The Texas Contemporary Fair in 48 Photos

The Texas Contemporary Art Fair was a pleasant experience. The Oct. 10-13 fair had a lot of strong work and looked good. There wasn’t really any jaw-droppingly bad stuff included (as opposed to the recent Houston Fine Art Fair.) It certainly wasn’t crap-free, but the worst I saw was art whose crimes were of a superficial, interior designer-pleasing nature.

I didn’t see everything, but this was probably the worst piece I saw at the whole fair. Carole Feuerman does all these irony-free casts of attractive, scantily clad women. I think you can buy them in different bathing suit colors.

Carole Feuerman's meditation on meditation

Carole Feuerman’s meditation on meditation

I’m guessing the swim caps are because you can’t cast hair. It’s slick, Duane-Hanson-manqué art for rich people to decorate their pools. Unsurprisingly, it’s sold by a Beverly Hills gallery and produced by a 60-something artist who appears slightly less lifelike than her sculptures.

Which is made of resin???

Which is made of resin??? (image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

One gallerist I spoke with was pleased with the fair overall but did observe a certain sameness to everything—quality work that seemed somewhat homogenized. I could see his point but we wondered if that sameness was because of the kinds of galleries selected or because of that’s just what the art world looks like these days?

If it is, there must be a lot of stripes out there…

Rob Reasoner's stripes at McClain Gallery

Rob Reasoner’s stripes at McClain Gallery

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Markus Linnenbrink’s stripes at Patricia Sweetow Gallery

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Cathy Choi’s stripes at the Margaret Thatcher Projects, NY booth

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Heidi Spector’s stripes at the Margaret Thatcher Projects, NY booth

I actually really like stripe painting and seeing how different the same thing can be—poured, dripped, taped, matte, shiny, but seeing so much of it in one place kinda makes you wonder.

This was the fair that the Houston galleries flocked to and they made a good showing. Here’s some of what they brought:

In addition to Rob Reasoner’s stripes, McClain Galllery brought Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher‘s Bellows, 2013. Push the red button and you activate live video and accordion sounds. (Much more haunting and lovely than my description. )

Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher's "Bellows" 2013

Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher’s “Bellows,” 2013

Texas Gallery brought in a great piece by Susie Rosmarin. Stunning, yet optically painful!

Susie Rosmarin's "Blue Green Violet #9," 2012 at the Texas Gallery booth

Susie Rosmarin’s “Blue Green Violet #9,” 2012, at the Texas Gallery booth

Barbara Davis Gallery had a nice booth as well. This is another shitty iPhone photo but Jay Shin had some lovely drawings on layers of translucent vellum.

Jay Shin at the Barbara Davis Gallery booth

Jay Shin at the Barbara Davis Gallery booth

Gavin Perry’s stripes were interrupted by color-saturated pools of resin.

Gavin Perry's Khanate at the Barbara Davis Gallery booth.

Gavin Perry’s “Khanate” at the Barbara Davis Gallery booth.

Sicardi Gallery brought Mariano Dal Verme‘s works using tiny pieces of graphite…

Mariano Dal Verme at Sicardi Gallery booth

Mariano Dal Verme at Sicardi Gallery booth

and Gabriel de la Mora‘s oddly elegant drawings with hair. The “ick” factor probably varies with the individual viewer…

Gabriel de la Mora at the Sicardi Gallery booth

Gabriel de la Mora at the Sicardi Gallery booth

Inman Gallery brought a whole room of Brad Tucker including these goofy-ass TV-tray-looking things. Tucker crafts objects that seem like vaguely recognizable mutations of the ordinary.

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Brad Tucker at the Inman Gallery booth

Inman also brought some quiet and small-scaled work by Yuko Murata.

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Yuko Murata at the Inman Gallery booth

Devin Borden Gallery featured Geoff Hippenstiel‘s baroque impasto skulls.

Geoff Hippenstiel at the Devin Borden Gallery booth

Geoff Hippenstiel at the Devin Borden Gallery booth

 

David Shelton Gallery brought these  paintings by Cheryl Donegan that seem to be made from fabric and Mod Podge (???). They’re pretty great with a grease-stained tablecloth vibe. You may remember Donegan from her widely publicized “milk” video in the 90s.

Cheryl Donegan at the David Shelton Gallery booth

Cheryl Donegan at the David Shelton Gallery booth

Margaret Meehan also had work on view, including this strangely poignant charred-looking object.

Margaret Meehan at the David Shelton Gallery booth.

Margaret Meehan at the David Shelton Gallery booth.

 

Moody Gallery brought a hospital hallucination drawing by Michael Bise

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Dan Sutherland’s strangely vintage-looking abstraction…

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and a nice drawing by Debra Barrera, she of the accidentally destroyed installation. (For full details see here: http://glasstire.com/2013/10/13/drive/) Sorry, the photo of the polar explorer drawing was too crappy to use.

Art Palace brought work by Charlie Morris.  His neon orange ouija board planchette is an engagingly strange object. They also had a delicate-looking print by Jeffrey Dell but it was too faint to photograph well through glass.

TK at the Art Palace booth

Charlie Morris at the Art Palace booth

Rice Gallery brought Gaia, the artist who created their current Houston narrative installation.

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Gaia clowning in the Rice Gallery booth.

Zoya Tommy Contemporary brought boxing glove-produced paintings by Ushio Shinohara.

 

Ushio Shinohara at the Zoya Tommy Gallery booth

Ushio Shinohara at the Zoya Tommy Contemporary booth

Avis Frank Gallery brought Joseph Cohen’s elaborately crafted yet seemingly haphazard painting.

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Anya Tish Gallery brought Adela Andea‘s luminous wall sculpture.

Adela Andea at the Anya Tish Gallery booth

Adela Andea at the Anya Tish Gallery booth

Ariane Roesch brought along a huge selection of UNIT’s limited editions, multiples and publications.  I had only seen things here and there and it was great to see the range of work and artists they are featuring. Kudos for the purple walls as well…

The UNIT Store booth

The UNIT Store booth

Blurry shot of Ariane Roesch's own multiple, a felt model of an archaic computer.

Blurry shot of Ariane Roesch’s own multiple, a felt model of an archaic computer.

The Blaffer Art Museum had a great booth featuring BAD, Blaffer Art and Design, a collaboration with the University of Houston’s Industrial Design and Graphic Design Departments.

The Blaffer Art Museum's BAD (Blaffer Art and Design) booth.

The Blaffer Art Museum’s BAD (Blaffer Art and Design) booth.

Famous artist nesting boxes at BAD.

Famous artist nesting boxes at BAD.

 

Whew, that’s a lot of Houston participants. And now for some of the other TX Contemporary highlights.

I was glad to see Nina Katchadourian‘s work in person at the Catherine Clark Gallery booth. She’s gotten a lot of press for her series of photos in airplane lavatories where she imitates Flemish masterworks.

Nina Katchadourian at the Catherine Clark Gallery booth.

Nina Katchadourian at the Catherine Clark Gallery booth.

This video diptych was a riot. It comes with earphones, you can hear the artist lip synching AC/DC. Katchadourian is one of the artists who seems to be having a helluva lot of fun while making good work. She’s completely willing to act like a goofball as well as risk the ire of fellow passengers for hogging the airplane bathroom to make art.

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Nina Katchadourian at the Catherine Clark Gallery booth

Peter Halley had some finely crafted day-glo and cellotex work at Carl Solway.

Peter Halley at Carl Solway

Peter Halley at Carl Solway

Lora Reynolds brought in a Kehinde Wiley portrait filled with finely crafted floral excess.

Kehinde Wiley at the Lora Reynolds booth

Kehinde Wiley at the Lora Reynolds booth

 

The Clayton Brother‘s laundromat was a big crowd pleaser, but it was also strangely evocative. The fluorescent lighting and the recorded sounds of washing machines made you feel like you’d left the art fair. It brought back memories of nocturnal loads of laundry in brightly lit, Tide-scented buildings. I had a momentary urge to sit down at the table and fold towels.

The Clayton Brother's 2006  "Wishy Washy."

The Clayton Brother’s 2006
“Wishy Washy.”

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I believe that’s David Aylsworth in there waiting for the dryer.

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Other large-scale fair works included Sharon Engelstein’s enormous inflatable sculptures along with Ann Wood’s melting cake of a house at the fair’s entrance.

Sharon Engelstein

Sharon Engelstein

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Sharon Engelstein

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Ann Wood

Tara Tucker‘s Bigfoot Loves Minicorn lounged against a wall in the fair.

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Tara Tucker’s “Bigfoot Loves Minicorn.”

The Boston gallery Carroll and Sons brought Claire Beckett‘s photographs of U.S. Army guys dressed up for a training exercise as members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s paramilitary group.

Claire Beckett at the Carroll and Sons booth.

Claire Beckett at the Carroll and Sons booth.

She also had a shot of the “mosque” the army built as part of its Irwin, California training set. It looks like something from a failed Disney imagineer.

Claire Beckett at the Carroll and Sons booth.

Claire Beckett at the Carroll and Sons booth.

There was also some ruin porn photography on view at the Diana Lowenstein Gallery booth. It’s a genre that can be morally problematic, but riveting.

Fabiano Parisi at the Diana Lowenstein booth.

Fabiano Parisi at the Diana Lowenstein booth.

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Fabiano Parisi at the Diana Lowenstein booth.

One of the best things I saw in the whole fair was Jenkins Johnson Gallery‘s solo presentation of photographs by Gordon Parks, who was also a musician, writer and the director of Shaft. He created some incredible photo essays for Life Magazine. The Jenkins Johnson booth was like a condensed museum show, packed with amazing photos and information about the work. We’ve all seen black and white images of segregation but Parks’ powerful color images make it incredibly real for those of us who didn’t live through it. These shots were taken less than 60 years ago. It’s wrenching to see parents out for a day with their children and being forced to subject their sons and daughters to the indignities of segregation. Parks’ work is one of those rare blends of great art and political activism. Go to the Gordon Parks Foundation’s website to see better images of his work.

 

Gordon Parks in the Jenkins Johnson Booth.

Gordon Parks in the Jenkins Johnson Booth.

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Gordon Parks in the Jenkins Johnson Booth.

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Gordon Parks in the Jenkins Johnson Booth.

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Gordon Parks in the Jenkins Johnson Booth.

 

also by Kelly Klaasmeyer

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10 responses to “The Texas Contemporary Fair in 48 Photos”

  1. THE PINK HOUSE WITH PIGS IS INCORRECTLY ATTRIBUTED.

    THE CORRECT ARTIST IS ANN WOOD.

  2. wow..those are rude comments against miss feurman’s age and personal appearance….please be kinder to artists even if you don’t like their work. Personal attacks make the Texas art scene look defensive, small and bitchy, btw her work is more jones (ala aclockwork orange) than Hanson….in the right context (or wrong context) it could be fabulous.

    1. Good to see a Franco comment on here. Most of the TX art scene is small and bitchy, especially on glasstire. Good observation there. Anyway, it is the writer’s opinion and if she wants to take snarky jabs she will; us readers are free to comment here. Good system

  3. I am shocked, appalled, disappointed, and angry about the personal attack on ms. Fuerman. Reviews are about art and if you have nothing else to say than arrack someone’s personal appearance you need a different job. Your credibility is zero in my opinion. How old are you twelve?

  4. Good Lord people, chill out! Unless I am missing something, the ONLY thing Kelly said was that the artist appeared slightly less lifelike than her sculptures. That has nothing to do with her personal appearance or age, it is a comment on her demeanor.t Obviously I am missing something that was written elsewhere, but WHERE is this attack against Ms.Fuerman published?

  5. Okay, I need to correct myself. Kelly does say “by a 60 something artist” but so what?! What if Kelly had of said by a 40 or 50 or 20 or 80 something artist? What is wrong with talking about the age range of an artist? Just another interesting observation as far as I am concerned.

  6. I love the Nina Katchadourian photographs. Not only are they fun, but they are loaded with questions about high and low art, self representation, and the ethics of monopolizing the restroom. I’m sorry that I missed the Gordon Parks photos. They are worth a close look, aren’t they? Did you see the Willie Cole sculptures? Pretty cool.

  7. Author seemed very biased. Yes, it’s fine that you really like our local Houston galleries/museums but bashing everyone else at the fair seems snobby and pretentious.

  8. Just lazy reporting. Click on photo, which takes you to a Daily Mail article. Kelly should have at least been thoughtful enough to mention her name, Carole Feuerman. Article also mentioned she was 50 yrs old, not 60 something. I read comment about her appearance as a suggestion that the artist may have had some botox or plastic surgery done to her face, thus the idea of which is more real. Besides, its just a quick visual survey of fair, not a scholarly review, so it’s kinda light, fun journalism. Watch the snarking, though.

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