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James Magee


June 2011
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“Starry, Starry Nights: Five Light-Filled Installations”

Brought alive literally and figuratively in five distinct mediums by five distinguished Texas artists curated by June Mattingly at the MAC or The McKinney Avenue* Contemporary April 23 through May 14

“MACRODON,” 2010, inflatable toy, 20 feet high

Billy Zinser’s inflatable MACRODON sculpture based on his toys brighten up the roof.

Billy’s giant MACRODON modeled after the clichéd used car dealership inflatable purple gorilla to activate a mundane outdoor spaces, resulting in unexpected pop-up exhibitions with the potential for spontaneous guerilla appearances as a sort of art happening. Through the various incarnations of his work, “my objective is to broaden the scope and reach of art, connecting the dots between painting, plastic collectable toys, and projects of large-scale installation sculpture; “making artwork that can be accessed through a variety of conduits and increase public interaction with art.”

By embracing the pop-aesthetic of the designer toy phenomenon made mainstream by KidRobot and others, he depicts these imaginary figures dubbed MACRODONS, with simple gestures and minimal visual information through various incarnations, including  limited edition MACRODONS plastic art toys, oversize sculptural installations, and video animations. A new video is presented in the indoor reception hall.

Billy is a recipient of the Dallas Museum of Art’s juried Arch and Anne Giles Kimbrough Fund and represented by Public Trust, which gave him a one-person, a gallery that specializes in the newest talent. Billy has studied art abroad, one year at the Art Institute of Chicago and has a BA from the University of Texas in Austin. Additional exhibitions/awards include “Juror’s Choice Award” at 500X Gallery, “Choice Cuts” at the Dallas Art Fair and “Art+Object” at Marty Walker’s gallery in Dallas.

Chris Lattanzio’s ceiling, walls light and sound installation “Lotus Room” illuminate the New Works Space.


In Buddhism, lotus flowers mean purity of speech, mind and body rising above the waters of desire and attachment; Chris creates a room immersion in line and color, a “space for contemplation and healing.”

He literally paints with light to take the realm of painting from pigment to spectral color. There is a 10 minute cycle of lights, solid colors, patterns and sequences running 5 times an hour with intermissions of pure white light.

The 3-d line sculptures are carved out of ¼ inch steel plate, powder coated white with ¼ inch white Plexiglas and led light tubes. Three Buddha portraits reach 60 x 84 x 12 inches and the Celebration Dance measures 108 x 84 x 12 inches. Five 36 inch diameter “spinning dancers,” eight 72 x 49 x 12 inch diameter lotus flowers suspend from rafters while 110 laser carved lotus flowers mounted 4 inches off the wall repeat a theme on all four walls.

Lotus Flower Wall

Each wall is colored with LED fixtures mounted in ceiling that are normally used to light up buildings/bridges and programmed and synced with the sculpture lights and background music. The LED lights, the greenest light around with lights averaging 100,000 hours sip electricity give a bright, warm glow.

Chris met Donald Judd in Marfa while working on music and a video for a pop group. Another important influence on his art is Dan Flavin, a contemporary and friend of Judd’s during the 60s – both “blew the boundaries between the historically specific qualities of painting and sculpture.”

Adela Andea’s fluorescent tube sculptures radiate in light.

“Garnitza,” 2011, LED and CCL lights

Her light sculptures powered exclusively by manmade electronics submerge one wall in the biggest space into an ambiguous and mystifying landscape. Her “futuristic eco-systems” use intricately weaved circuits of LED and CFL lights, computer hardware and manufactured building materials, consumer electronics and mass produced objects embody both a physical presence as well as ethereal sensibility. These exuberant sculptures with jutting bolts of lights and organic explosion of electrical parts and whirring fans make the visitor wish to celebrate.

Andea is skilled at drenching seemingly contained spaces with brightly illuminated, kinetic free-form sculptures of fluorescent strips that also submerge the attention-spanning surrounding galaxies into truly beautiful hypnotic sensory experiences. With light alone she transcends the viewer into a computer-created uplifting and unreal reality. The hardware sections, a medium unto themselves support and hold the strips together and are an integral element in the complicated digitally conceived constructions. The glow on the whole wall encompasses the electrifying presence of the art piece.

These dazzling light displays, a legacy of Flavin’s eloquent minimalism are “reminiscent of an Eastern European disco.” Romanian-born, Adela lives and works in Denton and teaches at the University of North Texas while completing an MFA in New Media. In 2011 she had a solo show at Anya Tish’s in Houston and in Dallas in Cris Worley’s gallery.

Susie Rosmarin’s gridded paintings pulsate three walls with light and color.

Left: “#403 Blue-Violet,” 2008, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches Right: Red-Violet-Yellow, 2010, 50"x50" acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

The stunning paintings of Susie’s literally light up and move in sync from their private space on the canvas. The perception of light exudes or jumps out from tight linear overlapping patterns designed in brilliant, clearly defined color combinations and sharp, synchronized glowing white backgrounds. The inescapable attraction to her paintings is they defy the limitations of two-dimensionality in their charged up, conceivably moving environment of color and light.

While mathematics play a central role in her work, Susie’s exacting and skillful method of executing the overlapping grids is inspired by fractal geometry and the Op Art movement in the 1960s, hard-edge abstraction, the observation of constant pattern, repetition and geometry in observed objects in our living encounters. This complicated mathematical formula is based on each layer of the color pattern arrangement being taped, painted, waited on to dry and repeated. A series of small paintings and another series of substantially sized paintings both depict contrasting color combinations from the color wheel within the one painting.

Susie, a Houston-based artist received a BA from the University of St. Thomas in Houston and an MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. The permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, the McNay in San Antonio and the Houston Museum of Fine

Arts own her pieces. She is represented by Dunn and Brown Contemporary in Dallas, the Texas Gallery in Houston and the Danese Gallery in New York.

Jeremy McKane’s underwater photography and a video submerge the viewer us in color in the square gallery

“The Tiny Dancer,”2011, photograph, 6 x 4 feet

Jeremy is captivated by underwater fashion photography. “Sure! These were shot at night. I like the effect of light on darkness, the way the darkness attracts your eye to the colors and allows you to experience a colorful ballet right before your eyes.” This effect works well in stills as well as video which is why his exhibition has both still photos as well as video which is perfectly projected on to the floor as if the viewer is in the water with the swimmers.

“Solitude,”2011, photograph, 6 x 4 feet

Jeremy personally designed and installed five six-foot photographs in hand constructed aluminum mountings designed to have the photograph an exact 90 degrees from the viewer’s eye to the surface of the print.

He originally got into the field of photography by taking on commercial real-estate jobs. So he devised a way to lift a SLR camera in a model helicopter to get his camera in places he could not with a lift or even a real helicopter but he wanted to be more artistic and not just another photographer. Photographing underwater was just another challenge for this fearless, talented photographer who tells a story without words.

“If we were to stop travelling so fast, what would we notice? How would we see the world if we slowed down? We are all time travelers and my job as a photographer is to stop you from looking at your world that travels at the speed of light and come down to a stationary speed where everything stops, everything is in sync.”

* An alternative space or non-collecting museum like the venerable MAC has the ability to accommodate certain kinds of art other galleries would limit due to space limitations – this exhibit is a perfect example. As a non-profit space with sales not necessarily a consideration, the MAC is free to mount this group of nonconventional installations of avant-garde artworks by contemporary artists in a renovated former factory in Uptown on McKinney Avenue within walking distance of West Village – a wonderful contribution to Dallas’ accelerating art community!

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