[Originally published in different format in The Dallas Morning News]
RE Gallery is typically deemed a lodestar for “The Cedars,” the city’s newest burgeoning arts area, and gallery owner, Wanda Dye, has put up a show that celebrates “The Ordinary and the Everyday.” That being said, some of the works selected for the occasion are decidedly more celebratory than others. I expected the quotidian world to split wide and allow a glimpse into the way in which simple things deliver moments of Zen-like delight. Without such events, we’re banished to an “It is what it is” sensibility that becomes profoundly numbing. However, while the show doesn’t deliver an onslaught of magic, it does manage to offer some genuine highlights.
For instance, Nan Coulter’s twin images of Buenos Aires and Los Angeles (“BA” and “LA”) are simultaneously intriguing and instructive. They offer reminders of our vantage point for viewing the world. For the most part, it’s via the “lens” of automobiles, which function almost as second skins. We see the world through windows, windshields and delineated areas wherein we’re captured, riding posse through landscapes — both foreign and domestic. Coulter shows us the West Coast and South America from the vantage point of vehicles while masterfully capturing images of buildings sporting portraits of Eva Perón and the Statue of Liberty. Both, of course, are female figures that work double-time as encapsulated narratives. Thus, Coulter gives us deftly executed images as well as linked subtexts — of mythic stature no less.
Meanwhile, Vince Jones’s collage, “Absorbed,” is akin to a dreamy flotation device. A bit of a Gauguin imagery functions as a bubble amidst a school of fish. The aforementioned fish and an exotically clad woman move in opposing directions. Largely constructed of a child’s vintage book, the work tugs at us until we rediscover a playful willingness to dive deep. It’s an easy, fun drift.