Dallas Art Fair 2024

 

The 16th edition of the Dallas Art Fair once again confirmed that this event deserves recognition equal to some of the larger international fairs. The featured galleries were globally acclaimed, and some had acquired great works of art for the Dallas Museum of Art through the Dallas Art Fair Foundation. The exhibition was truly thought-provoking, and several booths left a lasting impression. Alexander Berggruen, Hostler Burrows, and Perrotin were among my favorite galleries for various reasons.

 

Alexander Berggruen's curation was impeccable. I had seen this style of curation before at SCOPE Miami 2023, but it was executed exceptionally well. The artwork blended with the space in such a way that it led visitors through an almost predetermined path. If statistics were done on the direction in which visitors walked around this booth, I would assume there would be significant overlap. The booth featured Madeline Peckenpaugh's paintings, which were warm-toned and featured incredible marshland scenes that almost pulled you directly into them. Then, you would find Sholto Blisset's beautiful, lush landscapes, which utilized whimsical cool tones to achieve a calm, serene atmosphere. The overwhelming presence of the trees cast a haunting shadow that highlighted the mountainous background, pushing the boundary of reality and fantasy. Finally, Madeleine Bialke's work lined the walls, blending warm and cool tones in smooth brushstrokes, giving it an almost digital appearance. The work inevitably left you wondering if it was dawn or dusk. The warm to cold mix of the two was a stunning contrast, and among the more visually appealing booths of the fair in my humble opinion.

Hostler Burrows beautifully combined utility and function with a contemporary design that I have never seen in my career. Chandeliers which looked like large vintage crystal perfume necklaces in a gorgeous orange to rose finish dangled in a seemingly effortless formation. Just beyond the corner was adorned with mirrors carved in the shape of cave entrances to give the appearance of a natural occurrence. A beige wall piece with dynamic light fixtures had a lunar essence about it, and it was perfectly set above a blue translucent chair with flowing edges, giving the illusion of the waves beneath the moon. Smooth discs with sharp edges mounted the opposing wall in an organic fashion, as if they were lateral rock formations jutting out of the wall, fine-tuned by the natural elements. Textured, basket-like objects in black and white gave a feeling of power and protection over the space. The silhouettes resembled people emerging from a large cocoon, intimately shaped by the curves of those who completed metamorphosis. Glass sculptures in green and purple were oozing in a way that made you want to play with them and stay away simultaneously. Not quite organic, but naturally formed from something man-made. The subtle yet striking features of the booth were something you would want to pick up and place in your living room with no changes.

Perrotin's gallery space showcased an eclectic selection of contemporary art. The layout of the room was anchored by a large green brick sculpture on the floor, created by Jean-Michel Othoniel. The sculpture, made of blown glass, resembled a stack of money with a layer of gold bricks at the base of its pyramid-shaped point, evoking a sense of prosperity. The placement of smaller pieces in the corners, next to larger works, drew visitors' attention into the booth. One of the most eye-catching works was a Murakami portrait titled "A Blond Man with Three Ears" and "A Blond Woman." The pieces switched places over time, showcasing an evolution of his signature superflat style. Murakami also blended sunflowers into the background of his DOB universe characters. Adjacent to the Murakami work was an abstract painting by Xiyao Wang, which hung as if dancing with the other pieces. The painting was figurative, depicting two people moving away from the stark, white negative space and into the world beyond the canvas, free-flowing yet intentionally guided. The gallery wall in the booth was thoughtfully curated, with metallic backgrounds and surreal still-life’s that would make excellent accents in a California-modern home. The artwork on display at Perrotin was of museum quality, a testament to the gallery's reputation for showcasing exceptional artists.

The fair was exceptional, and the galleries appeared satisfied with many pieces that were prominently displayed. Dallas has established itself as an art capital in the heart of the country, attracting galleries from all around the world. It is an incredible display of works that are not usually seen in Dallas, providing a fantastic opportunity for locals to buy and be introduced to the works of renowned artists. Despite the sheer volume of imagery over the weekend, certain pieces stuck in my head, yet blended together. I enjoyed every moment of it, and there were a few previously unknown galleries and artists that I now have the chance to learn even more about.

 

Written by: Hutton Kalik, Gallery Director & Curator

 

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