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Arts / Museums

Dallas’ New Art Gallery Raises the Bar

A Musician’s Less-Is-More Approach Pays Off

BY // 11.11.15

When it comes to tasteful digs, JM Gallery sets a high bar. It’s located in One Arts Plaza near Proof + Pantry and offers gallery goers a new venue in the city’s burgeoning arts scene. Currently it’s offering works by two artists, Kyle Hobratschk and Shelley Scott — both explore shape and form, but in wholly divergent ways, and their shows will be on view through December 19.

Hobratschk’s works are angular and spare — they hover in the cleanest of realms devoid of birth or decay — and slickly operate to show off shape and volume; his works are configured to display shading and insinuate notions of architectural contours and the ways in which they wrap and fold. While some works operate as visual codes suggesting sloping surfaces, battlements or bunkers, others, such as Elastomeric White Construction 1 View 2, smack of Bauhaus-y residential shapes. All the pieces are imaginary constructs and emerge via an intricate process of model making, drawing, printmaking and painting. Interestingly, some of the processes yield up a velvety texture that’s irresistibly tactile and seductive.

Hobratschk grew up in Saudi Arabia and Arizona before coming to Dallas, and it seems that the spareness of both his previous locales have honed his imagination in strident — and wholly lean — ways. The gallery reminds us of some verbiage courtesy of John Cage, “There is no such thing as an empty space.” The current JM Gallery show proves the less-is-more musician’s point in instructive ways.

Kyle Hobratschk's "Elastomeric Construction 1 View 2," 2015
Kyle Hobratschk’s Elastomeric White Construction 1 View 2, 2015

Meanwhile, Shelley Scott works as a sculptor who reminds us how mashups of two- and three-dimensional space can challenge onlookers’ ways of making sense of the visual universe. She reworks common objects in her studio, including clamps and wood blocks, until they morph into an exploration of perspective. About her work, she says the following: “My imagery comes directly from scenes of my studio while I work. This creates a feedback loop, where the making of each piece generates the imagery for my next piece.”

Her Reconstruction Series flares with tiny hints of M. C. Escher-ish surrealism. But Scott’s style is all her own, and it will certainly be interesting to discover where her “feedback loop” will meander in the next iteration of her work.

JM Gallery at One Arts Plaza, 1722 Routh Street, Suite 106, 469.779.6955.

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