Arts / Galleries

This Art is Hot — Your Houston Summer Art Guide Highlights a Diverse Scene

From the New Ion to Worldly Galleries, These Are the Exhibitions You Don't Want To Miss

BY // 06.09.22

There is plenty of art to see in Houston this month — and beyond. Here’s a quartet of Bayou City art places to be and shows to see. After all, it’s summer. In the Bayou City. What’s better than getting to experience something beautiful — or challenging — in air conditioned comfort?

This is your Houston Summer Art Guide:

Sears Becomes Kunsthalle

One of the most transformative projects of the new decade — Rice University’s radical reinvention of Midtown’ Houston’s Deco-era Sears building, transforming it into a hub for tech innovation and ideas — brings with it a side of public art. Cue the Ion and its inaugural EyeOnArt program, overseen by public art advocate and consultant Piper Faust.

Houston talents Lina Dib and Preston Gaines, with their respective practices of anthropology and architecture, were selected by the Ion and the Ion District Art Advisory Council from more than 60 submission. Dib and Gaines were then awarded commissions to create site-specific installations for the former department store space’s windows.

Preston Gaines with his Fantasy Landscape, 2022, at The Ion. (Photo by Alex Montoya)
Preston Gaines with his Fantasy Landscape, 2022, at the Ion. (Photo by Alex Montoya)

See the results for the next four months 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Synchronistically, nature is celebrated and holds court in each artist’s creation, dialoguing as well with the neighborhood. Especially now that many Houstonians will soon be flocking to the Ion as a new foodie destination, come late this summer or early fall.

Faust praises Dib’s and Gaines’ windows, telling PaperCity that the new projects are “contemplative, imaginative and thought provoking.

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“Preston and Lina both speak to Houston’s diverse artist community. . .  I am thrilled for their works to be displayed at the Ion, a place that is unwavering in its support for all different types of entrepreneurs, including creatives such as themselves.”

These art windows will be on display through September. Learn more about the Ion here.

Pointillist Supreme

Brooklyn-based Gregory Hayes makes his Texas debut at Dimmitt Contemporary Art in the ethereally named solo exhibition “Boundaries Made of Smoke.” Utilizing 20th century tropes of the grid and an implied homage to the square, Hayes deconstructs painting while juxtaposing the dual concepts of control and chance.

Gregory Hayes’ Untitled (MbTQv), 2022, at Dimmitt Contemporary Art. (Photo courtesy of the artist and Dimmitt Contemporary Art)
Gregory Hayes’ Untitled (MbTQv), 2022, at Dimmitt Contemporary Art (Courtesy the artist and Dimmitt Contemporary Art)

His miniscule, meticulously applied droplets of acrylic paint contain a universe within every orb, which in turn nestle into the series of individual cells the artist carefully etches out within the canvas. This intriguing, meditative work challenges the viewer to slow down and contemplate singular elements of a larger whole.

“Boundaries Made of Smoke” shows through June 11. See more on the Gregory Hayes exhibition here.

Maggie Taylor’s Enchantment

Surrealism wafts through the metaphoric air in the image-making of Maggie Taylor, the result of employing a flatbed scanner to metamorphose and cull from her trove of vintage photographs and found objects. The artist’s biennial showings at longtime dealer Catherine Couturier Gallery are always eagerly anticipated.

Maggie Taylor’s The hostess, 2021, at Catherine Couturier Gallery. (Photo courtesy of the artist and Catherine Couturier Gallery)
Maggie Taylor’s The Hostess, 2021, at Catherine Couturier Gallery (Courtesy  the artist and Catherine Couturier Gallery)

This season’s exhibition, “Maggie Taylor: Internal Logic,” takes its moniker from the artist’s just released book of the same name (available at the gallery with the regular edition costing $110 and a boxed limited edition with eight by eight prints running $1,000).

Taylor populates this latest body of photographs with her signature menagerie as well as the perfume of Victoriana: Hoop skirted ladies and top hatted dandies reinforce the time travel mood and heighten the work’s sense of droll mystery.

“Internal Logic” has been extended through August 31. See more from Maggie Taylor’s exhibition here

A Maestro’s 90th Marked

Colombian-born Fernando Botero is among the most iconic of the Latin American artists, his pneumatically inflated figures of people and animals instantly recognizable to the museum- and non-museum-going public alike.

Fernando Botero’s Family on a Couch, 2010, at Art of the World Gallery. (Photo courtesy of the artist and Art of the World Gallery)
Fernando Botero’s Family on a Couch, 2010, at Art of the World Gallery (Courtesy the artist and Art of the World Gallery)

Now Botero’s Texas dealer, Art of the World Gallery, mounts a concise retrospective, presenting works in all media — oil paintings on canvas, drawings and watercolors on paper, bronze sculpture from desk size to epic — spanning the 1960s through today.

Gallery-goers will come away with a more nuanced take on an artist they thought they knew, discovering the surreal side to Botero, as well as his wink to art history, and above all, implied social commentary.

Now this retrospective has been extended through June 18. Read more about the Botero exhibition here.

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