Justin Garcia at the Palazzo Bembo, Venice, 2019 (Photo by Mohamed Al-Kory)
The Palazzo Bembo in Venice, site of one installment of the European Cultural Centre's "Personal Structures," a project under the auspices of the 2019 Venice Biennale. Houston painter Justin Garcia was among the 300-some international talents tapped for the prestigious curated exhibition.
Texas artist Justin Garcia on the Grand Canal, as Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute looks on. (Photo courtesy the artist)
Installation view of Justin Garcia's “Love Lives," 2019, at the Palazzo Bembo. (Photo courtesy the artist)
Justin Garcia's "Waiting Station Through the Rabbit Hole," 2017, which references his ongoing series "Walls of Time," debuted internationally at the European Cultural Centre this summer during the 2019 Venice Biennale (on view through November 24). (Photo courtesy the artist)
Justin Garcia's "Documented Thoughts Through Time," 2017, one of four sculptural paintings included in the European Cultural Centre's "Personal Structures" exhibition during the 2019 Venice Biennale. (Photo courtesy the artist)
Justin Garcia's "El Hambre," 2017, evokes the sense of Renaissance frescoes or ancient Roman wall painting. (Photo courtesy the artist)
Outside "Personal Structures" at Palazzo Bembo. Texas artist Justin Garcia was selected for the international group exhibition, among the accompanying curatorial programs of the 2019 Venice Biennale. (Photo courtesy the artist)
A Justin Garcia triptych holds court at the Palazzo Bembo, one of the side exhibitions concurrent with the Venice Biennale 2019, and organized by the European Cultural Centre. (Photo courtesy the artist)
An iconic view from the Grand Canal during the Venice Biennale 2019.
Toasting an exhibition and basking in Venetian ambiance: headliner Justin Garcia, Wynne Bischoff, Christina Truong, Todd Williamson, Marta Djorovic, Greg Walter. (Photo courtesy the artist)
One of the bonuses of Justin Garcia exhibiting in Venice during the 2019 Biennale was the opportunity to take in Leonardo's original "Vitruvian Man" sketch on display at the Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia.
Inside the La Chiesa di San Barnaba, an exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions and machines. The Renaissance master is a touchstone of Houston artist Justin Garcia's practice.
Texas artist Justin Garcia in front of his favorite installation during the Venice Biennale 2019: a Sean Scully site-specific sculpture inside the dell’Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore. (Photo courtesy the artist)
Collectors who flocked to the Venice Biennale this summer encountered a Houston artist Justin Garcia in a pendant exhibition organized by the European Cultural Centre.
“Personal Structures: Identities ” — which stays on view into November — features Garcia along with nearly 300-some talents from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Latin America, Africa, and North America. The tri-venue exhibition takes place at the historic Palazzo Bembo on the Grand Canal (the striking edifice where Garcia’s works are installed), and extends to the Palazzo Mora, as well as spilling onto the al fresco grounds of Giardini Marinaressa.
Garcia was tapped by the Cultural Centre’s team of 13 curators to mount four works from his ongoing “Walls of Time” series — dramatic sculptural paintings evoking Italian Renaissance frescoes or the fragments of ancient Roman mural paintings.
The painter is a staple of the Houston art world. His practice is headquartered amidst the Sawyer Yards complex at Silver Street Studios.
While Garcia is known primarily as an abstract painter, in recent years, he has created elaborate installations where drawings intersect with labyrinthine flow charts, which posit an idealized time machine.
With his “Walls of Time,” the artist comes full circle, making his idea of time travel tangible. These latest paintings possess the imprint of ages past. And appropriately they occupy an environment perfumed with Venice’s fabled history.
“I present the conceptual idea of how the perception of time is realized through the simplicity of aging walls,” Garcia tells PaperCity.
“The Venice Biennale is the Olympics of art, and I couldn’t be more honored.”
Garcia returns to Italy this fall to exhibit October 18 through October 27 in another celebrated city of the Renaissance — at the Florence Biennale.
Closer to home, the painter is fresh from showing (and getting sales) at the Seattle Art Fair, the sister fair to the Texas Contemporary.
Garcia’s next act — a solo entitled “Marking Time” at the Glade Gallery, Glade Cultural Center in The Woodlands — opens Thursday, October 3, 6:30 pm, and remains on view through November 3. (Admission free, but opening night RSVP requested: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Justin Garcia in “Personal Structures – Identities,” at Palazzo Bembo, through November 24; check out the exhibition here.
Scroll through the slideshow above this story to see Garcia’s top art encounter during the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale. Read more about the artist who created it, Sean Scully, here.