'Holiday Group Show'

Whatever your holiday of choice, this Davis Gallery sampler is worth attention

<i>Times Square</i> by David Leonard
Times Square by David Leonard

'Holiday Group Show'

Davis Gallery, 837 W. 12th, through Jan. 9

477-4929, www.davisgalleryaustin.com

It's that time of year again, art lover: when the galleries offer exhibitions featuring the artists whose works they've shown in the past 12 months or so. Such is the case at Davis Gallery, and it's a good chance to get an overview of what the venue has to offer. It's also, particularly, a chance to see some fine art rendered in several different media.

Among the gorgeous paintings and photography that you might have glimpsed in earlier shows are new works by Susu Meyer and Caprice Pierucci. Meyer's oil-on-canvas forest scene, the first work to be seen upon entering the gallery at the corner of 12th and Shoal Creek, fairly trumpets the freshness with its subject and title: New Growth. This is one of several careful evocations of landscape by this oil painter.

Turn the corner into the gallery's main room and there's a sculpture by Pierucci, Small Birch Cascade, fashioned from the artist's typical materials of shaped and stained wood. (To say "the artist's typical materials," though, provides a tone of dullness; one may as well use that dismissive-sounding phrase to describe the materials composing a latticework made of starlight and the heart of an ancient forest god.) That birch cascade is small, though, only in comparison to the nearby Pierucci sculpture called Vertical Birch, which stretches to a good 6 feet of wondrous wooden height.

Due to the solid history of artists and shows associated with Davis Gallery, these newer creations don't overshadow the other pieces displayed perfectly in the venue's intimate spaces. Sandra Langston's almost miniature "Little Bridges" and "Italian Views" series in pastel border an array of her paintings in oil, the stunning Old Olive foremost among the latter. Dianne Grammer also brings pastels to bear among the landscapes of this rough-hewn world.

David Leonard's vibrant oils of cityscapes offer visual counterpoint to these views of the natural realm, his Times Square nailing the urban tableau to a particular time (with its video billboards of Broadway shows and the distinct clothing of citizens) as well as a particular place. And, as wild animals can seem out of place in such a concrete jungle, so are David Everett's hand-carved and fully painted renditions of woodland and prairie creatures (a squirrel, an owl, an eagle, a buffalo) separated, even more than Pierucci's sculptures, into the third dimension beyond exquisitely framed flatnesses.

There's more to this show, yes – Christopher St. Leger, Julie Speed, Stella Alesi, Laurel Daniel, and still others – but we reckon we've already provided sufficient evidence that this "Holiday Group Show" is worthy of your closer attention, regardless of which holiday you might be celebrating.

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Holiday Group Show, Davis Gallery, Susu Meyer, Caprice Pierucci, Sandra Langston, Dianne Grammer, David Leonard, David Everett

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