Art Notes

Maya, Masks and Madrid: %26#8220;Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea%26#8221; arrives at the Kimbell Art Museum. This mystical reinterpretation of the grand Mayan culture is an intriguing archaeological blockbuster that pushes beyond the scholarly realm into the broader consciousness. Based on new excavations plus breakthroughs in deciphering the Mayan glyphs, %26#8220;Fiery Pool%26#8221; looks at the role of the sea in the fabled civilization that, at its height, extended throughout Mexico and Central America. The bold revisionist exhibition serves up riches from stoic carved stone monuments to a droll ceramic crocodile effigy %26#8212; once-in-a-lifetime loans that the traveling show, organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, coaxed from important institutions in Mexico City, Guatemala and Belize (through January 2) ... At the Dallas Museum of Art, curator Roslyn A. Walker raids the DMA%26#8217;s troves and taps local collectors for the jewel-like %26#8220;African Masks: The Art of Disguise.%26#8221; Costumes place these carved creations in context, while performance footage literally makes the masks come alive (through February 13) ... The Meadows Museum rolls out its historic international partnership with one of the world%26#8217;s great museums, the Prado, by bringing El Greco%26#8217;s circa-1600 masterpiece Pentecost to town (September 12 %26#8211;%26nbsp;February 6). It%26#8217;s%26nbsp;just one of the top treasures that will travel here over the next three years.

Luminous Legend: Joan Davidow, the lady whose legacy to the Texas scene is gigantic, is touted as the Dallas Contemporary%26#8217;s 2010 Legend. (No other Legends need apply.) For her DC swan song %26#8212; %26#8220;Here. There. %26amp; Beyond.%26#8221; %26#8212; the visionary departing director curates six artists who reflect the Contemporary%26#8217;s emphasis on the local, national and global (September 19 %26#8211;%26nbsp;October 31).

In Texas We Trust:%26nbsp;At the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Michael Auping curates grand master Vernon Fisher in a must-see, decades-spanning retrospective pithily titled %26#8220;K-Mart Conceptualism,%26#8221; which stars Fisher%26#8217;s pop-powered blackboard series (September 25 %26#8211; January 2). The accompanying UT Press volume was penned by the artist himself and features an interview with Auping and contributions by TCU art history chair Frances Colpitt and Blanton Museum of Art director Ned Rifkin ... At Conduit Gallery, abstract canvases by UNT professor Vincent Falsetta pulsate with geologic/cosmic energy (September 10 %26#8211; October 9) ... With two Whitney Biennials plus biennales in Istanbul and Lyon under his belt, Trenton Doyle Hancock is one of the international art stars making his home in Texas. Collectors aplenty will be lining up for his fall solo at Dunn and Brown Contemporary, %26#8220;Work While It Is Day For When Night Cometh No Man Can Work%26#8221; (September 10 %26#8211;%26nbsp;October 23), which includes ambitious installations throughout D and B%26#8217;s spaces. After Dallas, you%26#8217;ll have to head to London to catch TDH in another site-specific creation for The Drawing Room, opening this November, followed by a touring museum exhibition organized by USF Contemporary Art Museum (Tampa, Florida) that unfurls in January, traveling through 2012.
Oh So Urbane: Craig Cully%26#8217;s mini canvases %26#8212; measuring just 2.5 x 2.5 inches %26#8212; still pack a punch. The intimate, compelling still lifes by the New Mexico/Pennsylvania talent are part of autumn%26#8217;s inaugural view at Galleri Urbane (opening September 11) ... Next door, Cris Worley Fine Art (2277 Monitor St.; makes an impressive debut as the former Pan American director curates %26#8220;Epic | Epoch%26#8221; (September 9 %26#8211; October 16). The exhibit, Worley reveals, features %26#8220;many of the artists I have represented over the last decade, but there will be some new faces and a recent MFA grad as well.%26#8221; Watch for Texas trio Charlotte Smith, Rusty Scruby and William Cannings, among others.
Panel with a seated ruler in a watery cave (Cancuen Panel 3), A.D. 795, Cancuen, Guatemala, at the Kimbell Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes%26#8212;Museo Nacional de Arqueolog%26#237;a y Etnolog%26#237;a, Guatemala City. Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum, photograph %26#169; 2009 Jorge P%26#233;rez de Lara.
Michael Miller%26#8217;s I Feel Full of Vitality and Strength, 2010, at Barry Whistler Gallery. Photo Courtesy of the artist and Barry Whistler Gallery.

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