from the editor
This issue of …might be good, the first after the midterm elections, revolves around reconceptions of the artwork and the art world. Dropping out, getting off the grid and appropriating space for radical purposes—whether in the pages of a magazine, out in the desert, or in your parents’ apartment—are some of the strategies recounted in these virtual pages. This spirit hearkens back to the legacy of the Art Workers’ Coalition, a loose collective of creative practitioners called to action in 1969. Embracing concerns as varied as artists’ rights to assert control over where their work was exhibited, sexism, racism and the Vietnam war, the A.W.C. encouraged direct action and led to the formation of splinter groups such as the Guerrilla Art Action Group (G.A.A.G.) and Women Artists in Revolution.
Of course, we know that these groups did not topple the prevailing order of the artworld. But the questions that they provoked about the role and ethics of art practice continue to be played in politicized ways. In our Reviews section, Rachel Cook provides an account of such practices from last month’s Creative Time’s Summit in New York. Sasha Dela, founder of Skydive, conducts an interview with PLAND, a Taos, NM-based off-the-grid residency program that seeks to “reclaim and reframe a land-based notion of the American Dream.” And in our project space, Jennie Lamensdorf considers Cabinetlandia’s annexation of textual and geographical space in her second installment of The Third Site of Land Art.
Today, the institution can act not only as a foil, but a catalyst for reconsidering art practice. I spoke with Peter Doroshenko about his provocative past exhibitions and future plans as Executive Director of Dallas Contemporary. Also in this issue, I interview Josef Helfenstein about the Kurt Schwitters exhibition at the Menil, a dazzling survey of an enigmatic and engaged artist who struggled to produce work under repressive political conditions. And finally, Lisa Pon sheds light on José Manuel Ballester’s eerie depopulation of The Garden of Earthly Delights at the Meadows Museum, while Wendy Atwell considers Matthew Ronay’s mysterial, ritualistic installation at Artpace.
For those in Houston this weekend who want to continue the conversation about sustainable living, come meet Sasha Dela and the founders of PLAND at Skydive’s new home. The artists will be hosting a potluck and Houston re-use tour, respectively, on Saturday the 13th and Monday the 15th. Austinites out and about this weekend and next shouldn’t miss the events at the East Austin Studio Tour. And on Sunday night, don’t forget to stop by our sister project, testsite for an opening of work by Rob Verf and Roberto Tejada.
As for next weekend, if you’re hankering for a pre-Thanksgiving feast, pop on over to Jason Middlebrook’s potluck at Arthouse. …might be good will be celebrating Turkey Day by taking a one-week vacation, but once those leftovers have been cleared from your fridge, check back on December 3rd for an issue chock full of new content.
Wendy Vogel is Editor of ...might be good.
By Sasha Dela
Artpace, San Antonio
Through January 2, 2011
By Wendy Atwell
Matthew Ronay, Between the Worlds, 2010, Mixed-media installation. Originally commissioned by Artpace San Antonio. Courtesy of the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
Wildly imaginative and utterly different from his prior visual language, Matthew Ronay’s Between the Worlds allows the visitor to experience the kind of awe and terror that Chihua Achebe references in his 1958 classic book Things Fall Apart. As with the Nigerian egwugwu ritual, in which the tribesmen disappear before putting on their costumes, suspension of disbelief is essential when viewing this work.
Ronay’s earlier sculptural installations, such as Goin’ Down, Down, Down (2006) at Parasol Unit, London feature colorful, bizarre iconic images washed in cold cynicism. Including war references, figures hanging from nooses, limp phalluses and cheeseburgers, these cartoon-painted images deftly illustrate how things have fallen apart in America. In Between the Worlds, Ronay replaces this mirror of despair with an imaginative spirit world in which time and space seem to function in a non-linear way. Ronay creates a mysterious, sacred zone like Achebe’s evil forest, the place where taboos were taken, as if the forest might cleanse them, the way trees remove toxins in air.
In this two-part exhibition, a room on the east side displays videos on a loop (Cloak 1, 2, 3 and 4, all 2009) while an installation commissioned by Artpace takes up the larger western portion of the space. The series of videos portrays the artist dressed in four different hooded black cloaks, moving mysteriously on screen. In one case, another figure joins the artist inside of a double cloak. These shaman-like costumes recall African and Aboriginal tribal motifs and are adorned with beads, papier-mâché rocks and paint. Only the artist’s bare legs visible as he spins, steps and dances to drum-like beats, or abstract sounds of wind and storm. The figures’ movements are slow and organic, like a mating ritual, something coded into DNA.
The costumes, sounds and dance movements set the tone for the forest installation. A tented room within a room, only the exterior walls made from soft black fabric are visible from the darkened walkway around the room’s periphery, illuminated by dim spotlights. This blank limbo space serves as a transition from the viewer’s world to the installation, indicating a separation from reality.
Through an elongated vertical slit, the viewer may enter an abstracted forest filled with fantastical flora and fauna. Strings of mushroom-shaped beads adorn a veil of tulle, which hangs from a papier-mâché tree limb. Bearded guardian figures, with abstracted crescent eyes, stand throughout. A papier-mâché egg hangs inside black fabric tube, painted in patterns of yellow and white and lit from within. The palette evokes a magical world, with variations of black and white and small touches of orange, yellow, red and gold.
Ronay has fabricated an entire artistic ecosystem within this space, symbiosis occurring through pattern, color, form and material, leaving the viewer spellbound. Shock and cynicism are replaced with a sense of wonder and discovery. Ronay’s elaborate costumes recall Nick Cave’s soundsuits, while the high level craft and detail in his installation reference the intensity of Saya Woolfalk’s utopian “No Place.” Yet with the combination his forest and shaman dances, this work of art transcends the novelty of their invention; it feels like an offering from the artist. Ronay becomes a kind of emissary, bringing awareness that there is much we have yet to conceive.
Ronay’s offering may serve a function similar to Achebe’s forest, a sublime place to take everything that is wrong in the world. The skeletal black and white motifs suggest the existence of a spiritual underpinning and it is through the artist’s obsessive creations and ritualistic performances that he conjures this realm to life.
Wendy Atwell received her M.A. in Art History and Criticism from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
José Manuel Ballester at Spanish Muse: A Contemporary Response
The Meadows Museum, Dallas
Through December 12
By Lisa Pon
José Manuel Ballester, El Jardín Deshabitado, 2008, Digital print on canvas, ed. 5 + 1AP. Courtesy of the artist and Distrito 4.
José Manuel Ballester has long been interested in deserted spaces, from his lithograph of an enormous vaulted airport terminal (Aeropuerto, 1993) to his photograph of an eerily unpopulated view of urban skyscrapers (Vista de Hong Kong, 2006). Given his early training as a restorer of Flemish and Italian paintings, it comes as no surprise that he’s also made museums his subject—not the teeming spaces of viewing captured by Thomas Struth (whose 2005 photos in front of Velázquez’s Las Meninas are also on exhibit in Spanish Muse), but an empty hallway filled with natural and artificial light in P.S. 1, or the galleries of the Rijksmuseum, shorn of artwork and public, while undergoing restoration in 2005. Ballester’s contribution to Spanish Muse at the Meadows Museum brings that emptiness into painting itself. El Jardin Deshabitado (2008) is a photograph of Hieronymus Bosch’s renowned triptych of c. 1500, now in the Prado Museum, The Garden of Earthly Delights—but in his version, the living creatures have been digitally removed.
Ballester’s photograph looks huge. Though it is roughly the same size as the Prado painting, the removal of Bosch’s dense population of human beings and oversized animals not only throws the backdrop into the limelight but also magnifies its expansiveness. The glowing green meadow around the circular pool in the central panel is littered with the accoutrements we remember being carried or used by Bosch’s figures—a bright red cherry impaled on an ivory spike, for instance, or a curled blue petal that had served as a saddle for a trio precariously balanced on a camel. The landscape of the left-hand panel (in Bosch’s triptych usually described as prelapsarian) is pristine, while the right-hand panel, devoid of Bosch’s impassive monsters and tortured humans, retains the tree-man, his eggshell body now empty of the nude figures Bosch had placed inside. The tree-man’s face, in Bosch’s painting often interpreted as a self-portrait of the painter and in Ballester’s work the last vestige of humanoid presence, peers out at the viewer with a curiously blank gaze.
Many motivations for Ballester’s overdetermined work were deeply personal—from the death of a friend, to a dream the artist had of running through an empty Prado Museum in his native Madrid, to his sense of being an artist “orphaned” and cut off from the great tradition of Old Master painting represented there. Yet he is not alone in his strategy of digitally depopulating master paintings. In 2006, British artist Nicky Coutts also made a series of digitally altered photographs. Titled Another Land, the works included three images after Bosch’s great triptychs: the Temptation of St. Anthony, the Last Judgment, and significantly, The Garden of Earthly Delights.
The differences between the Ballester’s Jardin Deshabitado and Coutts’ Another Land I are striking despite their common approach to The Garden of Earthly Delights. The desolation in Coutts’ garden is greater: its central meadow is left completely bare, and even the tree-man is removed, save for his empty supporting boats/shoes. After her digital interventions, Coutts’ landscape is printed as a black and white photograph. While its large scale—one-to-one with Bosch’s work—gives Another Land I a monumentality akin to the painted triptych, its black-and-white production and modernist presentation make reference to the photographic reproduction of an ever-growing corpus of artworks that André Malraux called the “museum without walls.” Mounted on aluminum and hung on the wall with spaces between the three panels, Coutts’ empty, black-and-white garden addresses the issue of photography’s relationships with Old Master painting. As Joseph Leo Koerner stated in the catalogue for Another Land, “To recognize the images in Coutts’ image is to experience the déjà vu of a masterpiece within a vast historical cascade of copies. The disappearance of the original’s figurative core dramatizes this distance from the source.”
Ballester, whose depopulated images draw almost exclusively on Old Master paintings in the Prado, retains the signposts of museological display and authority in his work. The black and gold frame, the museum label and even the white inventory numbers painted on the lower corners of the side panels of Bosch’s painting all reappear in El Jardin Deshabitado. As Francesco Calvo Serraller points out, in looking at Ballester’s work, we are asked to recall “the cultural institution as landscape, as our backdrop, as that which is behind us. In one way or another, the artists of our times have never forgotten this perspective, be it as a support or a hindrance.” For Ballester, self-proclaimed orphan-artist, the museum appears to be both.
Lisa Pon is an art historian and associate professor at Southern Methodist University.
Version 2.0 Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Practice
Creative Time Summit, Cooper Union, New York
October 9-10, 2010
By Rachel Cook
Institutions, W.A.G.E. Photo by Sam Horine. Courtesy Creative Time.
Version two “point 0” of the Creative Time Summit proved to raise just as many questions as it presented definitive statements. It provided a series of platforms for dialogue among artists, activists, theorists, curators, instigators, academics and assorted advocates for social change. In the first iteration, at the New York Public Library in 2009, it seemed like a one-day marathon of individual soap box presentations without structure or form. In this new and improved 2.0 version at Cooper Union’s Grand Hall, a keynote speaker was given 15 minutes to introduce a given panel topic within a theoretical landscape. A series of presenters—sometimes up to five—were then each allotted eight minutes to speak. The sessions culminated in a sprawling and unruly 30-minute discussion period, including questions from the live and online audience who were watching thanks to Creative Time’s technological partner, Live Stream. The result was something between a Slide Jam at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and a slowed-down Pecha Kucha evening.
Each thematic panel topic was titled with one-word signifiers—Markets, Schools, Food, Geographies, Governments, Institutions and Plausible Art Worlds. Some groupings were more dynamic than others, and here is where I would question the curatorial decisions of framing. For instance, it seemed bizarre to place Otabenga Jones & Associates in the Institution panel for their project at the Menil Collection, which I thought was better suited for the School panel because they created a classroom within the museum. Their collective mission is more about education and less about institutional critique, unless you are talking about the institution or construction of race, prejudice and culture. The fact that no one brought up the de Menils as individual activists, and how that may or may not be seen within the institution, was yet another glaring oversight on the part of the organizers.
The other problematic curatorial decision was that there were rarely any real points of contention among the panelists. In curator Nato Thompson’s opening remarks, he defines his task as trying to create a common language: “We can’t even argue yet because we don’t know what each other is saying, so this is one of the tasks […] that is, we are trying to put together something of a language around socially engaged aesthetic cultural production that has efficacy, and that audience and that community has not formed yet.”
Really, we don’t have a common language yet? Maybe the only thing we really need to be hashing out with language is clearly defining Activism and Public Practice in terms of a contemporary art context and practice. Looking back at Claire Bishop’s Scene & Herd Artforum Diary entry on last year’s event, she stated: “The summit was only an overview and did nothing to problematize ‘public practice’ as a direction in contemporary art. It assumed (along with many of the positions presented) that art as a discipline can and should be marshaled toward social justice.” Are we, as contemporary art workers, really responsible for creating an aesthetic practice around a call to arms for social justice?
In someone like Rick Lowe’s practice, who won the Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, social justice seems applicable. But even in his case, there are some slippery terms, because his aesthetic practice has now evolved into a full-fledged non-profit organization. Project Row Houses was founded in Houston’s Third Ward in 1993 and began as a series of shotgun houses that got turned into installation spaces. Seventeen years later, the organization has taken on so much more, including establishing low-income housing for single mothers, a park, community garden, health centers, a literary center and Labotanica, a performance art space. In this way, Lowe’s work (and Lowe as an individual) might be better described as that of a founder, mentor, urban planner, grassroots neighborhood organizer, activist, even arguably an instigator/curator type, than just a contemporary art practice. So, do we talk about this project within a contemporary art context, or do we talk about this project as one spearheaded by an artist who created an organizational structure that promotes and actually serves social justice? Should we discuss every non-profit that has been founded by an artist as part of their aesthetic practice?
In closing, I would agree with Bishop’s summary of last year’s event: “At its best, the ‘Revolutions’ summit offered an immensely valuable overview of a wide range of engaged practices otherwise lacking visibility in New York, while the discursive format provided an appropriate alternative to the exhibition as a means of presenting this often visually evasive work.” Maybe if you were doing curatorial research for an exhibition or project based on public practice or socially engaged work, then the Creative Summit would allow you access to a wide range of work in a short amount of time. In this way, it does allow individual practices to gain more visibility, but wouldn’t it be more provocative and focused if it were structured more like a thinktank situation? In the structure that exists now, the highlights of the presentations, as Bishop said, become more entertainment and affirmation rather than analysis and dissensus. I would prefer to see points of contention used within the curatorial decisions for inviting and structuring panels to create and provoke dialogue, even argumentation, so the audience does feel like it actually got somewhere.
A native of Houston, Texas, Rachel Cook is currently pursuing a Master's candidate at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
The Third Site of Land Art: Modes of Site
By Jennie Lamensdorf
Kathryn Hixson; Chuck Ramirez
We at Fluent Collaborative are sad to announce the passing of two art world figures this past week: Kathryn Hixson, an art critic and historian based in Chicago, and Chuck Ramirez, an artist based in San Antonio.
Release of the book, Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd
The Chinati Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of a new book featuring the first comprehensive overview of the museum’s history and collection. Edited and principally written by Chinati director Marianne Stockebrand, Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd describes how Donald Judd developed his ideas of the role of art and museums from the early 1960s onward, culminating in the creation of Chinati (and including its two predecessors—his building in New York and his residence in Marfa). The sumptuously illustrated book (with 149 color and 71 black-and-white illustrations), co-published by Chinati and Yale University Press, begins with an introductory essay surveying the history of Judd’s work in Marfa, then presents the individual installations at the museum in chronological order, with stunning photography.
For full description and more information, click here.
Visual Arts Center (Vaulted Gallery)
Opening Reception: Friday, January 28, 2011, 6–9 pm
During the course of this evolving on-site work, Amanda Ross-Ho will invite viewers to become participants in an ongoing examination of the boundaries of the white cube, the direct and indirect products of creative expression, and the connectivity of the visual world. Her site-specific installation will transform the Vaulted Gallery into an active worksite dedicated to producing three basic elements: blank stretched canvases, simple hand-built ceramic vessels, and handmade paper. Ross-Ho collapses the life cycle of the creative process through the performative act of embedding the gallery with the energy of production. The three manifestations of the ‘empty’ space produced—canvas, vessel, page—will create an environment that both formalizes the ability for massive potential and serves as witness to mass activity.
Visual Arts Center (The Arcade Gallery)
Opening Reception: Friday, January 28, 6–9 pm
The Daisy Argument by Houston-based artist Natasha Bowdoin is the third incarnation of a project that documents her transcription of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Over the past few years, Bowdoin has used language as an organic material to explore the unpredictable presence of words. Her site-specific installations are composed of an ever-changing number of components, including drawings and phrases carefully cut from paper that are re-appropriated with each new exhibition.
Visual Arts Center (Center Space Project)
Opening Reception and Poetry Reading: November 19, 6–9 pm
Anthropogenesis showcases the work of six contemporary artists who use animal imagery in ways ranging from exercises in draftsmanship to explorations of non-human consciousnesses. Jonathan Keats’ ballet for honeybees assumes an insect audience and performers. Jules Buck Jones’ new paintings of birds, reptiles and amphibians reference mankind’s taxonomic organization of animal species. Other artists, like Margot Holtman and Kelly Rae Burns, merge totemic human and animal forms, while others relate human and animal identities. Anthropogenesis considers animals and animal behavior as an artistic source.
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 4, 7-11pm
The installation will focus on the discrepancy between value and worth, taking into account labor and comfort as intrinsic components of monetary value. The exhibition features a bed, a dollar bill quilt setting, television, sound installation and the smell of money highlighting the creation of the quilt.
Women and Their Work
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 20, 7 - 9pm
Without ever revealing a face, photographer Lupita Murillo Tinnen creates powerful portraits of undocumented students. The obscured faces suggest the invisibility of their personal plight and the precariousness that their undocumented status creates. Using the students’ rooms as a lens to view their Americanized identities, Tinnen creates poignant images of lives constantly threatened by joblessness and deportation. Tinnen puts a human face on the statistics and titles each image with the student’s academic interest and the age they were brought to the U.S. This work is presented against the backdrop of pending legislation: the Development, Relief & Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act that would provide a pathway to citizenship.
Austin on View
Visual Arts Center (The Arcade Gallery)
Through December 18, Closing Reception: December 3, 6:30–9 pm
The Visual Arts Center is proud to present a solo exhibition of abstract, narrative and figurative paintings and mixed-media works by Anglo-Irish painter John Kingerlee, curated by UT alumnus William Zimmer. This survey of Kingerlee’s work includes paintings the artist executed after moving to the remote Beara Peninsula in southwest Ireland in the early 1980s.
Visual Arts Center (East and Mezzanine Galleries)
Through December 18
The VAC presents Combined: Department of Art and Art History Faculty Exhibition, featuring recent work by faculty artists in Studio Art, Art Education and Design from the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin. The exhibition will span both the East and Mezzanine Galleries to showcase a large number of works over a diverse range of themes and media that offer a rich survey of recent activity by the Department’s faculty artists.
Visual Arts Center (Vaulted Gallery)
Through December 18
Ry Rocklen’s installation of sculptures seeks to venerate the everyday materials and objects of the urban landscape, transporting an investigation of discarded domestic detritus into a constructed space of exaltation within the Vaulted Gallery. The marriage of traditional arts materials, such as highly polished tile and a patchwork floor quilt constructed from locally discarded pieces of used carpet, display his innate interest in geometry and the domestic space. The grouping of sculptures reflects Rocklen’s artistic processing of found components of the city, incorporating elements of Thai Buddhism and mystic rituals to explore our contemporary connection to commonplace objects.
For his Arthouse commission, New York-based artist Tony Feher has activated and transformed a typically overlooked architectural space - the void between the ceiling and supports - through a carefully considered deployment of everyday objects.
Through January 16, 2011
For his Arthouse commission, New York-based artist Jason Middlebrook transforms detritus from the building’s renovation into sculpture, dining furniture, and other functional objects, all of which combine to evoke the history of the Jones Center and its longstanding importance as a gathering place for the Austin community.
Through January 2, 2011
Also on view at Arthouse, Automythography II (2010). Enamel and glitter on paper. Located on the first floor gallery. Check out her interview with Wendy Vogel in this issue.
Through December 5
Continuing the Paris and Berlin-based artist’s longstanding exploration of the built environment, this non-narrative film focuses on Cancún’s anachronistic and decaying landscape as a symbolic site of memory and loss.
Through January 2, 2011
Commissioned specifically for Arthouse’s second floor video projection screen, Austin-based artist Ryan Hennessee has created a looping video animation that cleverly reimagines and collapses the past, present, and future of 700 Congress Avenue.
Through January 2, 2011
Close Caption, a witty video that addresses issues of language, translation, and mistranslation via DJ Kool’s song “Let Me Clear My Throat,” inaugurates Lift Project, a series of short video works shown in Arthouse’s new passenger elevator. Part of LIFT Projects, located in the elevator.
Through November 27
Sonya Berg's epic large-scale graphite and charcoal drawings and miature oil paintings depict swimming pools devoid of water alongside a maelstrom of gushing waterfalls.
Visual Arts Center (Center Space Project)
Through November 13
An exhibition of recent work by TJ Hunt and Landon O’Brien that examines what it means to self-identify as an artist in the current pluralistic artistic climate, questioning notions of originality and cultural value in a social economy that has largely lost confidence in the power of art as a vehicle to promote a message or enact change.
Through December 3
Hyde Park Apartments is a visual taxonomy of the Austin neighborhood and its various apartment complexes. In Wilson’s wry examination of our built environment, everyday photographs of slightly run down stucco and brick structures are paired with fanciful titles such as V.I.P, Spanish Trails and The Jacksonian. Inspired by Ed Ruscha, Joe Deal, and Bernt and Hilla Becher, the series records ongoing attempts to evoke the ideal through aggrandized nomenclatures.
Monster Show Five
Through December 2
Come celebrate some spooky in style with Domy's Monster Show Five. Here you can find a list of all the featuring artists.
d berman gallery
Through November 24
Malcolm Bucknall’s exquisitly rendered, whimsical paintings and drawings explore themes of magic and transformation. This exhibition presents new works depicting the curious animal-human creatures that he is known for, in addition to showcasing a new direction working with pop culture icons.
Through November 21
Paradise Has Relocated attempts to capture the lifeless remains and emptiness of a once thriving and historic island devastated by Hurricane Ike in September of 2008. Ike was the third most destructive and costliest hurricane to make landfall in the United States, destroying and flooding 75% of homes and landmass. The project deals with the physical dead space and ghostliness of Galveston- post hurricane. Each image whispers of an ordinary past lost to the ravages of Mother Nature. The everyday objects left behind in haste suggest former human inhabitation. The unoccupied landscapes, fractured structures and mundane interiors I have carefully composed compel the viewer to look beyond cultural stature and financial complexities, and question geographical location.
New Works: Okay Mountain
Austin Museum of Art
Through November 14
Check out Dan Boehl's review on the show.
San Antonio Openings
IAIR 10.3: Henning Bohl, Roy McMakin, Adam Schreiber
Opening Reception: November 18
Berlin-based artist Henning Bohl's work is an investigation of the language and structure of painting. He often pushes his vividly hued paintings into the realm of sculpture through collaging curled paper onto canvas or utilizing canvas supports in unconventional ways. Roy McMakin's woodwork defies categorization. His skillfully designed tables, chairs, and sofas fit as easily into a domestic space as they do into an art exhibition, and the degree of an object's functionality is often determined by the environment in which it resides. Adam Schreiber is an Austin-based photographer who mines the potential meanings of cultural artifacts and abandoned corporate spaces. Concerning his philosophy, Schreiber states that he is "more interested in how the medium of photography invents something than how it records something." Curated by Michael Darling.
Unit B Gallery
Opening Reception: Friday, November 19, 6:30-10pm
Unit B is pleased to present KUU, a group exhibition featuring recent works by Estonian artists, Juri Ojaver, Jaan Paavle, Paul Rodgers, and Jaan Toomik, organized by Riley Robinson (San Antonio, TX). The four artists working primarily in video and sculpture, have all in some way made observations on the change (or sometimes lack of change) to the Estonian psyche and society during recent years
San Antonio on View
Through January 2, 2011
Matthew Ronay's art occupies a space where illustration, tableau, sculpture, and installation all intersect in harmonious indifference to one another. Since 2004, his arrangements of discreet, colorful, mutated objects have evoked wild manifestations of surrealist imagination and hallucinogenic visions, with distended narratives designed to provoke or even outrage viewers through their irreconcilable compositions and outrageous imagery, such as drooping anuses skewered on a pole. Indeed, like Dada and Surrealist artists earlier in the 20th century and American Funk musicians of the 1970s, whose work employed metanarrative, metaphor, provocation, and fantasy as devices for addressing human behavior in times of social upheaval, Ronay's work has been a manifesto of the spirit, screaming back at us with pieces that suggest that fear, pain, and violence have replaced pleasure in a society increasingly indifferent to war and terrorism.
San Antonio Closings
Jung Hee Mun
Cactus Bra SPACE
Through November 21
The subject matter of Jung Hee Mun’s work tends to focus on the existential questioning of oneself. The “one” is the one who often encounters angst from everyday life, especially within a given sociological environment, and seeks emotional liberation through illusion. Mun believes that daydreaming in a banal state may have connections to one's subconscious desire for freedom from reality and is the source of a thousand stages of feeling experienced on a daily basis. The work in Confabulation deals with Leftover Feelings ("feelings that has no direct relationship to an actual event"). The leftover feeling may have deviated from a piece of memory, which she uses as a base to create her narrative imagery.
Through November 21
"The installation consists of a recreation of a work of art dating from the late twentieth century. The exhibition includes the evidence of my research, the materials used to recreate the object, and the documentation of the final re-representation. The object of the re-representation together with the evidence of the original serve as an open-ended analysis of authenticity, a question of manual-to-mechanical reproduction, and a test of the validity of both my simulation and the original. Primarily, the exhibition assumes a conceptual role of a postmodern critique of the modernist tenets of object making, the cult of originality, and the sanctity of artist's objects. Ultimately, these critiques, (at this point) being rooted in unoriginality, serve the purpose of testing their own validity."
What We're Up To
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 13, 7-9:30 pm
BOX13 ArtSpace is pleased to present What We’re Up To, the first ever exhibition featuring all of our resident artists. Seventeen artists will fill the BOX13 gallery spaces with new pieces they have been working on in their studios. This show will give viewers a chance to catch up with long time members and get acquainted with some new faces.
Houston on View
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Through January 23, 2011
Benjamin Patterson: Born in the State of FLUX/us is a retrospective of the artist’s career, which now spans nearly fifty years. Emerging in the early 1960s with work that fell under the rubric of Fluxus or Neo-Dada, Benjamin Patterson co-organized the first International Festival of New Music, which debuted at the Staatsmuseum in Wiesbaden in 1961. One of the last surviving members of that constellation of artists whose works were featured at the festival—John Cage, Dick Higgins, Emmett Williams, Philip Corner, David Tudor, and Nam June Paik, among others—Patterson helped to revolutionize the artistic landscape of the times and usher in an era of new and experimental music.
Emilio Perez and Myungjin Song
Through December 23
In More Reasons Than One, the intrigue of Emilio Perez' paintings lies in their ability to so successfully, and beautifully, contradict themselves. They are as flat as maps yet as voluminous as a volcanic plume; as still as stained glass yet as full of movement as churning river rapids; as exuberantly sensuous as a Baroque masterpiece yet as analytical and detached as a Lichtenstein brushstroke painting. Myungjin Song's solo show, Being in Folding, will be her first US gallery exhibition. Since earning her MFA from Hongik University in Seoul, Song has developed an immediately recognizable style of painting that combines ambiguous allegorical narrative with a tendency towards flatness and an obsession with chromium oxide green.
It's better to regret something you have done...
Through January 8, 2011
Art Palace presents, It's better to regret something you have done..., featuring the works of Jillian Conrad, Nathan Green, Kara Hearn, Jim Nolan, Linda Post and Barry Stone. While each artist explores an individual path with their work, together they create a shared dialogue around the punk rock sentiment that it's better to regret something that you have done than to regret something you haven't. The keen wit that unites these artists showcases the gallery's affinity for presenting unconventional work and sets the stage for the fresh perspectives and projects slated for the coming year.
Through December 11
Exactly five years ago, On October 30, 2005, Astroworld closed its gates for the last time; yet the Alpine Sleigh Ride, Le Taxi, Spinout, the Astrowheel, Astroneedle and the Lost World Adventure live on for the 50,000 Houstonians who visited the park on its opening weekend and the millions who followed them. Optical Project is commemorating this Houston landmark by presenting the park's original model, built in 1967 by Ed Henderson Productions. The model represents "The Wonderful World of Fun" as originally planned, with the attractions and rides in place for the grand opening of the park in June 1968. The model is based on the park layout designed by seminal theme park architect Randall Duell for Judge Roy Hofheinz, flamboyant developer of the Astrodomain. Henderson's model was used to help visualize the park's landscape during construction, and was then unveiled to the press in September of 1967 at Foley's Department Store. After the park's opening, the model resided in Hofheinz's private model room on the Astrodome's 9th level. When Astroworld was being dismantled in 2006, the model was found in a warehouse, sawn into six irregular pieces and covered in dirt. A friend alerted Henderson, and the model was returned to him. For this exhibition, Optical Project has dusted and re-assembled the model; we are looking for a buyer who has the resources to preserve and restore this bit of Houston history.
Through January 9, 2011
James Drake’s videos, drawings, sculptures, poetry, and installations reflect his understanding of Man’s place in nature and the presumptions and the psychological struggle that often result in tragedy. In his works of art, James Drake’s personal journey across the harsh desert of self-reflection reveals the starkness of the political and social unrest afflicting Man.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Through January 2
Berlin-based artist Kirsten Pieroth plays with the materials and histories of everyday objects—books, maps, bottles, maps, and furniture parts. Looking for loose connections and unexpected possibilities in and between commonplace things, she uncovers new opportunities for transformation and communication.
Through December 8, 2010
Pennsylvania-based artist and filmmaker Brent Green returns to DiverseWorks on November 5 with his latest work Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, a whimsical installation of video, sculpture and sound featuring an opening night performance by Green and his collaborator, musician Donna K. The exhibition, named after Green’s first feature length film, is inspired by the true story of Leonard Wood, an eccentric hardware store clerk from Louisville, Kentucky.
Through January 8
Weasel features work by Maurizio Cattelan, Mads Lynnerup, Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG, Jim Nolan, Brina Thurston, Karla Wozniak and Joe Zane. Curated by Kurt Mueller and Chelsea Beck.
Homage: Roy Fridge, Jim Love, David McManaway
Through November 27
A show honoring a few of the most influential figures in Texas contemporary art and beyond.
Through November 27
Multitasking, work by Al Souza.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Opening December 5
Erik Parker has described his work as “fragmented samples of our culture.” His complex fantasy portraits elicit the poignant, melancholy, grotesque, psychological, provocative, and almost always comical and surreal, baggage of our time.
Free Museum of Dallas
Opening Reception: November 5, 6-97pm
New York artist Bret Slater, earning his MFA at Southern Methodist University, works in a diverse range of pragmatic materials, including cardboard, dry wall, staples, screws, nails, and tape. Whether painting within the aesthetic parameters of manufactured items, reinforcing tape installations with industrial fasteners, or floating rugged cuts of drywall in front of its plastered-over brethren, Slater’s work is a first responder to the language of functionality.
Dallas on View
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Through January 2, 2011
Vernon Fisher: K-Mart Conceptualism is a survey of the artist’s entire career to date, incorporating paintings, sculptures, and installations from the late 1970s to the present, from both public and private collections in the United States and Europe.
Holly Johnson Gallery
Through December 18
Garland Fielder’s work is meticulously crafted invoking a minimalist tradition. Keeping the palette to a minimum of elements and colors, his methodology is elegant and refined. His art explores mathematical and geometric principles and is primarily concerned with the optical decision making process. The extraction of line and the flattening out of structural elements are ways in which he plays with the phenomenology of formal expectation. The exhibition, Modulations, is inspired by this formal play between both two and three dimensionality.
Liz Ward and Susie Rosmarin
Dunn and Brown Contemporary
Through December 18
Dunn and Brown Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening of Liz Ward, Deep Time, and Susie Rosmarin, New Work.
Jules Buck Jones, W. Tucker, and Christopher Blay
Through November 13
Conduit Gallery exhibits work from three Texas artists. For Jules Buck Jones’ second one-person exhibition at Conduit Gallery, the Austin artist draws inspiration for the drawings and sculpture directly from his 2009 residency in Everglades National Park in Florida’s southern swamp region. Austin based artist W. Tucker’s drawings tell two stories; one is of the materials he works on, found materials such as book covers, slatted wood blinds, drawer fronts and wood and the idiosyncratic cast of characters he draws on these materials. Part site-specific sculptural installation, part performance and part relational art, Fort Worth artist Christopher Blay will present, Time Machine Beta, rare opportunity for gallery visitors to travel through time into the past, present or future.
Marty Walker Gallery
Through November 13
Marty Walker Gallery presents new sculptural constructions by gallery artist Tom Orr. Using industrial materials such as wood, metal, mirrors, and greenhouse glazing, Orr experiments with visual trickery of pattern, line, texture, and form as influenced by Conceptualism and Op Art movements. With strict deliberation and simplicity in assembly, Orr's installations evoke transcendent qualities of shadow and light, often employing subtle moiré effect of shifting lines and reflections.
Indig-Nation: Agency and the Hegemonic State Exhibition
Visual Arts Building, UTD
Through November 27
Indig-Nation: Agency and the Hegemonic State is an exhibition of photography, video, and installation art, which interrogates the diminution of individual political agency in the age of the authoritarian corporate and national state. Artists include but are not limited to Gabriel Dawe, Hugo Urrutia, Mona Kasra, Greg Metz, and Trent Straughan. Curated by Charissa N. Terranova, PhD.
Marfa on View
Through February 20, 2011
Ballroom Marfa is pleased to announce the opening of Immaterial, an exhibition that will focus on the physical and psychic tensions between form, color, and space across varied visual and structural mediums. Curated by Executive Director Fairfax Dorn, the exhibition seeks to examine the metaphysical aspects of artistic production through a selection of artworks that challenge the use of material and space, formalism and abstraction. By using the exhibition as a forum to contemplate process-driven practices, Immaterial will consider art's potential to transcend conscious states through a plurality of visual languages.
Artist Talk and Screening: Walead Beshty and Dawn of the Dead
Blanton Museum of Art
Thursday, November 18, 2010, 7pm
Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty gives a talk on George Romero’s cult classic Dawn of the Dead. Starting with his Dead Mall series, Beshty has been photographing abandoned locales like the deserted Iraqi mission in East Berlin and vacant shopping centers, places he calls “our modern ruins." The talk will be followed by a screening of the film.
Sound + Vision: Air Jordan (Hair Gorgon, Heir Gordon) and Magic Jewels
Visual Arts Center (The Arcade Gallery)
Friday, November 12, 7 – 9 pm
Complementing the Center Space exhibition Losing Faith, the Visual Arts Center invites you to re-examine the typical rock music experience. Join us as two bands comprised of musicians and visual artists conduct an electrical investigation into the creative unknown. Air Jordan (Hair Gorgon, Heir Gordon) is a one-man, two-piece rock and bowl outfit that rips and rolls through an endless visual sound-scape of strange, yet familiar brain terrain. Magic Jewels is a two-piece guitar and drums psychedelic punk rock kick flip dive into the alter verse.
Panel Talk: American DREAM
Women and Their Work
Wednesday, December 1, 7pm
Women and Their Work's new Panel Talks series of events, this one in conjunction with the work of Lupita Murillo Tinnen. Panelists include: Lupita Murillo Tinnen, Artist; Ramiro Luna, Dallas DREAM activist; Terri Givens, Associate Professor of Government, UT Austin: and Barbara Hines, Professor and Co-director of the Immigration Clinic at the School of Law, UT Austin. The panel will examine this contentious issue and the unique barriers faced by these young students.
Eye's Got It!
Friday, November 19, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Eyes Got It! is an open call art competition inspired by Bravo’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist and other arts based, reality-TV game shows. In contrast to traditional juried call for entries, the panel of local arts professionals will conduct their review process in front of a public audience and after 3 rounds of elimination will award one artist a solo exhibition at Pump Project Art Complex in early 2011. Through this public critique and its subsequent exhibition, ‘Bout What I Sees seeks to demystify the juried show process, illuminate critical reviews and attract attention to artists within the Austin community. Panel of Judges include: Sterling Allen, Rachel Koper, Risa Puleo. Check out more info on this amazingly unique event.
Andy Rihn: The Tiger's Last Toothball
Wednesday, November 10 & 13, 8pm
Monofonus celebrates the long-awaited release of Andy Rihn's first book, The Tiger's Last Tooth, with two-day installation/party The Tiger's Last Toothball. At 8pm on November 10 and 13, Rihn will be transforming the Monofonus compound into a multilevel, multimedia environment, and we'll be throwing a party there. Admission is either $5 or a hammer and a promise (seriously) and includes a free book, CD, tattoos, breadsnakes, and libations. The Tiger's Last Tooth is available to read in its entirety, here.
Free School for the Arts & Potluck with PLAND
Saturday, November 13, 12:30-2:30pm
Bring your favorite fall dish to share, as well as plate, bowl, cup and utensils. Join PLAND for a shared meal and experimental dish-washing workshop focused on actively rethinking the power grid and living with limited resources. Learn about PLAND’s unique approach to residency programming, sustainability, and alternative community building.
Monday, November 15, 11-2pm
PLAND will collaborate with UH Mitchell Center "Art & Activism" IART Program students to create a tour of Houston “re-use” that includes repurposed buildings, reclaimed structures, re-imagined sites, recycled materials, and other forms of re-use. Students will act as tour guides as PLAND founders respond with a group discussion about environment and landscape, determined use value, capital/currency/exchange, social change, direct action, and rural vs urban agricultural practices.
Houston Cinema Arts Festival
Houston Cinema Arts Society
Cinema Arts Festival Houston is the only U.S. festival devoted to films by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts. The 2010 Cinema Arts Festival Houston program involves a collaboration among many of Houston’s extraordinary film and arts institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Menil Collection; and many others. It is more than just a film festival; it is a vibrant multimedia arts event that breaks out of the confines of the movie theater through live music and film performances, outdoor projections, and more.
Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas: CADD BUS TOUR #2
Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas
Saturday, November 13, 10am-3pm
Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas announce CADD BUS TOUR #2 on Saturday, November 13th, 2010 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Your tour guide for the day is Patricia Meadows and boxed lunch is provided by Wendy Krispin Caterer. You will begin your day promptly at 10:00 a.m. at Craighead Green Gallery, 1011 Dragon Street in the Design District. Craighead Green Gallery will feature glass artist Pearl Dick, photographer, Kenda North and painter, Jeanie Gooden. Guests will park and begin the tour at Craighead Green Gallery. Your next stop will be at the art studio of Marla Ziegler in Oak Cliff; followed by a stop at 500X near Fair Park, featuring the work of Nate Glaspie and Tiffany Wolf in the main galleries, and Matt Clark and Thomas Feulmer in the project spaces, then downtown to stop #4 at the law firm of Stutzman, Bromberg, Esserman & Plifka (Collection tour given by John Reoch), and your last stop will be at Holly Johnson Gallery featuring the recent paintings and sculpture of Garland Fielder. The bus will deliver guests back to Craighead Green Gallery after the final stop to retrieve their cars.
Call for Entries
17th SESC_Videobrasil Art Festival
Universe in Universe
Deadline: March 10, 2011
The 17th International Contemporary Art Festival SESC_Videobrasil will be held in September and October 2011. As suggested by its new name, a deep, intense model shift marks this edition when compared to previous ones. Aligned with the nature of contemporary artistic practices, the new competitive exhibition expands its ability to soak in diverse manifestations, such as video, installations, performances, book-objects, and other artistic experiments. For more information and how to apply, click here.
Call for Woodworkers
Roy McMakin's Community Collaboration Project as part of Artpace's IAIR Program
Deadline: November 12
As part of his residency at Artpace this fall, Roy McMakin has designed a group of tables that he is inviting woodworkers, both amateur and professional, to fabricate and sell. People may choose to build one or more of the tables, which are to be finished in time for display and sale at Artpace by November 12. A 40% share of the proceeds from each sale will go to benefit Artpace’s residency program; the remaining funds will go to each of the participating woodworkers. Please contact email@example.com for Collaboration Project Guide and more information.
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts Curatorial Fellowship
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
Deadline: November 22
The successful candidates will work full-time at MoCADA from February 2011 to February 2012. With the guidance of the Exhibitions Director, the fellows will be led through the process of developing an exhibition idea into an exhibition proposal, and the realization of the exhibition proposal in a gallery space. Applicants must have a minimum of a BA or BFA in Art History, Studio Art, or other related field with a specialized interest in African/African American/African Diasporan visual arts. MA or MFA preferred, but not required. For application Guidelines and more information, please click here.
2011 Hunting Art Prize
Hunting Art Prize
Deadline: November 30
The Hunting Art Prize, which is sponsored by the international oil services company Hunting PLC, is a Texas-wide competition open to established artists, talented newcomers and promising amateurs. The $50,000 award is the most generous annual art prize given in North America for painting and drawing.
John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Residency
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2011
Arts/Industry is undoubtedly the most unusual on-going collaboration between art and industry in the United States. Hundreds of emerging and established visual artists have benefited from the Arts/Industry program at Kohler Co. since its inception in 1974. Participants are exposed to a body of technical knowledge that enables them to explore forms and concepts not possible in their own studios as well as new ways of thinking and working. Artists-in-residence may work in the Kohler Co. Pottery, Iron and Brass Foundries, and Enamel Shop to develop a wide variety of work in clay, enameled cast iron, and brass including but not limited to murals and reliefs, temporary or permanent site-specific installations, and functional and sculptural forms. For more information and to apply, click here.
Elsewhere Collaborative Residency
Deadline: December 1
Elsewhere invites creative individuals in all disciplines and from all walks of life to join us in building a living museum from a former thrift store that contains a 58-year collection of objects and materials. These objects and materials, as well as the space itself, comprise the permanent but evolving environment wherein residents create their work. Our residency and fellowship programs are very unique in both their demands and their rewards. Click here for more information and how to apply.
Chairperson of Film/Video for the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute
The newly re-organized Department of Film/Video at Pratt Institute seeks exceptional applicants for the position of Chairperson. The ideal candidate will bring the vision and experience necessary to assume the academic and administrative leadership of the department and build upon the current BFA program. The Department is located on Pratt's historic 25-acre Brooklyn campus in the culturally diverse neighborhood of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. This administrative appointment carries a twelve-month per year workload and a three-year contract that may be renewed. The responsibilities of the chair will include: oversight of budget and course scheduling; curriculum development, program reviews and assessment; recruitment of faculty and students; participation in fundraising and development; and establishment of linkages with relevant professional organizations and leading practitioners.
To Apply: Review of applications will continue until position is filled. Please submit your cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information for three professional references electronically to:
Chairperson Search Committee: Film/Video
FVChair@pratt.edu – Use subject line A&D Film/ Video Chair
Call for Applicants
Duke University Experimental and Documentary Arts MFA
Priority Deadline: January 30, 2011
Duke University welcomes applications to its MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts (MFAEDA), a new program and the first-ever Master of Fine Arts at the university. For the inaugural class of Fall 2011, applications will be accepted until all spaces are filled, with priority given to those candidates applying by January 30, 2011. The MFAEDA is a unique initiative that couples experimental visual practice with the documentary arts in a rigorous two-year program. Building on the University’s existing strengths in historical, theoretical and technological scholarship, the MFAEDA offers a distinct learning environment that sees interdisciplinary education as a benchmark for innovation. The program’s curriculum blends studio practice, fieldwork, digital media authorship, and critical theory, culminating in the completion of a thesis paper and an MFA exhibition. The central home of the program is The Carpentry Shop, a state-of-the-art facility in a former industrial building that once housed the university’s carpenters and cabinet-makers. Please click here to apply.