Issue #174
The Times They Are A-Changin' (Again) September 16, 2011


Austin Openings

Mostly 2+

Domy Books
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17, 7-9pm

See works by Tim Kerr, Jim Houser, Merrilee Challiss, Chrissy Piper and maybe, just maybe, Dan Higgs.

Storied Pasts

Blanton Museum of Art
Opening reception: September 18

Storied Past explores the expressive and technical range of French drawing through preliminary sketches, compositional studies, figure studies, and finished drawings from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Drawn primarily from the museum's renowned Suida-Manning Collection, the exhibition includes works by Jacques Callot, François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Louis Forain, and Théophile Alexandre Steinlen.

El Anatsui

Blanton Museum of Art
Opening reception: September 25

The Blanton is the only southwest venue to present the first career-retrospective for internationally acclaimed artist El Anatsui. Organized by the Museum for African Art in New York City, the exhibition spans four decades and includes approximately 60 works of different mediums drawn from both public and private collections.

Dameon Lester, Jessica McCambly and L. Renee Nunez

grayduck Gallery
Opening reception: September 30, 7-9pm

Pattern Plan showcases artists Dameon Lester, Jessica McCambly, and L. Renee Nunez as they explore humankind's relationship with nature. Using repetition, negative space, and movement, these mixed media artists speak to both our detachment and captivation with the world around us.

Art Across the Americas

Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection Library of University of Texas at Austin
Opening reception: October 1, 6-9pm

Some of the Peruvian artists in this year's Austin exhibition will include Nelly Mayhua Mendoza, Doris Guiterrez, Emma Alcarraz Guia, Yolanda Velásquez Reinoso, Joe Marquez, Elsa Pulgar-Vidal, Cristina Duenas Pachas, and Del Nino Ladron. Nelly Mayhua Mendoza will be traveling from Peru to attend the reception. Felix Sampaio, a sculptor from Brazil will also be exhibiting and visiting Austin. Some of the local Austin artists include Catherine Small, Bill Oakey, Leslie Kell, Patricia Lyle, Paul McGuire, Dixie Rhoades, Connie Schaertl, Barbara Timko, Beverly Adams, John Bielss, Karen Burges, Beverly Cobb, Jill Alo, Lloyd Cuninngham, Tita Griesbach, Betty Jameson, Alonso Rey-Sanchez, and Marla Ripperda. Work by Marisa Boullosa, from Mexico, will also be exhibited.

Austin on View

Wild Beasts

Through October 8

Champion is pleased to announce a group exhibition of painting and video entitled Wild Beasts, featuring Ryan Schneider, Daniel Heidkamp, Shara Hughes, Joshua Abelow, and Ezra Johnson. Wild Beasts is the English translation of Les Fauves, a 20th-century movement of painters—including Henri Matisse—known for the use of untamed color and gestural, abstracted brushstrokes applied to portraits and landscapes.

Koki Tanaka

Through October 16

Koki Tanaka's work contemplates the seemingly mundane range of choices and outcomes involved in the everyday. Examining objects and the connections they have with society, the world of art, and each other, Tanaka's work finds moments of beauty and interactivity in a landscape that seems otherwise devoid of interaction. Tanaka's piece Buckets and Balls uses combinations of ordinary objects to explore the concept of the 'decisive moment,' that instant between success and failure, popularized in the early 1950s by the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. The banality of the props - ladders, chairs, wooden planks - and the repetitive nature of the actions being staged - a yellow ball continuously tossed at a blue bucket - somehow converge in a narrative of suspense, excitement, and relief.

Cao Fei

Through October 30

Beijing-based artist Cao Fei's practice is based in video, photography, performance, installation, and internet-based art. She explores Chinese popular culture, while focusing on youth subcultures. Shadow Life, Cao's most recent video, is an adaptation of traditional Chinese shadow puppetry. Puppeteers typically created the shadow puppets by manipulating small, two-dimensional figures cut from paper or leather behind a silk screen with rear illumination. During the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 CE), performances known as "large shadow shows" featured actors hidden behind the screen instead of puppets. The intricate hand puppets animating Shadow Life merge these traditional art forms to tell a distinctly contemporary story of modern China.

Sarah Buckius

Through November 6

Sarah Buckius' work combines aspects of photography, video, performance, and installation, employing her body to express and explore tension, anxiety, pattern, and interpersonal relationships. Her work often uses technology to transform the solitary moving body into something infinite and remote. Buckius' video trapped inside pixels transforms the artist's moving body into a collage of innumerable animated permutations. By digitally manipulating her image and tiling herself over and over again on the screen, Buckius converts her movements into a kaleidoscope of patterns-a single moving piece part of something much larger than herself, but with no apparent progression or move toward meaning. Her actions are sharp, jerky, and robotic-creating a feeling of unease and conveying how it may feel to be reduced to being a piece of an infinite, flat, digital landscape.

The Anxiety of Photography

Arthouse & Austin Museum of Art
Through December 30

Many of the works in The Anxiety of Photography reflect on the changing nature of our relationship to the materiality of images, as artists produce photographic prints from hand-painted negatives, violently collide framed pictures, arrange photographs and objects in uncanny still lives, or otherwise destabilize the photographic object. “They use the confusion that photographs can produce to create a more careful state of looking, a more open dive into pictures.”

Austin Closings

Deborah Stratman and Michael Aragon

Tiny Park
Through September 24

Deborah will present an installation based on an ongoing project entitled FEAR, wherein visitors will be invited to enter a closed room and privately call a toll-free number and talk about their deepest personal fears. Calls to the 800 number, which has been operational since 2004, are recorded and will be catalogued and searchable once the line closes in 2014, after ten years of operation. Miguel will present works from a series that addresses, with a quiet and ghostly beauty, the violent drug war in Juarez.

Xochi Solis

Through September 30

Xochi Solis uses found imagery, house paint, vinyl, plastics and wood to create both small studies and large scale site-specific paintings, characterized by repeated and irregular ellipses and gestural paint strokes. Her repetition of shapes become like a mantra, employed to create a meditative state for the artist and her audience. Though hyperbolic and rarely uttered outside the scope of romantic pop lyrics, Solis’ titles—including All the Clouds Turn to Words—are themselves repeated stanzas, much like the abstract and polychromatic shapes that occur and reoccur in Solis’ small and large-scale paintings. For Solis, shape, color and lyric build into a meditation on feeling and a contemplation of the reoccurring notions of desire, disappointment and anxiety that occur in daily life.

San Antonio Openings

Michele Monseau

Unit B
Opening reception: September 23, 6:30-10pm

elephant in the room is about reverence, melancholy, celebration, and feedback loops. The mind and the spirit come up with ways to fill empty space when any living creature is deprived of the natural feeding of its soul. Rhythm is primal, and comfort. Repetition is circular.

San Antonio on View

Nene Humphrey

McNay Art Museum
Through October 2

Humphrey moved from exploring the external human form to the internal, investigating the visual and emotional connections between images and the deep cellular workings of the human brain. Humphrey’s interest in the LeDoux Lab’s research led to investigations of pattern making in its many visual and cultural forms. Through her research she encountered Victorian mourning braiding—the practice of braiding hair in specific patterns, as a way to honor loved ones. She began to see a visual connection between the strands of neurological data that dictate primitive human emotions and the braiding. These handcrafted mourning braids are not only complex and beautiful but often appear similar to scientific patterns such as the DNA helix form and chromatin in the cell nucleus.

Chuck Ramirez

Blue Star Contemporary Art Center
Through November 6

Chuck Ramirez was an artist and designer who lived and worked in San Antonio, Texas. Ramirez, who died unexpectedly in November 2010, left a void in the contemporary art world, but also a legacy of artwork with an aesthetic both Minimal and Baroque. His large-scale photographic portraits and installations of banal objects are humorous, yet poignant, metaphors for the transient nature of consumer culture and the frailty of life.

Paul Jacoulet

San Antonio Museum of Art
Through November 6

Paul Jacoulet was the first foreigner to master printmaking in the Japanese tradition. The artist was born in France but spent most of his life in Japan. Eight Jacoulet prints showing scenes of Oceania comprise the first print rotation in the Asian Art Special Exhibitions Gallery, followed by eight prints depicting Korea.

Houston on View

Marc Swanson

Contempoary Art Museum of Houston
Through October 9

From his earliest works, Brooklyn-based artist Marc Swanson has made his topic the construction of self as an incomplete and always fragmentary project. Everything—including heavy metal, the Yeti, and hunting trophies—have become part of his artistic language. Perspectives 175: Marc Swanson: The Second Story features new sculptures by the artist that consider the worldview of the generations that have grown up since AIDS placed a final marker on the early era of gay liberation, severing the ties to that culture’s rich history. It’s been left to younger artists like Swanson to decipher and reinterpret the stories and images of that elder generation. The Second Story was a gay bar in San Francisco, long gone when the artist lived there but—in its punning name—haunting. The name might just mean that it was located on the second floor of a building, but it also suggests the layers of narrative that overlap in each patron’s life—the true, the false, and the mythic.

Helen Altman

Moody Gallery
Through October 15

The work featured in Half-Life includes a wall installation of torch drawings, tree paintings in acrylic on paper, moving blankets, and burnt dictionary pages that illustrate an array of animals. Also on view is a wall painting of a beaver dam with flicker flame bulbs, as well as snow globes with cast plastic forms of the World Trade Center Towers, and cast plastic goldfish in water.

Anton Ginzburg

Blaffer Art Museum
Through November 27

At the Back of the North Wind is an exhibition of new works by Anton Ginzburg, which will be open to the public from June 3 to November 27, 2011 during the 54th Venice Biennale at the Palazzo Bollani. Curated by Matthew J.W. Drutt, the exhibition has been chosen as an official participant of La Biennale di Venezia's Collateral Program. The exhibition of new works will feature a video installation that documents the artist's search for Hyperborea, a mythical northern territory. Large-scale sculptures, site-specific bas reliefs, photography, paintings, and a series of works on paper that document artist's travels and discoveries will also be displayed throughout the two floors of the palazzo.

Spirit of Modernism

Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Through January 29, 2012

The Spirit of Modernism pays tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of businessman and art collector John R. Eckel, Jr. The friendship between John Eckel and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, lasted only five years before his untimely death in 2009. His art collection, now known as the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gift, lives on at the MFAH as an enduring legacy comprising 75 examples of Modernist American painting and sculpture, photography, and contemporary arts and design. This exhibition highlights the gifts in two locations on the museum’s campus: the Beck Building (Hevrdejs Gallery) and the Law Building (Alice Pratt Brown Gallery and Garden).

Houston Closings

The Spectacular of the Vernacular

Contempoary Art Museum of Houston
Through September 18

In an era of virtual neighborhoods and fast-paced Internet communication, The Spectacular of Vernacular addresses the role of vernacular forms in the work of 27 artists who utilize craft, incorporate folklore, and revel in roadside kitsch to explore the role of culturally specific iconography in the increasingly global world of art. Originally employed as a linguistics term, vernacular is now broadly applied to categories of culture, standing in for “regional,” “folkloric,” or “homemade”—concepts that contemporary artists have investigated since the late 1950s as part of a deeper consideration of the relationship between art and everyday life. For the artists included in the exhibition, aspects of the vernacular—and often specifically American vernacular—provide a platform for narratives of home life, social ritual, and sense of place. Drawing inspiration from such sources as local architecture, amateur photographs, and state fair banners, their work runs the aesthetic spectrum from sleek to handcrafted, underscoring the diverse manifestations of the vernacular within our lived environment and its impact on artists working today.

Joel Hernandez

Lawndale Art Center
Through September 24

Joel Hernandez’s work deals with his memories of Mexico and its people in a theatric way. Hernandez moved from Mexico when he was nine years old and grew up learning about Mexican culture through word of mouth or Spanish television. Hernandez recreates Mexican and Mexican-American culture and people in his work in a staged way in order to recreate his idea of what Mexico is and was.

Jeremy DePrez and Francis Giampietro

Lawndale Art Center
Through September 24

The Power of Negative Feedback is a collection of work developed by Jeremy DePrez and Francis Giampietro in response to their experiences at a recent 2-week residency in Nagoya, Japan through the Temporary Space. Negative Feedback is a concept that exists in various biological and physical systems to reverse discrepancies between desired and actual outputs. With this concept in mind DePrez and Giampietro visually negotiate the interplay between their anticipated and actual experiences in Japan.

Jeff Forster

Lawndale Art Center
Through September 24

Just as historical objects and ruins make evident the extinction of pre-existing cultures, Jeff Forster creates objects and spaces that reflect the remains or residue that our culture might leave behind. For the exhibition Detritus Forster juxtaposes archaic, rudimentary forms with modern shapes to create post-apocalyptic debris. Through the use of re-claimed building materials and concrete Forster makes a direct reference to structures we build and what remains of them once their abandoned. By then skinning these forms with clay combined with local vegetation the artist hopes to make evident the inevitable process of entropy, or natural process of reclamation. As time progresses and the natural materials decay, previously unseen parts of structures will be revealed, much like the unearthing of some forgotten ruin in an archeological dig yet to happen.

Mike Ponder

Lawndale Art Center
Through September 24

Mark Ponder explores an unsatisfactory use of celebration to cope with death in contemporary funeral rituals. Inspired by commemorations for the passed life and the afterlife,A Time to Celebrate strives to brighten our encounter with death at the expense of a serious contemplation for it. The sculptural installation will operate on the surface as an extravagant birthday party to heighten a tension between reverence and whimsy. Ponder's use of cheap party decor and text highlights the absurdity of memorial services in a pastiche of happiness, insight, peace, humor, and, of course, dead bodies.


Lawndale Art Center
Through September 24

Southern/Pacific is a series of three exhibits spanning over six months and traveling across the South and up the West Coast.

Edmund Carpenter and Adelaide de Menil

The Menil
Through September 25

This exhibition presents a selection of work from an extraordinary gift to the Menil Collection by Adelaide de Menil and Edmund Carpenter: 230 civil rights-era photographs. The work, by Dan Budnik, Danny Lyon, Bruce Davidson, Leonard Freed, Bob Adelman, and Elliott Erwitt, captures the profound changes taking place in the United States beginning in the 1960s. It includes a wide variety of striking images that deal with race and politics: marchers on the road from Selma to Montgomery, Dr. Martin Luther King in protest, cotton workers in the Mississippi Delta, prison labor camps in Texas, and the Ku Klux Klan.

Helmut Newton

Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Through September 25

Helmut Newton survived Nazi Germany as a self-supporting, nomadic teenager to emerge a world-renowned photographer. His images moved beyond the accepted standard of how females could be portrayed. The prints on view in Helmut Newton: White Women • Sleepless Nights • Big Nudes were made specifically for the exhibition and are large-scale—some reaching nearly 8 x 8 feet.

Second Nature: Contemporary Landscapes

Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Through September 25

Second Nature examines the revived interest in landscape by contemporary artists, demonstrating the power of the land to speak to the imagination. Recent MFAH acquisitions—together with major works that are rarely on view—trace the evolving image of the landscape in art of the last 40 years, moving from the literal interactions of the 1960s and 1970s to the conceptual manipulations of the present day. Encompassing all media, this exhibition illustrates landscape imagery mediated through natural selection, imagination, and technology, offering a second look at the natural world.

Patrick Renner

Blaffer Art Museum
Through September 28

Renner will collaborate with high school students enrolled in the summer edition of Blaffer's award-winning Young Artist Apprenticeship Program. Together, they will create a work that explores the critical function of binocular vision in visual art. In the artist's own words, he will "turn the pair of windows into oculi that have the dual role of focusing viewership on the architecture and becoming the eyes of the building." The eyes will incorporate collage, sculpture, lights, and kinetic movement.

Dallas Openings

Aaron Parazette

Dallas Contemporary
Opening reception: September 24, 9pm-midnight

For Aaron Parazette's exhibition at Dallas Contemporary, he will exhibit a combination of new and recent paintings along with a large-scale, site-specific wall painting. Parazette employs the formula of formalist painting through text imagery. For Parazette, his work is painting meeting both the past and future abstraction.

Dallas on View

Otis Jones

Holly Johnson Gallery
Through October 8

In this exhibition of new work Otis Jones continues his investigation of abstraction. The new paintings alternate in hue and texture, ranging from flat to polished, to pitted topography. Evident is his unique signature of staples attaching canvas and linen to thick wooden supports - reinforcing the relationship of the side to the front of the painting and exposing traditional painting materials. In building up the surface media and alternately sanding it away, Jones foregrounds the status of his paintings as objects. For Otis Jones, minimalism operates as a place from which to begin. More importantly, it references his insistence, thematically, to produce work that blurs high and low distinctions.

Margaret Evangeline and Suguru Hiraide

Cohn Drennan Contemporary
Through October 8

Steel is a two-person exhibition presenting the work of Margaret Evangeline (New York, NY) and Suguru Hiraide (Wichita Fallas, TX). Both artists use steel as their medium to address evolving yet ever-present concerns of cultural and societal issues of identity.

New Variations

Talley Dunn Gallery
Through October 22

New Variations will feature art in various media, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, and installation-based work. Ranging in scale from the intimate to the monumental,the exhibition will highlight new and recent work by all of the gallery's artists.

New York on View

Ian Pedigo

Klaus von Nichtssangend
Through October 16

Ian Pedigo continues to make sculptures imbued with artifactual significance. This is revealed through a process of peeling layers, creating visually formal relationships and conceptual congruence. The works begin with found images and objects that are added upon, altered, and edited in a process that echoes ritualistic practices. The results are forms woven from threads of banal occurrences and everyday life; evidence lying dormant in the dross surrounding us.

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