lntroducing the Subtle Wit of Elizabeth Fox and Striking Sculptures of Jesse Lott

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The d. m. allison gallery is dedicated to the exploration of new and emerging talent, as well as being a venue for nationally known visual artists. In its new group show, the gallery is featuring the works of Elizabeth Fox, whose paintings have a sprightly, highly contemporary look, not too far from what might expect in a New Yorker cartoon - that, by the way, is a compliment.

The men in her paintings are all fit, and the women are slender, with great anatomies made clear by tight-fitting garments. Fox's artist statement is unusually interesting, reading in part: "Tensions are introduced to question sexual, gender, and age relation. These questions are left unanswered as to who or what is the dominant power." Along with Camille Paglia, I'm betting on the women.

Fox has a dry, subtle wit, and the painting titled "Wish You Were Here" has an attractive mature couple in front of a birdhouse on a tree, with birds flying, probably love birds, and apparently domestic tranquility in play, while a streaming banner gives the woman's real sardonic thoughts" "omg not another walk of shame . . . lol I could just". Inside, she is dying with amusement at the naivete and folly of men.

"Mystery Train" has a woman putting her attache case in the overhead rack, while four men in a row, wearing suits and fedora hats, read newspapers, though two are secretly watching her. Her dress is transparent and seductive, but if the men give her any trouble, I have no doubt she can handle it.

"iron glove hat in hand" has a female donning red gloves, these seemingly flexible despite the title, while three men all dressed the same, with similar looks, hold their hats to protect their genitalia. I do think Fox has opted for the dominant role in relationships.

Jesse Lott is an African-American sculptor of great distinction, working with armatures and wire, while building in the capacity for emotional power. His sculpture here dominates the gallery, presenting a man still powerful but overcome with anguish. Lott is prolific, and also creates papier-mache figures with richly detailed characterizations, rising to wit, as well as paintings to be hung on walls.

One artist, who lives under a bridge, offers up his name as Hercules da Vinci, and I for one am willing to believe him. His "The Heart's Whisper" is enigmatic but powerful, necessarily small, as it is oil on a paper napkin. "Hollywood Hills", also oil on a paper napkin, has an engrossingly subtle blend of colors, some figurative birds, and an insouciant cheerfulness that many of the "housed" might emulate - or envy.

Ann Harithas, who had a one-person show earlier in the year, here has a deceptively simple picture, an orange plane against a blue backround, with a cowboy, and a tortured monk holding a football. These symbols clash - or do they? It is a work filled with subtlety, as mysterious as consciousness itself.

Bob Schneider also had a recent solo show here, and I was delighted to see his finely-detailed head/map/mask sculpture on display again, though I could have easily done without another work, the Lone Ranger with laser eyes - I must be missing something here.

Kelly Moran has a three-dimensional painting which tackles the story of Little Red Riding Hood, witty in its details, and disquieting in its undertones. There is more, much more, forty works by eleven artists, but, hey, why not come to see for yourself?

Introducing Elizabeth Fox continues though August 30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays, d. m. allison gallery, 2709 Colquitt, 832-607-4378, dma-art.com.

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