When Edgy Art Moves: Houston Collective Goes From a Decaying Warehouse to the Cube
"Collective Solid" at Deborah Colton Gallery signifies assistant director Theresa Escobedo's first major curatorial effort for the gallery. Foreground: Dylan Conner's "White Cube," 2015.
Darwin Arevalo's "Mountain," 2015, was inspired by the artist's reverence for American regionalist Thomas Hart Benton.
Another more abstract, quieter direction in Darwin Arevalo's painting, "Pink Landscape Study," 2015, incorporates elements from a deconstructed Catastrophic Theatre stage set.
Alex Larsen's sculpture, "Do It for Daddy, Longlegs," 2015, possesses a charming DIY vibe.
Oscar Rene Cornejo, who attended Klein Forest High School with Darwin Arevalo, was a recent resident at the prestigious Skowhegan program, Shown: detail of "El Regreso, The Return," 2013. Cronejo also holds an MFA from Yale.
Patrick Renner created the breakthrough piece "Interval in Sunshine," 2015, which employs a garage door opener to propel its neon element.
Patrick Renner's witty, succinct sculpture "Silver Anniversary," 2015, holds court In the gallery's outdoor performance area.
David Adam Salinas' interpretation of the East Side building that's home to the gents of El Rincón Social. ERS was founded in 2006, and has been directed and maintained by gallerist Juan Pablo Alonzo since its earliest days.
David Adam Salinas' filtered slices of a Pop reality reflect the vibrant neighborhood culture swirling around ERS. L to R: "Wedge" and "Diner," both 2015.
Collective member Jonathan Paul Jackson has worked as a studio assistant to Angelbert Metoyer & Robert Hodge. The artist's "Gold, Green and Wood," 2015, reminded me of L.A. painter Mark Bradford's way with abstraction.
Jonathan Paul Jackson and David Adam Salinas pose with a salon wall of the collective's small works, which play nicely with one another.
L to R: This writer, Theresa Escobedo, Nicole and David Adam Salinas, Darwin Arevalo, and Anne Simpson.
When work migrates between an artist studio and a gallery or museum, it’s often a surprise.
In the case of some artists with polish and a museum/collector pedigree, the work may move from one pristine environment to another. In contrast, very edgy work sometimes looks too raw and unfinished coming straight from an emerging talent’s studio to a high-profile solo exhibition.
Cue El Rincón Social — aka ERS — a tight, yet organic collective whose home base is a rough, decaying 1930s warehouse (a former mattress factory/once railroad-car assembly plant) on Houston’s rapidly gentrifying East End. Curator Theresa Escobedo, assistant director at Deborah Colton Gallery, and one of the few female studio occupants of ERS, began thinking about what might take place when seven members of the collaborative came together in the white cube of her workplace.
The result, the group exhibition “Collective Solid,” which opened on July 18 and defied my expectations.
The raw emotion of the work — encompassing sculpture, painting and photography — remained, but, extracted from its industrial birthplace, the talent and promise of the artists really came into clearer focus. Follow our slide show for some of the best of show. Any one of these works would be at home in a contemporary collector’s home, such as the one belonging to Lester Marks.
“Collective Solid,” curated by Theresa Escobedo, on view through August 22, at Deborah Colton Gallery.