Top Five: August 17, 2023

by Glasstire August 17, 2023

Glasstire counts down the top five art events in Texas.

For last week’s picks, please go here.

A painting by El Franco Lee, II, featuring an array of images of people including boxers, basketball players, a video gamer, and a crowd of people in the background.

El Franco Lee, II, “Clydesdale,” 2019, 70 x 56 inches

1. El Franco Lee II: Mid-Career Survey
Houston Museum of African American Culture
June 30 – September 2, 2023

From the Houston Museum of African American Culture:

“The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) is excited to present El Franco Lee II: Mid-Career Survey, curated by HMAAC’s Chief Curator Christopher Blay. This exhibition is the first solo museum exhibition of the Houston-based artist El Franco Lee II’s work. This retrospective survey is a collection of 30 works created over the past 16 years of the artist’s professional career which developed from early childhood drawings through his formal training at Yale University, a BFA in painting, and later an MFA, both from the School of Art at the University of Houston.

El Franco aptly refers to his style as Urban Mannerist Pop Art as the bizarre and grotesque come together in his paintings in ways that feel illogical, but perfectly balanced. His compressed and flattened figures form grand tableaux, fueling, as Outkast puts it, ‘the art of storytelling.’ In his paintings, El Franco bobs and weaves his way from historical figures such as the boxer Jack Johnson, through other Black icons such as Michael Jackson, Jordan, Tupac, and JR Richards. But it is his masterful chronology of Houston Hip Hop lore, specifically his depictions of the late Houston Rapper DJ Screw and his Screwed Up Click (SUC) that Lee is most known for.”

A photograph of artist Colby Deal sitting on a chair with two large sepia photographs behind him.

Colby Deal

2. Colby Deal: Repurpose
Lanecia Rouse Tinsley Gallery (Houston)
July 14 – September 1, 2023

From Lanecia Rouse Tinsley Gallery:

Repurpose by Colby Deal is the inward practice and outward act of repurposing materials and experiences that carry personal resonance. This collection is a mirror to his own life’s journey of self-reconstruction and preservation through the collaging of consciously safeguarded materials and images, seeing in them not only their inherent value but also his own life’s potential for rebirth.”

An abstract painting by Kyle Steed.

Kyle Steed, “Pulling the Weeds Out,” acrylic on canvas, 70 x 50 inches.

Lone Gallery (Dallas)
July 8 – August 26, 2023

From Lone Gallery, an artist statement:

Pure Land might best be viewed as the very embodiment of my presence, my essence. An offering of thanks to every teacher whose help has guided me through thin veils and thickest of thieves. To be alive can be all I need. The title is adapted from the pages of one of my favorite books, You Are Here, by Thich Nhat Hahn. Embedded in this new body of work, Pure Land, is an ode to self-energy. Something a psychic once told me I would be moving into. The themes of acceptance, integration, death and birth are allowed to be explored and left to us, you and me (the collective we), to continue searching for.*hint: we never fully arrive. The groundless nature of these works are meant to harmonize with an inward space. An inward calling. Where I view the world hanging in spatial balance. I arrange my work/my life in a very intentional manner of chaos.”

An installation image of various artworks hanging in a gallery.

TRAHC’s 35th Annual Juried Exhibition

4. TRAHC’s 35th Annual Juried Exhibition
Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council
July 7 – September 2, 2023

From Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council:

“Friday, July 7, marks the opening of TRAHC’s 35th Annual Juried Exhibition. With 70 pieces of art from regional, national, and international artists, this year’s show is filled with incredible, and engaging work. A wide range of mediums including, painting, video, drawing, augmented reality, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and photography will be on display.

‘From the beginning, it was clear to me the importance of this exhibition to many in the region. As I combed through the over three hundred submissions, I saw artists working in a range of style and content across a variety of media. I appreciated seeing the technical skill as well as a bit of play in the submissions. It proved to me that there are still surprises to be found in art despite the constant stream of visual stimulation we encounter everyday,’ writes Iris Bechtol, Adult Juried Exhibition Juror 2023 in her statement.”

A painting of a person pushing a cart with the a sign that reads "Tamales and Chips." Artwork painted on a stone by Raul Rene Gonzalez.

Raul Rene Gonzalez’s work at Wanderlust Ironworks Gallery.

5. Raul Rene Gonzalez: Then and Now
Wanderlust Ironworks Gallery (San Antonio)
July 21 – October 21, 2023

From the artist:

“Wanderlust Ironworks Gallery presents Then And Now, a solo exhibition featuring Raul Rene Gonzalez. For the exhibition, Gonzalez will share a new series of drawings and paintings on concrete alongside a collection of mixed-media, abstract paintings created over the past 10+ years.”

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