Grand Masters, Painter’s Progress: A trio of shows spotlight Texans who are literally as good as you can get. Whitney Biennial 2000–exhibited Al Souza solos at long-time dealer Moody Gallery with a new series that departs from puzzle works towards enigmatic dimensions involving bookplates and more (through May 26) ... At New Gallery/Thom Andriola, Earl Staley has risen like a phoenix, presenting canvases both past and present (through May 15). Is there another better colorist in this town? ... The mighty H.J. Bott continues his 40th anniversary DoV party (Displacement of Volume, that is), fresh from a Blue Star exhibition in San Antonio, before he travels to Galveston Arts Center in June. The geometric obsessive alights at principal dealer Anya Tish Gallery (May 12 – June 9). When are we going to see a museum show for one of our own? For decades, Bott has been light years ahead with his robots, soft sculptures, yarn installations — including a fantastic environment for Project Row Houses that earned him an ArtLies cover — and the endless perambulations of the DoV. CAMH, please! Now’s the time ... Contemplate the glories of Jerusalem in Barbara Hines’ sensitive, color-suffused canvases that capture its expansive light and spiritual power (Meredith Long & Company, opening May 10) ... We’ll also be checking out Meredith Pardue’s abstractions at Laura Rathe Fine Art, which subtly record nature through oil, oil crayon, charcoal and mysterious debris expansively applied to canvas (through May).
Yellow Blossoms and More: Art prince Lester Marks adds another Warhol to his trove: a classic yellow flower canvas from 1964. I can’t wait to attend the next Marks Collection art party and visit it ... Speaking of winsome, “Paper Dolls” is the theme for a one-night-only Mo Mong happening organized by photogs Debbie Porter and Brent Bruni Comiskey, with Zoe Jackson-Jarra’s ab-fab Fashion Plate threads on the impromptu runway. Deets are still coming together, but the Tuesday, May 15, happening, which benefits Spring Branch arts and education nonprofit Newspring promises to be fab and fun.
Hot, hot, hot: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts teams with Aurora Picture Show and DiverseWorks to literally and metaphorically traverse the landscape via a thrilling weekend of music, alfresco dance and cinema that addresses culture and Houston history. Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Project Row Houses and Uptown Houston have gotten on board as hosts for the event, dubbed “Insight/Out” (Saturday – Sunday, May 19 – 20; mitchellcenterforarts.org). I’ll meet you at Stephan Koplowitz’s multimedia performance by the Williams Tower Waterwall.
Bookin It: One of the most powerful, haunting essays we’ve ever read is Vance Muse’s contribution to the just-released The Texas Book Two. His reminiscence about attending UT back in the ‘70s offers a profound coming-of-age/coming-out tale (UT Press, March 2012, $34.95, through Brazos Bookstore, area booksellers and amazon.com). Muse’s day job is communications director at The Menil Collection, where he’s orchestrating press for the museum’s upcoming quarter-century celebrations.
H.J. Bott’s Beyonbar Symmetry, 2012, at Anya Tish Gallery
Earl Staley’s The Leap, 2012, at New Gallery/Thom Andriola