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Arts / Galleries

The New York Times Is Drawn to Houston’s Most Significant New Art Space

How a Big Move to Montrose Changed Everything

BY // 04.12.16
photography Jenny Antill Clifton

“The new, larger space allows us to expand our programming and mount more robust and unexpected presentations,” says David Shelton, whose arrival in town nearly four years ago marked the most significant addition to Houston’s gallery scene in the past decade. With stints at Nina Ricci, Max Factor and Netscape in, respectively, NY, L.A. and San Francisco, as well as significant time in San Antonio, where he incubated a gallery known for its risk taking and intelligent dialogue, Shelton took a leap of faith this spring and moved from smallish digs in Isabella Court to one of 4411 Montrose’s anchor spaces (originally occupied by Wade Wilson, before his move to Santa Fe).

Recently on view was Dallas-based Stephen Lapthisophon’s commentary upon the beauty of natural materials and the passage of time, somber paintings flavored with ingredients that could be from a chef’s kitchen — from turmeric and cinnamon to paprika and dill, as well as traditional oil stick and charcoal. Now up: one of the most watched talents in Shelton’s stable, MFAH Core Fellow Rodrigo Valenzuela, in conjunction with FotoFest, presenting an amalgamation of architecture, photography and installation that addresses a new topic for the artist: the concept of roadside shrines (through April 16).

Post-Valenzuela, Shelton presents Pop-feminist collagist Kelly O’Connor, then adroit abstract painter Jonathan Faber, recipient of a Pollock Krasner Fellowship. But it’s September’s lineup that has collectors already lining up, with a solo planned for the master of graphite, grisaille and gravitas, Vincent Valdez. The San Antonio-based, Rhode Island School of Design-educated talent is at work on a series based on the Ku Klux Klan; The New York Times just did a studio visit and penned a profile, but not for the art section — for its election-year coverage, underscoring that Valdez’s work addresses subjects that are more profound than the art market.

David Shelton Gallery, 4411 Montrose Blvd., 713.393.7319

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