'That Summer Feeling'
Davis Gallery artists offer vistas of Texas and beyond into which you can escape
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., July 2, 2010
'That Summer Feeling'
Davis Gallery, 837 W. 12th, 477-4929
Through Aug. 28
A perfect way to capture that summer feeling, this show. The Davis Gallery's regulars, especially strong when it comes to landscapes, turn the walls of Bill Davis' multiroom space into
vistas of Texas and further – but these are vistas you can peruse in easy, air-conditioned comfort while the G-type lone star blazing outside bakes the living tarnation out of every uncovered citizen.
Susu Meyer and Laurel Daniel frame the wilderness in oils that capture the serenely colorful majesty of what we might plan our vacations to escape into. Although that "serenely" has to be amended in the case of Meyer's Dancing Light, which seems to almost compete with Randolph Howard's nearby Distant Light for Impressionistic Landscape Most Likely To Be Mistaken for a Kaleidoscope Experiencing a Petit-Mal Seizure; gorgeous, we mean, but startling. Albert Bronson's digital photography eschews color for brilliant black and white, conflating the interiors and exteriors of a Western ghost town in several images along one room's long wall. The rural boonies get left behind with Sam Yeates' expertly shaded figurative paintings and with Bryan Cobble's large Suburbia, in which Cobble has rendered asphalt-textured parking-lot lines and chain-link fencing and the interlocking shadows of trees with such evocative, pastel-wielding skill that you'd think his hands were guided by built-in lasers.
Out of the country and into the city, David Leonard's expansive oils go all divine Polaroid on concrete jungles with their soaring, peopled verticals, the streets of San Francisco and New York and Chicago right before your eyes and your eyes compelled (especially by the canyon of light sparked by a foreground manhole cover in The Thirsty Scholar) to follow wherever they lead.
Now that you've entered the city, walk into an art gallery. What you might find there is what's also featured in this summer show at the Davis: Joseph Hammer's beautiful collages, built from old texts and other printed materials; his The Spectator, in fact, turns the mirror back on you, viewer, its omnium-gatherum of card-stock shards forming a lowercase "i," the base of which is dressed in black and the dot of which is as blue as the big Texas sky beyond these gallery walls.