Spring Preview 2010

by GT contributors January 11, 2010

Spring 2010 prognostication.

New Works Series with Luke Savisky and Okay Mountain
Austin Museum of Art
Upcoming Spring

Luke Savisky

Okay, the Austin Museum of Art gets a tough time from lots of folks around town, and it’s mainly deserved. Austin desperately needs a home institution that doesn’t feel like an office building and that also makes the kind of risky curatorial choices our community longs for. We know Arthouse is stepping up their game, and we’re excited to see how AMOA will counterbalance Arthouse’s endlessly powerful drive towards the cutting edge. AMOA may not be getting a new shiny building anytime soon, but they’re definitely onto something with their New Works Series. Starting off last November with Jade Walker, the well-loved director of UT’s exciting Visual Arts Center, and continuing this year with experimental filmmaker Luke Savisky followed by the ultimate superhero clan Okay Mountain, we’re excited to see what’s ahead for the institution.-Kate Watson

((TRANSFER STATION)): Alyssa Taylor Wendt
January 21-24
January 30

Alyssa Taylor Wendt

Co-Lab opened its doors in July 2008 with a wonderfully psychotic mission: produce one show every week. Put it up, take it down; over and over and over again! Under the guidance of the ever-tireless Sean Gaulager, this art spot is aging like vintage Bordeaux. First up in this year’s lineup are two impressively ambitious undertakings: New York-based Alyssa Taylor Wendt offers us ((TRANSFER STATION)), an interactive four-day experiment that asks viewers to record thoughts, stories and impressions after they listen to descriptions of fables, news items or the author’s own films. The very next weekend, Co-Lab gives us 60 SECOND SOUTHERN VIDEO FESTIVAL [Volume 1], a collection of one-minute videos from over 90 artists. Don’t miss these incredible experiments!-KW

Solo shows by Travis Kent, Stacie Johnson and Alison Kuo
SOFA Gallery
One opening a month starting January 31, 2-4 p.m.

Travis Kent

SOFA Gallery is wonderfully experimental and damn cozy, kinda like Austin itself. Katie Geha, gallery director, art historical wunderkind and fabulous hostess-with-the-mostest, turns her living room over to an emerging artist each month and lets them go wild. Geha was sorely missed last fall while doing research in New York City, and we’re thrilled to see that she’s back with an exciting lineup. Travis Kent, first up on the roster, is a New York native and recent Austin transplant. The SVA-trained photographer makes gorgeous and ethereal images that promise to look stunning in the intimate studio apartment!-KW

Blanton Museum of Art
February 5 – April 25

Glenn Ligon, Lest We Forget, 1998…Series including cast aluminum or bronze plaques…color photographs of plaques on site…Courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery, NY

Just in time for that most loved-yet-hated Hallmark holiday, the Blanton ‘s Annette Carlozzi offers up Desire. With almost fifty contemporary artists, this ambitious group show presents works that explore that most basic of human emotions. The show pairs the works with historical prints from the Blanton’s collection and features a multitude of contemporary geniuses, including personal favorites Eve Sussman (of recent Arthouse screening fame) and New York-based Mads Lynnerup (whose work has been shown several times at Lora Reynolds). A catalog project accompanies the exhibition, with writers and artists from diverse backgrounds responding directly to the works in the show. (Full disclosure: this author has a piece in the publication!)-KW

Corpus Christi

Judy Chicago in Glass
Art Museum of South Texas
March 25 – May 30, 2010

Judy Chicago, Grand Snake Arm 3

“We have to seize our own cunts…grab it firmly in the hand and proceed to announce what it is!” Thus proclaimed Judy Chicago in the 1971 documentary, Judy Chicago & the California Girls. A pioneer of feminist art, Ms. Chicago was at the center of this brand of 1970s shock feminism, and continues to be remembered for her vulvar-themed table setting, The Dinner Party, now on long-term view at the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. It turns out that Chicago has spent the past seven years working in glass. Her prolific output includes stained, etched, fused, painted, and cast glass – but her subject isn’t what you might think. The majority of works in the show are forearms and hands; outstretched, clasped and fisted. Some look like Mütter Museum anatomical models – missing digits or with veins and muscles exposed –  because anatomy lessons are what we’ve come to expect of Judy Chicago.-Andrea Grover

Dallas Art Fair
Fashion Industry Gallery
February 5 – 7, 2010

Image courtesy of the Dallas Art Fair

See a year’s worth of art in just one day at the 2nd Annual Dallas Art Fair. Over 50 national art galleries will be representin’, including 14 from Texas: Artspace 111, Barbara Davis, Barry Whistler, Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Deborah Colton, Holly Johnson, Inman, Kristy Stubbs, Lora Reynolds, Marty Walker, Ruiz-Healy Art, Texas Gallery, Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden and William Campbell Contemporary. While the Dallas Art Fair is still a neonate, it will be interesting to see how the art ecology of Dallas is affected by the fair phenomenon. Will it give rise to creative counter-insurgencies, like the highly praised X-Initiative “No Soul for Sale” Festival of Independents in New York, or the Fountain Art Fair in Miami? You decide. Tickets to the Dallas Art Fair are $20 per person per day for a single day pass or $40 per person for admission to all three days of the event. Symposium tickets and tours are additional.-AG

Michael Craig-Martin
Goss-Michael Foundation
February 6 – April 30, 2010

Us, 2009, Acrylic on Aluminum, 48 x 48 inches…Courtesy of the artist

Michael Craig-Martin‘s eye-popping, pastel paintings “wed Pop to Lewitt,” at least according to Artforum. This Dublin native was a noted figure in the 1970s British Conceptual art scene, and later the midwife of the YBAs – as a professor at Goldsmiths’ College he taught Ian Davenport, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Liam Gillick, Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas, Julian Opie and Fiona Rae. Working in painting, drawing, installation and animation, graphic color and dramatic scale are constant features of Craig-Martin’s work, traits that achieve the greatest impact in his wall drawings (a new one has been commissioned for the foundation’s space). His subjects are usually commonplace items (watches, sneakers, sunglasses and other consumer stuff) seemingly plucked from mail order catalogs. Expect to see some new works that incorporate text, as well as portraits of the foundation’s founders, Kenny Goss and George Michael. Craig-Martin will also give a talk at Nasher Sculpture Center on February 6 at 3 p.m.-AG

James Gilbert: Warnings & Instructions
Dallas Contemporary
TBA (January 8 opening postponed)

James Gilbert, installation view

For the grand opening of the new Dallas Contemporary building, artist James Gilbert is reportedly filling the vast industrial space with an “oversized installation of an airplane fuselage in three parts overpowering three nearby teetering small boats.” Gilbert, who is currently an artist-in-residence at UTD’s Centraltrak, has previously made work related to the loss of privacy in a world of 24/7 connectivity and news coverage (see his underwear art series titled Tweeted, Googled and Inappropriately Touched). His new installation focuses on the tragicomic security measures forced on shoeless, dehydrated airline travelers since 9/11. It’s security theater that, according to Gilbert, “removes the need for common sense.” This exhibition includes 15 new video and audio works in addition to the sculptural pieces.-AG

Luc Tuymans
Dallas Museum of Art
June 6 – September 5, 2010

Luc Tuymans, Der Diagnostische Blick V, 1992…oil on canvas; 22 7/8 x 16 1/2 in… Collection of Mr. and Mevr. F. Vranckx…© Luc Tuymans, photo: courtesy Zeno X Gallery

“The most important living painter” and other superlatives is having his first U.S. retrospective and it’s coming to the Dallas Museum of Art. Belgian artist Luc Tuymans is a rock star of an artist, who has been applauded by critics for his classical painting techniques (the man is not afraid of the Renaissance) applied to contemporary subjects (often observed through the lens of television, film or print media). Tuymans cites Jan Van Eyck, El Greco and Velasquez as influences; in other words, the big boys of photographic verisimilitude. And for those of you who demand more than mastery of painting, “the artist’s more recent work addresses the postcolonial situation in the Congo and the dramatic turn of world events after 9/11; these series have led Tuymans to a sustained investigation of the realms of the pathological and the conspiratorial.” Organized jointly by Wexner Center for the Arts and SFMoMA, the exhibit is a massive survey of Tuymans’ work, including 80 key paintings from 1985 to the present.-AG

The New Normal
January 15 – February 20, 2010

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, 2008…Installation with text and store-bought products…photo by Adam Reich, courtesy Artists Space

Titled after a remark by Vice Presidential paranoiac Dick Cheney, The New Normal is an exhibit that gets all up in your private business. Heightened surveillance, security searches, wire taps, etc. coupled with our own desire to expose ourselves willingly via social networking twits and twats, The New Normal, curated by Michael Connor, presents artists who dig deeper into the no privacy trend via video, websites, sculpture, installation, found objects and photographs. Cheney gets a good once-over in a work titled Vice Presidential Downtime Requirements by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, an installation which re-creates a typical hotel room, inhabited by the former VP, and stocked as specified in Cheney’s (leaked) VIP rider. “All Televisions tuned to FOX News,” “All lights turned on,” and “Temperature set to 68 degrees” – it’s the temperature at which most reptiles are comfortable as Jon Stewart pointed out on The Daily Show. In addition to the McCoys’ installation, the exhibit includes work by Sophie Calle, Mohamed Camara, Hasan Elahi, Eyebeam R&D/Jonah Peretti & Michael Frumin, Kota Ezawa, Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher, Guthrie Lonergan, Jill Magid, Trevor Paglen, Corinna Schnitt, Thomson & Craighead and Sharif Waked.-AG

FotoFest at New World Museum; Art League, Houston and other locations
March 12 – April 25, 2010

Leslie Hall

Houston ex-pat curator Gilbert Vicario has assembled this exhibition of video, installation and performance by artists who embrace the “explosion of digitally-based forms of social interaction.” Medianation includes work by Kalup Linzy, described by The New York Times art critic Holland Cotter as a “star” and someone “you cannot easily ignore.” Linzy is best known for his satirical video soap operas (with titles like All My Churen and As da Art World Might Turn) in which he performs most of the characters himself, many in drag. In this same all-the-world’s-a star vein is work by Leslie Hall, a remote Iowa rapper who has achieved “ce-web-rity” for her cheeky music videos. Other artists in the exhibit include Susanne Jirkuff, Adria Julia, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Laurel Nakadate, Sandra Valenzuela and Emilio Chapela.

Orphans of Failure: Eileen Maxson
Domy Books
March 13 – May 6, 2010

Eileen Maxon, Benjy, 2009

Eileen Maxson celebrates the un-celebrity. As the only American awarded a two-year residency at De Ateliers (2008-2010), an independent artists’ institute run by visual artists in Amsterdam, Netherlands, she’s feeling some nostalgia for her homeland. In this exhibition of photography, video and performance documents, Maxson adopts the orphans of American consumer media – kids’ birthday party snapshots, home movie stars, pet photographs and television’s forgotten miracle products – and honors their faded glory. Some of her images are found and some are created to appear that way. Like a lifeguard swimming through the tsunami of cheap, discarded culture, Maxson brings to the surface what she can reach and mourns for what she can’t. According to Maxson, “these are the orphans of our desires, unwillingly, vanquished to the low fidelity of memory.” Maxson will also present a screening of her video works on March 20 at 8:30 p.m.-AG

Leaps into the Void: Documents of Nouveau Réalist Performance
The Menil Collection
March 19 – August 8, 2010

Harry Shunk Saut dans le vide (Leaps into the Void)…1960, Silver gelatin 10-3/4 x 13-7/8 inches…The Menil Collection, Houston…Photo: Shunk-Kender (c) Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

“Pyrotechnics, exploding pigment, blowtorches, and lacerated décollage” are not words one generally associates with the tranquil atmosphere of The Menil Collection, but so begins the press release for Leaps into the Void, an exhibition about the 1960s movement “Nouveau Réalisme.” Co-founded by artist Yves Klein and critic Pierre Restany, “Nouveaux Réalistes” generated a kind of hyper-reality through aggressively physical activities and performances. For example, Jean Tinguely was famous for blowing up his sculptures, and his partner Niki de Saint Phalle for shooting at her paintings with a variety of firearms. Though no explosives will be on site at The Menil, documents from the movement’s ephemeral activities will be safely on view, including the iconic Harry Shunk photo of Yves Klein’s leap from a Parisian rooftop (Saut dans le vide), from which the exhibit title is derived. Curated by Michelle White, Leaps includes works by Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Martial Raysse, Christo, Mimmo Rotella and Arman, among others.-AG

Tomás Saraceno: Lighter than Air
Blaffer Gallery
May 14 – July 31, 2010

Tomás Saraceno…Flying Garden/Air-Port-City/32SW, 2007…Pillows, black webbing, moss…66 15/16 x 66 15/16 x 66 15/16 in. overall installed…Collection Walker Art Center…Gift of Collectors’ Group Acquisitions Fund

Buckminster Fuller‘s visionary architectural renderings of floating cities were drawn long before Tomás Saraceno was born, but the Argentine artist shares Fuller’s dreams of an airborne future. With access to lightweight “miracle” materials like ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) and aerogel, the thirty-something artist just might be able make his ideas float. Saraceno’s exquisite floating sculptures are architectural prototypes for hovering dwellings and gardens that use passive energy for power and propulsion. Works on view at Blaffer will include suspende sculptures like Flying Garden/Air-Port-City/32SW (2007) and Air-Port-City (2009), a large wall drawing depicting the artist’s vision for a free flying city, “where residents are not bound to geopolitical borders.” When the earth gets too crowded, we’ll just move to the sky.-AG

Forth Worth
Georgia O’Keeffe and the Faraway: Nature and Image
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
February 12 – September 6, 2010

Georgia O’Keeffe, Breakfast, The Black Place…1944, Maria Chabot, Photographic print 5 x 3 in…Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Maria Chabot Archive…Gift of Maria Chabot (RC-2001-002-097d)…(c) Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Isn’t it time you saw those Georgia O’Keeffe paintings in person rather than on a note card at a museum gift shop? Through a partnership with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Fort Worth’s own National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame will be hosting an exhibition of the artist’s paintings, with works loaned from national museums and private collectors. O’Keeffe was previously inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1991 for her “rugged individuality, fierce courage and a quest for the untamed.” (The artist frequently ventured into the Northern New Mexico wilderness on solo camping trips to execute her paintings.) Also on view for the first time will be O’Keeffe’s camping gear and clothing, numerous sketches made by the artist while camping and hiking and photographs of the artist on these trips.-AG

Liam Gillick: New Film and Video
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts
March 5 – April 11, 2010

If a British artist who lives in New York was selected to represent Germany at the 53rd Venice Biennale, what films and videos might he show in Fort Worth, Texas? Liam Gillick is such an artist in this globalized, borderless art world. Most recognized for his colorful Plexiglas and aluminum sculptures, Gillick has also created musical scores, books, plays, wall texts, furniture, drawings and films (the focus of this exhibition). In a video for Interview Magazine, Gillick states, “I work in whatever medium I think is appropriate for what I’m thinking about.” What Gillick is usually thinking about is Capitalism, failed utopias and social and political systems, which is why his 2008 film, Everything good goes, is a subtle homage to Tout va bien (1972) by Jean-Luc Godard – the great master of expressing political ideology through film.-AG

The Underwear Experiment: Daniel and Rachel Ballard
Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts
April 4 – April 30, 2010

Casey in His Bedroom, December 19, 2007…Digital Photography, 16×24 inches

It’s fun to look at people in their underwear, especially when they can’t look back. The Underwear Experiment is a collection of photographs of normal people, in their underwear, in their bedrooms. Like Adrienne Salinger‘s 1990s photo series Teenagers in Their Bedrooms, these portraits offer a glimpse into the boudoir – the place most likely to reveal the true story of its occupant – his/her reading habits, musical interests, crushes, fashion sense, housekeeping and hygiene abilities. According to Daniel and Rachel Ballard, the portraits are intended to show the “innate beauty within everyday people.” Skivvies and bare skin aside, the contents of the bedrooms are what really holds ones attention.-AG

In Lieu of Unity
Ballroom Marfa
March 25 – August 15, 2010

Eduardo Abaroa Another world..and another, 2008…Globes, clothing, toy house

When people think of Marfa, they think of Judd. The New York Times critic Roberta Smith went as far as to write, “in Marfa, Judd virtually rebuilt the world according to his own vision.” How, for better or worse, has Judd’s godlike vision – one of Minimalist aesthetics – been inscribed on the land and community of Marfa? In Lieu of Unity invites artists from Mexico – Eduardo Abaroa, Margarita Cabrera, Minerva Cuevas, Paulina Lasa, Teresa Margolles and Tercerunquinto – to consider this question and respond to notions of community, race and economics in Marfa. According to curator Alicia Ritson, the participating artists are known for their “ongoing explorations into social relations” which take the form of installations, videos, sculpture, performance and two-dimensional media. Social relations are indeed complex in this sleepy cattle town turned art world mecca and there should be plenty of beef in the artists’ responses.

The Global Artistry of Leo and Diane Dillon
SFA School of Art
The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House
February 6 – March 20, 2010

Nine Hundred Grandmothers…(Ace Science Fiction Special 58050) 1970…AUTHOR: R. A. Lafferty ARTIST: Leo & Diane Dillon

Illustrators Leo and Diane Dillon have been married and working together since the 1950s. The length of their marriage alone deserves a medal, but their illustrations are what have taken high honors for five decades, with multiple Society of Illustrators awards, a Hugo Award and five awards from The New York Times for their illustrated childrens’ books. Both graduates of Parsons School of Design, their collaborative illustrations range from works for “African folktales to Scandinavian epics, from fantasy to science fiction.” Speculative fiction fans (as they are now known) will recognize their work from every cover of the paperback series Ace Science Fiction Specials. With other clients ranging from The Washington Post to Bantam, Viking and Scholastic, their woodcuts and stylized graphics will be familiar even if you don’t know their names.-AG

San Antonio
Alejandro Cesarco
January 14 – May 2, 2010

Text triumphs over images in the conceptual work of the 32-year-old Uruguayan artist Alejandro Cesarco, also a curator and editor at New York’s Art Resources Transfer/A.R.T. Press. In his first solo museum show, Cesarco will for the first time bring together the components of Index (2000-2008), which he describes as the “index of a book I haven’t yet written and most probably never will.” The alphabetical list of terms and references is “a container that becomes its own content.” Partly biographical and partly theoretical, it’s mostly personal. Artpace also commissioned a film for this exhibit, The Two Stories, which consists of the reading and telling of a story in overlapping narratives.-Dan R. Goddard

An Impressionist Sensibility: The Halff Collection
McNay Art Museum
February 3 – May 9, 2010

Harry Siddons Mowbray, American, 1858-1928…Two Women ca. 1893-96…Oil on canvas, 14 ½ x 18 1/16 in.

In the 1980s, San Antonians Marie and Hugh Halff assembled one of the finest private collections of American impressionists, dating from the 1870s to 1930. The Smithsonian Institution showcased the Halff collection to celebrate the 2007 re-opening of the American Art Museum in the restored Old Patent Office Building in Washington D.C. With key artists such as John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam and Theodore Robinson, the 26 paintings span the period in American art known as “The Gilded Age” and range from the modern urbanism of Ernest Lawson‘s Flatiron Building (1906-1907) to the exoticism of Harry Siddons Mowbray’s Two Women (1893-1896). Examining photography from the same era, the accompanying exhibit TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945 is drawn from the collections of the George Eastman House and includes photographers such as Alvin Langdon Coburn, F. Holland Day, Frederick Evans, Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz.-DRG

Vincent Valdez: Flashback
Southwest School of Art & Craft
February 11 – April 11, 2010

I’m Your Brutha, from a Different Mutha, 2009…Pastel on paper, 42” x 88” each (diptych)

Hometown favorite who now spends much of his time in Los Angeles, Vincent Valdez returns with Recuerdo, a San Antonio companion to Burn, his recent series of paintings of nighttime LA in flames. But instead of torching the Alamo City in his new paintings and drawings, Valdez focuses more on poignant personal memories of growing up as well as politically-charged responses to the war in Iraq. He’ll also be making a new video commissioned by the Southwest School. Valdez has had an impressive run of shows at local museums, beginning at the McNay Art Museum with Stations, gritty drawings of his beat-up boxer brother in a nationally touring series based on the Stations of the Cross. He teamed with mentor Alex Rubio for Pride of the South Side at the Museo Alameda, and last year the San Antonio Museum of Art presented his collaboration with musician Ry Cooder, a mural on a 1953 Chevy ice cream truck about the late 1950s displacement of the Chicano community known as Chávez Ravine by the construction of Dodgers Stadium.-DRG

Contemporary Art Month
San Antonio, various locations
March 2010

Kyle Olson, Not Called Untitled (detail)…Cast resin, gum and cast lead, 54x50x14 in., 2007

A 24-year-old July tradition, Contemporary Art Month is celebrating its first quarter-century by moving to March to coincide with Luminaria (March 13), a one-night, citywide arts extravaganza founded by former Mayor Phil Hardberger. All of San Antonio’s museums and galleries participate in CAM by presenting contemporary exhibits by local, national and international artists, with the full calendar to be announced in mid-January. Luminaria brings in the performing arts with dance, theater and music on stages set up in Alamo Plaza and downtown streets, highlighted by giant projections on the sides of skyscrapers. Opening March 4, CAM’s centerpiece exhibit, Amalgamations 25: 25 Artists for 25 Great Years, at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center is being curated by Wayne Gilbert of G Gallery, a Houston artist known for using human ashes in his work.-DRG

Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s
San Antonio Museum of Art
March 13 – August 1, 2010

Alex Grey, Journey of the Wounded Healer, 1984-85, oil on linen, 90 x 224…Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Curator David S. Rubin plans to document what he calls one of the first significant trends of the 21st century, a “psychedelic aesthetic sensibility” characterized by “extreme color and kaleidoscopic space.” While the term “psychedelic” implies a drug connection, Rubin contends the meaning has evolved, spanning a broad variety of work influenced by pop culture artifacts such as lava lamps, light shows and posters and record album covers of the late 1960s. The show features 25 artists including Richard Anuszkiewicz, Jeremy Blake, Richie Budd, James Cobb, Alex Grey, Al Held, Mark Hogensen, Constance Lowe, Alex Rubio, Frank Stella, Fred Tomaselli, Victor Vasarely, Michael Velliquette and Robert Williams.-DRG

Kate Watson is a blogger for Glasstire. She also writes for the Austin Chronicle and …might be good. She currently lives in Austin.

Andrea Grover is
an independent curator, artist and writer. In 1998, she founded Aurora
Picture Show
, a now recognized center for filmic art, that began in Grover’s living
room as “the world’s most public home theater.” She has been a migrant
curator for apexart, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Dia Art
Foundation, The Menil Collection, and Parkinggallery, Tehran. She likes to share.

Dan R. Goddard is a writer living in San Antonio.

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