually wearing pajamas anyway. Bonus: Taking in two of the artists at the same space will save wear on your Louboutins!
Where The Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass St., 214.821.2522

Daniel and Dennis Blagg
What Sibling rivalry elevated to high art
Why While the Blagg Brothers may sound like a pack of bandits from the old Alamo days, they favor paint and brushes to Smith & Wessons (at least professionally speaking). You may see brothers and fellow artists Doug and Woodrow Blagg at the exhibit showing their support, but it’s Daniel and Dennis’ art hanging on the walls. Dennis concentrates on the wide-open spaces of the American landscape, and Daniel’s work celebrates the faded glory of roadside America. On his website, Daniel says, “In this consumer society, we just run through stuff, and there’s something desperate in that mindset. … What are we doing with what we have, and where is it going?” Well, we were thinking of buying a painting, and we think it would go great in the foyer!
Where Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave., 214.220.1278

Andrew Holmquist and Michael Robinson
What More than paintings
Why It just wouldn’t be right excluding a Chicago gallery such as Carrie Secrist: Not only are they presenting wonderfully bold artists, but these Chicagoans need all the visitors they can get (after this past winter, the extra body heat will help them thaw. Some of Holmquist’s newest work, as he puts it, explores “a return to more concrete representation, but mix[es] recognizable content like palm trees, legs and beach towels into abstract configurations that confuse our understanding of them.” Sure, why not? Robinson is a film and video artist who enjoys, as he describes it, “riding the fine line between humor and terror.” That is evidenced nowhere better than his film still, The Dark, KrystleDynasty fans—prepare for a variety of brilliant-meets-creepy we haven’t seen since the show was on-air.
Where Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave., 214 220.1278