It’s a Texas Fall: Our fave shows involve the hometown team. Jump into the season with openings for McKay Otto at Nave Museum and Michael Bise at Moody Gallery, September 6 and 7, respectively. Both border on the extraordinary. Bise’s drawings are more than graphite on paper; they’re informed by personal history and, the true-life tale of this heart-transplant recipient (through October 12). Down Victoria way, Otto’s solo at the Nave, “Ever About Ever,” presents a view of abstraction that recalls time and space travel while conjuring elements from the I Ching (through October 20) … Also edged with cosmological questions, Susan Plum takes over Houston Baptist University Gallery with Naturaleza Oculta — Hidden Nature, an installation pairing drawing, sculpture, assemblage and glass in a hermetic, hypnotic recreation of the universe informed by the Mayan calendar and the stars; director Jim Edwards curates (opening September 12, 4 to 7 pm; special community opening Saturday, September 14, 1 to 4 pm, with artist talk and bites; through October 26) … Then there’s Katrina Moorhead, whose solo at Inman Gallery possesses a deft touch informed by a dose of surrealism — “The bird than never landscape” (September 6 – October 26).
Biennial or Bust: Make tracks to Lawndale Art Center for the latest iteration of the Texas Biennial. Toasting its fifth year and its status as the longest-running statewide biennial in America, exhibitions range from Dallas to San Antonio, Austin to Marfa and, in Houston, at LAC. L.A.-based critic Michael Duncan joins Texas and NY-based curator Virginia Rutledge in organizing the Lawndale show: works by statewide talents Christie Blizard, Marcelyn McNeil, Tom Orr and Brad Tucker. Pay attention to Houston painter McNeil’s languorous language of abstraction (through September 28).
Painter’s Progress/Video Rama: At Barbara Davis Gallery, Gavin Perry’s succulent resin works hover between panting and sculpture, with the swagger of Miami cool (September 6 – October 18) … Video mistress Swiss miss Katja Loher solos at Anya Tish Gallery (September 6 – October 19).
Traffic Stopping: Motorists are rubber-necking once again along Montrose near Art League Houston, admiring a temporary site-specific piece by Patrick Renner (through May 2014). The energetic Funnel Tunnel required dozens of volunteers for the final painting stages … Catch Dan Havel’s first show in seven years, complete with some of the artist’s signature architectural installations, at his new gallerist, Avis Frank, which continues to do wondrous things in the former 1927 Humble Gas station/later King Biscuit in the Heights (September 6 – October 1) … It’s art in the service of activism. Watch for billboards around town by Jessica Crute, part of the season-opening group show at Deborah Colton Gallery (September 7 – October 19; be there when Crute stages the inaugural Art + Advocacy fund-raiser Saturday, September 28, to raise money for two nonprofits, which serve the homeless) … Checked our blogs lately? FRAMED (every Tuesday) and Artful Weekend (Fridays); for more art musing, follow us on Twitter, @PaperCityCA.