If you only attend one art exhibition this fall, make it “Matthew Wong: Realm of Appearances” at the Dallas Museum of Art. Don’t look at the pictures online first, don’t dig into accounts of his untimely death, trust me: go see it. This is one of the most powerful painting exhibitions I have ever seen and it will probably be one of the few times that viewers see these 50 works together in this way.
Wong was a self-taught painter who came to public prominence in 2016 when he was part of a group exhibition in New York called “Outside”, which featured foreign artists working in landscapes or interested in a sense of membership. Wong’s evocative paintings are particularly strong when capturing aspects of nature.
His career was short and eventful. He hadn’t started painting seriously until 2013. In 2017, the Dallas Museum of Art became the first museum to acquire a work by Wong when it purchased “The West,” a painting he completed while that it hung in the booth at the Dallas Art Fair. Wong had his first US solo exhibition at Karma Gallery in 2018. He committed suicide in 2019. He left over 1,000 works.
The selection of works in “The Realm of Appearances” is presented as a retrospective, following Wong’s career in chronological order, allowing viewers to see the evolution of his skills and subject matter. It’s an emotional journey.
This is the opening not to be missed this season. But if you want to catch more, we’ve put together a roundup of the best shows to see this busy fall.
Matthew Wong: The Realm of Appearances runs through February 19, 2023 at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 5 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday admission is free, dma.org
Keer Tanchak: A Stranger Every Time
Dallas painter Keer Tanchak uses the female form and attributes of femininity to explore how women are portrayed in culture. These works contain women with recognizable faces, many of them international movie stars, but their silhouettes are often hidden behind a net and the viewer must seek them out. His work contains a delicate force and these pieces, of varied scale, are particularly pleasant to experience.
Keer Tanchak: A Stranger Every Time runs through November 12 at 12:26 Gallery, 150 Manufacturing St. #205, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, gallery1226.com
Natalie Westbrook: a mother-of-pearl
If you’re looking for something a little wild, this Natalie Westbrook exhibition at Keijsers Koning Gallery is for you. His loose brushstrokes in psychedelic colors reference Baroque masterpieces by artists like Peter Paul Rubens and imagery like Hell’s Mouth. It is also the Pittsburgh-based artist’s first exhibition to feature sculpture.
Natalie Westbrook: A Mother of Pearl runs through November 19 at Keijsers Koning Gallery, 150 Manufacturing St. #201, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, keijserskoning.com
Gabrielle Goliath: Chorus
There are two exhibitions at the Dallas Contemporary right now. There’s the big Shepard Fairey show, which is more or less what you’d expect. But there is also a video installation by South African artist Gabrielle Goliath. It’s a dark, empty room with two video screens. On one, the choir of the University of Cape Town holds a note in unison, in a sort of hum; on the other, an empty chancel riser. It’s an elegy to Uyinene Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old student who was raped and murdered in 2019, but it resonates as a reflection on gender-based violence around the world, which has unfortunately become more relevant since the creation of the work. It is powerful in its simplicity.
Gabrielle Goliath: Chorus runs through March 19, 2023 at Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass St. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, dallascontemporary.org.
James Gilbert: I don’t know, you don’t know, they don’t know
In the current exhibition at the Erin Cluley Gallery, multi-hyphenated artist James Gilbert has created a body of work that contains a certain whimsy. The gallery’s works include multi-headed sculptural pieces, as well as a series of layered colored faces. It’s a fun journey into the mind of an artist.
James Gilbert: I Don’t Know, You Don’t Know, They Don’t Know runs through November 12 at the Erin Cluley Gallery, 150 Manufacturing St. #210, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday , erincluley.com
Matthew Bourbon: Millennial View
If you like abstract painting, this exhibition is a must at Kirk Hopper Fine Art. Matthew Bourbon is one of the city’s most prominent painters. He taught a whole generation of painters as a professor at the University of North Texas and wrote art reviews for the Dallas Morning News. He has a recognizable style, weaving patterns of color together in paintings of varying sizes.
Matthew Bourbon: Thousand Year View runs through November 12 at Kirk Hopper Fine Art, 1426 N. Riverfront Blvd., 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, kirkhopperfineart.com.
Simon Vega: The Return of Prospero
The new exhibition at the Liliana Bloch gallery is inspired by the following places: the conquest and colonization of Central America, “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare, tourist colonization and bitcoin, which recently became the national currency of El Salvador , the country of origin of the artist. If all of that sounds a little heady, don’t let that put you off the Simon Vega exhibit – his work is smart, but it’s still a bit wild and surprising.
Simon Vega: The Return of Prospero runs Dec. 30 at Liliana Bloch Gallery through Dec. 30, 4741 Memphis St., 12-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, lilianablochgallery.com
Gabriel Dawe: Ode to Futility
If you’ve visited the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth in the past few years, you’ve probably walked under the textile rainbow in the atrium. Dallas-based artist Gabriel Dawe has made an international name for himself with large-scale Plexus works in which he uses miles of sewing thread to create these multicolored installations. His work at the Talley Dunn gallery takes a new turn by bringing together his sculptural works and his mixed media works in a room anchored by his installations.
Gabriel Dawe: Ode to Futility runs through Dec. 10, 5020 Tracy St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, talleydunn.com
Nairy Baghramian: Living Model
Next time you visit the Nasher Sculpture Center, save some extra time at the Nairy Baghramian exhibit. It is a collision between very contemporary ideas about sculpture and classical traditions. She has paired her latest body of work, in which she abstractly explores ideas of corporeality, with some of the most recognizable works in the permanent collections, particularly those that contain the human form. You’ll want to look and look and look again and then reflect on a stroll through the sculpture garden.
Nairy Baghramian: Living Model runs through Jan. 8 at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, admission is $10 for adults, nashersculpturecenter.org
Kohshin Finley: Eight Works of Art
Los Angeles-based artist Kohshin Finley has created a new body of work for this exhibition at Various Small Fires, the downtown gallery attached to the Joule Hotel. When you look at these photorealistic portraits of his friends and family (and in one case, himself), you get the feeling they’re looking back.
Kohshin Finley: Eight Artworks runs through November 12 at Various Small Fires Texas, 1511 Commerce St., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, vsf.la