PaperCity Magazine

April 2013 - Houston

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THE QUEEN OF THE NONPROFITS DiverseWorks, 4102 Fannin, Suite 200, 713.223.8346; FIVE W hen DiverseWorks was reborn this past fall in midtown —  after more than 20 years at the edgy Warehouse District Docks "Franklin Evans: houstontobordering the East Freeway — houston," installation, 2012, director Elizabeth Dunbar's mission was to make the DiverseWorks space once again relevant, balancing out developing new audiences with the desire to serve as an incubator for renegade talent. Witness the launch of the provocative dialogues DWOW, which offers a weekly showcase for performing and literary emergents, every Wednesday night, 6 to 8 pm. The mash-ups range from spoken word and artist talks to puppetry, dance and even jam sessions, a platform perfectly fitted for their cavernous space that once was home to a costume shop, and is just a parking lot away from the action of the Isabella corridor. And stay tuned for prescient performance artist Liz Magic Laser (opening Friday, April 5, 7 to 9 pm; through May 18), whose practice incorporates newsmakers and the media. Watch out — you may end up as a filmed audience member in Magic Laser's piece produced for DW, "Tell Me What You Want To Hear"; its creator is also in the news herself as the 2013 Armory Show headliner. The past 12 months have served up a plethora of moves on the visual scene; here are the five most significant. If you haven't visited these new spaces, you need to — to get into the A(rt) game. Catherine D. Anspon reports. Photography Shau Lin Hon, Chris Brown, Joan Batson and Alex Barber. ALEX BARBER L ast summer, gallerists Carrie and David Hardaker returned to town after a year-long stint in Galveston as art dealers on the Strand; before Galveston, they produced monthly exhibitions in the Heights under the moniker Obsidian Gallery (prior to losing their lease to a movie theater). But now the duo has seemingly hit upon the perfect venue, reviving Avis Frank Gallery in the former digs of the legendary bar and eatery King Biscuit, a multilevel building along White Oak Drive with killer views of downtown. The rambling 2,500-square-foot structure dates to 1927, and originally served as a Humble Oil service station. In lieu of petrol, the pair serves up cutting-edge contemporary fare, such as this spring's steamy homoerotic show for the trio Devon Britt-Darby (my frenemy), alongside Tim Gonzalez and Alex Rosa, curated by Gonzalez (the latter two, AVG now represents). Other recent adds to the stable: Ann Wood of the impressive paint-slathered taxidermy, transAvis Frank Gallery's Carrie and dimensional McKay Otto and the always surprising Thedra David Hardaker, with daughter Lily, Cullar-Ledford, with her chameleon-like conceptual practice. play with the Patrick Renners. We're also fans of their boutique within gallery, the upstairs Emporium, which has been taken over by Wood's menagerie at the moment, and upcoming for the downstairs level, NY-based Matthew Bede Murphy's droll drawings (April 5 – May 1) and the disquieting surrealism of Texan Steve Brudniak (May 3 – June 3). JOAN BATSON KING BISCUIT TO WHITE CUBE713.572.7268; Avis Frank Gallery, 1606 White Oak Dr., Bert Long Jr. AN ICON REVISITED, REMEMBERING A KING Houston Baptist University Fine Arts Museum and Contemporary Art Gallery, University Academic Center, 7502 Fondren Road, 281.649.3678; T his past year, Houston Baptist University made the bold move of remaking its University Academic Center to transform the UAC into a gem-like 1,100-square-foot museum and an adjoining 1,000-square-foot contemporary gallery, the latter formed from what was once a prosaic office space. Houston-based Studio RED Architects did the design honors, honing both newly minted (and free to the public) arts destinations into perfect clean white cubes to showcase their respective exhibitions. The museum, under director Laura Kreft, currently boasts a half-dozen spiritually-inclined masterpieces, long-term loans from the storied trove of Houston's Sharon and Bill Morris; the works on view range from a 15th-century Russian icon recently on display in The Menil Collection's Byzantine galleries to Van Dyck's Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness, circa 1624 - 25. In contract, the Contemporary Art Gallery, deftly curated by Jim Edwards, is given over to au currant offerings; through April 18, a must-see is a highly poignant retrospective for the late Bert Long Jr., spanning 30 years of painting, sculpture and photography culled from his studio and selected by the Fifth Ward native son with Edwards' input weeks before his passing this February. David Shelton in the stacks with a Alejandro Diaz's text-based sculpture COVER GIRL Zoya Tommy Contemporary, CHRIS BROWN SHAU LIN HON COMPLETING ISABELLAStreet, 832.538.0924; COURT David Shelton Gallery, 3909 Main One of the most welcome transplants ever, dealer David Shelton — whose home and collection graced these pages in our February issue — has brought the best and brightest of the San Antonio scene to his handsome Isabella Court storefront, as well as completed the hole in the Isabella lineup left when a previous gallery shuttered. But his new space is more than a mere placeholder — its HQ for action, manifesting a robust stable that shows off Texas power players such as Cruz Diaz, exhibited this March, with a nifty series of cartoon-inflected works on panel; Kelly O'Connor, whose girlpowered collages are utterly engaging, fresh and retro at the same time; Joey Fauerso, a mistress of video and photography; and Sara Frantz, of the chilling landscapes that appear cinematic. And arriving soon: the oh-so smart "Style as Substance," curated by Rachel LaBine and Keith J. Varadi, both of NYC (April 5 – May 11). SHAU LIN HON Elizabeth Dunbar, at the reborn DiverseWorks 4411 Montrose, 713.523.7424; Since 2009, Caribbean–born Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) and University of Houston (MFA) grad Zoya Tommy has been on a mission — to carve out a spot as one of the new crop of tasteZoya Tommy at her new and makers in Texas. Not content to merely newly rebranded gallery curate pop-up shows in borrowed locales around town, she opened in a series of micro spaces on Milam, incrementally inching up to the prime time — at the 4411 Montrose Gallery Building, where she rubs shoulders with neighboring dealers of import Barbara Davis, Anya Tish and Wade Wilson. Success in the way of a nearly sold out booth at last September's Houston Fine Art Fair was Tommy's ticket to 4411. Best evidence that she's arrived — exhibiting this past December an underknown Japanese-NY master, Ushio Shinohara, concurrent with the action painter's group turn in MoMA's "Tokyo 1955 – 1970"; weeks after her opening, Shinohara appeared on ARTnews' cover, affirming Tommy's astute eye. Now up at ZTC: Dutch-born, Houston-based Guus Kemp's riotously pigmented canvases (through April 20). APRIL | PAGE 49 | 2013

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