Arthur Pena

March 21, 2014, 9:17am

A Conversation: Dennis Congdon

Painting can be held as the grand reconciliation of time and history that it is built to be. Dennis Congdon takes this approach as a highly held belief, an admiration of sorts for what image, color and surface can offer; a meandering pile of faded thoughts and sun bleached inspiration. Congdon’s work strikes me as coming from a place that only hind sight can provide. A certain, “Hey, pal, I haven’t seen it all but I’ve seen enough to know that there’s gotta be more to all of this.” A long vision is at play here. Yes, things fall apart but only after they had come together. Congdon’s paintings border this celebration, dancing around fluorescent flames, caressing not what was lost but left behind. His work presents us with a place that we may not know but will eventually have to welcome. Like it or not. – Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor


Dennis Congdon | Visuvi, Flashe & enamel on canvas, 94”x107", 2013

Listed under: Interview

March 13, 2014, 7:09pm

A Conversation: Raychael Stine

Something to consider: How does Painting handle love? Or better yet, can a painting be infused with love? Raychael Stine (NAP #78) believes that a painting that comes from a place of love can serve a greater function beyond an innocuous object. Painting can be used to cope and sometimes that coping deals with issues that pertain to love. I don’t remember the last time someone used the “L” word when speaking about their practice as it may come off as trite. But at the same time are we so cynical not to believe that painting and love do not go hand in hand? Stine pushes beyond these initial queries to a place where life, and love, is reaffirmed through the act of painting. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor


Raychael Stine | Vision 4, 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas, post card, 17 x 13 in.

Listed under: Interview

October 15, 2013, 8:00am

A CONVERSATION: JAY STUCKEY AT ANAT EBGI

It was hard looking at Stuckey’s paintings in his Highland Park studio and come to terms with the visual noise and muzzled whispers in the work. The paintings are horrible in their rampant tramping of imagery and id, intriguing for the same reasons; washed out and fuzzy details similar to staring at static snow on a television. Word association gets me to the vinyl copy of Television’s album Marquee Moon that hadn’t left the record player since I arrived at Stuckey’s LA apartment. Lyrics come to mind:

I spoke to a man down at the tracks

And I asked him how he don't go mad

He said "Look here junior, don't you be so happy

And for Heaven's sake, don't you be so sad"

Stuckey is the man down at the tracks and it is you/me who is asked to balance ourselves otherwise we will not make it through the abrupt narratives in front of us. The newest works offer a visual reference for the clouded mind. “Clouded” also points to Stuckey’s use of white, used not to obfuscate but rather to steady us the way ones foot must hover over the brakes while driving through dense fog, attention heightened.  In preparation for his solo show PRIMA MATERIA at Anat Ebgi in Culver City, Stuckey and I had a conversation. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Listed under: Interview

September 16, 2013, 8:30am

MAKING [IN] DALLAS: VOLUME 3

Volume III: JOSH REAMES BRINGS TRIPPER TO CIRCUIT 12

Located in the Dallas Design District, Circuit 12 is run by husband and wife team Dustin & Gina Orlando. The Orlando’s sharp and ever searching eye brings a national and international freshness to a sweltering  arts community that’s thirsty for a new flavor. What sets Circuit 12 apart is what could be thought of as the “cult of color” that the gallery presents.  The space offers a crisp, brash and theatrical flair to a community that, at times, treads lightly. The gallery extends invitations to curators for their Regional Quarterly series that opens the space to experimental exercises from Texas based artists, exposing work that might not otherwise make it to Dallas. For their current show, Circuit 12 mounted Tripper, a solo show from Chicago based artist Josh Reames. The paintings in Tripper flicker light and are full of an absent neon glow that references your local corner stores cheap beer signage. Unlike the trap of a promised R&R scenario that those signs offer, Reames’ work never takes a break. It’s in constant motion and only interrupted by abrupt, painfully ordinary images. In their blatant dumbness the works beg to be dismissed as trite, formulaic approaches to painting. But Reames’ masterful sense of space and line pull these out of the naïve conversation. After recognizing their formal power, the paintings reminded me how Sean Penn’s understanding of his craft allowed for Spicoli to exist. Reames, like Spicoli challenging the oncoming wave, surfs abstraction; “Surfing's not a sport, it's a way of life, it's no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, ‘Hey bud, let's party!’" Indeed. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Listed under: Interview

September 10, 2013, 5:02pm

A Conversation: Hilary Doyle

The monumental in one’s life is becoming less and less recognizable. When everything gets flattened, digitized and dispersed, how is one to determine what is truly remarkable from what is utterly banal? Yet still, what does it mean for an artist to recognize these parallel ideas in order to cull some sort of meaning from not only their medium but their whole damn life? More direct, at this point what role does painting play in the everyday? I didn’t intend for this introduction to have so many questions but the work of Hilary Doyle is full of existential pontifications and I can’t help but reflect that. Doyle’s work could not exist if it were not for the core question of not “Why am I here?” but rather “How do I know I am here?” Doyle’s recent solo show, Window Facing Inward, at NYC’s Active Space addresses this question and approaches notions of time, the everyday and the space in between yawn and awe. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Hilary Doyle | Hand Drier, acrylic on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2013

Listed under: Interview

August 05, 2013, 10:00am

A Conversation: Samantha Bittman

In between the literal and the representational lies an oscillating, reverberating state of experience. When this is applied to painting, that experience is one of working through the visual tumult or engaging with your senses and letting your eyes play the part. What is it to just “see”, to meet a work on its terms and trust in its parts? Samantha Bittman (NAP #87 & #101)offers work that addresses this question while building paintings that visually vibrate. In her work, Bittman employs the process of weaving; interlocking material to create a surface, an image and a sense of optical splendor. Bittman’s recent two person show at Thomas Robertello Gallery in Chicago presented new work. We had a conversation about it. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Samantha Bittman | Longest Distance, 2011, 15" x 12", acrylic on hand-woven textile

Listed under: Interview

May 21, 2013, 8:30am

A Conversation: Sam Reveles

Sam and I sat in a coffee shop a day before he left from his residency at the University of Texas at Dallas residency program, CentralTrak. His residency produced new paintings and drawings for his solo show, Aran, currently on view at Talley Dunn Gallery.

Listed under: Interview

May 15, 2013, 8:30am

A Conversation: Judy Glantzman

To know Judy, a wonderful and generous artist and teacher, one has to reconcile her kind spirit with her absolutely gruesome work. Body parts, heads (so many heads!) and objects of destruction are rife throughout her recent solo show at Betty Cunningham Gallery.

Listed under: Interview

May 06, 2013, 8:30am

ROLL CALL: 3 Dallas Group shows

I want to keep this simple. There is a core group of artists in Dallas making the rounds and putting interesting work into the local and national converstion and I just want to put this hard working  bunch of artists on blast. Below are a few images from 3 recent  group shows curated by Dallas based artists. Most of the artists in these shows, as well as the curators,  have links to their site. This, dear reader, is so that you can follow up on an artist or work you might find engaging. Everyone couldn’t get an image into this article so hopefully you will take a minute and click on the artists names to see what they got going on.

Listed under: Dallas, Review

May 01, 2013, 8:30am

A Conversation: Cordy Ryman

I recently saw my first Ryman pieces in person at the Dallas Art Fair. Dodge Gallery had a piece made of 2 x 4’s, painted and hanging on the wall. There was also a corner piece comprised of stacked 2x4’s painted with soft, shiny colors. Upon closer inspection of the corner piece I noticed hand writing that indicated some sort of possible measurement. I couldn’t tell because Ryman had cut the wood off before the information could be fully retained.  But the markings were just enough to show his hand.

Listed under: Interview, New York

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