Top Five: September 28, 2023

by Glasstire September 28, 2023

Glasstire counts down the top five art events in Texas.

For last week’s picks, please go here.

A painting of Forrest Prince by Nestor Topchy.

Nestor Topchy, “Iconic Portrait Strand (Forrest Prince),” 2008-22, egg tempera and gold leaf on gesso over cloth on plywood. Collection of the artist. © Nestor Topchy. Photo: Caroline Philippone

1. The Iconic Portrait Strand by Nestor Topchy
The Menil Collection (Houston)
August 4 – January 21, 2024

From the Menil Collection:

“This exhibition presents more than one hundred portraits made over the past twenty years by Houston-based artist Nestor Topchy (b. 1963). The small paintings, with their gold backgrounds, resemble Byzantine icons; however, rather than represent religious figures, Topchy depicts friends and colleagues in the art community. His materials are traditional, and he applies red clay, powdered marble, gold leaf, pure pigments, and egg yolk on small wooden panels. The artist has explained that his approach connects the past to the present and lends a unique effect to his contemporary subjects: ‘To paint a mortal in the sea of gold light, alone—is to propose a saintliness that dwells within all people.’”

An installation image of works by Robin Utterback at the Galveston Artist Residency.

“Robin Utterback: Introduction” at the Galveston Artist Residency

2. Robin Utterback: Introduction
Galveston Artist Residency
August 26 – October 14, 2023

From the Galveston Artist Residency:

“I remember being in the downstairs gallery at the CAMH in the winter of 1993 and seeing an exhibition of paintings by Robin Utterback. It seemed to me that the paintings had crept out from the sidewalks and streets of the neighborhoods surrounding the museum at the time.”

A photograph of a painting by Madelyn Sneed-Grays.

Madelyn Sneed-Grays, “Mountain Top Views and Valley Walks.”

3. Madelyn Sneed-Grays: BLACK JOY
Erin Cluley Gallery (Dallas)
August 26 – September 30, 2023

From Erin Cluley Gallery:

“‘It’s a miracle that Black joy exists. Being consistently reminded of our traumatic past by way of post-traumatic slave syndrome and American society itself, joy shouldn’t be a part of our vernacular. But, due to resilience it is.’ — Madelyn Sneed-Grays

For as long as suffering and trauma has existed, its antithetical sedative, joy, has mounted a cheerful counteroffensive. In her exhibition of the same name, Denton-based painter Madelyn Sneed-Grays celebrates Black joy in a collection of new photorealist portraits. In conversation with Black creatives, entrepreneurs and online personalities, Sneed-Grays creates an exacting portrait of her subjects’ self-fashioning and manifest joy. Her work eschews universalizing narratives of the Black experience for nuggets of nuanced expression.”

A photograph of painting on silk by Isabel Legate.

Isabel Legate, “Androgynous Diamond,” dye and acrylic on silk.

4. Isabel Legate & Oshay Green: Holometabolism
Martha’s Contemporary (Austin)
September 8 – October 7, 2023

From Martha’s:

Holometabolism, curated by Mimi Bowman and featuring the work of Isabel Legate and Oshay Green, evokes the form of the egg. Obvious in the oval silk wall works by Legate, the egg also makes an appearance in the tall, seemingly rigid structures by Green. According to the myth, the Dogon egg is crossed by a series of vibrations, a series which transmutes the egg, enabling it to give birth to the universe.

Green’s structures are likewise crossed by vibrations: a speaker within one vibrates the tower, making us aware that the steel that comprises it, solid as it may seem, is actually made up of myriad tiny parts, molecules, each shimmering in their own space. The awareness of this ends the heretofore dichotomy between the steel of Green’s work and silk of Legate’s work — one hard, one soft — as both are revealed as simply matter in metamorphosis.”

An image of an abstract painting by Jack Roth.

A work in “Jack Roth: Animated Edge,” on view at Baker Schorr Fine Art

5. Jack Roth: Animated Edge
Baker Schorr Fine Art (Midland)
August 29 – October 3, 2023

From Baker Schorr Fine Art:

“Jack Roth considered himself a color field painter. His paintings are recognizable for thin contour lines or ‘animated’ edges, and soft forms, in addition to an expressive use of color. Poet, photographer, mathematician, university professor, and abstract expressionist painter, Roth relentlessly pursued art and science. Rachel Chester, his wife, described him as a genius, and the hardest working person she had ever known. Roth was represented by the renowned New York gallery, Knoedler & Co., where he was given his first one-man New York exhibition in 1980.”

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