Critics’ Picks

View of “Salt Peanuts,” 2009. From left: Dana Frankfort, People, 2008; Julia Kunin, Grotto for Nematodes, 2008; David Dupuis, Untitled 2009; Julia Kunin, Smoke, 2007.

Houston

“Salt Peanuts”

Inman Gallery
3901 Main Street
February 27 - April 11

Dizzy Gillespie’s bebop romp may give this exhibition its name, but the unified, taciturn works give “Salt Peanuts” its tenor of calm cohesion. Obscured passions and intimate universes are served up in this entertaining and rich show. Shaun O’Dell’s “Untitled,” 2008–2009, a series of gouache drawings, sources a vaguely Egyptian mythology, but its concentration on mesmerizing lines and patterns, which are executed in earthy reds, maroon, and deep blue, creates an interior world. David Dupuis goes even further; his postcard-size drawings are as empathetic as Paul Klee’s mystical ruminations. In these works, small collage elements––faces cut from fashion magazines or photographs of crumpled tinfoil and sparkling waves––become the center of methodical, fantastic landscapes. Reminiscent of Rothko’s Seagram Murals (1958-59), Dana Frankfort’s bold text paintings question communication. In PEOPLE and EDGE, both 2008, twisted swaths of paint obscure the titular words, while the compositions balance colors and forms with an unerring simplicity. Dario Robleto hangs his tribute to a fallen artistic influence from the ceiling in the corner of a separate, small gallery space: The twinkling red, blue, and silver paper airplanes in I Miss Everyone Who Has Ever Gone Away, 1997/2008, are folded candy wrappers from Felix Gonzales-Torres’s installations, living another day through Robleto’s transmutation. “Salt Peanuts” takes a serene look at the integration of Conceptualism into more traditional disciplines, and the exhibit’s arrangement in the gallery itself is a testament to balance and temperance—a relief from worldly worries.