African with a Side of Contemporary

Gallery Jatad

Catherine D. Anspon  |  Photos by Gallery Jatad’s Lisa Qualls and Matt Scheiner with Bamana Chi Wara pair of headdresses from Mali. Photo by Shau Lin Hon.
Posted:
December 16, 2013

One of the most nuanced art spaces in town promulgates the Menil-established mission of exhibiting African sculpture not in an anthropological context, but by placing it side-by-side with work by Western creatives. We’re enchanted by the newly minted Gallery Jatad, which revives a 1930s-era neighborhood micro shopping center near the Museum District, reinventing it into a storefront gallery. Weeks after our photo shoot, however, it shuttered
due to fire in a nearby retail space. Now the owners are back like a phoenix and have reopened — Houston artist Lisa Qualls, known for her exquisite realist drawings, and husband, Matt Scheiner, a collector/curator with four decades of expertise whose day job is as an energy executive. Together they curate a powerful, ever-changing collection of sub-Saharan African artworks (dating from the 1700s to the 20th century, including works by Senufo, Bamana, Yoruba and Dogon tribes) exhibited alongside cutting-edge contemporary. Upcoming: Jimmy Pena’s haunting drawings on found wood panels, imbued with quiet beauty (reception Saturday, December 7, 3 to 6 pm, through January 18). 1517 Blodgett St., 832.657.4328; galleryjatad.com.

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