Glasstire talks with six special guests about upcoming exhibitions in Texas, including the much-anticipated Philip Guston Now at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards at the Blanton in Austin, and a group exhibition of contemporary Indigenous photographers at the Amon Carter in Fort Worth.
“What I hope is that everyone walking into the show will have that sense of adventure and discovery that I felt in 1975, when Guston was still somewhat unknown.”
Philip Guston Now
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
October 23, 2022 – January 16, 2023
From the MFAH:
“Philip Guston never stopped questioning the place of the artist in society. His paintings resonate with a profound humanism, defined equally by themes that touch on what he called the “brutality of the world” and the profound commitment he made to the joy of painting.
Over his 50-year career, Guston (1913–1980) shifted from figuration to abstraction and back again. Philip Guston Now, the first retrospective of the influential artist’s work in nearly two decades, features paintings, prints, and drawings—both well-known and rarely seen—from public and private collections.
Among 20th-century artists, Guston is especially relevant to a younger generation. Philip Guston Now shows his willingness to engage explicitly with social injustice and to excavate the anxieties of personal conviction from his earliest works through to his last.”
Matthew Wong: The Realm of Appearances
Dallas Museum of Art
October 16, 2022 – February 19, 2023
“Matthew Wong achieved resounding critical acclaim during his short career, spanning just six years between 2013, when he began painting and drawing in earnest, and his death in 2019. In that time, he became known for vibrant, unpeopled landscape paintings in a wide range of styles and mediums, including oil, ink, watercolor, and gouache. In their universality, Wong’s landscapes reflect his own transnationality, having spent most of his life between Canada and Hong Kong.
The Dallas Museum of Art, the only museum that collected Wong’s work during his lifetime, presents the first museum retrospective and U.S. museum exhibition devoted to the self-taught artist. Featuring approximately 50 paintings, the exhibition offers the first formal account of how Wong adeptly synthesized many inspirations—from the Fauvists to 17th-century Qing period ink painters, and contemporaries he admired—to create a visual language uniquely his own.”
Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards
Blanton Museum of Art (Austin)
August 27 – November 27, 2022
From the Blanton Museum of Art:
“A master of line, form, and color, Kelly is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, known for his abstract paintings, prints, and sculptures as well as his monumental artwork, Austin, in the Blanton’s collection. Lesser known is his lifelong practice of making collaged postcards. Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards—the first exhibition to focus on this rarely seen aspect of his practice—spans six decades of the artist’s influential career through more than 150 postcard collages.
Kelly’s postcards reveal a playfulness and humor less overt in his broader practice. Some serve as studies for larger artworks, while others are exploratory musings and artifacts of places the artist had lived and visited. Together, these works show an unbounded space of creative freedom and provide important insight into the way Kelly saw, experienced, and translated the world in his art.”
In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy
The Contemporary Austin
September 17, 2022 – February 12, 2023
From The Contemporary:
“The title of this exhibition, In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy, comes from a work by the prominent feminist artist Jenny Holzer. This evocative phrase tells a story of possibility and implies critical questions that have guided our thinking around the artworks gathered for this project: Who, under what conditions, must struggle to survive? What does survival look like for individuals and communities? And, how might the tools of our imaginations help us to find joy and collectively reshape the conditions of our society?
With works by eight female artists—Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Adriana Corral, Ellie Ga, Juliana Huxtable, Tala Madani, Danielle Mckinney, Wendy Red Star, and Clare Rojas, along with engagements by Jenny Holzer—this exhibition grapples with a range of critical issues facing our society today. As Holzer’s phrase suggests, the featured artists both acknowledge societal inequities and envision pathways toward a new and better future. Confronting identity and history in ways informed by feminism and other political thought, their works evaluate systems that suppress and exclude those whose lives are not privileged within the dominant patriarchal power structure.”
Speaking with Light: Contemporary Indigenous Photography
Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth)
October 30, 2022 – January 22, 2023
From the Carter:
“Speaking with Light: Contemporary Indigenous Photography highlights the dynamic ways that Indigenous artists have leveraged their lenses over the past three decades to reclaim representation and affirm their existence, perspectives, and trauma. The exhibition, organized by the Carter, is one of the first major museum surveys to explore this important transition, featuring works by more than 30 Indigenous artists. Through approximately 70 photographs, videos, three-dimensional works, and digital activations, the exhibition forges a mosaic investigation into identity, resistance, and belonging.
Artists featured in Speaking with Light include Jeremy Dennis, Nicholas Galanin, Sky Hopinka, Zig Jackson, Kapulani Landgraf, Dylan McLaughlin, Alan Michelson, Shelley Niro, Jolene Rickard, Wendy Red Star, Cara Romero, Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, and a new commission by Sarah Sense.”
FotoFest Biennial 2022: If I Had a Hammer
Silver Street Studios (Houston)
September 24 – November 6, 2022
“The FotoFest Biennial 2022 central exhibition, If I Had a Hammer, considers the ways artists utilize images to unpack the ideological underpinnings that inspire collective cultural movements around the globe. Together, the twenty-three included artists propose alternative techniques of seeing and engaging with the world, working with both conventional and new media to shed light on the systems that encourage social theories and political imaginaries to become dogma at the click of a shutter or tap of a button.
If I Had a Hammer explores both artistic and activist interventions into the structures of contemporary image-production, calling attention to how these structures both reflect and inform our perception of the world, historical narratives, and the agency to engage in collective cultural discourse. The exhibition proposes that the systems and structures that support ideological formation such as historical archives, digital media networks, sociopolitical organizing campaigns, and infrastructural and territorial developments, are inextricably linked to the history and development of photography and image technology. Through disparate approaches, the artists in If I Had a Hammer offer strategies to resist and replace legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and systemic violence by exploiting the language and material of image-production and media circulation. In doing so, the artists show how images can be used to both support progressive movements as well as reinforce and bolster systemic inequities.”