Houston-Area Museums Announce Spring 2023 Exhibitions

by Jessica Fuentes December 30, 2022

Looking ahead to 2023, Houston-area museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Menil Collection, the Blaffer Museum, and the Galveston Arts Center, have announced their major exhibitions opening in winter and early spring. 

Painting of a woman standing in front of a backdrop of flowers holding a severed head

Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977), “Judith and Holofernes,” 2012, oil on linen, Framed: 130 1/2 x 99 7/8 inches. Purchased with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes in honor of Dr. Emily Farnham, by exchange, and with funds from Peggy Guggenheim, by exchange, and from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest), 2012. © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art and Sean Kelly, New York

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is the next venue to host Portrait of Courage: Gentileschi, Wiley, and the Story of Judith. The exhibition, which was organized by the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and The Museum Box, features two paintings, created 400 years apart, of the biblical story of Judith and Holofernes. 

The show first debuted at The Frick in Pittsburgh, and then the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth under the title,SLAY: Artemisia Gentileschi & Kehinde Wiley. It is currently on view through mid-January 2023 at the North Carolina Museum of Art under the title Gentileschi/Wiley: Two Paintings of Judith 400 Years Apart. The MFAH will be the fourth venue, with another slight shift in title.

In a press release announcing the exhibition, Gary Tinterow, MFAH Director, The Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, commented, “I am thrilled to be able to share with our public Artemisia Gentileschi’s magnificent and compelling masterpiece, along with Kehinde Wiley’s brilliant reinterpretation of the legend of Judith and Holofernes. I look forward to seeing the reaction of our visitors to these two paintings treating the same subject, one by a woman, one by a man, separated by 400 years.”

The paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi and Kehinde Wiley will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from January 25 through April 16, 2023.

Additionally, the MFAH announced earlier this fall that 125 masterworks from Fayez Sarofim’s private collection will go on view as pieces on long-term loan to the museum, beginning in January 2023.

A mixed media portrait of Walter Hopps by Edward Kienholz.

Edward Kienholz, “Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps” (detail), 1959, oil paint and resin on hardboard and wood with metal, plastic, animal vertebrae, candy, plaster, leather, pills, glass, printed paper, graphite, colored pencil and ink on paper, mat board, and adhesive tape, 87 × 42 × 21 inches. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Lannan Foundation. © Kienholz. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA. Photo: Paul Hester

In March, the Menil Collection will debut an exhibition honoring the curatorial vision of its founding director, Walter Hopps. The Curatorial Imagination of Walter Hopps will feature over 130 works by approximately 60 artists, including recent and promised gifts to the museum from Caroline Huber and the Estate of Walter Hopps. The exhibition coincides with the publication Artists We’ve Known: Selected Works from the Walter Hopps and Caroline Huber Collection, which highlights 50 works from the couple’s personal collection that have been gifted to the Menil.

In a press release announcing the exhibition, Rebecca Rabinow, Director of the Menil, said, “While Director of the Menil, Hopps worked with Dominique de Menil to curate landmark exhibitions of artists Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Kienholz, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. We are delighted to exhibit these new and recent gifts to the Menil in our galleries as we highlight this important part of the museum’s history.”

The Curatorial Imagination of Walter Hopps will be on view at the Menil from March 24 through August 13, 2023.

A small scale intricate botanical drawing by Gray Foy.

Gray Foy, “The White Flower,” 1949, graphite on paper, 10 x 6 3/4 inches. The Menil Collection, Houston, Anonymous gift. © Estate of Gray Foy. Photo: Caroline Philippone.

The Menil Collection has also announced that the Menil Drawing Institute will present Hyperreal: Gray Foy. The exhibition celebrates two recent gifts to the museum of nearly 80 drawings that span the career of the mid-century American artist. From early Surrealist-inspired drawings to later commercial illustrations, the exhibition will showcase three decades of work, including notable illustrations such as his 1958 cover design for Romain Gary’s Lady L. and his 1966 illustration “Perfume: The Secret Garden” for Mademoiselle Magazine.

Kirsten Marples, Curatorial Associate at The Menil Drawing Institute, said, “The marvelous minutiae in Gray Foy’s graphite drawings required significant time and focus to create, not to mention frequent sharpening of the artist’s hard pencil. Foy claimed to have rarely worked from life, instead generating his subjects from his memories and rich artistic imagination. These drawings truly reward close, sustained looking, revealing new forms upon repeat viewings. Visitors will leave the galleries with an appreciation for Foy’s considerable technical skill.”

Hyperreal: Gray Foy will be on view at the Menil Drawing Institute April 21 through September 3, 2023.

A video still featuring 3D animated metallic female figures in a forest.

Jacolby Satterwhite, “We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other (video still),” 2020, HD color video and 3D animation with sound, 24:22 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.

In January, the Blaffer Museum will debut two exhibitions, Jacolby Satterwhite: We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other and Leslie Martinez: The Secrecy of Water. Mr. Satterwhite’s exhibition will center on a 24-minute video work that brings together drawing, 3D animation, and dance. The monumental piece pulls inspiration from sound recordings by the artist’s mother, while referencing queer dance culture and the shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisville, Kentucky police officers.

Simultaneously, the Blaffer will present the first solo museum exhibition of work by Dallas-based artist Leslie Martinez. Mx. Martinez’s abstracted, textured, mixed-media works are a reflection of their experiences growing up in and revisiting their family home in the Rio Grande Valley. The work speaks to generational knowledge, relationships to land, and struggle.  

Jacolby Satterwhite: We Are In Hell When We Hurt Each Other and Leslie Martinez: The Secrecy of Water will be on view at the Blaffer Museum from January 20 through March 12, 2023.

A painting by Joey Fauerso featuring five nude female bodies laying flat on their backs. Painted around the frame are ominous crocodiles.

Joey Fauerso, “Flotation Devices,” 2022, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.

Also in January, the Galveston Arts Center will present I Wish I Had a River, featuring new paintings, sculptures, videos, and site-specific works by Joey Fauerso. The exhibition, which addresses personal and political subjects of family, gender, humor, figuration, and representation, is inspired by the history of magic tricks involving women’s bodies and the writings Iris Marion Young, an American political theorist and social feminist, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a French phenomenological philosopher. 

I Wish I Had a River will be on view at the Galveston Arts Center from January 14 through April 15, 2023.

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