Art Notes


Divorce Papers + Design: It%26rsquo;s a wild, inventive ride as Dallas dealers roll out often steamy fare mid-summer. Begin with Kristy Stubbs Gallery%26rsquo;s Highland Park Village Pop-Up, showcasing heartthrob Spaniard Jos%26eacute;-Mar%26iacute;a Cano, whose encaustic works on canvas adroitly marry image and text %26mdash; the subject is the artist%26rsquo;s own divorce. (You%26rsquo;ll be amazed.) Cano also scintillates with a series of paintings, %26ldquo;Why Rent When You Can Buy?,%26rdquo; which recreate ads for call girls and ladies of the evening, filtered through a detached post-Pop sensibility (through July 28) ... We%26rsquo;re also mad for the psychedelia of San Francisco%26ndash;based painter/graphic designer Rex Ray, whose way with shape, line and color has appeared everywhere from SFMOMA to Swatch watch faces and CD packaging for David Bowie. Now it%26rsquo;s here at Conduit Gallery. Sharing the limelight with Ray are recent Central Trak talent Gabriel Dawe, who presents some new pin-encrusted sculptures, and nuanced San Francisco woodblock printmaker Jill Storthz (all on view through August 31) ... While you%26rsquo;re in the Design District, check out Sun to Moon Gallery, whose sole focus is photography. %26ldquo;Antiquarian Avant-Garde Photography:%26nbsp;Works by the North Texas Alternative Process Group%26rdquo; offers a compelling group view of nine current lensmen who pair contemporary subject matter with 19th- and early-20th-century processes, from casein and cyanotype to gum bichromate and wet-plate collodion. These works bear lush, rich surfaces that invoke times past (July 19 %26ndash; August 18; opening night, Saturday, July 21).

Sunflower City: Make tracks to Oak Cliff to catch the final hours of Cynthia Mulcahy and Robert Hamilton%26rsquo;s inspired art + farming + community project %26ldquo;Seventeen Hundred Seeds,%26rdquo; as 1,700 Aztec Gold sunflowers go to seed %26mdash; literally %26mdash; on a vacant lot at 715 W. Davis Street. What could be more glorious than this artwork, which has significant implications for curatorial practice and the artist%26rsquo;s role in real life.

Museum Mile: At the Dallas Museum of Art, everyone is buzzing about the George Grosz show, expertly curated by the DMA%26rsquo;s Heather MacDonald, which presents an utterly fascinating view of mid-century Dallas when a European expressionist and Dadaist turned his sights on this fair city. The exhibition also signals an early coming together of commerce and culture. See what happened when department store scion Leon Harris Jr. of Harris and Company (later Sanger-Harris) coaxed Grosz to town in 1952 to undertake a commission (through August 19) ... Wrap up your museum viewing in Fort Worth, where the Amon Carter Museum of American Art%26rsquo;s %26ldquo;American Vanguards%26rdquo; gives center stage to the under-known John Graham, alongside Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky and the mighty de Kooning, as well as others in the Graham orbit during the pivotal years of 1927 through 1942 (through August 19).

Frontal Gaze: In a real coup for a Texas institution, %26ldquo;Lucian Freud: Portraits%26rdquo; arrives at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Organized by the National Portrait Gallery, London, in association with The Modern, this tour de force presents one of the greatest portraitists of our time. Ninety works, spanning 1943 through 2011, reveal Freud and his unflinchingly observed subjects. Talk about the way of all flesh (July 1 %26ndash;%26nbsp;October 28; museum closed July 4). Not since Alice Neel was showcased at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2010, have we had such a searing look at the human figure and a window into the sitter%26rsquo;s psyche.

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Rex Ray%26rsquo;s Psoroderma, 2012, at Conduit Gallery

Jos%26eacute;-Maria Cano's Laura (Why Rent When You Can Buy?), 2010, at Kristy Stubbs Gallery

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