The Dallas Morning News
Dallas Art Fair celebrates 11th year
Weekend event showcases Japanese artists, New York names and familiar Texans
In Dallas in 2019, April has come to mean the launch of Dallas Arts Month, whose anchor is the Dallas Art Fair, which is celebrating its 11th straight year.
It started in the middle of the Great Recession, which failed to keep it from being successful. It has grown in quality and quantity every single year, with the 2019 version welcoming close to 100 exhibitors from 30 different cities across North America, as well as South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. An invitationonly gala kicked things off April 11, with the fair opening to the public April 12 at 11 a.m. and running through April 14 at 6 p.m.
Familiar objects of the midcentury are making a comeback in this year’s fair, which welcomes a nostalgic look back at Cocacola, Pepsi, Batman and Campbell’s
canned soup. The Eduardo Secci Gallery from Florence, Italy, is presenting mixedmedia artist Jon Kessler’s The World Is Female (2017), which features a caped Batman holding a placard that reads, “The Future Is Female.”
Ulterior Gallery (New York) is importing Nobutaka Aozaki’s reconstructed Diet Coke can, and Partners and Mucciaccia (London/singapore) is unveiling Shen Shaomin’s hyperrealistic “oil on canvas can of soup.”
Some of the other cool stuff includes Rachel Uffner Gallery (New York) showing us Homesick for a Home I Never Had (2018) by Brooklynbased artist Arcmanoro Niles, whose portraits are marked by a rich orange hue. And then there’s Beatriz Esguerra (Bogota), which is hosting Colombian artist Fernando Botero, whose signature style “Boterismo” depicts figures and people in exaggerated volume as a form of political critique and humor.
This year’s fair offers a showcase of Japanese artists and such Texasbased artists as Ann Glazer, Liss Lafleur, Jason Willaford and Nic Nicosia. Dallas artist Stephen Lapthisophon, who is legally blind but still produces astonishing work, is this year’s official honored artist. His pieces are on currently on display in the store windows of Neiman Marcus downtown, where he was recently celebrated at an Art Fair event.
Another familiar face will be former Dallasite Olivia Smith, whose important New York gallery Magenta Plains will make its second Art Fair showing this year. Smith says she is bringing two artists with “50 years between them” in the form of 88yearold Don Dudley and 31yearold emerging artist Anne Libby. Both artists are from Los Angeles, Smith says via email, and share a sensibility “that harkens to mid20thcentury abstraction and a material dexterity reflective of their respective generations.”
And once again, the Dallas Art Fair Foundation will donate $150,000 to the Dallas Museum of Art as part of its Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program, which will place a work of art shown at the fair in the DMA’S permanent collection. It’s the fourth year for the program, which has provided $450,000 in funding so far.
The Dallas Art Fair also expanded its footprint this year with a new satellite space at 150 Manufacturing St. in the Dallas Design Distract. The space, which will offer programming year round, is called 214 Projects. The current exhibition there is called “White Noise” and features the work of Belgian artist Emmanuel Van der Auwera.