As we begin 2023, museums in Austin and San Antonio, including The Contemporary Austin, the Mexic-Arte Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and Ruby City, have announced a handful of major exhibitions that will open throughout the spring.
On March 3, The Contemporary Austin will debut two new exhibits, which each run until August 20. Eamon Ore-Giron: Competing With Lightning/Rivalizando Con El Relámpago will feature paintings made over the past twenty years by artist, musician, and DJ Eamon Ore-Giron. According to the bio on his website, Mr. Ore-Giron’s abstract paintings reference “indigenous and craft traditions, such as Native American medicine wheels and Amazonian tapestries, as well as 20th-century avant-gardes, from Russian Suprematism to Latin American Concrete Art.” Born in Tucson, Arizona, he has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. The exhibition was curated by Miranda Lash of the Museum of Contemporary Arts Denver, where it premiered last year. Contemporary Austin curator Julie Le is organizing the Texas version of the show.
In the Contemporary’s other new show, Mexico City-based collaborative duo Celeste (María Fernanda Camarena and Gabriel Rosas Alemán) will present works from their cross-disciplinary practice which, according to the Contemporary’s website, “conducts a negotiation that expands concentrically in order to gradually encompass other collaborators and spectators within the workings of an intimate exchange.” The museum goes on to announce that the exhibition will bring viewers in contact with “transient moments of proximity and familiarity,” which blur “the commonplace structures that define how artworks can be appreciated or how museums can function as physical and social spaces.”
The duo’s Instagram shows off examples of some of their recent projects, mostly large-scale installations of works on fabric harmonizing with exterior and altered interior spaces. The show in Austin will follow a London exhibition, A Portable Landscape, which will run through online art collecting platform Canopy Collections at Wing Gallery later this month.
Just a bit down the road, the Mexic-Arte Museum has its own host of shows opening this spring. This year’s rendition of Totally Cool Totally Art, the Mexic-Arte’s annual student exhibition, is up first. That show, which has been recurring at least since Glasstire first mentioned it in 2009, is presented in conjunction with the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department and features a cross-media array of artworks from local middle and high schoolers. The exhibition opens on February 14 and runs through February 28.
Next is Mix ‘n’ Mash: Alimento para el alma / Food for the soul, which opens on March 3. Another recurring show, formerly titled just Mix ‘n’ Mash, this is an art sale fundraiser for Mexic-Arte, where participating artists receive a 40% commission from the sale of their works. The theme this year is food, which the museum states “has as much creative potential as any traditional media (painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.).” Artists who wish to participate in the show can find a call for entries, complete with instruction, on the museum’s website. Each work in Mix ‘n’ Mash will be made on a 12 by 12-inch piece of gessoboard that was donated by Ampersand Art Supply. The show will be on view from March 3 through 19.
Then, in April, Mexic-Arte will present an exhibition titled Making Tradition—Selections from Arte Popular Collection. As the museum explains, arte popular, or Mexican folk art, “represents a broad variety of traditions and specificity dependent on the region of creation and individual maker.” The exhibition will run from April 7 until June 25.
Elsewhere in Austin, the Blanton Museum of Art will present an exhibition titled Day Jobs from February 19 until July 23. The group show will present artworks that highlight the ways in which artists’ day jobs have influenced their creative practices. In support of the idea, the Blanton offers this quote from artist and lawyer Ragen Moss:
Typologies of thought are more interrelated than bulky categories like ‘lawyer’ or ‘artist’ allow. . . Creativity is not displaced by other manners of thinking; but rather, creativity runs alongside, with, into, and sometimes from other manners of thinking.
The exhibition will feature roughly 75 works in total from a range of artists, including Emma Amos, Genesis Belanger, Larry Bell, Mark Bradford, Lenka Clayton, Jeffrey Gibson, Jay Lynn Gomez (formerly Ramiro Gomez), Tishan Hsu, VLM (Virginia Luna Montgomery), Ragen Moss, Howardena Pindell, Chuck Ramirez, Robert Ryman, and Fred Wilson. It was organized by former Blanton curator Veronica Roberts, with former curatorial assistant Lynne Maphies.
Meanwhile, there will be myriad exhibitions at San Antonio institutions as well. The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) will present Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii from February 24 until May 21. According to a press release from SAMA, this will be “the first exhibition in the United States to explore landscape scenes as a genre of ancient Roman art.” It will be organized around five thematic sections, titled, Garden Landscapes, Coastal Views and Cultivated Landscapes, Sacred Landscapes, The Dangerous Landscapes of Myth, and Landscapes in the Tomb. Each of these will delve into different pockets of Roman landscape art, representing a variety of methods and sources.
The exhibition Roman Landscapes is exclusive to San Antonio, where it was developed by Jessica Powers, SAMA’s Interim Chief Curator, The Gilbert M. Denman, Jr. Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World. Ms. Powers, via a press release, said, “the artistic innovation of showing human figures within visually dominant natural settings began during the tumultuous final decades of the Roman Republic, as civil war in Italy resulted in changes in land ownership and territorial expansion continued in the eastern Mediterranean.” She went on to explain that “there have been few museum exhibitions focusing on this type of ancient art. Roman Landscapes addresses this, demonstrating how artists, patrons, and viewers in Roman Italy embraced landscape depictions over several centuries.”
The show features more than 65 works and will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalog published by the museum, with essays penned by Ms. Powers and a slew of other experts that includes Trinity University’s Timothy M. O’Sullivan, Professor of Classical Studies. Relevantly, Trinity will focus their annual Lennox Seminar Lecture Series on subjects highlighted in SAMA’s exhibition.
Finally, the San Antonio contemporary art center Ruby City will feature a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Amy Cutler. Ms. Cutler recently gifted Ruby City her 2015 multi-media installation titled Fossa. This work will be the centerpiece of her exhibition, which is called Amy Cutler: New Acquisitions. A large drawing to be featured in the exhibition is also titled Fossa. Additional work will be on view in Ruby City’s Chris Park. The installation Fossa was created for SITE Santa Fe as a collaboration with musician Emily Wells and hair stylist Adriana Papaelo. It is a whole-room installation, resembling what the museum describes as “an old-fashioned parlor” and complete with ambient sound and over 800 feet of synthetic and human hair.
Amy Cutler: New Acquisitions will be on view from April 6, 2023 until February 25, 2024.
Update: this article has been updated to reflect the full title of San Antonio Museum of Art curator Jessica Powers.
* Jessica Powers, Interim Chief Curator, The Gilbert M. Denman, Jr. Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World.
There was a bit of a typo in this article.