Five-Minute Tours: “HOWL” at Inman Gallery, Houston

by Glasstire August 17, 2022

Note: the following is part of Glasstire’s series of short videos, Five-Minute Tours, for which commercial galleries, museums, nonprofits and artist-run spaces across the state of Texas send us video walk-throughs of their current exhibitions. This will continue while the coronavirus situation hinders public access to exhibitions. Let’s get your show in front of an audience.

See other Five-Minute Tours here.

HOWL at Inman Gallery, Houston. Dates: July 23 – August 27, 2022.

Featured artists: Moll Brau, Angela Fraleigh, and Angelica Raquel

Via Inman Gallery:

“Inman Gallery is pleased to present HOWL, a group exhibition featuring work by Moll Brau, Angela Fraleigh, and Angelica Raquel.

In her own way, each artist tackles the magical to explore themes of femininity, the grotesque, the occult, narrative, storytelling, spell craft, ancestral healing and power. Moving through anguish, grief, and anger, the works on view hold space for the processing of those emotions while offering antidotes of healing, protection, and reclamation.

Nature and storytelling thematically anchor the exhibition. The incorporation of nature, specifically animals, is present in each artists’ work, often shown in tandem with figures. Dogs are seen on alert, as protectors, or symbols of loyalty and love in Fraleigh’s You’d be surprised by how many mountains you might crawl over (A spell for protection). Generations of matriarchs tenderly greet a doe, a shared understanding of motherhood passing between the central figures in Raquel’s My Epoch: Angelica, Melinda, Irma, Luisa, Leonor. An abstracted woman wrestles with a parasitic pearl encapsulated in the shell of a mollusk in Brau’s Mother of Pearl (The Creator Archetype). A global cultural ubiquity, animals have long been present in folklore, mythology, and witchcraft as characters, guides, allegories, sources of power, wisdom and spirituality. Within the show we see an acknowledgement of the association between nature and femininity, both through moments that challenge the association and moments that embrace it, simultaneously looking towards animals for power and solace.

Following the folkloric presence of animals, storytelling is an equally central force in the show. Raquel’s work is rooted in oral tradition and memory, exploring her inheritance of generational knowledge and familial lore. Brau’s interrogation of archetypes – The Creator, The Explorer, The Ruler – acknowledge character tropes, particularly gendered scripts, and offer transcendent maneuvers to conform, diverge, and reclaim prescribed narrative arcs. Fraleigh’s Spell Paintings challenge the historical demonization of witchcraft and embrace the ways contemporary witches use myth and untold histories as strategies to (re)imagine new narratives around magic and power. Even the word ‘spell’ has an expansive etymology, translating to ‘story, narrative, fable, or cause of enchantment.’

Drawing parallels between art production and spellcraft, these works harness the magic of making the intangible tangible, of transforming unseen narratives into physical blends of abstraction and figuration with pours, gestures, strokes, fibers. There is a magic in stories we tell, the stories we share.

HOWL captures anguish, grief, power, folklore, and magic. An homage to the wolf, we howl at the moving moon, transitioning from night to day, moving through darkness and looking towards the light ahead. Announcing ourselves in the dead of night – our presence, our persistence, our past, our paths forward. Together we howl.”

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