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Billy Hassell (American, b. 1957) Egypt on the Brazos, 1985 Oil on canvas 78 x 90 inches (198.1 x 228.6 cm) From the Belo Collection.

This Weekend: A Historic Moment for Texas Art, and Whippersnappers in Oak Cliff

Last week I made reference to things picking up around here art wise with the winding down of summer. Well, we’re going to have to wait one more week. This weekend is very, very light on art events. Next week, though, judging from the invitations and press releases landing in my inbox, is going to be completely over-packed. So, take a breather and prepare yourself. For now, this is what the week has to offer.

THURSDAY

The Belo Collection at The McKinney Avenue ContemporaryThursday, 28 6-9 p.m. 3120 McKinney Ave. Dallas, TX 75204.

Heritage Auction Gallery is previewing its Belo Collection auction, which will take place on October 18. Highlights from the collection will be on display at the MAC trough Friday, with a reception Thursday evening. Belo began collecting art in the 1940s, and over the past 70 years, the corporation has amassed what amounts to a significant historical survey of Texas’ visual art history. Highlights include a David Bates from his grassy lake period, as well as works by Otis Jones, Annette Lawrence, The Art Guys, Vernon Fisher, Tom Sime, Dan Rizzie, James Surls, Danny Williams, and Ted Kincaid. There are also some pieces from non-locals, like Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd, and a rather nice Lichtenstein. Another highlight: historic photography from the Dallas Morning News.

There’s one interesting aspect of this to keep in mind. A lot of these artists don’t have very active markets, primary or secondary, and so this public auction represents the first real market test many of them have had in years. That may be giving a few local gallerists sweaty palms.

 

FRIDAY

THRWD Presents: #NorthOakCliffDoesNotExist at Ezra’s HouseFriday, Aug 29 8:30 p.m. 323 S. Briscoe Blvd. Dallas, TX 75211.

I find the straining defiance that some of our homespun cultural promoters have adopted of late to be kind of cute. I mean, there’s something rich about a self-proclaimed “cultural renegade” shuttering operations of a pop-up venue by issuing a press release doubling as a civic booster-ish screed about the significance of his efforts, which is what Arthur Pena did when he announced the closing of Ware:Wolf:Haus a few weeks back. Or, when the same associated crew hosted a panel discussion at CentralTrak on DIY culture, the idea had a self-congratulatory tone which whiffed of that blend of self-awareness and obliviousness that powered the comedy of Waiting for Guffman.

The host of that panel, Lee Escobedo, the man behind THRWD (and erstwhile FrontRow contributor), is back this week with a party whose name may be read as a defiant stance against gentrification or maybe a tongue-in-cheek admittance of the complicity of these cultural renegades as branding agents in various attempts to flip dirt around town. As often seems to be the case with their efforts, the object of opposition is elusive and undefined, and defection is adapted as a kind of fashionable disposition.

Regardless, what you care about is the party, it actually looks like an entertaining affair. It’s hosted by my favorite faux-naif of the moment, Randy Guthmiller, the guy whose artistic practice consists of discovering the endless novelty and possibility of shapes (a very worthy follow on Instagram: @randyrandyrandyrandyrandy).  Other highlights include poetry, a “secret room” performance by Thor Johnson and musical headliner Jenny Robinson. Actually, it kind of sounds like a Ware:Wolf:Haus show.