An Edifice to Adickes

Huntsville or Bust

Catherine D. Anspon
October 01, 2013

Think you know artist David Adickes, the Houston-based king of the mammoth presidential busts? Think again. One of the most successful of our post-war painters, Adickes flourished in the boom era of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, where his brand of Texas cubism meets School of Paris was among the biggest sellers at James Bute Gallery, then later DuBose Gallery. Every other home in River Oaks boasted a canvas bearing one of his attenuated figures, combining touches of Picasso with the attitude of a Utrillo. Flash forward 50 years, and he’s everywhere this fall. We’ve personally made the trek to his new eponymous museum in Huntsville, Texas, where he’s transformed his alma mater — the Huntsville High School, erected in 1931, a patrician brick-and-stone Georgian-style edifice — into his signature showcase. Six decades of works, with a focus on paintings, are on view, filling 15,000 square feet of the 80,000-square-foot building, including the gym (by appointment; next show this October). Adickes can also be seen in our town at the newly minted Esperson Gallery downtown in a career-spanning solo intriguingly titled “Love Street Light Circus” (September 11 – October 10). And finally, when you roll off the I-10 exit ramp heading east at Heights/Yale, watch for Adickes’ larger-than-life signage with the uplifting message “We Heart Houston,” located on land he owns. David Adickes Museum, 710 University Ave., Huntsville, 713.412.1771; Esperson Gallery, Mellie Esperson Building, 808 Travis, Suite 125; check Facebook page for updates.