Arts / Galleries

One Bad Art Woman

This Motorcycle-Driving Global Force Puts the Steel City Under the Houston Spotlight

BY // 04.13.16
photography Jenny Antill Clifton

recent addition to Houston’s 4411 Montrose gallery building is Cindy Lisica Gallery. Its owner has an intriguing, international pedigree: She wields a Ph.D. from University of the Arts London, paired with curatorial stints that encompass the Tate Britain and Tate London, independent projects in Paris, time at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (in the archives), where she raided Warhol’s Time Capsules to curate displays in the museum and at international venues from the Power Station of Art in Shanghai to the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.

In Houston, she divides her time between the registrar’s department at The Menil Collection, teaching at the University of Houston, and her gallery — a rebranded iteration of the one she launched two years ago in Pittsburgh, her hometown. Notwithstanding intellectual chops and an impressive CV, Lisica is warm and approachable.

This motorcycle-riding, Mandarin-speaking global gallerist — the daughter of a Croatian and English father and a Shanghai-born Chinese mother — is initially mounting shows for artists she exhibited in Pennsylvania. She’s putting Steel City talents in the limelight, including this month’s solo, “Plastics” for Travis K. Schwab, whose languid and cool realist portraits capture fame, fandom and celebrity culture in the best tradition of Warhol (April 22 – May 28).

The self-taught Schwab, an alum of a New American Paintings volume, has exhibited in the Pop king’s museum. Lisica’s summer solo will be design oriented: Carnegie Mellon-grad Jamie Earnest’s collage-based paintings mine the luxe interiors and home decor of Warhol, Hockney and Mr. Chow (unveiling Friday, June 3). Cindy Lisica Gallery, 4411 Montrose, 713.807.7760

Travis K. Schwab’s Wig (III), 2015, at Cindy Lisica Gallery. (Courtesy the artist and Cindy Lisica Gallery)

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