PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston March 2023

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By Catherine D. Anspon. Photography Jack Thompson. T his month, the biggest breakout star of our Texas art world presents his first Houston solo since his famous/infamous one-person exhibition "Gratest Hits" at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2016. His name confers global recognition and the "it" factor in international echelons, be it Miami, Dallas, NYC, LA, Berlin, Milan. That would be none other than Mark Flood, a chameleon of art, music, and the underground. Flood is emblematic of a certain 1990s energy that he remarkably still encapsulates today and that he's been able to parlay into a renown that eludes many artists. His Houston show, "Mark Flood: A Guide for Nude Investors," is already anticipated as "spectacle" by those in our scene. Its venue is Reeves Art + Design, an exhibition space well-matched to its subject — albeit one that up until its redux this past year was a Mecca for Eames and Knoll more than a white-cube gallery space. All that changed when second-gen Matt Reeves took over from dad, Paul Reeves, who had founded the Montrose vintage-furniture stop Reeves Antiques in 1969. The serious rebrand began two years ago. I caught their show "Five Artists Five Rooms" and was wowed by the whole deal — the art, the crowd, the energy. A Houston gallery night hadn't felt like that since 1995. Also memorable was street tagger turned fine artist Dual, who debuted at Reeves last fall. Featuring live reptiles, a downed plane sprouting plants, video projections, and attendees from the old guard to the want-to-be-seen to all the cool IG influencers, it was among the unforgettable openings of '22. Now we're wondering what the Flood- ster will do. The official press release for "A Guide for Nude Investors" promotes its high- brow/low-brow intent in absurdist parlance: Flood's show is described as "retracing 10 years of the artist's sputtering attempts to incorporate digital printing into his art." During a gallery visit and preview of Flood's dynamic, meticulously brushed constructivist paintings — which have to be experienced as part of his wildly performative opening itself — it was like old-home week. Glimpsing Reeves in camouflage finery, I first thought he was an impostor posing as Flood (which has been known to happen), but Flood surprised me by coming around the corner of the pristine space. He greeted me, bestowed his latest release Mark Flood in the 1990s by Clark Flood, and said, "We both are long- term survivors." Where did 30 years go? The new Reeves gallery space is fitting for an artist who is identified with Montrose, where he still lives. Flood came up in the booming '80s art scene — the era of the 1985 MFAH traveling blockbuster "Fresh Paint: The Houston School." He was ascendant already and had reached his stride in the '90s, when I first met him at a 1997 Lawndale exhibition for a review of his doubleheader with Mark Allen (founder of Machine Projects, L.A.). The afternoon of our Lawndale Q&A, he tossed his fast-food lunch wrappers into the duo's installation and declared it complete. During the early 2000s, in a Glasstire video (now lost, perhaps fortunately), Flood posed as a wild creature/untamed artist being fed Oreos while I interviewed him wearing my Junior League finery. The following decade, I egged on a work colleague to acquire an unframed Flood lace-series painting from a Texas' bad-boy painting provocateur and an exciting gallery space combine for the opening of the year. Are you brave enough to attend. Flood Mark x Reeves Art + Design Mark Flood, Matt Reeves with works from "Mark Flood: A Guide for Nude Investors" (Continued) 26

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