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The Frieze Art Fair in New York is an annual event on Randall’s Island. It’s in it’s sixth year. The fair includes over 200 modern contemporary art galleries from over 30 countries. This fair is like a tiny city brimming with the who’s who of the art world, and the finest…(Read More)

The Dallas Art Fair is expanding. This year over 30 additional galleries participated including blue chip institutions like Gagosian. We were thrilled once again to attend the fair and view some incredible work by established and emerging artists. The city and the fair celebrate a rising collector base. The fair does an excellent job of…(Read More)

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Auction

 

On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast. It was a Category 4 storm and it’s effects were unimaginable. It formed on August 8th and didn’t dissipate until September 3rd.  It created the most damage in U.S. history except for Hurricane Katrina. It caused $180 billion in damage and affected 13 million people. Harvey made three separate landfalls in six days. Harvey was the wettest tropical storm in US history. It’s peak landfall occurred on September 1st.  One-third of Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, was underwater.

 

After the impact of Harvey, people from Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky are trying to rebuild their lives. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has stated that more than $125 billion dollars in federal relief. It's in great need of our care.

 

On September 30th, Dimmitt Contemporary Art teamed up with Laura Rathe Fine Art, Houston-based artists Katherine Houston and Cookie Ashton to put on an art auction and fundraiser to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

 

After such a successful night, we were able to raise over $80,000 for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  100% of the proceeds from the event went to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Ed Emmett.

 

Contributing Artists:

 

To our contributing artists and those who participated, we could not have done it without you. It is with immeasurable pride that we announce the success of this event.

 

Ironically, it’s in these moments of devastation that we experience the strength of  humanity. In the midst of true hardship, our community banded together to support one another. The fundraiser proved the true value of Houston and the related areas. We're hoping that this event helps in some of the lives of those who are trying to put their lives back in order after the wake of Harvey.

 

This event was a beautiful moment during what will be a long road to recovery. What artists and those that support the arts have to offer is al commitment to building strong community. In sharing this we heal as a place, and we were able to produce tangible funds to create impactful change.  

 

“Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favors no race, it acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible.” - Richard Kramler

 

Our Frieze New York 2017 Favorites

The Frieze Art Fair in New York is an annual event on Randall’s Island. It’s in it’s sixth year. The fair includes over 200 modern contemporary art galleries from over 30 countries. This fair is like a tiny city brimming with the who’s who of the art world, and the finest work made today. The tent was densely filled with top-drawer art. Visitors poured over the work in hopes of acquisition or just for their own visual delight.

Our visit to the fair this year was profitable. We gathered together with colleagues, artists, and friends from around the world. We saw works by artists we love, discovered works by artists we did not know, and remembered artists we had forgotten. We scheduled studio visits, met up with old friends and made new ones. We ended the trip excited to return again next year.

Below are some of the artists and their work that we relished in viewing this year at Frieze.

JOHN CURRIN 

GAGOSIAN

The Gagosian’s spotlight booth was one of the most thorough displays at the fair. The museum grey walls displayed over 100 gilt framed drawings by John Currin hung in salon style. The works, chosen by Currin, were shown for the first time and spanned more than a decade. Currin is well known for his lush caricature paintings of contemporary figures. He’s revered for both his humor and a draftsmanship, that is impressively comparable to Durer.

The works ranged from casual yet exquisite doodles, to finely rendered and fully resolved drawings. Each titillating scene has some element of explicit perversity mixed with a rash sense of humor. The drawings are made as if he was a Mannerist in the 16th century. Currin’s choice to hark back to this era is not a coincidence. Instead it is a decision made with exacting calculation. The Mannerists were incredibly skilled at the art of exaggeration and manipulation. Often using bright unrealistic colors to describe the most luscious and decadent beauty. One might call both the Mannerists and Currin visual hedonists. Both parties enjoying the employment of their own rendering skills to envision what they desire. These lush scenarios are both sweet and sickening. That strange beauty is exactly what gives Currin’s work such a strong draw. 

In an interview with ARTNews Nate Freeman asks the artist if there is any unrealized sketch he would like to return to, Currin responded, “ Well, something I’ve always wished I made a painting of is a drawing of three doctors,” he said. “One is white, one is black, and in the middle is Jesus, or God, and he’s got a beard and the whole bit, and they’re looking over X-rays, and… actually, maybe it’s best as a drawing.” Drawing for Currin seems to be about envisioning fantasies, either in the forms of jokes or of sexual desires. In this way, he speaks to the dirty secrets we all share.

 

KENNY SCHARF 

HONOR FRASER

Walking into Honor Fraser’s both was like taking a step back in time into the 80s East Village art scene. The booth featured a spotlight on Kenny Scharf. Each work was made between 1978 and 1985 and was clad with sci-fi arcade motifs. The work  exemplifies youthful energy, pop culture and an unrepentant stylistic gumption. The walls were adorned with hot colored mixed media paintings, and a small section was dedicated to salon hung collages. Plexi-case plinths displayed Scharf’s quintessential unique assemblages sculptures.

AMILCAR DE CASTRO

SILVIA CINTRA

One of the most thorough and engaging solo booths at the fair displayed an impressive collection of Amilcar de Castro. The artist was involved with the Neo-Concrete movement in Brazil in the 1950’s. Similar to that of Lygia Pape, whose fantastic retrospective is currently on view at the Met Brauer, de Castro plays with geometry in paper, and metal. In the exhibition, larger sculptural pieces lived in the centre of the booth, one wall had shelves with smaller scale metal works, and one wall showed his diagrammatic geometric drawings. These drawings, full of subtlety and simplicity were what captivated me most. Their thoughtful pensive graphite lines, in the most minimal execution, alluded to the poetics of three dimensional space with the least amount of effort.

SAM MOYER

SEAN KELLY

Sam Moyer’s work at Sean Kelly immediately demanded my attention. Known for her diverse body of work including paintings, structures, and sculptural objects, Moyer’s practice draws inspiration from architectural space and the materiality of utilitarian objects.  She became notable at the beginning of her career for dying fabrics outside to make them look like like marble. Her practice has expanded to include an array of materials. Now she has begun to incorporate marble slabs into the work with fabric and paint. She has even started to re-create brush stroked with marble imbedded in canvas. This twisting and confusion of materials, blending of their edges, confusing their fidelity, and simulating their surfaces, is at the crux of her work. This innovation of combining textures of materials speaks to the transformation and mutability of objects. She manipulates these materials into beautifully abstract works whose formal devices push the margins of artistic vocabulary and mixed media.

ZHANG WEI

BOERS-LI

Zhang Wei is considered one of the first abstract painters in China. In the early 1980’s , Wei encountered Abstract Expressionists and its protagonists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg. This influence offered Wei a different view on his own artistic practice. It encouraged him to aim for personal freedom of expression in his work. He accomplished this through taking on non-representational form. His paintings take on intuitive and immediate approaches indicative of action painting. Wei combines this western impact with a traditional Chinese history. His ab-ex inspired works re-present marks associated with Chinese ink and calligraphy techniques. Action painters probably looked to eastern calligraphy as inspiration. So it makes sense that Wei would have keen interests in tying the two modes of making together.

LAURENT GRASSO

GALERIE PERROTIN

Laurent Grasso is a sophisticated artist. His work although conceptual in spirit dives deeply into a re-presentation of art history. He often uses early renaissance paintings as inspiration into new painted work. He creates these divine oil paintings in tandem with minimalist sculpture. At Edouard Malingue Gallery he presented “Anechoic Wall” is a mesmerizing sculpture. This piece is part of a series of sculptures of different forms and materials including wood, metal and marble that are inspired by fossilized sound.  These sculptures take advantage of geometry to replicate the sound effects in Anechoic rooms in which sound waves and magnetics and muted. The artwork presented at Frieze was constructed of copper a material known for its incredible conductive properties but also its strong capacity of reflection. Not only does this piece create an incredible and breathtaking sound intervention in space, it doubles as an incredible reflector, and gorgeous minimalist object.

ROCHELLE FEINSTEIN 

ON STELLAR RAYS

Rochelle Feinstein is a celebrated New York based artist. She is a senior female painter, video artist and sculptor. Her work lives in a slippery place where modernist history intersects with popular culture and personal history. This fearless approach to make fine art messy with the inclusion of the personal is precisely what makes her work powerful. In her early work ,she created images of grids that revisited the popular modernist motifs but combined them with representations of everyday objects. The paintings included allusions to the field, the tv monitor, dish towels and stain glass. Recently, she has continued with her explorations of written word. She explores text both through its content and the influence of its style. In the booth for On Stellar Rays, she lines the walls with hand written confessional style notes scribbled on 8.5 x 11 inch paper in black ink. This make-shift wall paper creates a strange circumstance for more conservative abstract works on canvas, and a plinth mounted singular sculpture. This intermixing of diaristic style writing with works that recall iconic styles of ‘fine art’ is a perfect introduction to the ethics in Rochelle Feinstein’s work.

VIRGINIA JARAMILLO 

HALES

The large color-rich acrylic paintings by Virginia Jaramillo at Hales booth at Frieze almost seemed to dance and talk to one another. Each curvilinear pictograph on the paintings seem to echo slight and elegant movements at one another. The paintings were made in the 1970’s. In addition to being featured in the recently opened and fantastic exhibition, “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85” at the Brooklyn Museum. Jaramillo had a 1971 work bought by the museum through the inaugural Frieze Brooklyn Museum Fund—Yahtzee! During the VIP preview this year. In 1971, She was included in an amazing exhibition in Houston called “The DeLuxe Show”sponsored by the one and only Dominique de Menil. It was one of the first racially integrated exhibitions, and she was one of the few female artists involved. Her work represent an great historical legacy

Jaramillo was an early pioneer of “felt-abstraction”, a movement that encouraged abstract, spare and elegant forms that owed some inspiration to the Hard-Edge school of making. Jaramillo’s minimal, color saturated, and specific abstractions seem to be more than the representation of a school of thought. They have an inexplicable feeling of sincerity. Her compositions evolved from the linear style of Green Dawn Number 1 (1972), which was shown at the Whitney, to works that are curvilinear and invested in the formal qualities of the edge of the canvas. From bold abstract canvases and sculptural mixed media compositions to meticulously formed pulp paintings, Jaramillo has forged a unique voice, experimenting with material and process to pursue her ongoing explorations of human perception of reality.

ANISH KAPOOR 

LISSON

Anish Kapoor’s densely pigmented or chrome half domes were a sensation at Frieze. The artist is commonly referred to as one of our Contemporary masters. This wall work is in a vibrant cadmium yellow. It’s perfect geometry and inviting proportions almost suck a viewer into it’s half planet orbit. Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. He’s known most for his public sculptures that are both adventures in form and feats of engineering. He manoeuvres between vastly different scales and across numerous series of work.

 

Our Dallas Art Fair 2017 Favorites

The Dallas Art Fair is expanding. This year over 30 additional galleries participated including blue chip institutions like Gagosian. We were thrilled once again to attend the fair and view some incredible work by established and emerging artists. The city and the fair celebrate a rising collector base. The fair does an excellent job of transplanting successful galleries from US and international epicentres to house work temporarily in Dallas. Major galleries such as CANADA and Morgan Lehman gallery participated this year in the crowded high energy art world convention.

Over the fair we were able to meet a lot of professional curators, gallerists and critics.  But, most of all we got the pleasure of viewing some incredible and inspiring work. The fair was a visual feast and it was hard to narrow our list - we managed to cut it down to a list of 7 favorites. 

 

Black and Navy Aug 31 2014, 2014

Flock, enamel and sparkle on tile over masonite

36 x 72 x 4.5 in.

Donald Sultan’s chrome poppies popped out at us in his piece “Black and Navy”. It was easy to become captivated by the textural interplay between flock, enamel and spackle. The enamel chrome flowers shone against the black light-absorbing flock glittering like a star in the blackest night sky. 

Sultan is a painter, print maker and sculptor from New York City. His work is in major collections such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. The paintings of poppies are his most iconic and popular series of works.

The paintings reference poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers and Sultan’s personal garden. He says the works reference more of the quotidian paper flowers that are sold on Veteran’s Day rather than the actual flowers. This reference to the man-made is also reflected through the use of synthetic materials such as the flocking and enamel paint. Although the work could easily fall into the same kitschy aesthetic space as a velvet painting, it doesn't. The painting's contrast, minimal design and emotional reference, allows elegance to override campiness. It reads less like flea market find and more like an Ellsworth Kelly. Sultan’s unique flare for combining everyday materials with a serious tenor of subject has made him an artist of significance.

 

 

Cattywampus, 2016

Oil on linen

55 x 51 in.

While weaving through fair's dense coordinators we were able to stumble upon the work of Sarah Dwyer.  The Irish artist utilizes a prominent drawing marks that move in and out of her layered abstract works. We were immediately struck by the vigorous and gestural marks. Her painted lines provide a journey through the work's surface. 

The large colour-filled paintings begin as intuitive explorations in paint. She is interested in how fantasy, and history are built into a painting. The more colouristic passages in the paintings seem to evoke moments when Dwyer is unconscious, letting the work make itself. The drawn lines seem to consciously rein in moments of physical and emotional history. The paintings evoke reconstructed or meditated memories. Dwyer reflects on personal memory as material for the work. She offers a dense stratified surface for a viewer to exhume illustrations from. The works seem to whisper “Come see my world, excavate my soiled layers, and draw upon your own personal histories.”  

Dwyer is London based and is represented by Jane Lombard Gallery in NYC, and Josh Lilly Gallery in London.

 

 

Holy Roller, 2017

Oil enamel on canvas and ester foam

56.5 x 16 x 11.5 in.

 

It was exciting to see Justin Adian’s work again during the Dallas Art Fair. Adian's work never disappoints us. We think its some of the most developed and exciting work we had the pleasure to view at the fair this year. His work hovers in a space between sculpture and painting. It is in this intermediary space between media that Adian finds his most fruitful inspiration. He claims that “ If you’re not sure what something is, it gives you a lot of freedom. " With this freedom, Adian makes playful, propositional and stunning work. 

Adian’s work begins by shaping Ester foam into unique geometric forms as his primary support. He then stretches material across the three-dimensional surface. The final touch is painting it with luxurious but utilitarian industrial boat paint. These abstract wall-mounted pieces recall  geometric abstractions like Carmen Herrera, who bent painting into the intimate and sculptural space of the viewer. The works are slick, colorful, succinct and powerful. They beckon your attention with the least amount of moves. His pieces offer color suspended in space all without even leaving the surface of a wall. The concise and simplicity of these wall works is what garners their impressive impact.   

 

 

Untitled (Tough Ray), 2015

Soft pastel and oil stick on satin with wood frame

60.5 x 48.5 in.

Larissa Lockshin is an emerging Canadian artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her work epitomizes a young feminine spirit, as seen here in Untitled (Tough Ray). Candy-colored and painted on a satin surface, Lockin makes marks with laissez-faire execution. Utilizing clumsy materials like oil stick and soft pastel she creates doodle-like compositions of decorative motifs. The compositions are reminiscent of the drawings on the margins of a high school notebook. They have a quiet romantic nostalgia. The whismsical pastel colors and light imagery provide is unassuming and unpreticious. The nostalgic and saccharine images recall third wave feminist artists like Petra Collins and Aurel Schmidt whose work is both ironic and sincere in their devotion to the uber girly.

These airy fleshy pink satin canvases recall impressionist, and expressionist modes of making. Here we don’t see the uber slick or instead we see the expressions of a celebratory female. These seductive works have us lusting for more.

 

Petals, 2017

Oil on canvas

66 x 51 in.

Cornelius Volker’s paintings are representation and reference the history of art. Specifically, his work draws on Pop art and Action painting. While he replicates images of known subjects like flowers, or portraits he undoes the techniques of painting. The subject matter is a vehicle to explore both the material of paint, and the process of rendering illusionist images. In a calculated manner, Voker’s work is about the task of painting itself.

The German artist has pursued many subjects for his large-scale oil paintings.  Yet he always pursues the deconstruction of the history and techniques of painting. His handling of the medium of paint is both effortless and rigorous. He doesn’t waver in his confident application of paint.  Yet, he explores the different ways of rendering and how they effect the attitude of the painting. Through the paintings technical execution the subject and the history of painting talk to one another. The subjects however, always remind us of a common relationship to the world. He provides subjects that are common and relateable, like flowers, a portrait, a package of  imodium, or a hand gun. Although the images are beautiful they transcend being just a pretty picture. Instead, they evoke history, deconstruct illusion and wow us materially. 

Calvin’s Place, 2016

Acrylic and oil on canvas

65 x 72 in.

Anna Membrino works drew us in. The spatial and saturated large scale paintings beckoned me to know more. After inquiring we discovered Membrino begins with two dimensional and three dimensional assemblage as a jumping off point into her paintings. The colorful and surrealistic paintings recall still lives that seem to exist in a more alien or unusual world outside of our own. These surreal landscapes defy scale specificity. It’s difficult to define how big something is, or what perspective you take on as a viewer. The paintings work like a tableu vivant.  They beg you to come into their strange and color filled atmosphere, to play and enjoy their dream-like space. The images seem to exist at once in fantasy and a concrete reality. 

Anna Membrino is a Dallas based artist who was born in Maryland. She has an MFA from MFA Southern Methodist University and is represented by Erin Cluley Gallery.  

 

2017

Acrylic and spray paint on canvas

96 × 120 in

Katherine Bernhardt is definitely the hot, emerging artist right now in the contemporary art market. We were so excited to se her work in person at the Fair. She makes makes colorful patterned paintings of symbols in our popular culture lexicon. She creates dazzling, roughly drawn, textile-like compositions representing images like the ‘poop’ emoji, icons of cigarettes, or renditions of the smurfs. These hi-key, acid-colored, expedient images are dazzling and audacious. The large-scale paintings feel recall punk aesthetics through their ostentatious, powerful, and straightforward illustrative style. 

The artist who is New York based most of the time also frequents Morroco where she also collects and sells fine Berber hand woven rugs. The rugs are clearly inspiration for Bernhardt’s work of the last decade. As her paintings seem more invested in textile composition, and repetition. It is also confirmed by her straight from the tube colour palette, and the way she applies paint is more like staining a fabric than globbing on impasto painted matter. We love the multitude of references in her work and love her unique take on the process and subject of painting.

Milieu Spring 2017

"Certain gallery owners immediately recognize new artists, as well as the value of more established ones. Kathy Dimmitt of Dimmitt Contemporary Art is exactly that kind of gallerist."

- AARON RAMBO

We are so thrilled to be featured in the latest issue of Milieu Magazine! Aaron Rambo of FOUND is such a talented designer, and we are honored to be included among his favorite destinations in Houston. Grab your issue of Milieu and check us out!

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