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Gallery 219: Not Just Paint

Randy Bacon, Elizabeth Bisbing, Paul Booker, Sarah Maxwell-English, and Jesse Meraz

January 16 – February 9.
Artist reception: Friday, January 19, 6 – 8 p.m.

In recent years the definition of paint has become as fluid as the medium itself, adapting itself to each new idea. This exhibition presents paint as a method, a material, and often both. What is paint? When do we call a work of art a painting? What do we expect a painting to look like? Pen and ink, collage, glitter and, of course, paint, are among the materials used by these artists to evaluate a few of the myriad possibilities of paint and painting.

Randy Bacon is a Fort Worth artist whose cinematic landscape paintings explore rural, sometimes desolate, southwest landscapes. He states: "I draw upon the people and venues of my life to bring about work where past, present and future become blended, where memory and reality connect. In the vastness of the West Texas landscape, I look for situations that reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary." Currently, Bacon is completing his MFA at TCU and is represented by David Dike Fine Art in Dallas.

Elizabeth Bisbing, Girl in Blue Chair, Collage: Gouache on Paper, 9 1/4 x 12 1/2 inches, 2006.

Elizabeth Bisbing's paper and gouache collages explore quiet, sometimes unsettled, moments of domesticity. In her artist statement she writes: "Family provides my cast of recurring characters. Environment provides the inspiration. Upbringing provided me with a longing to create a domestic world – one that I can control unlike the reality of family life – which is completely beyond my control. I strive to create a subtle tension - an uneasiness that is supplied by and belies the pleasant decoration of the rooms." Bisbing received her MFA from Vermont College and is affiliated by SOHO20 Gallery in Chelsea NYC.

Paul Booker continues his exploration of fluid motion and organic structures. These "...imperfectly repeating systems of organization" are both minute and massive, like viewing creamer in a cup of coffee or a developing nebula. Booker is a graduate of UNT's MFA program. He lives and works in Dallas and is represented by Dunn and Brown Contemporary in Dallas.

Dallas artist Sarah Maxwell-English creates elaborate installations of pattern and decoration. These works represent a fusion of scientific imagery and decorative pattern. She writes: "Historically the patterns found in nature have been transformed to become patterns of ornament. In my art making I find links between the scientific observation of nature and the repetitions of decorative design." This results are works that are often interrupted and fragmented, creating tension and distraction. Maxwell-English received her MFA from UNT and is represented by 500X Gallery in Dallas.

Jesse Meraz is primarily interested in the falsehoods of celebrity and glamour, the falsehood that beauty can be decadent and superficial. The sparkle of his glitter encrusted paintings, like the sensation of Hollywood or the decoration of Rococo, belie a sensuality that lies deep beneath the surface. Meraz writes: "My displays are to be experienced and seen as stimulants for the transformation of the idea of painting, or of art in general. They should engage the viewer and provoke thoughts about what painting can be and how the concept of painting can be an appeal for the alternative." Meraz is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts at UNT and is represented by Plush Gallery in Dallas.

Gallery 219 is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and by appointment.

The gallery is located on the main floor of the Fine Arts building (bldg "F"). Park and enter at the Performance Hall on the west side of campus.