Arts / Museums

A Taste of Mexico City In Montrose

New Openings Keep the Anticipation Going Through Fair Week

BY // 09.26.16

Four new art spaces, and a departure, mark the breaking news leading up to this week’s Texas Contemporary Art Fair and the Houston Art Fair.

One of the arrivals has an international pedigree — Galeria Enrique Guerrero has just inked the lease on a prime ground-floor spot at the 4411 Montrose Gallery Building. Arriving from Mexico City, and taking over the former space occupied by Unix Gallery — closing its Houston annex, but continuing its Manhattan operation — Guerrero will be known as Guerrero Projects here.

The Texas outpost of the respected Mexico City gallery brand (opened in 1997 in the San Miguel Chapultepec district, in the west part of Mexico City, home to a group of galleries) will be familiar to Houston audiences. Guerrero’s Houston debuted at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, at which its booth in “The Other Mexico” component of the Fair garnered plenty of attention for its smart installation by Miguel Ángel Madrigal — a miniature architectural diorama embedded in the floor of the gallery’s booth. Guerrero returns to the Texas Contemporary again, then, two weeks later, opens on Friday, October 14, in its new 4411 project space with a sampling of its stable, including the dramatic black-upon-black canvases by senior master Beatriz Zamora (through November 12).

Also, look for the ambitious space being hatched by Paul Middendorf; his 4,200-square-foot endeavor melds the concepts of gallery, nonprofit, and performance center into a fresh community-based model. Occupying a hefty portion of a once industrial site — the Imperial Linen Service, which just built a shiny new plant — the address for the new GalleryHomeland is 3201 Harrisburg. (The historic building is being developed by New Living’s Jeff Kaplan, Natasha Aziza, Forest Design Build, plus a silent partner.) Homeland’s opening act, Middendorf says, is tentatively planned for early November with a UH grad student-flavored “Gao Bless Texas” paired with a focused group show of “regionally and nationally recognized female sculptors and installation artists called ‘Solid Space.’”

Thanks to Elise Weber for letting us in on her participation in a roving series of spaces entitled “Flats,” staged in CAMH multimedia fellow Ronald Jones’ apartment on the Eastside, 4203 Rusk. The inaugural happening, “Perceptions: Women” is one-day only, coinciding with the art fairs  — Saturday, October 1, 6 to 10 pm. Watch for Weber’s singing vagina sculpture.

Last, but certainly not least, artist Emily Sloan opens her paean to her new neighborhood — the Fifth Ward. The Mystic Lyon (its name taken from the streets at which the corner property, a former storefront, is sited), is housed in her studio building, at 5017 Lyons Avenue. Opening night, Saturday, October 1, 5 to 8 pm, headlining Jesse Lott, Texas Artist of the Year, and a long-time Fifth Ward neighbor. Lott’s lively sculpture and a wall piece will be on view 24/7, ornamenting the building and the illuminated front windows of the Mystic Lyon (through April 2017).

Finally, the New York Times broke the news that The Menil Collection’s Drawing Institute curator David Breslin is decamping for a plum post at the Whitney. Breslin’s departure gives the MDI time to line up another curator before its big reveal next fall, concurrent with the museum’s 30th anniversary commemorations.

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