Here Come the Eccentrics: First up, we toast those who defy a label or easy speculation. How to categorize the hermetic, visionary but decidedly non-naive talent Forrest Bess (1911 – 1977)? His “Seeing Things Invisible” at The Menil Collection, organized by Clare Elliott with an archival intervention by like-minded artist Robert Gober, is as good as it gets. See why the Bay City abstract painter who eked out a living as a fisherman was able to break into the ranks of powerhouse NYC gallerist Betty Parson, where his tiny abstractions held their own in her stable with Pollock and Rothko (through August 18) … We’ve always been impressed by eccentrics of our own time, beginning with Lubbock-based painter of the plains Jeffrey Wheeler, who was recently awarded a Dozier Travel Grant from the Dallas Museum of Art. Wheeler, one half of The Wheeler Brothers, returns to G Gallery in a solo organized by the G’s director Diane Barber. Barber tells us that the pop prognosticator has so many works that the final weekend of the show is actually part two of his exhibition (June 1 – 30) … Then there’s Patrick Turk, a Round Seven Lawndale Art Center’s artist-in-residence. We think of him as a New Victorian, so obsessive is his fixation with collage making, the phylum of the flora and fauna realm, old natural history volumes and the concept of The Superorganism, all glammed up with enhancement of hundreds of crystal rhinestones (through June 15) … Blaffer Art Museum mounts the wild installations of Andy Coolquitt, which often resemble a bull in a secondhand shop, as was the case in his site-specific creation for the inaugural Texas Contemporary Art Fair in 2011; the Blaffer’s Claudia Schmuckli organizes the Austin-based sculptor’s first-ever museum show (complete with a hefty catalog, through August 17) … Catch the final weeks of photogs Lester Marks, Allen Bianchi (best known as architect) and Mary Ann Strandel at Deborah Colton Gallery. Marks and Bianchi serve up fresh takes on futuristic abstractions, while Strandell explores circa-1960s department stores via lenticular prints (all through July 6). Also, don’t miss Hiram Butler Gallery’s view for Terrell James, whose epic pair of scroll-like abstractions depict a maritime forest in North Carolina while recalling the grand tradition of Chinese landscape painting (through June 29) … Speaking of landscape, the master is William Anzalone, whose decades long love affair with the country ‘round Round Top continues in his current one-person at Red & White Gallery in Fayetteville (through June 15) … Also unexpected, but closer to home, is Uptown Park’s contest for emerging photographers at BB1 Classic (June 20 – July 3: reception Thursday, June 20, 6 to 8 pm) with the winner celebrated at the European-styled shopping center’s marquee (through June).
New and Notable: On Colquitt, collector and biz woman Nicole Longnecker takes over the former Goldesberry space with her eponymous new gallery; her season opener showcases Houston man of metal Devon Moore (June 1 – July 6) … On West Alabama, we have the arrival of photo space D.Pict, showing Dixie Messner’s views of Paris (through July 12), as well as the recently minted BlueOrange at 1208 West Gray, owned by siblings Jacob Spacek and Megan Spacek, who roll out Ben Mata’s adroit minimalist paintings, executed on aluminum panels employing oil and power tools (through June 15) … Stay tuned for game-changing news of Kerry Inman’s next big adventure: adding a new building to her roster while continuing in her expansive Isabella Court digs, where she is the anchor and founding dealer for the entire Isabella lineup.
Just in: Brasil’s Dan Fergus downsizes Domy Books and moves it to the spot once occupied by Raye to make room for a new gallery. The enticing venture, with cohorts Cody Ledvina of The Joanna and filmmaker Patrick Bresnan, returns Domy’s original locale to its glory days as an art space.
The Last Word: ArtHouston is undergoing a revamp led by Harris Gallery’s Mariah Rockefeller and Sarah Beth Wilson, recently of William Reaves Fine Art. They’ll continue the summertime tradition of a citywide open house hosted by our premier gallerists, but tweak it by adding food trucks, a DJ and some soon-to-be-revealed happenings. PaperCity again serves as media sponsor for the dual nights and one day of openings, Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13. Peruse these pages next month for our top ArtHouston picks.