While we remain cautiously optimistic about the year 2021, the Dallas art scene is already delivering. Here are the new shows, concepts, and visiting artists you need to know for the winter weeks ahead.
Jeremiah Onifadé has called Dallas home for the past few years, but Nigeria — his birth country — is the inspiration for his first solo exhibition at SITE131. His intriguingly circuitous path to painting began slightly over a decade ago, when he was studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design after leaving Nigeria. Unable to make ends meet, he enlisted in the U.S. military, then found his way to Texas to continue his art studies at Collin College, eventually receiving a master’s in engineering from Southern Methodist University.
SITE131 founder and curator Joan Davidow was drawn to the dancelike figures that float across Onifadé’s canvases. Fourteen paintings comprise the resulting exhibition, “Jeremiah Onifadé: surreal figures” (January 9 – March 27). Paintings of various sizes line the walls of the Design District gallery, where you may see hints of the Old Masters, particularly Velasquez, Caravaggio, and Titian, who inform the artist’s interest in the figure. “Onifadé’s work stays with me,” Davidow says. “It’s totally original. His figures are weirdly elegant, moving in space, telling stories totally new to me.”
The 1980s idea of mixtapes provide the perfect escape from our current reality. Our beloved Nasher Sculpture Center mixes it up with “Mixtape” (February 6 – September 26), a compilation of “tracks,” or micro-exhibitions, culled from the permanent collection and installed in various galleries. Making repeat appearances are pieces from Picasso and Giacometti, as well as Nasher first-timers Judy Chicago and Nicole Eisenman. Curator Catherine Craft says, “I learned to make mixtapes from my best friend, and the time it took — getting all the songs queued up just right — was filled with endless conversation.” The exhibition will likely spark conversations in those hallowed Renzo Piano spaces as well, now that the Nasher — and the Dallas museum’s other new initiative, Nasher Public — is open again.
Year of Yoshitomo
At the end January, 2021, Yoshitomo Nara — a leading star (along with Takashi Murakami) of the Superflat movement, travels to Texas to install a monumental museum show at the Dallas Contemporary. Stay tuned to our site — or read our current print issue now — for PaperCity’s interview with the Dallas Contemporary adjunct curator Pedro Alonzo, who’s organizing Nara’s first museum solo in Texas. – Catherine Anspon