Modciti Dallas Issue 9 May 2020

Page 1

may ‘20

// photo: charles davis smith - mf architecture

1019 Dragon Street | Dallas | Design District | 214.350.0542 |

// architect lionel morrison



by Kendall Morgan

// architect russell buchanan // bluffview residence

Dallas photographer Charles Davis Smith celebrates the architectural experience. Many photographers can capture the elegant angles of a Brutalist building, a well-lit interior staged with modern furniture or a historical Victorian structure nestled in a small frontier community. But very few will approach their art and craft quite like Charles Davis Smith. A member of the Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects, Davis Smith looks at his subjects through a more academic, considered view and no wonder—his training as an architect allows him to approach his imagery through no less than nine principle tenets of design.

Always found sketching buildings as a child, the Kentucky native comes by his fascination organically, but he didn’t pick up a camera until he was completing his bachelor’s of environmental design at Texas A&M University in College Station. “I couldn’t afford a camera, so I bought a used camera and lenses. Back in those days pre-Internet, how we learned about what was new was either going to see it or catching it in an architectural magazine. I saw a Richard Meier building in person that I had seen in a magazine, and I was so disappointed because it looked so good in pictures. I realized it was the photographer (who made the difference).” Because he was a member of the University’s first historic

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// architect mf architecture

preservation program, Davis Smith was allowed to document historic American buildings as part of his course credit. By the time he had completed his masters in architecture and landed at Frank Welch’s Dallas firm, photography was a steady hobby—and a lucrative one. Architectural colleagues often approached him to document their work, some of which landed in magazines such as Texas Architect. Once Davis Smith left the firm, he quickly realized he lacked the established contacts he needed to build a successful solo company. But he had no lack of photography

clients, so by the mid-90s, he was spending far more time behind the shutter than in front of the drafting table. “This was back in the film days when we used large-format cameras, and there were maybe four people who Dallas who shot all the work—five if you count Fort Worth,” he recalls. “I think it really helped (I was an architect). One thing we’re taught when you design a building, you should keep in mind what it’s being used for and how light, shade, and shadow plays on different materials to change the mood of a space. I learned to apply as a photographer a lot of the same stuff as I was taught as a designer. We’ve got to show the readers of a magazine that the building has to

make sense when they see a photo of it.” Now published in many national design and trade magazines, including Architect, ArchDaily, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and Dwell, Davis Smith has also exhibited nationally at museums such as the Oakland Museum of California. Together, his clients have garnered over 250 awards for the buildings he has photographed, and Davis Smith himself has landed the covers of 28 magazines and contributed to over 20 books. From the Perot Museum to the Philip Johnson house on Strait Lane, no local architectural marvel is uncaptured by his unerring eye.

A particular favorite of Davis Smith is the classical courthouses of Texas. He spends his spare time documenting them courtesy of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, which helps raise money to restore these iconic Victorian buildings. “They’re doing such a great job I’m seeing some life come into these little downtowns with shops and activity on the weekends,” he says. “I love shooting all architecture. I love the modern stuff; it’s just so clean and pure, but I have a great respect for the classic stuff, and that’s why I love the courthouses.”

// architect bodron+fruit

// architect russell buchanan

Although he travels less than he used to, the photographer is willing to load up his truck with his gear and a drone for assignments across the south, stopping to take pictures along the way. Still shooting for notable Dallas firms (including Frank Welch, Max Levy, Ron Wommack, and Lionel Morrison as well as up-and-comers Thad Reeves of A. Gruppo and Marc McCollom), he has adapted to the ebb and flow of technology. The time he used to spend picking up trash or covering unsightly signage behind the computer is now set aside to work on the computer, “making a photo look pretty.”

Yet it’s his adherence to his “tenets of architectural photography” (in the sidebar) that have elevated him head and shoulders above the competition and kept him busy for over two decades. “I try to walk a viewer through a space from start to end. The architect wants really fantastic photos, but that’s not just it. One photo has to lead you into the next, so when you put them all together, it needs to tell a story and tell the full story. Storytelling without words, that’s what photography is.”

// architect frank welch



// architect walternetsch 2015

CHARLES DAVIS SMITH’S TENETS OF ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY A series of simple rules and a cerebral approach is the foundation behind each Charles Davis Smith image. LIGHT, SHADE, AND SHADOW “I think of a photo is a canvas and light shade and shadow as the texture.” FORM The perspective and positioning of the camera are paramount. FUNCTION “It’s how a space is used—the translucency of materials, details, scale, and proportion.” CONTEXT “How does the building relate to its surrounding, it’s setting and surrounding buildings?” SCALE AND PROPORTION The photographer communicates scale through the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Section. DETAILS “How the materials work together…and how does light react to that?” PERSPECTIVE Perspective, along with the lens selection and camera height, allows the viewer to feel as though they have “entered” an image. TRANSPARENCY Balancing layers of light to help guide the eye can “frame a view, or create a view.” COLOR Davis Smith captures “how color is used as an aesthetic or applied as a design element.”


// architect max levy

// ted kincaid, thunderhead over thomas cole’s oxbow, 2019 varnished pigment on canvas 54h x 54w in

AN EXPERT EYE by Kendall Morgan

// anila quayyum agha, intersections, 2014, steel and halogen bulb, 78 x 78 in in

Throughout economic downturns and unexpected pandemics, gallerist Talley Dunn has held fast to her elevated aesthetics. The founder of one of the longest-running and most beloved spaces in Dallas, Dunn has built a thriving career artist by artist, always with an eye on work that will eventually find its way into the hallowed halls of a museum. David Bates, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Robyn O’Neil, and Erick Swenson are just a few in her stable whose pieces have landed in the collections of the Whitney Museum of

Art, the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Mass MoCA (among others). “I think because of my art history background, I look at work as if I could see it as part of a museum collection,” she explains. “Even when I was 21, I (would ask artists), ‘Tell me your short term and long-range goals.’ It’s always been about building your CV where an artist goes from group exhibitions to one-person shows, from a non-profit space to a museum venue, and from a smaller publication to a monograph. You start layering all that on for an artist.”

// sarah williams, boca lane, 2019, oil on panel, 24h x 24w in


“always to the trade only”

2000 N Stemmons Frwy Suite 1D111 Dallas, TX 75207 214.651.9565

// natasha bowdoin, installation view, seedling, 2019

A Dallas native, Dunn first found herself drawn to the art world as a teen at The Hockaday School. When taking a required class on the history of art and music, she realized a person could do more than admire contemporary art, architecture, theater, or drama—they could actually build a career in these industries. “It was all of the things I was not familiar with, and it opened my eyes that this was something people could actually study, not just enjoy,” she recalls. Post-graduation Dunn chose Smith College for its respected art history program. The institution’s high-level campus museum meant it wasn’t unusual for representatives from Sotheby’s and Christie’s to send along Old Masterworks for authentication or examination.

Though Dunn originally planned to work in finance, the weak economy of the early ‘90s led her to return to Texas. Because she’d worked in exhibitions at the university, she soon landed a job at Gerald Peters Gallery, becoming director at the tender age of 23. Always with an eye to the future, she began adding more female artists to Peters’ roster alongside Bates, Doyle Hancock, and Vernon Fisher. By the end of the decade, she decided to launch her own space with partner Lisa Brown. The then-Dunn and Brown Contemporary was founded in 1999 in a small part of her current space at 5020 Tracy Street. Formerly used to store a collector’s vast collection of antique cars, the sprawling 10,000-square-foot gallery Dunn has expanded over the decades still bears oil stains on its polished concrete floors.

“At the time, it was just a project gallery,” Dunn recalls. “When we opened, there were no galleries in the Design District. It was a very different landscape, but we had nearly 600 people in just that one little room when we opened. “ In 2000, she seized the opportunity to buy the building, allowing her to expand in a slow, smart, and gradual way. Brown left the business in 2011, but Dunn has continued to grow, learning of new talent via her contacts in other cities and through word of mouth. Throughout the decades, she is drawn to artists who fabricate their work themselves, and she delights in all mediums in which the artist’s hand is immediately evident. “I respond to obsessive detail and things I think are very, very difficult to make,” she says. “You look at Robyn O’Neil—the detail in her drawings is just insane! David Bates is a phenomenal representative painter, and Anila (Quayyum) Agha—what she’s doing with light and shadow is in her own category. Jennifer Steinkamp is a pioneer in 3-D animation. Probably every gallerist thinks each of their artists is incredible, but I do think there’s an obsessive quality you can see (in the work I represent).” Gatherings of large groups and artist talks may be on hold for now, but Dunn and her team have nonetheless pivoted to the new normal during Covid-19. Consults with artists are accomplished virtually on Zoom. Work is placed through private walk-throughs in client’s homes, and the gallery’s social media presence has been expanded. For the fall, Dunn has planned a show of work from the notable sculptor Ursula von Rudingsvard and the abstract // joseph havel, white curtains, 2001-2002, bronze, unique, 97h x 37w x 25d in

// vernon fisher, who am i, 2020 acrylic on canvas 73h x 83d in

artist Pia Fries. However, she’s unsure whether her typical schedule of artist talks and public openings will still be a viable model.

going to be a high desirability to perhaps enhance your home and where you live because you’re spending more time than you ever imagined there.”

“When I talk about the shows we’re going to do in the fall, we’ll maybe open something in September, and it’ll be up through the end of the year, so if we need to be appointment only, we can be. I do think there’s going to be a desire to see something that’s not a screen that another human being made with their hands. And there’s

Whatever road the industry takes, Dunn is poised to succeed, with unfailing faith in both her abilities and in the very ingenious, diverse group of artists she represents. “I’ll risk everything for the things I believe in, and I believe in myself,” Dunn says. “Sometimes galleries create an

// leonardo drew, installation view, new works, 2020

appearance or image that’s artificial to suggest success, when, in fact, it’s not a viable business. I’ve been the opposite of that since I started. What you see is what you get. And if it’s successful, we grow. I only grow with what

I can afford to do, and that has served me well, and it serves me well in an environment like this. I think we’re just firing on all fronts, and I’m excited by it.” //

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// photo credit: virgin hotels dallas funny library coffee shop

Dallas Design District Inspires Virgin Hotel’s Energetic, Artful Third Property by Leah Shafer

// meeting spaces

Twenty-five years ago, the Dallas Design District saw a steady stream of local professionals, but few people outside the industry knew about the area, with its industrial feel and to-the-trade showrooms. One of the city’s most successfully re-branded destinations, the Design District today contains more than 300 specialty merchants offering art, furnishings, and design goods, as well as trendy restaurants, upscale bars, art galleries, and museums. As of late December, it has its first hotel, which positions the district, adjacent to downtown Dallas, to play a more integral role in the overall area’s experience.

// josy cooner collins + lloyd scott

If ever there were a hand-in-glove fit, it’s this. Virgin Hotels Dallas fuses seamlessly with the local landscape, from an external mural by Drew Merritt, which draws on inspiration from the city itself, to items from district shops throughout every part of the property. There’s a lot of space for them, with 268 “chambers,” a fourth-floor rooftop terrace with pool, multiple dining and drinking outlets, and more than 15,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. “The location was a huge inspiration, as it really underscored our designer to select pieces with a strong design point of view and lasting quality,” said Joslyn Taylor, Partner at SWOON, The Studio, which was the interior designer of record. “Design, for us, is about beauty and functionality – we think the Design District celebrates that same ethos.” SWOON, The Studio, worked in collaboration with Austin-based Joel Mozersky Design, envisioning a vibrant,

// poliform mondrian sofa

You’ll definitely look like a great cook.


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Dallas 1617 Hi Line Dr. Ste. 100 214.748.9838 Austin 115 W. 8th St. 512.480.0436

// cassina 551 super beam sofa // chambers king room

colorful, and inclusive atmosphere. They accomplish this through a festive, layered look: Think pink feather light fixtures; colorful, hand-crafted furniture pieces; local and national art; and custom-designed carpets woven with whimsical Texas motifs. 5G Studio Collaborative served as the architectural firm. On the exterior, a geometric façade creates a striking design element for this high-rise new-build at 1445 Turtle Creek Boulevard. Nothing like this “skin” has ever been done on a building of this size anywhere in the world, said Bill Hutchinson, President and CEO of Dunhill Partners

and Developer and Owner of Virgin Hotels Dallas. “The building went through over a dozen different iterations, starting with a black glass box, and eventually ending with the white building design as you see it today,” Hutchinson said. “It looks like It is a piece of art rarely seen on a high-rise building, but it was crucial to look special since we are in the middle of the Dallas Design District.” Throughout the hotel, note the displayed art, meticulously curated by Dallas artist Lesli Marshall for Hutchinson, who took a personal interest and even donated some significant

pieces from his personal collection. The goal was to create a fun, but significant collection that is impressive to amateur hotel guests and art critics alike, Hutchinson said. “I feel like we accomplished this goal – The Virgin Hotel now proudly displays internationally acclaimed, museum -quality art pieces alongside locally sourced fun pieces created by undiscovered Dallas artists,” he said. The hotel’s aesthetic celebrates the city’s arts and cultural scene and creates a strong sense of place tied to the Design District. In the chambers, for example, you’ll find warm textiles and district-sourced accessories and lighting, like Woodall Torchiere table lamps from Arteriors, plant stands and pottery from Global Views, and custom area rugs and throws from Loloi. Clean lines and sumptuous textures contrast handsomely. Located on the ground floor, the Commons Club encompasses a restaurant called The Kitchen, concepted by local celeb chef Matt McCallister, and a chic bar and lounge. In The Kitchen, local design elements throughout include dramatic Scott + Cooner chandeliers, a marble bar top from Aria Stone, and banquettes, dining tables, and wait stations from Storgio Ventura. Function and flow form a harmonious relationship, moving guests easily into the adjacent areas. The bar and lounge feel like a modern social club in a sophisticated environment, but never get too serious or single-minded. To illustrate, take a peek at the swanky “Shag Room,” a 70’s inspired space ideal for intimate gatherings with its curving green leather banquette,

// chambers balcony

// the pool club

mirrored walls, sumptuous feel, and privacy curtain. The ground-floor Funny Library Coffee Shop feels both cozy and jolly with walnut wood-paneled walls, a coffered ceiling with brass inlays, and a display of whimsical books and games. Checkerboard tables from Scott + Cooner create a playful environment, with other seating and tables from ModShop, B&B Italia, and Storgio Ventura. Magic happens on the fourth-floor rooftop pool with its skyline views. The Pool Club bar will be a place to be seen this summer, with its sliding glass walls, brass seamed terrazzo flooring, a bar covered in different marbles, and a dramatic black steel-and-glass vitrine full of plants.

// the pool club

Engage Educate Experience Enjoy

The Dallas Architecture Forum is for everyone who wants to experience inspired design. The Forum presents an award-winning Lecture Series that brings outstanding architects,interior designers, landscape architects and urban planners from around the world, as well as Symposia, Receptions at architecturally significant residences, and Panel Discussions on issues impacting North Texas.


// commons club

// photo credit: virgin hotels dallas chamber - richard’s flat

A nearby “secret garden” is in vines and can be accessed through a custom-designed gate, which echoes the design of the custom rugs inside with their Texas clichés. The pool area features roomy cabanas, greenery, and trees hanging with Moroccan lanterns. Design District shops that helped create this look include Made Goods, Scout Design Studio, Allan Knight, Arteriors, Janus et Cie, Smink, Nomads Loom, and Lee Jofa. Virgin Hotels Dallas is the third for the brand, which includes Virgin Hotels Chicago and Virgin Hotels San Francisco. Locations in Nashville, New York, New Orleans, Miami, Palm Springs, Edinburgh, Las Vegas, and others are to follow. //



SIMPLY THE BEST HALL Arts Residences offers the perfect blend of art and living with an exclusive collection of up to 48 luxury homes in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.


UNDER CONSTRUCTION FROM $2 MILLION Each OfďŹ ce is Independently Owned and Operated.

The designs, features and amenities depicted are subject to change and no assurance is made that the project will be of the same nature as depicted or that the project or the condominium units will be constructed. This is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of offers to buy condominium units in states where such offer of solicitation cannot be made.


cravings // prince cord chair + ottoman by minotti available at

// link chain chandelier designed by ray power for lzf // in out bench by capelilini available at scott+cooner

your modern


Modern events and activities make for fall fun around the Metroplex. JoĂŤl Andrianomearisoa + Jose DĂĄvila + Friendswithyou* Dallas Contemporary

Barry X Ball: Remaking Sculpture Nasher Sculpture Center

Looking In: Photography from the Outside The Amon Carter Museum of American Art

For a Dreamer of Houses The Dallas Museum of Art

Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain The Meadows Museum

Mark Bradford: End Papers Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Beili Liu The Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas

Sandra Cinto: Landscape of a Lifetime The Dallas Museum of Art // through Jan 31, 2021 Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, please confirm availability of viewing these exhibits.


art galleries

Modern art, exhibits, around the Metroplex. Jรณzsef Csatรณ. Galleri Urbane Dallas

Joan Winter Holly Johnson Gallery

Maysey Craddock + Isabelle Du Toit Cris Worley Fine Arts

Xxavier Edward Carter Cydonia

From A Distance Ro2art

Women We Have Known PDNB Gallery

Lance Letscher + Carrie Marill Conduit Gallery

Sharon Core, Ted Kincaid and Rachel Perry Talley Dunn Gallery

Otis Jones + Allison V. Smith Barry Whistler Gallery // view current shows online or appointments maybe available