26 Mar Fort Worth Star Telegram
Many of these artists are "landscapers." Dennis Blagg and Jim Malone in particular have made careers on the vastness of far southwest Texas. With every new exhibition, Blagg has a new size or medium of Big Bend on display.
This time out, it is small-scale pencil works so rigorously detailed that they look like black-and-white photographs. His ability to render the hardscrabble wastelands of Big Bend into loveliness is beyond realism. He doesn’t skimp on the thorns, ankle-twisting terrain or shimmering heat, but they are still beautiful. They are Lorelei landscapes, visually enticing, yet every fiber of your being knows they are hostile.
Using the same medium with vastly different results is Jim Malone, who has long been rendering westernmost Texas in graphite. He’s added text messages and GPS information to his images, and uses multiple pieces of paper to create a single butte or outcropping. The sheets are turned horizontally or vertically to get the most powerful presentation. The ragged outer perimeter of the various paper sizes gives animation to the piece; the text messages that encircle the pages like a constant news feed identifies the location and its longitude and latitude.
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