Art Notes

Houston Art News for February 2014

Catherine D. Anspon  |  Photos by The Bridge Club’s "Waltz Across Texas," 2013, at Art Palace, Bert Long Jr.’s "Riding the Tiger," 2000, at Deborah Colton Gallery. Photo by Cyndy Allard.
February 18, 2014

Surreal Scene to Cubist King: While Magritte makes a perfect Valentine at The Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the exclusive American venue for the Georges Braque (1882 – 1963) retrospective. This show seeks, via 75 definitive works, to pull Braque from the shadow of Picasso and show his own innovations, from Fauvism to his most pioneering phase — cubism (February 13 – May 11) … Speaking of Surrealism, don’t overlook haunting works by Lee Bontecou in the first-ever retrospective of the artist’s extraordinary drawings, which vary from the marvelous to the macabre, with a touch of sci-fi. The Menil’s Michelle White curates (through May 11) … Italian-based/Moscow Biennale-exhibited Andrea Bianconi, whose idiosyncratic practice verges on the surreal, returns to town via “Tunnel City,” opening Thursday, February 13, at Barbara Davis Gallery with a performance, book signing and showing of his latest canvases (through March 15).

Group-On: Art Palace engages with an edgy group view that struts the smartest work in gallerist Arturo Palacios’ stable. We’re mad for the performance art/photographic quartet The Bridge Club, accompanied by the latest by Elaine Bradford, Jeffrey Dell, Nathan Green and more, as well as a neat micro show of Nick Barbee’s wry watercolors (both through February 15).

Bert’s Back: February marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Rome Prize winner Bert Long Jr. To honor his memory, jump-start his foundation and move his volume penned by Thomas McEvilley to publication, Deborah Colton Gallery mounts a fund-raising exhibition complete with blues performances Saturday, February 1 (through March 8).

Paper Lover: Marco Villegas’ abstract woodcut monotypes, hot off Burning Bones Press, are showcased at Sharon Engelstein’s Front gallery, a lovely space sited in the artist’s bungalow (through February 22) … Handmade artists’ books are page-turners at Hiram Butler Gallery, continuing a long-standing dialogue with Bill Goldston’s U.L.A.E. (Universal Limited Art Editions). Acquire collectible limited-edition volumes by notables from Elizabeth Murray to Bob Rauschenberg (through February 22).

Installation Station: Check out McClain Gallery’s solo for the brilliant pair Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher. Trailer, serves up a surprising amalgamation of electrical engineering, odd mechanics, light show and miniature dioramas, set to a quirky score (February 6 – May 31) … One of my fave sculptors has been picked up by Devin Borden Gallery. Master of materials/Pop prognosticator/UH prof Paul Kittelson currently headlines with buoyant new work at Borden’s Isabella digs (through February 18) … FotoFest arrives next month. Follow @PaperCityCA for the best of the biennial.