September Picks

Texas and beyond

September 2009
by Claire Ruud & Lauren Adams

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      Josephine Meckseper
      Save a Bundle, 2007
      Mixed media in two parts
      Part I: 65 x 48 x 24 inches; Part II: 48 x 48 x 24 inches
      Courtesy the artist, Elizabeth Dee, New York, and Arndt & Partner, Berlin/Zürich

      View Gallery

      Josephine Meckseper 
      Blaffer Gallery, Houston
      September 12 – November 14

      There isn’t exactly a shortage of artists commenting on such worldly issues as the Iraq War, the Bush Administration, and the over indulgence of America. What concerns Josephine Meckseper, however, isn’t so much the existence of such issues as is our acceptance of them as the status quo. How is it, she seems to ask, that a person can finish an article concerning the tragedies of war and then casually flip to page six to catch up on celebrity gossip? Meckseper’s anti-war protest photos, video, and over-the-top recreations of retail displays, profess her frustrations with a consumerist society. Mixing flashy products and liberal values, Meckseper amplifies the confusing messages within today’s mass media, leaving us wondering who to trust. LA

      Reduced Visibility
      Glassell School of Art, Houston
      September 4 – November 15

      The argument: abstract visual form is a viable means through which to engage socio-political issues. In support of his case, curator Kurt Mueller draws together work by artists Rico Gatson, Mark Lombardi, Helen Mirra, Lisa Oppenheim and Trevor Paglen. CR

      Blueprint
      McKinney Avenue Contemporary
      , Dallas
      September 5 – October 10

      I like the artists in this show: Brian Fridge, Amy Revier, Edward Setina and Paul Slocum. CR

      Other Worlds: Rare Astronomical Works
      Harry Ransom Center, Austin
      September 8 – January 3

      Exhibitions from the Ransom's vast collections always unearth treasures—objects you didn't know you were looking for until you found them. Every time I see one of these shows (this one displays books and papers chronicling the history of astronomy), I wish that the Ransom had a contemporary artist residency program like the Hammer's Houseguest series. The stuff in the Ransom's copious archives would make for some outstanding source material. CR

      Michael Berryhill
      Horton & Co., New York
      September 10 – October 10

      What do you do in your basement? Basement States, Michael Berryhill’s upcoming exhibition, explores such reclusive activities, “like painting pictures, playing music—basically borderline antisocial activities that, after they’re worked out, are often shared with the outside world,” says the artist. Berryhill’s wacked-out paintings are supreme vehicles for embodying this “basement” state of mind: alienated, awkward and threatening to collapse under the viewer’s gaze. CR

      “Now that I’m by myself,” she says “I’m not by myself, which is good”
      DiverseWorks
      , Houston
      September 11 – October 24

      The show's lengthy title, a quote lifted from singer Santigold, suggests its theme: the intimate relationship between the public and private self. Curator Rachel Cook explores this idea through the work of artists Yuki Okumura, Brian Bress, Wynne Greenwood and Laurel Nakadate. Performance is an integral part of this exhibition, so watch for special events. CR

      Beili Liu
      D Berman Gallery
      , Austin
      September 17 – October 24

      Tactile, delicate, elegant, structural, rhythmic: each of Beili Liu’s works feels like a study in precariousness. Bound #2, one of the pieces that will be included in the show at D. Berman, consists of thousands of red threads suspended in swooping arcs between two oak pillars. Each thread is held in place by a single needle at each end. Talk about hanging by a thread. CR

      Claire Ruud is Editor of ...might be good.

      Lauren Adams is an intern at Fluent~Collaborative.

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