'Marc Burckhardt + Gustavo Torres'
Don't think for an instant that the work in this show is anything but art
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Nov. 25, 2011
'Marc Burckhardt + Gustavo Torres'Gallery Shoal Creek, 2905 San Gabriel #101, 454-6671
Through Dec. 3
Some fool somewhere is always going to say: "Well, that's not really art, is it? That's, well, that's just illustration." At which point your personal fate hinges on whether or not you have a fatal, stress-related embolism before or after you assault the offending citizen with a tire iron.
So be wary of the presence of any such fools wandering the elegant, small rooms of Gallery Shoal Creek when you go to see the two-man exhibition of works by Marc Burckhardt and Gustavo Torres.
Certainly, Torres' cast bronzes of strangely enhanced or inhabited water vessels won't confuse even the most foolish: There's something about three-dimensional objects created from metal alloy, especially when they're as darkly sublime as what's on display here, that signify art to even the least aware among us. But it could be that Burckhardt's paintings in acrylic and oil on panel – no less sublime in their subjects and execution, even richer in color and more dense with narrative – might confuse the sort of people who'd also relegate Norman Rockwell or various Wyeths to the mere-commercial-graphics category. It didn't confuse the Texas Commission on the Arts or the Legislature that named Burckhardt the Texas State Two-Dimensional Artist in 2010, though, and it won't confuse you as you stand there, enthralled, reveling in beauty so close to home yet bigger, in its implications, than all of this storied Lone Star State.