Eight to see: Make tracks to Project Row House for Round 38, a smartly curated convergence of eight talents in seven row houses that are provocative, compelling and poignant, dealing out themes global (Rahul Mitra), local (Thomas Sayers Ellis), cosmic (Kenya Evans, M’kina Tapscott), architectural and iconic (Sean Shim-Boyle), nature-based (Jürgen Tarrasch), print-related (Darin Forehand) and about the all-American pinup (Derek Cracco). PRH’s Ryan N. Dennis curates (through June 23).
Coolquitt Crazy: At Blaffer Art Museum, the strange sculptural mash-ups of the quotidian, the arresting and the everyday make a compelling case for the talent of Austin-based Andy Coolquitt, whom Claudia Schmuckli curates in a survey marking the artist’s museum debut (opening night May 17; through August 24).
Whitney Bound?: That same night, head to Art League Houston for the bold text paintings by my frenemy Devon Britt-Darby, whose work has an incandescent layer of beauty; he’s my bet for the Texas talent for the next Whitney Biennial. Also on view at ALH is light mistress Adela Andea’s latest laser-like sculptural configurations (both opening May 17; through June 21).
Bess Is Best: Have you caught our Forrest Bess obsession? The late Texas visionary, whose abstractions early on captured the eye of Dominique de Menil and Hiram Butler (the former collecting; the latter exhibiting), comes to town in a seminal show complete with installation arranged by Robert Gober (through August 18).
Kallinen’s Cornucopia: Last summer, I judged a wacky but wonderful juried competition at East Side hotbed of excitement Kallinen Contemporary. Fellow judges Lester Marks, aka the Art Prince, and the mythic Bert Long Jr. bestowed honors on Victor Hugo Zambrano Navarro, Jonathan Rosenstein, Christian Perkins, nature-aesthete Christy Karll, Mario Humberto Kazaz, the obsessive Solomon Kane and gallery proprietor Randall Kallinen. This trippy show is worth the trip (opening May 4; through June 15).
Buzz: Houston Fine Art Fair will announce its charity partners any day now. Save the dates: September 19 – 22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center (houstonfineartfair.com).
Wanna Get Lucky: Head to DiverseWorks for my personal fave collecting opportunity. The annual Luck of the Draw is the most democratic acquisition opportunity around, plus a really great art bash. PaperCity serves as media sponsor Thursday, May 23, while DW celebrates its 30th year by rolling out offerings by more than 200 talents, including recent headliners (Franklin Evans, Tony Feher, Liz Magic Laser and Marina Zurkow) and Houston notables (Joe Havel, Katrina Moorhead, Francesa Fuchs and Trenton Doyle Hancock), all making 7-by-9-inch treasures (tickets from $100, chances $100 each; 713.223.8346 or diverseworks.org) … Paul Fleming, the alchemist of hydrocal and resin, returns to Barbara Davis Gallery for his first show in years. The internationally exhibited Fleming is known for his buoyant, futuristic architectural and sculptural interventions (through June 1).
The Great Vasarely: The late op-art genius Victor Vasarely is back, and the Museum of Printing History presents a look at the dizzying principles and potential of the movement, in collaboration with the Museum of Geometric Art and MADI Art in Dallas. Curating is Houston painter/printmaker Orna Feinstein, who has her own op thing going (through August 3) … Hook-Epstein Gallery serves up the collage-based imagery of California-based Scott Gordon, who achieves a fresh take on found and often overlooked materials (through May 25).