Christopher Blay and Christina Rees on how nature has taken over during Covid, the rich history of rodeo photography, and the open studio of a VIP artist inside a gallery.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if galleries cram in a lot of ambitious shows over the next year.”
To watch last week’s Top Five in which Brandon Zech and William Sarradet talk about a spate of new exhibitions opening last weekend, including the Austin debut of a DFW artist, please go here.
1. Robert Hodge: DNA
April 17 – May 8
Preview: Saturday, April 17, 2:00 – 5:00PM
David Shelton Gallery (Houston)
From the David Shelton Gallery:
“Robert Hodge’s latest body of work, titled DNA, is a showcase of the history and culture of African American history that is intertwined into the fabric of this country’s DNA. And while African American contributions to the culture are not the complete story of America they are an undeniable foundation upon which this country was built. Based on extensive research Hodge’s work will help to bring forth the rich African American culture and history that is often hidden in the American story.
“DNA pulls from the story of Henrietta Lacks who was a black tobacco farmer from southern Virginia who got cervical cancer when she was 30. A doctor at Johns Hopkins took a piece of her tumor without telling her and sent it down the hall to scientists who had been trying to grow tissues in culture for decades without success. No one knows why, but her cells never died. The work examines Lacks, as well as other key figures from the civil rights era, pop culture, music, and Hodge’s personal life and how those people help shape the current art, music, the fashion world, as well as the artist himself.”
2. 2021 Spring Art Fair
April 17 – 18
Fulton Convention Center (Fulton)
From the Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA):
“Featuring 30 local artists, the event will be held at the Fulton Convention Center and includes a two-day show, Saturday and Sunday, April 17–18, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., with a VIP-Preview Party Friday evening, April 16, from 6–8:30 p.m.
“‘The event is an expanded version of our traditional Studio Tour that celebrates local artists, hosted each spring since 2018,’ says Luis Purón, executive director for RCA. ‘Although we love the intimate nature of guests being able to visit with artists in their personal studios, we have found it necessary to set it up differently to provide more safety precautions for guests, participants and volunteers. We think this is a great format that puts safety first without sacrificing artistic quality while also being able to handle larger groups than would be feasible in a small art studio.'”
3. Group Exhibition
April 10 – May 15
Kirk Hopper Fine Art (Dallas)
From Kirk Hopper Fine Art:
“A select group of Dallas art galleries and the Dallas Art Fair are partnering together to present Dallas Gallery Day in celebration of the spring exhibition season. This special event is an opportunity for the community to come together and support Dallas galleries and their respective artists and programming. A full list of participating galleries, events, and map can be found here.
“The group exhibition features works by Jorge Alegria, Matthew Bourbon, Carlos Donjuan, Bryan Florentin, Lily Hanson, Benito Huerta, Annabel Livermore, James Magee, Shaun Roberts, and Mac Whitney.”
4. Manik Raj Nakra: W I L D L I F E
March 13 – May 1
Big Medium (Austin)
From Big Medium:
“Inspired by stories of nature regenerating and reclaiming space during the Covid19 pandemic, W I L D L I F E examines what happens when humanity removes itself from the natural world. The exhibition also introduces a new material for the artist- the ceremonial bindi, worn for centuries on the forehead in Indian culture for spiritual, traditional, and fashion reasons. It can be seen as a third eye creating an opening to infinity or as a symbol of femininity. For the natural world depicted in the paintings, the renewed and rejuvenated flora and fauna are anthropomorphized with hundreds of bindis as wildlife reincarnated with third eyes carrying remnants of memory. The severed animal heads from which the new nature grows are depicted upside down to represent self-sabotage and the mistakes of the past.”
5. Daniel Kramer: Giddy Up!!
March 13 – May 30
Five Points Museum of Contemporary Arts (Victoria)
From Five Points Museum :
“Originally shown at the Art Car Museum in Houston and curated by Noah Edmundson, this exhibition is being shown in an expanded form for Five Points Museum.
“When Kramer moved to Houston he was naturally drawn to the Houston Rodeo, which calls itself the world’s largest entertainment event. The 2019 Rodeo had more than 2.5 million attendees. The sprawling 3-week spectacle includes the Rodeo, live music performances, a barbeque cook-off, a carnival, a livestock show, a parade and trail riders. He has documented the various aspects of the Houston Rodeo since 2007.
“In 2014, he photographed the event for Smithsonian Magazine’s Instagram account. Later that same year, the project was selected by the American Society of Media Photographers as one of the Best Projects of the Year. Additionally, one photo was included in The National: Best Contemporary Photography 2014 exhibition at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.”