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Variable Dimensions at Crow Collection of Asian Arts

Now Showing at The Crow Collection of Asian Art
Now Showing at The Crow Collection of Asian Art


A new exhibit opens today at the Crow Collection.  I had the privilege of attending a media preview yesterday.  You are going to love the art of Andrew Gorlizki,  The exhibit, titled “Variable Dimensions” will transport you to a world of whimsy and wonder.

Not Your Usual Kimonos and Jade

I love the Crow Collection.  It’s a peaceful little haven of The East out here in the Wild West.  I don’t go as often as I wish I did, but every time I do my spirit releases a sigh of relief.  So, I was thrilled when they sent me an invitation to a media preview for a new exhibit.  I’ll confess I wasn’t really concerned about what the exhibit would be.  It was was art and it would be at the Crow.  I was in.

Then I read the “Media Advisory” and I wondered what I’d signed up for. Some guy named Gorlizki with a studio in New York was going to have a multi-media exhibition in a Dallas Asian arts museum.  How was that going to pan out?  Multi-media is one of those words that makes the hair stand out on the back of my neck.  It sounds like I am going to be in a room full of what looks like trash, with a light show flashing, while various unrelated movies play on the walls.  Usually those movies are of scenes I would pay not to see, so I don’t get very excited about multi-media.  Give me a nice little decorative arts show any day of the week.

A Pleasant Surprise

I won’t bore you with the details of my day yesterday, but suffice to say, I was lucky that I only arrived a few minutes late to the media preview.  Mr. Gorlizki had just begun his talk when I walked in and I was totally frazzled.  I desperately wanted to hear what he had to say, but among other frustrations, I needed the ladies room in the worst way.  I gave in to the call of nature and when I returned to the gallery I realized that I loved what I was looking at.  I just couldn’t figure out what all these odd pieces had to do with one another.  “Variable Dimensions” was certainly a good name for this show.

You enter the space through a very angular doorway with a sort of pop-art design on it.  The floor is covered with a psychedelic rug and one wall sports a collection of colorful, but odd statuettes.  Mr. Gorlizki was standing in front of a painting talking about a knitted bicycle.  On the rug was a tableaux featuring a large cloth book.  Next to it was a table with gold sunglasses, gold flipflops and a turquoise figurine of multiple phallic symbols.  Then there was the telephone table with a self-propelled Rolodex.  I didn’t quite understand what was going on, but it was making me smile.  It had to be good.

Out of the Fog 

I made myself focus on what the artist was saying and tried to align it with what I’d read in the Media Advisory.  Basically, all of the wonderful, amazing bits of whimsy my brain was trying to embrace erupted out of the mind of this mild-mannered man, who was talking about the “spellbindingly accurate” work his craftsmen in India had to incorporate to execute his designs.  And that’s how Mr. Gorlizki and his “Variable Dimensions” ended up at an Asian Museum.  His primary studio might be in New York, but the inspiration for his work and the execution of it are all about India, a place he fell in love with in his early teens.  He also has a studio in Jaipur.

It’s a good thing I majored in Performing Arts at UTD or I would have still been confused.  Before I had the benefit of my university education, I sort of thought “the artist” was the guy who actually executed the art piece and I had a pretty solid idea of what constituted a piece of art.  Then I learned that many of the works of art we all love were created in the studio of the artists and that all those angel heads were not necessarily painted by the main guy.  What’s more, I also learned that art didn’t necessarily have to be executed to be art.  Just the mere development of a concept by an artist was a work of art.  That wonderful room with the psychedelic rug, turquoise phallic symbols and self-propelled Rolodex was the manifestation of several days of discussion in my Photography 101 class.

Please understand, however, that you don’t need to understand all of this to appreciate the exhibit.  In fact, I found myself zoning out on all the art theory clap trap being thrown about and enjoying the use of commercially available egg cups holding the painstakingly executed animal prints painted onto marble eggs.  I plan to visit this exhibit frequently and seriously think about some of the concepts they presented, but I don’t want you to think you need to be versed in art to enjoy the exhibit.

Go See This Exhibit

Long story short, “Alexander Gorlizki: Variable Dimensions” will delight and amaze you.  Your brain will still be whirling long after you’ve decided what your favorite pieces are.  Go into the exhibit with an open mind and you will find you have a happy heart.

As you enjoy the wonderful, charming objects keep these things in mind.  Those miniature paintings on the wall?  They were painted with a brush with a single hair.  Then look for connections.  You will see motifs and colors repeated through out the exhibit.  A tiny pattern used in the background of a painting can be found in various dimensions throughout the pieces.  Look for anomalies.  At first glance you’ll see a row of brass hooks.  Then you’ll realize one of the hooks is quite a bit larger than the others.  Then you’ll turn and see a huge hook of the same style on a different wall.

More to Come

Believe it or not, I still have more to say about this exhibit.  I have some marvelous material from the museum I want to pass on to you, but I’m sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma City, not my office.  That’s all part of the story I didn’t share with you when I told you I wouldn’t bore you with the details of my day.  This collection of whimsical miracles will be at the Crow until March, so there is plenty of time for me to regale you with the hysteria of my day and the wonders of the exhibit.  Come back next week and see what I have up my sleeve.

2 thoughts on “Variable Dimensions at Crow Collection of Asian Arts”

  1. What an interesting exhibit. Imagine painting with one hair of a brush! Just yesterday I visited a local art show, which I’ll write about shortly. It’s what’s behind the art work that fascinates me.


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