Beloved Houston artist Perry House died on July 8, 2019. He was 75.
House was a Houston fixture for decades, and as both artist and teacher, touched nearly every corner of Houston’s art scene and influenced many young artists in Houston and beyond.
House was born in Orange, Texas in 1943. He received his MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in 1971, and taught at Cal State in Bakersfield until the mid-1970s, when he returned to Houston.
Over the span of his career he showed with some of the most historically notable galleries in Houston, including William Graham, Davis/McClain, Barbara Davis, Inman, McMurtrey, and d. m. allison Gallery. In recent years he was represented by Deborah Colton Gallery in Houston.
Via Deborah Colton:
As Houston’s art scene was coming of age, House was one of the early pioneers of abstraction… . Perry House’s works are included in the collection of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts… he also received an NEA fellowship award in 1990, had an important solo exhibition at Diverse Works in 2000 and in 2004 a solo at the Galveston Arts Center which was curated by Clint Willour. Perry House retired from Houston Community College after 30 years of teaching and continued painting full time until his passing.
House claimed he took his first art class at Texas Academy of Art in 1963. In a lively discussion and studio visit with Houstonion Robert Boyd for Boyd’s website, the Great God Pan Is Dead, House is quoted:
Teaching was necessary. Perry did not have the personality to act available and kiss up to collectors. “I had no ability to aggressively chase money so I had to teach. Playing up to collectors can feel awful, the things we have to do to sell paintings can be nasty business.”
Via the Dallas Museum of Art’s website Art Flow, House is quoted:
“My art has always been about some particular opposites. Elegance and violence, humor and horror, the sacred and the profane. Things are sectioned, distorted and exploded. That’s been my artist’s statement as long as I can remember. I have it tacked to the wall. I’m drawing a picture in my mind of what’s on your mind. I’m a little confused in my mind, but your mind is coming in clear as hell.”
A memorial for Perry House will take place at Deborah Colton Gallery in Houston on Saturday, August 17 from 5:00 to 8:30 pm, with remarks at 6:30. On that date the gallery will be fully dedicated to honoring House and will feature his work, plus videos and remembrances about his life. All are welcome.