PaperCity Magazine

April 2015 - Houston

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Page 48 of 67

APRIL | PAGE 49 | 2015 HOTARTTOPICS LIVING LIFE IN A DOLLHOUSE AT HOUSTON MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE … A MAMMOTH RABBIT ALONG HEIGHTS BOULEVARD … BIG VIOLINS AND A BODYCAST FOR THE MITCHELL CENTER … PLATTERS OF PAINTED BREASTS AT G GALLERY … RICE GRAD CREATES TOWER OF POWER AT HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY … ED WILSON'S TRIUMPH. CATHERINE D. ANSPON SURVEYS THIS MONTH IN THE HOUSTON VISUAL WORLD. P erforming and visual arts devotees, take note: CounterCurrent 15, an avant-garde cultural feast in its second season, serves up six days and nights of programming highlighting Brooklyn to Beirut creatives. Progressively funded and organized by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, CounterCurrent represents the curatorial acumen of director Karen Farber. Unfolding April 14 through April 19, CC 15's banquet of dance, theater, sculpture, ritual, multimedia projections and music takes the audience from al fresco experiences to newly minted venues including Lynne McCabe's She Works Flexible, which pairs San Francisco performance artist Sofia Cordova with Houston's much-buzzed- about Autumn Knight. Other must-sees include Suzanne Bocanegra's tantalizing auto-biopic "Bodycast," performed by actress Lili Taylor (of I Shot Andy Warhol and Mystic Pizza fame) and the sculptural installation/ film work Islamic Violins by Ibrahim Quraishi. All programming gratis; limited space, reservations required: countercurrentfestival. org. For our Q&A with director Karen Farber, visit JUST IN: VENICE BIENNALE- exhibited Michael Petry — Rice alum, author, artist and museum director — travels from London to install the American debut of his heroic AT the Core of the Algorithm. The seven-story spiraling vortex is comprised of brightly colored orbs of glass, exquisitely staged in the unadorned interiors of Hiram Butler Gallery. The Tower of Babel-like work references the controversial death of Alan Turing, the brilliant British code-breaker whose life inspired the Oscar-nominated film The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch (April 11 – May 30). T his spring, the stars are aligned, and it's Tara Conley time. The Houston sculptress reigns in a trio of unexpected venues, from the Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) to a City of Houston police station and, most visibly, Heights Boulevard. At HMAAC, Conley reprises her 2011 elaborate human- sized dollhouse, a project realized with collaborator/writer Tria Wood (through April 12; Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12, shop the show's Fairytale Art Sale or acquire a DVD by filmmaker Sharon Ferranti). It's a bright, pop-ish view worthy of a Saturday morning TV show — but don't let the candy-colored furniture fool you. This is a smart, immersive piece about gender issues. (Read about HMAAC and John Guess Jr.'s curatorial team in our May issue.) Along Heights Boulevard, it's the second installment of a Houston Arts Alliance co-funded public art initiative, curated by Heights denizens Gus Kopriva and Chris Silkwood. "True South" promises to yet again enchant onlookers as it takes over the neighborhood's main drag (through December 15). Conley's epic bronze Bunny joins works by seven other artists — Joe Barrington, Mark Bradford, Kermit Eisenhut, Tim Glover, Sharon Kopriva, Hans Molzberger and Emily Sloan. Sloan contributes a giant living- room lamp, which is ridiculous and droll. Conley wraps the season with a permanent commission for the South Gessner police station, a Houston Arts Alliance initiative. Most notable are 33 cast-bronze phrases for the law enforcement interior, bearing wordplay related to police and community, including the timeless call: Strength and Honor. Cool Quartet: Thedra Cullar-Ledford comments on her brave survival after breast cancer in a raucous, prescient installation at G Gallery complete with a mammogram van supplied by nonprofit The Rose (April 4 – 28; appointments required for mammogram screening) … Katy Contemporary Arts Museum's five-decade retrospective for Roberta Harris spans everything from fabulous pattern-and-decoration painting to Crafts Center- worthy hearts and today's art-making (through April 19). Also catch Harris as the Mid-Main headliner Thursday, April 2, as she takes over windows at Midtown, including restaging a mid-1970s show she created at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which duplicated her studio at the MFAH (3500 to 3700 blocks of Main Street, mid-main. com) … Michael Bise produces the best drawings in the state, with a true voice, so don't miss his show at Moody Gallery (through April 25) … Also noteworthy is Houston artist Jonathan Ryan Storm at David Shelton Gallery in the enigmatically titled solo "The Mortimer Trap" (through May 9; opening night, Friday, April 10). Battle of the Emergents: Check our website for how we weigh in on the University of Houston MFA grads at the Blaffer Art Museum versus the current crop of MFAH Core Fellows at the Glassell School of Art (exhibitions on view respectively April 3 – 18 and through April 24). Ed's Victory: Best news of the spring — Houston Arts Alliance has re-awarded its George R. Brown Convention Center commission to Houston sculptor Ed Wilson, who will create a monumental six-figure work depicting abstracted migratory birds, in time for Super Bowl 2017. Now we can all move on! Kudos to all who mobilized the community, especially Glasstire for reporting, and last but not least, to HAA for its correct decision. Roberta Harris' OK With Jack and the Jacks (detail), 1990, at Katy Contemporary Arts Museum Thedra Cullar-Ledford and Everett Taasevigen's Kitchen Performance, 2014, at G Gallery Michael Petry's AT the Core of the Algorithm, 2014, at Hiram Butler Gallery Tara Conley's Bunny, 2008, on Heights Boulevard Tara Conley in collaboration with Tria Wood's "My Life as a Doll," 2008 – 2015, at Houston Museum of African American Culture COUNTERCURRENT'S SEQUEL ART NOTES A UTOPIAN INSTALLATION TARA CONLEY'S TRIFECTA A BIG BUNNY, GENDER-BENDER DOLLHOUSE AND POLICE PATROL COURTESY THE ARTIST Ibrahim Quraishi's Islamic Violins FELIX SANCHEZ FELIX SANCHEZ

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