The 2021 Texas Biennial will take place from September 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022. Austin art nonprofit Big Medium, organizers of the Texas Biennial, has announced the 51 participating artists and five museum partners of upcoming Texas exhibition. Organized around the theme A New Landscape, A Possible Horizon, the seventh run of the Biennial implements some changes. Co-organizers/curators Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza have spread the Biennial across five Texas museums, and will include exhibitions, programs, and public art in two host cities, San Antonio and Houston.
In another change to the Biennial for 2021, “Texpats,” described by the organizers as “Texas natives and artists with deep connections to the Lone Star State working in any part of the world,” are included, in addition to artists living and working in Texas. A final twist is the inclusion of international artists who include Texas and/or Texas History as a subject of their work.
“Intentionally broad in its scope and organized throughout the pandemic,” Garza explains, “the 2021 Texas Biennial is spread across San Antonio and Houston in order to realize a diversity of practices and explore a vast landscape of disciplines, themes, and historical events relevant to both Texas and contemporary global discourse. Principal themes of the project — the mutable histories contained within objects and people, activism and issues of racial and social justice, and narratives unique to the history and land of Texas — are examined in multiple creative disciplines and across multiple sites.”
Dennis adds, “I am thrilled to be in dialogue with our artists about what has been resonating with them. It is such an unprecedented time to be making work and having a specificity around Texas and the influence of this complex state. My hope is that people explore with us, with our artists, the expansiveness of the constellation we are creating with some beautiful, brilliant minds.”
The exhibition partners and their dates of exhibition are as follows:
Artpace (August 5–December 26, 2021)
McNay Art Museum (September 1, 2021–January 9, 2022)
Studio at Ruby City (August 1, 2021–January 30, 2022),
San Antonio Museum of Art (August 19–December 5, 2021)
FotoFest (September 2–November 13, 2021)
Among the list of 51 participants are emerging artists, collectives, international, and well-established artists making sculpture, photo-based media, installation, sound, painting, printmaking, music and performance, social practice, film and experimental video, and public art. Of the more than 850 applicants over the last 18 months, the list of 51 chosen artist includes, among many others, Regina Agu; Ari Brielle; Melvin Edwards; Ariel René Jackson; Jamal Cyrus; Ja’Tovia Gary; Annette Lawrence; Rick Lowe; Phillip Pyle II; Vincent Valdez, and more. For the complete list of artist participants, please go here.
“Although we were faced with several limitations in the last eighteen months, connecting with artists virtually during the pandemic gave us the opportunity to get to know some folks intimately and also consider how to expand the Biennial in several ways,” Garza and Dennis state. “Our desire to partner with incredible museums in San Antonio and Houston, and the need to make decisions based on public health guidelines, led us to organize a project that is iterative in form and expansive in scale.”
For more on The Texas Biennial and Big Medium, please go here.
The inclusion of “Texpats” implies that there is not enough talent currently living in Texas