Different Strokes – Dallas Modern Luxury
by Steve Carter

August 24, 2011 – Last June when word of the “split” between Talley Dunn and Lisa Brown reached the local art community, the speculation began. What? Why? But this month, with the grand reopening of Talley Dunn Gallery, all the seditious rumor-mongering is past tense. “I really wouldn’t use the word ‘split,’” Dallas native Dunn explained recently at her eponymous gallery, still at 5020 Tracy St., the site formerly known as the revered Dunn and Brown Contemporary. “Lisa and I are going in different directions, following what our passions and our strengths are. I’ve always loved having the public space, the engagement with the community. Lisa’s strength has always been more in the day-to-day,” Dunn said. “We were very good partners because we were so different. I’m just continuing to do what I’ve always done, but I want to take it to the next level, ramp things up.” For her part, Lisa Brown will now work exclusively as an art consultant.

Dunn, in her early 40s, lives in Dallas with her husband Bradley Miller and their young daughter. She’s been a player in the gallery scene, both locally and nationally, for more than two decades. After graduating from Smith College with an art history degree, she began her career at Gerald Peters Gallery, where she became director by age 23. When she and Lisa Brown partnered to form Dunn and Brown in 1999, they quickly set the standard for professionalism, dedication and artist career-building. “My real passion, and what I’m known for nationally, is my commitment to the artists I represent, and it’s through building their careers,” Dunn enthuses. “I love working with them, and they know what kind of attention they’re going to get when they work with me.” Dunn’s new gallery still focuses on contemporary work by established and emerging artists, but one of the biggest challenges in the transition was winnowing down her stable of 35 artists to 21. Her new roster includes Helen Altman, Julie Bozzi, Vernon Fisher, Annette Lawrence, Nic Nicosia, Linda Ridgway and 15 others.

Dunn’s long-range commitment to her artists, defining goals and career trajectories for each of them, finds her developing museum projects and out-of-town exhibitions for them. At the moment, she’s involved in off-site projects with David Bates, Dale Chihuly, Trenton Doyle Hancock and Erick Swenson. Close to home, Talley Dunn Gallery’s inaugural group exhibition, New Variations, opens Sept. 10 and runs through Oct. 22. “It gives all my artists an opportunity to participate in the launch, showing really significant works that haven’t been seen before. It’s probably the most exciting group show I’ve ever done.”

Steve Carter
Dallas Modern Luxury

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