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Houston’s Hottest Art Exhibitions

Posted by currentartevents on June 9, 2010

There are many noteworthy exhibitions and art-related events going on in and around Houston. Two of the best current exhibitions are “Cosmos” at Art Palace and “An Exhibition of Proposals for a Socialist Colony” at Skydive. Read below to find out more about these unique shows and check them out today.

“Cosmos” @ Art Palace, through June 26th

This collaborative exhibition features the work of Emilie Halpern and Eric Zimmerman, and like its name implies, follows a rigorous system of order. The show is dense, and the “universe” the artists present is one built by accretion. Images and concepts overlap and the works’ subtle playfulness and gallery’s spaciousness provide ample breathing room, balancing the “cosmos-like” feeling of a hermetically sealed vacuum. Each artist has filled two small rooms of the gallery with his or her own creations, and the more expansive central room contains both Zimmerman’s large-scale graphite drawings and Halpern’s photographs and sculpture. Here, each artist’s individual works converge in a visual dialogue. Zimmerman and Halpern create a surprisingly harmonious “universe” with this exhibition, while still managing to maintain aesthetic autonomy.

“An Exhibition of Proposals for a Socialist Colony” @ Skydive, through June 19th

The artist-run space Skydive recently collaborated with the Oakland, California-based group “Autonomous Organization” in soliciting proposals to re-develop its headquarters as a socialist colony. The subsequent exhibition of submission thoughtfully probes the promises and pitfalls of collective organization and shared resources. The show displays 20 artworks (in a “Do it yourself” format) created by artist-activists of different ages and from several countries around the world. On view are installations of varying mediums, documentary films, and other engaging works that force viewers to explore notions and interpretations of socialism in its many forms. Participating artists include: BAW, N55, Aharon, Amy Balkin, Zanny Begg, The Copenhagen Commune, Chto Delat/What is to be Done?, José Filipe Costa, Erin Elder, Amy Franceschini, Alex Lockett, David Mabb, Anna Pickering, The Public School, Jon Sack, Temporary Services, Chin Xaou Ti Won, and Duncan Wooldridge.

Click here to read about the other noteworthy exhibitions going on around the world.



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“Go Vegan!” @ a Former Butchery

Posted by currentartevents on May 12, 2010

NYC art dealer and gallery owner Gavin Brown recently rented the vacated Pat La Frieda Wholesale Meat Purveuprs butchery next door to his gallery. No, he’s not delving into the world of meat butchery or opening up a steakhouse. He’s using the vacant meat locale as an exhibition space. (Sigh of relief) But don’t plan on seeing construction workers or hearing power drills just yet – instead, Brown’s butchery-turned-gallery is already hosting its first exhibition… one displaying art made of tofu!

How ironic? But I guess that’s part of the point.

Last Sunday Jonathan Horowitz‘s restaged “Go Vegan!” opened (in its earlier setting, “Tofu on Pedestal in Gallery” echoed the sterility of the white-box art space). The current show’s bean-curd sculptures are located in a walk-in cooler that’s barely left its bloody past behind.

A recent NY Magazine feature article quotes the artist, who said,

“[The exhibition is a celebration of] this nonviolent, pure, wondrous foodstuff.”

Across the “gallery” American Gothic takes Norman Rockwell‘s cozily abundant Thanksgiving table and turns it into an image that may inspire you to rethink your meat-eating habits.

Brown does admit that Horowitz’s show is a bit of a stung, calling it “an opportunity too good to miss.” While he doesn’t want to completely renovate the former butchery, Brown does mention ripping back the venue’s walls to reveal its brick and reveals that he doesn’t want to be doing “meat-cooler” shows for the rest of his life.

Catch “Go Vegan!” through June 19th.

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Seoul Photo 2010

Posted by currentartevents on April 28, 2010

Twenty-two local and foreign galleries will present impressive photography collections at this year’s edition of Seoul Photo, Asia’s first annual art fair devoted exclusively to photography.  The art fair begins tomorrow, April 29th and runs through May 3rd – taking place at COEX Hall B in the city’s Samseong-dong district.

Launched in 2008, Seoul Photo has grown rapidly, and this year’s inclusion of major local galleries that don’t necessarily specialize in photography, displays the increasing status of photography in the nation’s fine art world.

As with many major international fairs, one country has been chosen as Seoul Photo 2010’s “Guest of Honor Nation.” This year’s honor goes to Spain (last year’s was Sweden). Eve

nt curator, Choi Jae-won recently stated,

“Spain’s celebrity curator Alejandro Castellote has selected about 100 pieces by 10 Spanish photographers for the Seoul Phtoo 2010. The show of the artists will help Korean photographers and viewers who have been familiar only with American, British and German photographers broaden their outlook.”

The celebrity curator is no newcomer to the vast world of art fairs. Castellote founded PHotoEspana, an annual international photography festival in Madrid, in 1998 and served as the fair’s art director from 1998 until 2000.

Click here to read more about the art fair, Castellote and the 10 Spanish photographers he chose to represent Spain at Seoul Photo 2010.

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See What’s Going on at NYC’s Jack Shainman Gallery

Posted by currentartevents on April 7, 2010

Chelsea’s Jack Shainman Gallery focuses on exhibiting and representing international artists (specifically from Africa, East Asia and North America). Represented artists use various mediums in their work, with a tendency towards conceptual as well as politically and socially engaged artwork.

There are currently two uniquely different shows on exhibit,  both of which are worth a peak.

Burgeon,” on display through April 17th, is showing Los Angeles artist, Ross Rudel‘s new sculpture. Rudel gains inspiration from his own life – including dreams he’s had, weird experiences he’s encountered and ideas related to his ongoing spiritual relationship with nature. The artist utilizes materials that have personal or symbolic significance (i.e. “Resurrection of the Green Man” and related sculptures in the exhibition are made entirely of algae from a fertile L.A. River that blooms each spring). Rudel is dedicated to detail, successfully trapping the viewer between the rawness of allusions and the elegance of presentation.

Recent Work,” which also runs through April 17th, is Todd Herbert‘s second solo show at Jack Shainman. Herbert creates hyper-realistic paintings and works on paper featuring common subject matter – from nighttime cityscapes, to snowmen, Christmas lights and Fourth of July sparklers. In his work, Herbert often juxtaposes areas of sharp focus with blurred compositions that draw in the viewer. His paintings are contemplative and detached – often bittersweet and mysterious.

See what’s coming next at Jack Shainman Gallery.

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Montreal’s International Festival of Films on Art

Posted by currentartevents on March 24, 2010

The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is currently hosting its 28th edition, which runs through March 28th. The festival holds screenings of over 200 documentaries that cover all forms of art. Over the past several years, the FIFA has broadened its definitions of “art” and now includes films on  mines, circus arts, tattoos and comics (drawing a larger, more diverse crowd of attendees).

While the visual arts, architecture and design are the most strongly represented realms, the festival always attracts a wide range of entrants (from established TV presentations to monographs made for dedicated gallery screenigns and student films made on tiny budgets).

This year’s festival is paying tribute to filmmaker Andre Labarthe as well as dealers / collectors Aime and Marguerite Maeght, who have given immense financial support to various art documentaries and related projects.

The FIFA divides up its screenings into six categories:

Competition – An international jury of professionals from the world of art and cinema evaluate and present their top picks.

Horizons – This section includes films from the current crop of international art documentaries that take a fresh look at art in all of its forms.

Tribute – Each year, tributes are made to producers, directors, and / or distributors who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of art or film.

Media Arts – Media Arts includes exploratory video works, video art and experimental films created by visionary artists.

Focus on the 7th Art – Works on cinema as an art form, profiles of directors, actors and film technicians are placed into this category.

Time Recaptured – Time Recaptured includes films on anniversaries, commemorations and archival documentaries.

Click here for the FIFA’s schedule of screenings

Click here to read more about what the Art Newspaper has to say about the FIFA

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This Weekend’s San Francisco Happenings

Posted by currentartevents on March 11, 2010

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the US, and while I unfortunately live several thousand miles away across the country, for those of you lucky enough to be in or around the Bay Area this weekend, there’s tons to do.

If I were going to be in SF this weekend, here are a few of  the events I’d check out:

Friday, March 12th:

SOMArts presents its “Art SF for Haiti Coummunity Art Show,” to raise money for Haiti’s tragic January 12th earthquake‘s relief efforts. In addition to aiding a really good cause, the show seems pretty cool. It highlights an eclectic mix of over fifty well established and emerging artists (along with photographers, movie makers and crafts people). There’s also going to be a silent auction of original art pieces by many talented artists. Check out the free event at the SOMArts Cultural Center’s Bay Gallery on Friday, from 5PM – 11PM.

Saturday, March 13th:

Exploratorium is exhibiting “Ambient Biology” (through March 28th) at its Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio. The unique exhibit is great for science-buffs and curious viewers of all ages. During the exhibition, visitors are surrounded by sights and sounds inspired by life under the Zebrafish Embryomicroscope and are offered behind-the-scenes views of exhibit development inside the Life Sciences Lab. “Ambient Biology” combines live feed from the institute’s Microscope Imaging Station with audio compositions and videos showcasing real-time goings-on of the tiny biota. This is something a little different from the norm, and I’m always interested in subjects I know nothing about.

I’d also dance the night away at the self-described “lowbrow version of the Rockettes,” the Devil-Ettes at Ooh La La (from 9PM – 4AM) on Saturday night. The Devil-Ettes have spent the last 10 years recreating the costumes and dance moves of 1960s beach-party movies, and this Saturday’s show promises not to disappoint. Danzig’s bassist, Howie Pyro, will also spin his tunes.

Sunday, March 14th:

This Sunday the Rickshaw Stop will host  its first live musical performance of the Art Museums, composed of SF natives Alper and Donaldson. The duo has created paisley-infused, bubblegum-pop that is coated in the accidental effects of the 8-track it was recorded on. Their half-absurd / half-sincere anthems tell stories of art happenings with animals in sweater vests and draw character sketches of modern kids wearing pin stripe trousers. I’m intrigued by the description and think the music would be like nothing I’ve ever heard before (which is exciting). This wacky performance starts at 8Pm and tickets are $10.

Happy Weekend to All!


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William Eggleston Photography Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago (And More)

Posted by currentartevents on February 26, 2010

The Art Institute of Chicago presents compelling exhibitions, often ones including the work of the world’s most talented and influential artists. As such, it’s no surprise that the prestigious museum is currently exhibiting “William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961 – 2008.” Eggleston’s exhibition, on display from February 27th until March 23rd, is the artist’s first retrospective in the U.S.

The Tennessee-born photographer is known for changing the history of color photography, as he is credited for singlehandedly ushering in the era of color art photography. Throughout his five-decades-plus career, Eggleston has created masterfully dynamic images, transforming seemingly uninteresting moments and mundane subjects into incredible works of art.

Eggleston’s retrospective, which includes his famous color photographs of the American South along with some lesser-known works – like his early black-and-white prints and provocative video recordings, reveal the artist’s sensational talents and highlight his ability to bring detailed sensitivity into his works.

Check it out if you’re in the Chicago area.

Also currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago:

“Picture Perfect: Art from Caldecott Award Books, 2006 – 2009” (through November 8, 2010)

“500 Ways of Looking at Modern” (through June 30, 2010)

“Heart and Soul: Art from Coretta Scott King Award Books, 2006 – 2009” (through April 18, 2010)

“Chicago Cabinet: C. D. Arnold Photographs of the World’s Columbian Exposition” (through February 28, 2010)

“Inigio Manglano-Ovalle: Always After (The Glass House)” (through May 23, 2010)

“Four Followers of Caravaggio” (through May 31, 2010)

“Kindly Cable Me at the Earliest Moment: James Henry Breasted’s Role in Building the Egyptian Collection” (through September 1, 2010)

“Modern America: Works on Paper, 1900 – 1950s” (through April 4, 2010)

“The Books of Mikhail Karasik” (Through April 12, 2010)

“In the Vernacular” (through May 31, 2010)

Other art-related exhibitions and events currently going on in Chicago

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Civil Rights Photographs on Display in LA

Posted by currentartevents on February 19, 2010

Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956 – 1968” is currently on view at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles (through March 7th). Documenting an important era in American and African American history, the exhibition displays about 170 photographs by over thirty-five photographers. The images are deeply affecting and portray historical turning points such as the Montgomery bus boycott of 1956, the Freedom Rids to the Deep South of 1961, the March on Washington of 1963, the Selma-to-Montgomery march of 1965, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. of 1968, and the poor People’s Campaign of 1968.

Several of the photographs on display have never before been available to the public and visitors will have the opportunity to experience the power of all of the photos firsthand and learn more about the poignant images’ pivotal roles in shaping public opinion, promoting solidarity, and raising awareness of injustice.

Artists’ whose works are displayed in the exhibition include:

Bob Adelman, Morton Broffman, Bruce Davidson, Doris Derby, Larry Fink, James Karales, Danny Lyon, Builder Levy and Steve Schapiro.

Check out Skirball’s website for more information on this riveting exhibition.

Additionally, in conjunction with the Skirball exhibition,  the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena is hosting a panel discussion including students, curators and special guests. Over a dozen large-scale graphic arts posters created in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are on view through March 14.

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Gawker Artists Present “NSFW”

Posted by currentartevents on February 2, 2010

The blog craze of the past several years has led to some universally known terminology among blog readers and posters. Case and point, the cautionary acronym “NSFW” (not safe for work) is often posted next to provocative pictures that should not be clicked on or viewed at the office.

As an avid Gawker reader, I am used to seeing the “NSFW” notation and became intrigued when I came across a NYC exhibition called “‘NSFW’ (Not Safe for Work).” The exhibition, on display at Gawker Media Headquarters through March 2010, displays the work of Gawker Artists Steve Ellis, Emiliano Granado, Justin Lai, Heather Morgan and Randy Polumbo.

The exhibition features sexually suggestive works and explores the boundaries and roles of corporate art programs. Because the images have been removed from their original blog-post context, each “NSFW” image inspires new interpretations of beauty, intention and importance via timeless isolation – as well as mischievous tribute. The pictures evoke emotions of discomfort, shock and humor and also force viewers to question their own personal definitions of sexual objects and acts.

Contact for more information.

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Inka Essenhigh at 303 Gallery

Posted by currentartevents on January 19, 2010

In its third exhibition of artist Inka Essenhigh‘s work, 303 Gallery in New York City will display the artist’s latest paintings, which are inspired by William Blake, the 18th Century Romantic poet (and painter / printmaker), who wrote, “Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.” Essenhigh’s fanciful landscapes contain lush backgrounds (many of which the artist based off the setting around her Coastal Maine studio) angelic light, and whimsical characters, which combine to give the paintings a hypnotic and spiritual quality.

Two noteworthy paintings include “Green Goddess,” in which a mythical female figure cloaked in flowers and greenery rises from the ground and calls attention to a world of fantasy and “Lower East Side,” which depicts a mystical pink-lit New York street in which an illusory street cave draws in the fanciful figures.

To read more about the exhibition and the artist, click here.

For more information on the artist, click here.

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