Arts / Galleries

Going Underground

Houston’s Coolest Art Space Curated By A Most Unlikely Power Player

BY Catherine Anspon // 07.17.15

ArtCity Dispatch: On paper, Pablo Cardoza‘s credentials give no hint at the fact that he’s rapidly becoming an art-world power player and gallery arbiter.

He shared his unlikely trajectory to becoming an art dealer. “I dropped out of UH during my senior year and spent the next few years directionless,” he says

“I was friends with some of the people that started the gallery Art Storm and, inspired by their efforts, I decided to turn the warehouse space I lived in into a gallery.”

The space that Cardoza references has become what insiders know as the sleeper space among Houston galleries: aka Cardoza Fine Art. If you haven’t heard much about it, that will change this fall, with a show for Houston’s most famous/infamous living artist, Mark Flood — opening night is set for September 12 — at which A-list collectors, museum insiders and the curious will all flock to Cardoza’s rough ‘n ready 1320 Nance Street locale.

The space has a familiar vibe when I visited it, but I could not put my finger on it. Then I recalled it was once the very edgy venue Atomic Cafe, former home of Infernal Bridegroom Productions. (Theatrical impresario Wayne Wilden remains involved as a very avant-garde landlord.) Footsteps from the haute eatery/new cuisine HQ Oxheart, Cardoza holds court in a low-slung historical warehouse, which you have to really seek out to find.

Second bit of news: Cadoza is stepping up and will exhibit in the upcoming iteration of the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, year five, opening October 1, at George R. Brown.

Scroll through our slide show for some of our fave discoveries during our recent visit. Hurry: Current show, the cleverly monikered “Side Effects That Nobody Wants: New Works by James BurnsChris HenryDual,” closes on July 19.

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