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New Kid on the Bloch
Steve Carter | Photo: Ben Garrett | May 20, 2013
A Dallas art pro breaks out on her own.
Liliana Bloch’s eponymous gallery may be new, having just opened in April, but she’s anything but new on the local art scene. Bloch is renowned as a passionate, visionary catalyst, both as the former executive director of the McKinney Avenue Contemporary (the-mac.org) and as gallery director at Kirk Hopper Fine Art, where her restless eclecticism shaped that space’s identity. All the while, however, she knew there was more. “I wanted to build my own space and to take the artists I really believe in, and not have to share permission or different visions with the owner of the gallery.” Liliana Bloch Gallery (lilianablochgallery.com) is the realization of her dream, showcasing an ambitious program of artists with local, national and international moorings. A world traveler herself—she hails from El Salvador—Bloch says, “It doesn’t matter where it comes from, good art is universal; it touches you.”
Seven artists comprise Bloch’s roster: Du Chau is from Vietnam; internationally acclaimed Mayra Barraza is Salvadoran; Ann Glazer splits her time between New York City and Dallas; L’etitia Huckaby lives in Fort Worth: Vince Jones is a Dallasite: Mona Kasra is Iranian-American, living in Dallas; and Ryan Sarah Murphy is based in New York. “Dallas has so much artistic talent,” Bloch says, “but I think the reason I have international artists is because I feel like a citizen of the world; I want to bring that international exposure, so people can embrace other cultures.” Her gallery is a freestanding space inside Brian Gibb’s The Public Trust, but this year she’ll be using the larger room for two of her shows, with Public Trust taking the smaller. Bloch continues to make studio visits, and plans to grow her roster of artists at a moderate pace.
The gallery opened with Ryan Sarah Murphy’s small-scale collages, called Parameters, the artist’s first show in Dallas. Bloch says, “My artists’ works intrigue me. …I have an organic and intuitive reaction—it’s like you meet a guy and from the moment you look at him there’s chemistry.” The current exhibit, running through July 6, is Ann Glazer’s Underestimated Storage Issues, which the artist describes as “wall drawings combining elements from architecture, dreams and ancient textiles that suggest imaginary spaces hovering between basement plumbing nightmares and room-size climbing gyms.” Imagine Keith Haring and M.C. Escher collaborating on a playground design—surreal, familiar and wow. “There’s nothing like your baby. Everyone has responded so well—I’m thrilled,” Bloch says.