Lawndale’s Big Show has been the first line item on many a Houston artist’s resume. It’s the one time every year that Lawndale sets aside its curatorial authority in the name of supporting the community with a big ol’ enveloping-and-not-too-particular bear hug. The idea is that the quantity over quality approach will hopefully give a boost to some good artists who are just starting out–and to be fair, many of the past prize winners include some of Houston’s best artists. So it’s kind of unsporting to pick on it. But damnit, can’t this show be any better? The unavoidable truth is that when you go, you expect the quality to be mixed, to put it charitably. You just hope that too many dabblers and high school seniors who need to find something else to do with their lives didn’t make it in, and that there will be a couple of decent showings from young artists who might have potential. And that’s pretty much what this year’s show delivers. Here’s a sampling:
Is artist Geneva Gordon making a spanglish joke (Spanish speakers put an E before words starting with S, as in "espaghetti"), or is she commanding a stop to the electronic madness, (a la "e-commerce" or "e-tail")? Hopefully it’s… probably the former?
(This photo doesn’t do a good job showing how the blobs of color hover over each other and move as you walk past.)
Hard to say what was going on with this piece, beyond the obvious: an old dude who’s given up on inhibition posing with whatever audience member sticks his/her head through the bikini babe carnival plywood. Will the gent be on view during the run of the show, a la the go-go dancer in the Felix Gonzalez-Torres piece at the Menil Collection a while back??? You’ll have to visit Lawndale to know for sure!!!!
Speaking of exposed flesh, there’s a lot of it on view. What is it with the soft porn (all women, no men)? Maybe when the going gets tough, the tough reach for the boobage. One example subtly makes the connection between porn and the internet:
There’s more Art Houston to come, all weekend long!!!
also by Rainey Knudson
- As Moths to the Light: Pipilotti Rist at the MFAH - June 18th, 2017
- This and That: Andy Warhol / Tiger Woods - June 5th, 2017
- Why We Need Boring Old Textile Shows Now More Than Ever - May 21st, 2017
- Autumn Knight: Directions to Prairie View - May 8th, 2017
- Ron Hoover: Modern Business Shadows - April 2nd, 2017