Art Notes

Houston Art News for January 2013

Catherine D. Anspon
Posted:
January 15, 2013

Ten to see in ’13. At the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Valerie Cassel Oliver’s adroit curation of “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art” culls more than three dozen provocateurs across three generations, from Benjamin Patterson to Houston’s own two-time Whitney Biennial talent, Trenton Doyle Hancock, who reprises his 1998 “Mound” performance of Off-Colored at the CAMH on Thursday, January 31, at 6:30 pm (gratis; watch out for Hancock in a high chair, as well as reportedly partaking of Jell-O while spewing balloons out the back end; through February 15). We’re also enamored of feminist statements by ahead-of-their-time Adrian Piper and Lorraine O’Grady, as well as the Gothic futurism costuming of Basquiat pal Rammellzee. In an era of the commodification of art and artists, this is a refreshing, significant return to art taking a stance … In the same direction, Jennifer Ward organizes a peek into the politics of the border at FotoFest in “Crónicas,” a searing examination of six Mexican artists probing the drug war through their lenses. It’s not for the faint of heart (January 17 – February 23) … Leap into pure painting with Laura Rathe Fine Art’s dual survey for ab-ex master Tony Magar, paired with Houston’s own Mel DeWees in a lively intergenerational dialogue (January 12 – February 9) … International it-girl Mie Olise, who is already collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, returns to town for a solo at Barbara Davis Gallery. Discover the Scandinavian painter’s interweaving of memory, myth and architecture in “Crystal Bites of Dust (January 11 – March 9) … Another international it-girl, Weihong, returns home to reprise her tea ceremony, which has been enjoyed by everyone from Walters Hopps and Giorgio Armani to yours truly. Now it’s performed at Houston Arts Alliance’s gallery (through January 20; call for your own teatime, 832.660.3243) … Zoya Tommy’s rise as a dealer and her move to 4411 Montrose offer a game-changing gallery story (watch these pages for a profile this spring). At her new PG Contemporary space this month, catch Japanese painting/performance master Ushio Shinohara, concurrent with his inclusion in the major MoMA group show about the post-war Tokyo avant-garde; this may be one of the most significant views of the spring season (opening January 11). Meanwhile, Tommy says goodbye with an overlapping exhibition at her Milam digs for the controversial, talented Devon Britt-Darby (former Chronicle art scribe and a personal frenemy), whose amalgamation of painting and photography are risqué, tantalizing and fresh (opening January 12). We also have Britt-Darby on our sights for when he opens later this month at Avis Frank in a Tim Gonzalez-curated group view (January 25 – February 20) … Over on the East Side, Box13 always has something interested to say, with San Antonio visualists presented in a group tête -à-tête of import (January 12 – 16). While you’re in the ‘hood, head over to say hi to Randall Kallinen, a crusading civil rights attorney whose entry into the Houston art world as painter, performance artist, personality and gallerist of Kallinen Contemporary is one of our fave stories from 2012. (Randy, thanks for my sweet roll hat). Onward.

 

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