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PAPER DRESSES, FABRIC PAINTINGS DUAL HOUSTON ARTISTS DEFY MATERIALITY WITH SEASON OPENERS AT 4411. T wo studio visits have been personal highlights of 2021. Coincidentally, both talents, Houston- based yet with global ambition, open the season at 4411 Gallery Building: Gabriel Martinez at Anya Tish Gallery and Anna Mavromatis at Barbara Davis By Catherine D. Anspon Gallery. Each artist subverts his or her medium — painting and sculpture, respectively — in unexpected ways while utilizing novel materials that reference garments, historic to today. In the case of Martinez, his "paints" are neither oil nor acrylic, but culled from the billion-dollar fashion industry; he hand-stitches the fabric detritus of Houston streets upon canvases, forging patchy compositions of rugged beauty and nuance. His work recalls quilt-making, particularly the modernist quilts of Gee's Bend, Alabama, crafted by a community descended from freed slaves. Mavromatis employs a more ephemeral substance for her sculptures, which are both feminine and feminist. A male artist might feel the need to make mammoth steel works in the tradition of Mark di Suvero, but this Greek-born printmaker took her gift for working with paper and turned it into elaborate three-dimensional, wall-mounted sculpture — seemingly dainty creations that mimic fashion of times past, recalling 19th-century or early 20th-century dresses worn for the fanciest occasions. Each exhibition stands as a revelation, elucidating bodies of work that are intimate yet speak to larger concerns. The more widely known Martinez birthed the community art and social practice space Alabama Song, but this is his first gallery solo in Houston. Mavromatis is an internationally exhibited artist from the kingdom of prints. She's taught a workshop at Rice and had solos at Hooks-Epstein Galleries and Redbud Gallery. Expect these exhibitions to add a dose of the profound to the season. Martinez, a former MFAH CORE Fellow and past artist in residence at Project Row Houses, says of his process: "A lot of that material was gathered on my movements through Houston. The city is kind of the palette, or even the compositional plane for my work." The artist's heritage also comes to bear. "My mom [Kris Bridge] is a quilter," Martinez says, "I think going to grad school, I realized that I have a lineage of folk artists before me. That (Continued) Gabriel Martinez's Untitled, 2019, at Anya Tish Gallery ALL IMAGES COURTESY THE ARTISTS AND THEIR GALLERIES 102

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