Giant KAWS sculpture comes to the Modern
Gallery Night, Fort Worth’s biannual event, is back for its 41st year. Free and open to the public, participating galleries, museums, and businesses are open with hours ranging from noon to 9pm on Saturday, September 7. A party bus to take you from gallery to gallery has sold-out, but there is also a bike hop starting at 3pm at Artspace111.
An essential stop on the tour is Fort Works Art, which is usually so crowded on Fall Gallery Night that it feels like ground zero for the event. This year, the space has three offerings. In the main gallery, “Picking Up the Pieces” is a solo exhibition from self-taught Brooklyn artist Eric Inkala, who has a background in graffiti and bold color palettes similar to Keith Haring and KAWS. The show features several large-scale acrylic on canvas pop art paintings with cartoonish imagery and complex symmetry.
In the upstairs gallery space, Jay Wilkinson abandons the oil paintings we loved in his 2017 solo show, “Everyone Poops,” but continues his complex exploration of human dynamics. “Honey Bee” features thirty graphite on paper drawings that are by turns haunting and humorous. Based on Wilkinson’s photographs of people who have inspired him, these small-scale portraits are both realistic and abstract.
Fort Works Art will also offer a preview of works for an upcoming show from their first inaugural artist in residence studio program. This preview of “Marshal Harris: The Final Curtain” presents photo realistic drawings colored in the negative format and digitized to create positive images. This football player who focused on art after retiring from the NFL is basically creating film and developing it.
The Art Galleries at TCU will also be worth visiting. Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, the university’s satellite exhibition space, presents “Abstract Utility” by Buster Graybill, the San Antonio-based artist with a blue-collar background. His works merge fine art with everyday objects and this show features a mobile installation titled “R. Mutt: Renegade Modernist Utility Travel Trailer.” A response to cultural tension, paranoia, and dooms day prepping for an end of the world situation, this work of art will be parked outside the gallery. A post-modern covered wagon, it has an armored shell, sleeping quarters for a few people, a kitchen, a water collection and filtration system, and a solar powered electrical system. Open from noon to 8pm, the show also includes Graybill’s sculptures and lawn chair strap paintings.
Located on the TCU campus, Moudy Gallery will have “A Number of Grand Gestures,” a photography exhibition from Kalee Appleton from noon to 8pm. These large-scale prints explore digital technology’s influence on our sense of place and memory. Experimenting with scale and perspective, Appleton presents imagined geography that often resembles drawings.
From noon to 9pm at William Campbell Contemporary Art, “Signs of War: Randall Reid” will include a new collection of the artist’s constructions of wood, metal, and other found objects, repurposed and arranged to create three-dimensional wall pieces. An artist who considers himself a hunter-gatherer, Reid transforms random household items and objects found at flea markets and garage sales into cohesive works.
The Upstairs Gallery in Arlington presents a show of Vern Johnson’s paintings from noon to 9pm. The painter, who died in 2015, is known for abstraction and bold applications of color. Also from noon to 9pm at Artspace111, Nancy Lamb’s “Refired Pow!” offers ceramic creatures that combine fantasy and reality. At the Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Art at the Rose Marine Theater from 5:30 to 7:30pm, “Threads” is a group show that literally and figuratively explores fabric.
And finally, one of the most essential stops on Fall Gallery Night is the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, which will have several exhibits from 6 to 9pm. In his solo show, “Day Trippin,’” Greg Bahr uses processes like screen printing to create patterns for abstract works that mimic daily repetitive movements in human behavior. Jonathan Jackson explores inspiration from African sculptures and cultures in “African Contemporary” and “Deified” offers lurid paintings of females from Scott Prather. Ariel Bowman uses clay to bring extinct animals back to life for “Wondrous Creatures” and “Horn of Plenty” is a playful shrine from Shamona Stokes.
For more info, visit fwada.com.