Draftsman of the Apocalypse curated by Heyd Fontenot

Joachim West, detail from "Hallehooplah", mixed media on paper.

Saturday, November 1, 2014 – Saturday, December 13, 2014,
Venue: CentralTrak
Admission: Free
Season: 2014-15

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 1, 8 - 10 pm  

Hosted by CentralTrak, this exhibition depicts both observational and visionary illustration in order to conjure images of mankind’s eventual doom.  Everyday life is frightening enough and current news supplies documentarians with more than enough ammunition.  For the fantasist artist, religion, folklore and cinema are ready to inspire and steer the topic toward the macabre.  Perhaps these visions are offered to the public in the form of cautionary premonition and sermon: “Beware!  Change your wicked ways or be forever damned in this misery”.  Or in the vein of slasher films and the Theatre Guignol, the narratives and visuals provide entertainment and vicarious thrill without a solid moral lesson.  Regardless of purpose or politic, humans have a fascination with “end of times” and this exhibition should provoke a quickened pulse along with a few uneasy chuckles.

In this gathering of contemporary art with a focus on blight and its inherent horrors, we have both the “observer” and the “visionary”.  Simeen Farhat and Annabel Daou have witnessed violence and military unrest in their respective home countries of Pakistan and Lebanon.  Both artists utilize script in an abstraction of war but also as a tool of poetic reportage.  While stateside, artist Thor Johnson who has survived a number of unfortunate physical attacks, retells his trauma in crude sculptural figurative tableaux and drawings.   El Franco Lee is a historical painter and storyteller, rendering images that pull back the veil on America’s “melting pot” myth and point to injustices endured by our African-American citizenry.  Joachim West’s obsessive drawings are deliciously neurotic, with themes often volleying between erotic and abhorrent.  Similarly, the well-known gallerist David Quadrini’s little-known/seldom-shown paintings arouse both lust and an impulse to flee.  Clay Stinett’s compositions and color schemes adhere to the “more is more” adage.  Stinett mines popular culture and recognizable characters to create Frankenstein-ian blasts of visual information, which makes for overwhelming delight due to his enormous skills and enviable energy.  A comical edge tints the work of Alex Paulus, who also revels in the horrific:  suicides, tragedies, mutant and otherwise unrecognizable humanoids in a palettes reserved for birthday parties.


A series of Tete a Tete talks will be presented throughout the run of the exhibition featuring artists whose work will be presented in “Draftsmen of the Apocalypse.”   These talks are designed to give CentralTrak’s audience the rare opportunity to hear artists in intimate conversation with a peer of their choosing.  Please visit www.centraltrak.com for dates and times.



Heyd Fontenot, Director of CentralTrak, is a practicing artist, an arts administrator, curator, and was most recently honored with a Mastermind Award from the Dallas Observer. He is active in the local and statewide contemporary art scenes, participating in a variety of panels and acting as a guest juror for exhibitions and awards. He has held engagements with the Dallas Business Council for the Arts, Rollins College (Winter Park, Florida), The University of Maryland, Rhodes College (Memphis, Tennessee), the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and sits of the selection committee for the Moss-Chumley award, an artist's grant through the Meadows Museum at SMU. His paintings and video work have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and recently showcased in a traveling mid-career survey at Rollins College, The University of Maryland and Allegheny College.


Artists: Simeen Farhat, Annabel Daou, Thor Johnson, El Franco Lee, Joachim West, David Quadrini, Clay Stinett and Alex Paulus.




CentralTrak, The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency, established in 2008, is dedicated to the creation, presentation, and advancement of the contemporary arts.  As a live/work space for eight artists, it serves as a community center in the North Texas area for broad intellectual discourse around the arts.  While the residency promotes artistic experimentation through its support of production, the companion gallery encourages critical engagement in a local urban context through exhibitions and related programs. By building on the forward-thinking academic resources of the School of Arts & Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, CentralTrak unites artists from an expansive range of creative disciplines to extend and challenge contemporary notions of artistic practice, creative expression, and the role technology plays in these processes.


CentralTrak is supported in part by the generosity of numerous donors and partners from the North Texas area and The University of Texas at Dallas.




Address: 800 Exposition, Dallas, TX 75226

Hours: Saturday 12:00 – 5:00 during exhibitions, tours available by appointment call (469) 232-7298.

Admission: Free


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