Ambreen Butt. Installation view of I am All What is Left of Me, 2015. Courtesy of the artist


What is left of me


8 APRIL - 20 AUGUST 2017

Ambreen Butt’s What is left of me addresses current political oppression and violence globally through large-scale resin installations and collage-based works. The creation of each piece is labor intensive and built upon meditative repetitive forms. Butt studied traditional Indian and Persian miniature painting at the National College of Art in Lahore and has built a unique visual language based upon that training.


Throughout her practice, Butt continually engages with themes of feminism, globalization, and identity. Earlier works on paper from the Dirty Pretty series present direct visual quotations from historical miniaturist works intermingled with images pulled from news media. Butt’s more recent works are comprised of resin casts of fingers or locks, chains, and hooks, brought together to create ornamental patterning that is reminiscent of sacred geometries. In contrast, her collage works are created from shredded dollar bills and socially charged texts. For the series In God We Trust, Butt reinterprets the iconography of US currency in swirling lines of paper. In her text-based works, the source material is obscured beyond recognition, leaving only the title and single words to give insight into its original meaning. In the diptych, Pages of Deception, the text seen in the two mirrored panels was taken from both the defense and prosecution transcripts of a trial on terrorism. Manipulated through dyes and painstaking deconstruction, the content of the trial is lost and the ability to discern which side is which is all but impossible.


Butt was born in Lahore, Pakistan and is currently based in Texas. Among the many institutions that have exhibited her work are the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; the Heard Museum, Phoenix; the Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena; the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel; the National Art Gallery, Islamabad; and the Sunshine Museum, Beijing.


Curated by Justine Ludwig, Director of Exhibitions / Senior Curator


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Supported by:




Tammy Cotton Hartnett


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161 Glass Street Dallas Texas 75207 USA +214 821 2522

Pia Camil Espectacular Tempestad, 2015. Courtesy of the artist


Bara, Bara, Bara

8 APRIL - 20 AUGUST 2017

Through a wide variety of media ranging from installation to performance and ceramics, Pia Camil explores themes of art history, consumerism and the Mexican urban landscape. Investigating urban ruin through interpretations of abandoned billboards, dollar stores, and iconic works of art, Camil addresses the aesthetic language of modernism and its relationship to retail and advertising.


The exhibition Bara, Bara, Bara draws its name from the rythmic cry of street vendors in Mexico City. Short for the Spanish word barato, which means cheap, the exclamation is aimed to draw people’s attention to a wide variety of low-cost goods available for sale. Furthering the exhibition’s connection to consumer culture, Camil is inspired by the aesthetic of outdoor markets and discount retailers. Slat paneling, market awnings, and jewelry displays all function as inspiration.


Camil’s massive site-specific installation Divisor Pirata is comprised of t-shirts acquired from the street markets of Iztapalapa, Mexico City. The shirts were originally produced in Latin America, sold to retailers and organizations in the United States, and then illicitly found their way to the bargain markets of Mexico. Camil furthers the transit of the t-shirts by bringing them back to the United States and displaying them at Dallas Contemporary. In doing so, she brings attention to contemporary trade routes and the permeability of borders. The artist deconstructs the shirts and then sews them together, creating large stretches of fabric. In Bara, Bara, Bara, the work is installed to reflect the markets at which the shirts were purchased. The work formally draws inspiration from Lygia Pape’s seminal 1968 performance Divisor, in which community members of Rio de Janerio, Brazil were invited to walk together through the city connected by an enormous piece of white fabric which each participant popped their head through. The work illustrates the tension between the identity of the individual versus that of the collective.


Bara, Bara, Bara brings attention to shared experiences with commerce and the mechanisms of globalization. The works together present the breadth of Camil’s practice over the past five years. Camil lives and works in Mexico City, where she was born. She has exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; the New Museum, New York; Frieze Projects, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and NuMu, Guatemala City.


Curated by Justine Ludwig, Director of Exhibitions / Senior Curator


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Dallas Contemporary is supported by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs

Keer Tanchak Celine, 2016. Courtesy of the artist


Soft Orbit

8 APRIL - 20 AUGUST 2017

Keer Tanchak’s site-specific exhibition embodies the idea of time travel through art history and focuses on the last two years of the artist’s studio practice. Tanchak’s approach to painting demonstrates how the medium is always operating in a web of tradition and cultural references. The exhibition serves as a metaphorical X-ray machine that exposes the building block of the language of painting: brushwork, color, and light.


Tanchak is drawn to the smooth surface, malleability, and neutral color of aluminum—revealing phenomena of reflection, distortion, and absorption. Using tin snips and a manual shear/press brake, the artist cuts aluminum sheets into irregular shapes, which expand beyond the rectangle of a classical painting. The base is sanded and cleaned with rubbing alcohol before paint is applied. Tanchak’s technique is intentionally diverse: ranging from loosely sketched forms to expressive scraping of paint with a palette knife.


The aluminum installation at Dallas Contemporary also references the history of the building, which used to be a metal fabrication factory. This egalitarian product of the industrial age contrasts with Tanchak’s interest in manifestations of luxury such as extravagant contemporary home interiors, current concerns with consumerism, or the frivolous lifestyle of the 18th century French Rococo era elites. Tanchak explores representations of opulence throughout art history as well as cultural clichés by presenting interpretations of historic paintings. Shopkeepers from Antoine Watteau’s paintings, Jean-Honore Fragonnard’s aristocratic ladies, and Edouard Vuillard’s seamstresses all function as the source material behind the figures in Tanchak’s works. On the one hand, Tanchak’s repetitive study of the same subjects with slight alterations of background or scale tests the limits of appropriation. On the other, her reoccurring characters emerge as a visual mantra suggesting that a work of art is never finished and its socio-political definition remains open to interpretation.


Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Keer Tanchak has moved to Dallas 5 years ago. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003 and a BFA with distinction from Concordia Univeristy in Montreal in 2000. Tanchak won the Artist Fellowship Award from the Illinois Arts Council in 2009. She exhibited extensively in Canada and the United States as well as in London, Switzerland, Dubai, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.


Curated by Lilia Kudelia, Assistant Curator


Presenting Sponsors:



Supported by:





Tammy Cotton Hartnett    Karla + mark mckinley


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Boris Mikhailov. Detail from Parliament series, 2014–2017. Courtesy of the artist




13 MAY - 26 NOVEMBER 2017

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine has selected Dallas Contemporary to organize the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. DC Executive Director Peter Doroshenko and Assistant Curator Lilia Kudelia will present an exhibition of work by Boris Mikhailov at Studio Cannaregio in Venice, Italy.


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Shepard Fairey Rise Above, 2012. Singleton Avenue, Dallas, TX. Photo by Colleen McInerney


Citywide Street Mural Project


Dallas Contemporary has invited Los Angeles based street artist Shepard Fairey to create more than 12 murals throughout the city with a focus on West Dallas. Known for his iconic designed President Obama HOPE poster, Fairey has worked as an artist creating works on the streets and globally in public spaces using posters, stickers, wheat paste and painted murals.


CLICK HERE to view mural location map



El renombrado artista callejero de Los Ángeles Shepard Fairey fue invitado por el Dallas Contemporary para crear más de 12 murales a lo largo de toda la ciudad con un énfasis especial en el oeste de Dallas.