PaperCity Magazine

December 2015 - Houston

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 88 of 109

BEST BOOTH: JOEL-PETER WITKIN WAS IN THE HOUSE While we were longing to see Haas Brothers editions in person, Fair- goers were pleasantly shocked to discover one of the world's photo greats, Joel-Peter Witkin of the darkly surreal, but compelling tableaus, holding court and signing volumes, at Etherton Gallery, in from Arizona. The photographer's monographic museum-quality show was one of the weekend's most stellar offerings. SO WE PARTIED ON Every good fair encompasses evening antics, and Texas Contemporary Fair did not disappoint. Opening Night was chaired by power couple John and Becca Cason Thrash, who snapped up a money-inspired work by Jason Hughes from Baltimore dealer RandallScottProjects (a gift destined for a Swiss pal, Mr. Thrash confided). Of a more intimate nature than Thursday's big convergence was the next night's Montrose dinner party at the office of Michael Landrum for The Haas Brothers. The design-minded crowd included Garrett Hunter, Cathy Echols, Steven Hempel, and Lynn Goode. The finale to it all was the Saturday-night dealer party at Casa Thrash, where the Mexico City contingent rubbed shoulders with Houston museum types including CAMH curator Dean Daderko, collectors such as Ken Christie, MaRS architect Kelie Mayfield, photog LuQman Kaka, and cast of national and Texas gallerists. At evening's end, Miz Thrash mentioned in a tête-à-tête with Fair founders Max Fishko and Jeffrey Wainhause that she was ready to chair it again next year. Stay tuned! TEXAS CONTEMPORARY TAKES THE TOWN Laura Rathe Jeffrey Wainhause Cindy Lisica Adrian Page Fady Armanious Kerry Inman Matthew Laurenza Lee Steffy Mie Olise Alecia Harris Matt Johns Kelly Freeman Co-chair John Thrash Co-chair Becca Cason Thrash Christy Karll CATHERINE D. ANSPON RECAPS YEAR FIVE. PHOTOGRAPHY JAY TOVAR, EMILE BROWNE AND MAX BURKHALTER. DECEMBER | PAGE 81 | 2015 The stakes were high, the bar set at the extreme top when Art Market rolled into town this fall, a mere two months after its inaugural Seattle Art Fair (produced in collaboration with Vulcan's Paul Allen), readying to mount the fifth iteration of Texas Contemporary Art Fair, at George R. Brown Convention Center. While billionaire tech wizard Allen is a hard act to follow, the Texas Contemporary succeeded in injecting a new dose of important internationalism into this year's Fair. Here are cinco components of year five that stood out. MEXICO CITY EXPRESS TO AVANT-GARDE PERFORMANCE ART: The galleries and nonprofit spaces in from Mexico D.F., curated in an understated array against the back wall, were about ideas and a dialogue, rather than the mere acquisition of bright, shiny objects that marks most art fairs. Directors such as Casa Maaud's Anuar Maauad were both smart about and committed to a global exhibition program. Adding a dose of the avant-garde was artist Andrea Bianconi (in from Italy and NYC, showing with Barbara Davis), whose oddly endearing performance set to vintage boom boxes referenced the soundtrack of his life — profound and moving. THE HAAS BROTHERS + 24,000 STICKERS Design was a strong undercurrent, starting with personal appearances by Austin-raised It-designers Simon and Niki Haas, in from California — a high point of Saturday's programming. (The viewer was hungry to see actual examples of the twin brothers' furniture, however; maybe next year?) We also loved the clever high/low J.P. Morgan Private Bank VIP Lounge, devised by MaRS Architecture, which encouraged the audience to run wild with thousands of circular stickers. Another nice design touch was Open Editions' nod to fashion, as nylon tote bags, democratically priced under $50 each, sold briskly. The hook? They resembled a ubiquitous convenience-store plastic take-out bag, emblazoned with smiley faces or innocuous sayings such as "Have a nice day." THE HOME TEAM As always, Houston galleries represented some of the most important booths: Inman Gallery's contemporary landscape theme, realized by Beth Secor and Darren Waterston; Barbara Davis Gallery's showcase of painters such as Mie Olise and Joe Mancuso; David Shelton Gallery's provocative video work by Tameka Norris paired with Vincent Valdez's restrained drawings bearing the import of identity and culture; in a memorable debut, Bryan Miller's cavorting nudes of a slightly demonic, albeit mythological, nature at Devin Borden Gallery; and the always standout Moody Gallery, where drawings by Michael Bise and James Drake were as good as you could get. We were also excited to meet new-to-town gallerist Cindy Lisica, formerly of the Warhol Museum, who relocates her ambitious exhibition program this spring from Pittsburgh to a prime spot (read more details on page 6 this issue). Dean Daderko Judy Nyquist with Helen Altman's avians Tony Bradfield Barbara Davis Kevin Black Steven Evans Carolyn Farb Kelie Mayfield Minnette Robinson Brad Bucher Jeff Wefel Anuar Maauad Marita Fairbanks David Shelton Max Fishko Co-chair Becca Cason Thrash Clint Willour Niki Haas Simon Haas Duyen Huynh Joel-Peter Witkin Theo Downes- Le Guin Rodrigo Valenzuela Yvonamor Palix Marc Nguyen Moody Gallery at the Fair Devin Borden Aja Martin

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - December 2015 - Houston