Highlights from the 2015 Dallas Art Fair

Young artists ruled the scene at the up-and-coming art fair

Over the past weekend, the art world migrated to south for the 7th annual Dallas Art Fair. A relative newcomer to the scene, the fair has become a destination for emerging and established mid-range galleries that are eager to connect with the city’s tight-knit young collector community led by local tastemakers like Justine Ludwig and Robyn Siegel as well as mega-hitters like famed Dallas arts patron Marguerite Hoffman.

Housed in a space that lends itself to intimate galleries rather than airy boxes, the fair offers a unique viewing experience that appears to encourage exhibitors to focus on one or two artists rather than mounting an ambitious group show. The represented galleries skewed (perhaps predictably) towards the coasts but a fistful of international galleries and a smattering of local outlets added color to the affair. Around the fair, collectors were eager to explore new artists and galleries while newcomers were finding the south as charming as its reputation promises. However, the most prominent characteristic of the weekend was the encouraging lineup of new voices that could be observed across the board. Here are the four new faces that caught our attention.


Kati Heck: Tim Van Laere Gallery

Like her gallery, painter Kati Heck hails from Antwerp. Her brooding images—a mixture of painting and paper-mache—stood out for their surrealist, sometimes humorous, subjects as well as their careful craftsmanship. A star on the rise, Heck avoids painterly clichés by subverting some of the most common offenders.

Cayce Zavaglia: William Shearburn Gallery

Even hung with paintings by Kaws and Phillip Guston, artist Cayce Zavaglia was clearly the standout at William Shearburn Gallery booth this year with her hauntingly disarming paintings based upon her embroidered portraits of friends and family. A new series for the St Louis native, the poignant images demonstrate the artist’s unique ability to make something large feel incredibly intimate.


Matthew Plummer-Fernandez: Zhulong Gallery

Focused exclusively on post-internet work, local Dallas outlet Zhulong Gallery provided a futuristic foil to the other exhibitors with artists like Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, whose pixelated vases are rendered in 3D-printed plaster. Created from manipulated images, Plummer-Fernandez’s sculptures invoked an intriguing combination of references from Clip Art to Brancusi.


Dionisio González: Galerie Richard

While his work may be architectural, artist Dionisio Gonzalez considers himself more of a landscape painter. After a closer look at his images—a trippy combination of photography and CAD-rendered buildings—it’s easy to see where he is coming from. The structures are so conceptual and impeccably rendered that to consider them anything but fantastical illustrations seems almost remiss.

Images courtesy of respective galleries