Brandon Zech, Christina Rees, and Christopher Blay walk you through the Texas shows they’re most excited about seeing, in person, this fall art season.
“It seems like people do want to get back out there and see some art.”
Some of the picks for our Top Five Spring Preview 2020 are, due to Covid-related delays and closures, still on view or scheduled. To watch, please go here.
1. Diedrick Brackens: darling divined
October 17 – January 10, 2021
Blanton Museum of Art (Austin)
From the Blanton:
“Diedrick Brackens constructs intricately woven textiles that speak to the complexities of Black and queer identity in the United States. Interlacing diverse traditions, including West African weaving, European tapestries, and quilting from the American south, Brackens creates cosmographic abstractions and figurative narratives that lyrically merge lived experience, commemoration, and allegory. He uses both commercial dyes and unconventional colorants such as wine, tea, and bleach, and foregrounds the loaded symbolism of materials like cotton, with its links to the transatlantic slave trade.”
2. Virginia Jaramillo: The Curvilinear Paintings, 1969–1974
September 26 – July 4, 2021
Menil Collection (Houston)
“Virginia Jaramillo: The Curvilinear Paintings, 1969-1974, is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. This focused exhibition presents eight abstract paintings by Virginia Jaramillo (b. 1939, El Paso), in which thin, undulating lines dance across monochrome fields of bright, flat color.
“The Menil’s exhibition marks the fiftieth anniversary of The De Luxe Show, one of the first racially integrated exhibitions of contemporary art held in the United States, organized by the Menil Foundation and curated by New York artist Peter Bradley in 1971. Jaramillo, the only woman and Latina included, exhibited the painting Green Dawn, 1970, which will be on view for this special presentation organized by Michelle White, Senior Curator, The Menil Collection. The exhibition is presented in association with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC).”
3. Hillerbrand+Magsamen and Nic Nicosia
September 8 – October 10
Gallery at UTA (Arlington)
A duo exhibition featuring Hillerbrand+Magsamen and Nic Nicosia. For more information on the virtual gallery talks, go here.
From the gallery:
“The Gallery at UTA is pleased to present an exhibition by Hillerbrand+Magsamen (Houston) and Nic Nicosia (Dallas) on view at the University of Texas at Arlington from September 8 through October 10. Utilizing a variety of mediums, from drawing and sculpture to photography and video, these artists share a cross disciplinary inventiveness in the creation of their works. According to curator Benito Huerta, ‘The idea of invention and reinvention, and of artists blurring the lines between subject and object, process and product were the unifying factors in bringing this exhibition together.’
“In association with the exhibition, the artists will discuss their work in virtual hour-long gallery talks starting at 12:30 pm. Using the Microsoft Teams live event format, Nicosia will speak on Wednesday, September 23 and Hillerbrand+Magsamen will speak on Thursday, October 8. Please see the gallery website at www.uta.edu/gallery for links to the events.”
4. Target Texas: drawn worlds
September 4 – November 29
Art Museum of South Texas (Corpus Christi)
A group exhibition from the Target Texas biennial series.
Featuring: Jorge Alegría, Michael Bise, Suzi Davidoff, Kent Dorn, Ana Fernandez, and Ashley Thomas.
“Each exhibition, in the Target Texas biennial series, brings together artists that work in a common medium with a variety of approaches. This year’s Target Texas offers a chance to see artwork created by six Texas artists who depict their ‘worlds’ in graphite. Through drawing and other unique studio practices, these artists depict interior thought, memory, and imagined states of being. Experiencing this work allows viewers to envision answers to the question: what compels artists to make the work they do?”
5. Arthur Jafa: Love is the Message, The Message is Death
August 30 – March 7, 2021
Dallas Museum of Art
A presentation of the seminal video collage piece by Arthur Jafa.
From the Dallas Museum of Art:
“Following this summer’s online screening, the DMA is pleased to offer visitors another opportunity to see Arthur Jafa’s renowned film Love is the Message, The Message is Death. In this collage of found and self-produced footage set to the soundtrack of Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam,’ Jafa juxtaposes representations of Black artists, scholars, athletes, and politicians—as well as everyday people largely unknown to the general audience—with depictions of events ranging from faith-based transcendence to police brutality. The resulting video is a kaleidoscope of past, present, and future that expresses both the cyclical nature of historical injustice and the alternative realities envisioned by a wide range of Black cultural traditions.”
6. Rodney McMillian: Historically Hostile
September 1 – 20
Blaffer Art Museum (Houston)
From the Blaffer:
“South Carolina-born, Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian creates sculptures, paintings, installations, videos, and performances that explore how the accumulated ideologies, policies, myths, gods, and monsters of American history and politics shape experience, identity, and our sense of place. Through his performative reinterpretations of political texts, historical events, oral histories, and popular culture, McMillian confronts the social and economic legacies of race-driven actions and oppression. By deconstructing and restaging these diverse narratives of power, violence, and possibility, McMillian offers an alternative reality while also illuminating the power of people to affect change and transform the future.
“In the exhibition Rodney McMillian: Historically Hostile, the Blaffer presents six video works made between 2005 and 2017, installed across the entire museum. The videos were selected in collaboration with the artist, and they collectively reconsider the contemporary ramifications of slavery, the civil rights movement, white supremacy, and modern U.S. government policy embedded within our daily life. Several were filmed in South Carolina, where the artist grew up, in Austin, Texas, or at Dockery Farms—the infamous Mississippi plantation where Delta blues music was born. These works often feature a lone figure, alternatively clad in protective garments, superhero masks, a clergyperson’s cassocks, or suit and tie—entwining the performance of the so-called ‘everyday’ with science fiction. The steadfast protagonists are often set against American landscapes historically hostile to Black bodies, rewriting both place and personhood with new possibility.”