Pratt Institute grad/Houston artist Bret Shirley deserves to be on your radar. Shown: Shirley's "The Dark Fold That Restrains the Infinite," 2015, at galleryHomeland. Photo courtesy Iva Kinnaird.
The signage that announces this provocative exhibition, expertly deployed in galleryHomeland's 600 square feet. Photo courtesy Iva Kinnaird.
We mistook this Post-It note for an actual sign, but it's an art piece by Houston artist Iva Kinnaird. Photo courtesy the artist.
Look closely or you'd miss Iva Kinnaird's disturbingly droll "Spaghetti Noose," 2015, positioned by the art space's fuse box. Photo courtesy Iva Kinnaird.
Kinnaird's kinetic sculpture "The Sky is Falling," 2015, exploded balloons during the opening. The remains are quite poignant. Photo courtesy Iva Kinnaird.
"Stand for This," 2015, is representative of Kinnaird's installation practice, which hints at approaching destruction. Photo courtesy Iva Kinnaird.
Detail of Shirley's "This Relationship is not Empirical," 2015, reveals the artist's innovative use of chrome alum crystal, in this case, becoming the Rio Grande element within the framed Grand Canyon collage. Photo courtesy Iva Kinnaird.
This is the first installment of ArtCity, our series on incubator spaces, artists’ lairs, odd finds and other discoveries of merit.
We begin at Paul Middendorf‘s nonprofit project galleryHomeland, an incubator space — designed by Garrett Hunter, who co-curates the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s big design show opening in August — that presents some of the most conceptually charged exhibitions in town.
Middendorf was lured to Houston in 2010 to juror Lawndale Art Center’s Big Show. He started galleryHomeland in Portland, a concurrent space he recently shuttered; he’s now celebrating 10 years in the art biz as proprietor/director/chief curator of this edgy alternative.
Here’s a peek at his current view, “Typically Esoteric,” a showcase of two artists of significant promise, Iva Kinnaird and Bret Shirley (on view through August 9). The former posits a sense of narrative and hints at witty disaster waiting to happen, while the latter is known for cooking up alum crystals in a chemical lab, which later appear in alluring canvases.
Scroll through the slide show for scenes from the exhibition, which takes place in Middendorf’s historic 1920s downtown warehouse space at 2327 Commerce Street, within steps of the celebrated Commerce Street Artists Warehouse. Surely CSAW’s spirit and sense of smart art adventure lives on in this new-generation ringleader.