Let’s Stay Together (101 min.), Director Joshua Bee Alafia
There should be a lot of upcoming press about the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, which just held this year’s launch party and announced the festival’s schedule beginning November 6. Sneaking in before all that starts up, though, is another young film festival coming to the Rice Media Center: the Fourth Annual Our Image Film & Arts Festival.
The festival, which recognizes some of the best black independent local, national, and international filmmakers, artists and musicians, will run from October 25-26 at the Rice Media Center on the Rice University Campus. It begins at 6 pm Friday evening with a screening of Tey (Today), starring musician, poet, writer and actor Saul Williams. Williams will be in attendance for Q & A afterwards, followed by the opening night party. The doors will be open all day on Saturday for screenings of short films, a panel discussion, and the feature films Let’s Stay Together and Destination: Planet Negro!, followed by more music for the closing night party.
The Contemporary Austin is now accepting applications for its Advanced Young Artists Program (AYA), in which Austin-area high school students are paired up with artist-mentors. Starting in mid-January, each teen meets weekly in the artist’s studio to plan, prepare, and realize collaborative works, which will culminate with a summer group exhibition.
To download a pretty impressive previous catalogue, view the program’s promo video, or fill out an application, visit the museum’s web page. Artist/mentor applications are due November 1 and teen artist applications are due October 30. So, if you know a high school studenst who would be great for the AYA program, give them a nudge, because In teen-deadline time, that’s months away.
Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums and galleries will reopen today. The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden updated its website only moments ago; its public reopening has been moved up from Saturday to today.
Screenshot taken shortly before the shutdown (Credit: Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET)
The National Zoo will not open until tomorrow, although its beloved Pandacam is expected to go live this afternoon. The online arts journal Art F City, which has been streaming its own version of the Pandacam since the government shutdown, made a recent appeal for congressional action, adding to the plea: “And we’re getting sick of dressing like pandas every day.”
Documentary photographer Peter Beste, who grew up in the Houston area, is probably best known for his photo series and book True Norwegian Black Metal, which came from spending seven years in Norway photographing the bizarre, insulated and secretive community. Now, he is releasing Houston Rap, for which he and writer Lance Scott Walker immersed themselves for eight years in Houston’s rap culture beginning in late 2004. Many of the photographs were shown in an exhibition of the same name at the Houston Museum of African American Culture this past spring.
Houston Rap profiles many of the biggest names in the scene, and includes a forward by Bun B. The book will not be available in bookstores until November 25 but diehard fans may wish to pre-order through the publisher, where there are extra options not available in stores.
Mark Rothko’s Untitled (No. 11) is going up for sale at Christie’s in New York next month. The painting has been featured prominently in major museum retrospectives including a seminal exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, organized by Jermayne MacAgy in 1957, the same year the painting was created.
Untitled (No. 11) is expected to fetch $25-35 million, which is seen by many as a sign of a very healthy art auction market. Christie’s took a little Rothko breather since last May when it sold Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow for $86.8 million, setting a record for any contemporary artwork at auction. To get a sense of the surrealism of such an event, check out Christie’s video of that sale (and notice how quickly the bidding and camerawork shifts from the room at large to the little box of folks on phones).
While some dealers at the third annual Texas Contemporary Art Fair, which took place this past weekend in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, mumbled politely tepid descriptions of this year’s fair experience, the organizers gathered up some happier participants for their round-up press release.
Yoram Wolberger, Blue Cowboy #3 (Double Gunslinger), 2006.
The announcement cites some impressive examples of success: Avis Frank Gallery placed a sculpture by Galveston artist Ann Wood with the Dishman Art Museum, and Dutton placed work by outsider artist Richard Gordon Kendall with the Harrison Museum of Art. Catharine Clark Gallery sold several works by Nina Katchadourian, who will have a survey of her work in 2015 at Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art, to a prominent Austin collector. Mark Moore Gallery sold Yoram Wolberger’s Blue Cowboy #3, for $100,000.
“There’s no doubt we will return to Houston next year,” said Max Fishko, co-founder of the fair. “Our dealers are going home very happy, and Houstonians have told us that they loved Texas Contemporary this year.” A record number of 13,000 people total visited the fair.
El Paso filmmaker César Alejandro has announced that he will be producing a documentary about the career and legacy of sculptor Luis Jiménez.
The El Paso Times reports that it was Alejandro’s wife, Laura Rojo de Zamora, who had the idea for a series of documentaries highlighting successful El Pasoans, beginning with Jiménez. The couple owns Alexandria Films and help to organize the annual Binational Independent Film Festival. Alejandro also stated that a community group called United El Pasoans for El Paso will raise money for the series of PBS-style documentaries.
Jiménez, whose large fiberglass sculptures portraying Southwestern and Hispanic themes were sometimes controversial but always recognizable, was born in El Paso in 1940. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and El Paso and later taught at the University of Arizona and the University of Houston. He was killed in his New Mexico studio in 2006 when a large section of one of his sculptures fell on him and severed an artery in his leg.
“We want to celebrate Luis and his art but at the same time we want to start this movement,” Alejandro said. “Let’s forget all our divisions and see El Paso as a community working together in unison and be able to do something together in celebrating ourselves.”
Meadows Museum director Mark A. Roglán, curator Nicole Atzbach and last year’s winning artist Stephen Lapthisophon. Photo by Tamytha Cameron
The Moss/Chumley Award has been handed out to an “outstanding” North Texas artist since 1995 and the Meadows Museum at SMU is accepting applications through Monday, November 4 for this year’s award. The Moss/Chumley Award is given in memory of Frank Moss and Jim Chumley, two Dallas art dealers active in the 1980s North Texas arts.
Applicants must have exhibited professionally for at least ten years and have a proven track record as an active community advocate for the visual arts. To be considered for the $1500 prize, the artist must reside in one of the following North Texas counties: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant or Wise. For an entry form, or to read the impressive list of past recipients, visit the Award’s webpage.
The University of Texas at Austin will host an opening party for a temporary installation called Social Helium this afternoon from 2-4 pm at the West Mall Fountain. Its creators, Dan Cheetham of fyoog and Michelle Tarsney, will be on hand for the festivities. Social Helium is part of a multi-site installation, exhibition, and publication event called CURTAINS designed to “explore the use of fabrics in contemporary art and architecture,” presented by the Center for American Architecture and Design at the UT Austin (CAAD). The 18-foot tall curtain will be held up by huge helium balloons and illuminated every evening this week until it closes on the 18th.
This weekend, the Dallas Cowboys have added the first outdoor sculpture to its art collection at AT&T Stadium, which now includes 56 works of art, including 13 commissioned pieces. The new work is Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror, a 35-foot-diameter concave mirror made of polished stainless steel. It stands nearly three stories tall in the center of the stadium’s east plaza. The 23-ton sculpture shows a reflection of the Texas sky on one side and a mirrored look at viewers on the other.
Sky Mirror was not specially commissioned for the stadium, but Kapoor’s name was on the original wish list for the collection, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “To get something custom made might have taken more years than I wanted to wait,” said Gene Jones, wife of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The sculpture has been around the world before settling into its new permanent home. “The work has been around since 2005,” said Kapoor, who attended Friday night’s unveiling. “It’s very difficult to place.”
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia, also wanted to purchase the $10 million sculpture, where it was recently shown in a retrospective of Kapoor’s work, but the artist chose the Arlington location. “It’s in an unexpected place—a stadium. I like the idea of it being in front of big audience, maybe not a worldwide one since it’s a football stadium, but an American audience.”
Portland-born, Brooklyn-based Keegan McHargue, whose colorful semi-figurative paintings are on view at the booth of Fredericks & Freiser, has been announced as the winner of the 2013 TX Contemporary Award. The $10,000 prize was announced at the TX Contemporary Art Fair at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center at 2 p.m.
Jurors Bill Arning of Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum and Rita Gonzalez of LACMA also chose Pablo Siquier, showing at Sicardi, and Susan Giles, showing with Mission, for honorable mentions.
The were hordes of visitors celebrating at Thursday’s opening night party for the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, but it was during the quieter afternoon on Friday when a fairgoer, reportedly backing up to snap a photo, sent a sculptural installation crashing to the convention center floor. The piece was Houston artist Debra Barrera’s Sports Car on Earth, In Space, the front and back ends of a 1986 Pontiac Firebird mounted on two walls.
Within hours, the car installation was replaced with some memorial flowers and a revised label naming the new work Everything Goes Away All the Time, But Right Now We’re Right Here. Barrera is Moody Gallery’s nomination for this year’s Texas Contemporary Award, the best-in-show prize that comes with a $10,000 cash award. There are a number of excellent nominees this year, but perhaps the jury (which includes CAMH Director Bill Arning and Rita Gonzalez, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at LACMA) should consider some new award categories, such as “Most Adaptable Artist.”
Reviews of the Basquiat-adorned sneakers coming out in Reebok’s 2013 Fall/Winter Collection have been popping up recently in some art websites and blogs, such as Blouin Artinfo and Arrested Motion, but to check out the new sneakers, go straight to the Hypebeast site, the online magazine for fashion, arts, design and culture, with its own online store for fashion and accessories.
It’s not only the place to purchase the shoes (when they actually go on the market), but the readership’s comments rival that of any art website. They really seem to know their kicks, their fashion, and a bit about contemporary art and culture. About the Basquiat shoes, one commenter posts (insert [sic] liberally throughout), “Please don’t turn Basquiat into Keith Herring.” Another adds: “What’s up with this pseudo avant-garde art fixation goin on in the fashion world, it was alright when givenchy did it but now it’s just getting weird.”
The unique Marfa art experience and the weekend’s party atmosphere don’t translate via computer screen, but Saturday’s lectures at the Crowley Theater in downtown Marfa might. Video of the lectures will stream on Chinati.org, free of charge, beginning at 1 pm. Below is the schedule of presentations:
2:30 pm: Francesca Consagra, senior curator, Prints and Drawings and European Paintings, Blanton Museum of Art on Albrecht Dürer.
4 pm: Artist Robert Irwin, Chinati Weekend honoree, and artist Zoe Leonard will discuss their respective upcoming projects at Chinati with Lynne Cooke, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and Rob Weiner, associate director, Chinati Foundation.
Houston’s Menil Collection today unveiled plans for the first phase of the renovation of its 30-acre campus. In June, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates was announced as the landscape architecture firm for the project and now the firm has revealed the design to transform what is now a parking lot into shaded walkways with indigenous plants leading past a new café.
Designed by the award-winning Houston firm of Stern and Bucek Architects, the café will be adapted from one of the bungalows that define the character of the Menil’s campus. The bungalow chosen for the café stands in the spot originally proposed for this amenity by Renzo Piano, architect of the Menil’s main museum building. The café will be operated by noted restaurateur Greg Martin, best known for his work at Café Annie, Taco Milagro, and Café Express and the Menil will be holding a public contest to help name the café.
Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, stated, “We are delighted to be able to show the public a small portion of the changes they can expect, as we begin to make our campus more open and inviting to all.” Other elements of the landscape design will incorporate the site of the new Menil Drawing Institute, which is being designed by the Los Angeles-based firm of Johnston Marklee.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), Portrait of Mariano Goya, the Artist’s Grandson, 1827, oil on canvas. Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Museum Purchase with Funds Donated by The Meadows Foundation and a Gift from Mrs. Eugene McDermott, in honor of the Meadows Museum’s 50th Anniversary, MM.2013.08. Photo by Dimitris Skliris.
The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University now has its sixth work by Francisco Goya, the newest one an important late oil painting by the Spanish Romantic master, a portrait of the artist’s grandson. The painting will be unveiled tomorrow morning.
Although the Meadows Museum didn’t reveal the purchase price, the Dallas Morning Newsreports that the painting appeared at auction at Sotheby’s New York in January with an estimate of $6 million to $9 million. The acquisition was financed through the Meadows Foundation and Eugene McDermott Foundation, in honor of the Museum’s 50th anniversary.
The Chinati Foundation released an odd statement today that it was “proud to announce” that it has been selected for inclusion on the 2014 Worlds Monument Watch list. Since 1996, the Watch has served as a call to action on behalf of cultural heritage sites across the globe “at risk from the forces of nature and the impact of social, political, and economic change.” So it seems odd because a lot of the sites that end up on the Watch list are also dealing with natural disasters or political atrocities.
In the case of the Chinati Foundation, the art museum created by the late sculptor Donald Judd just outside Marfa, it is simply that the buildings were never created to preserve artworks. So the Worlds Monument Fund is basically recognizing the important cultural significance of the site, also noting that the “deteriorating state” of the campus leaves the artwork endangered.
This Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, San Antonio’s Artpace will host its 10th annual Chalk It Up festival, where contemporary artists, novices, and kids all work together to turn an entire city block into a huge mural. There will be invited artists, school groups, and other inspired San Antonians crawling all over the pavement, creating chalk masterpieces. Organizers expect 20,000 to attend, in spite of the predicted chance of isolated thunderstorms. The event takes place on Houston Street, from Main Avenue to Jefferson Street.
It’s art fair time (again)! This weekend, the Texas Contemporary Art Fair will take over the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, and it all kicks off with a Thursday night opening party. Regular fair hours on Friday and Saturday are 11 am-7 pm, and Sunday noon-6 pm. But the first 300 people to stop by the Glasstire booth get a free Glasstire Halloween bag!
So, early birds who put on their best art connoisseur costumes can grab some Glasstire swag and wander from booth to booth, bags wide open, yelling, “Trick or Treat!” (Let us know how that works out.)
A large sculptural installation by San Antonio/New York artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz has recently been acquired for the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The work is entitled Crystal City, named after the small Texas town considered to be the birthplace of the Chicano movement.
Crystal City will be included in the Smithsonian’s upcoming exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art. Of the 72 leading modern and contemporary artists included in the show, a number are from Texas. The exhibition is set to open in about two weeks but the Smithsonian is still closed due to the federal government shutdown.