Michelle Mackey: Beyond Measure
Location: Holly Johnson Gallery
Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas is pleased to announce the opening of Michelle Mackey: Beyond Measure, an exhibition of new paintings inspired by Enchanted Rock that highlights the relationship between the past and present. An opening reception for the artist will be held Saturday, November 19th from 5-8 pm. The exhibition continues through February 11.
For the last several years, Mackey has been exploring the futility and successes of human attempts to harness the earth’s power for energy and survival. From Iceland to west Texas, Mackey talked with geologists and hydrologists about geothermal energy, sinkholes, and erosion. Now her work focuses on a different kind of power: Enchanted Rock, a dome of pink granite in Central Texas. Enchanted Rock rises like a pink half-moon in an otherwise limestone-filled landscape, and this anomaly draws 250,000 tourists per year to climb it. But Enchanted Rock has lured visitors long before it was a public park – tales of silver deposits enticed the Spanish explorers and stories of battles filled Comanche and Tonkawa tribes with reverence for the rock. That awe remains alive today because of the sheer grandeur of crystals shining on the surface and the smooth curve that hides the elusive summit from view as one climbs.
Even more interesting for Mackey is the way Enchanted Rock seems to alter time. All around the dome are what is known as “exfoliation sheets” – cracked rocks poised on the slope like large puzzle pieces frozen in mid-landslide. The paradoxical tension of motion and stillness challenges our imagination to witness the landscape as an active sculpture where the past and the present connect through change. To understand a geological story, which happens over eons, not days, we must enter the “deep time” that writer John McPhee discusses in his book, Basin and Range. In her paintings, Mackey uses the specific colors, curves, and unique shapes of Enchanted Rock to shift our perspective beyond one life span into the deep time that stretches before and after us.
Mackey has studied in Cortona, Italy and Taos, New Mexico for extended periods, and has been a resident at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming, Vermont Studio Center, and 100 W Corsicana in Texas. Throughout the last decade Mackey has had solo exhibitions in Berlin, New York City, Brooklyn, and Dallas and participated in many group exhibitions. Mackey’s work has been reviewed in publications like The New York Sun, Huffington Post, and New American Paintings. She was recently interviewed for episode 34 of The Large Glass.
Mackey received a Master of Fine Art degree from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman University, Greenville, SC. She currently resides in Dallas, TX.
Holly Johnson Gallery is located at 1845 Levee Street #100 in Dallas’ Design District. Gallery hours are 11 to 5, Tuesday - Saturday, and by appointment. For information call 214-369-0169, or email email@example.com, or visit www.hollyjohnsongallery.com
IMAGE: Michelle Mackey, Uplift, 2022, Acrylic and vinyl paint on canvas, 22 x 30 inches