PaperCity Magazine

March 2016 - Houston

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Welcome to Wonderland: Two of our best curators preside over non-collecting art spaces that mount some of the most extraordinary exhibitions in Texas. These power women may be understated, but the artists they champion share unique and often idiosyncratic visions that make Claudia Schmuckli's shows at Blaffer Art Museum and Kim Davenport's site- specific commissions for Rice Gallery the ultimate calling cards. At Blaffer this month, the multilayered "Mirrors for Princes" by the collective Slavs and Tatars recontextualizes an 11th- century Turkish poem advising royals on power with costumes, furniture and objects that wittily traverse centuries and countries. The Eastern- infused exhibition hopscotches to Houston for the final stop on its five- city world tour (through March 19). Meanwhile, Rice Gallery — the only university museum in the U.S. that exclusively shows and commissions site-specific installation art — offers a wunderkammer of a show. German artist Thorsten Brinkmann forges a topsy-turvy world to experience (and even crawl through) where vases and lamps become heads and feet and scale unscrambles. Become Alice and jump through the looking glass (through May 15). Change Is in the Air: New people in high positions, new spaces of import and an infusion of emerging energy define this year. From rumors swirling around both Houston Fine Art Fair and Texas Contemporary Art Fair to six new spaces appearing, it's thrilling. On our radar: Art Basel Miami Beach-exhibited Apama Mackey Gallery, preparing to reopen in the Heights; David Shelton Gallery's expanded space at 4411 Montrose; Pittsburgh arrival Cindy Lisica Gallery (also at 4411); DiverseWorks as the new queen of MATCH; the inventive Capsule Gallery at Isabella Court in Shelton's former digs, with Sarah Sudhoff's programming alternating photography and studio jewelry; and the nuanced curatorial prowess of Mel DeWees, over on Colquitt in Gray Contemporary, occupying the former McMurtrey Gallery space. Turn to these pages in April for a look at these fresh art doors. There's also movement in positions of power … Julie Farr, formerly of the Craft Center, steps into an expanded new role as director of the Houston Museum District Association, which encompasses 19 organizations (including Houston Center for Contemporary Craft) that generate a combined annual attendance exceeding all local sports facilities — 6.9 million — and provide an impressive annual economic impact of approximately $372 million … Over at Mayor Sylvester Turner's office, Debbie McNulty helms the director of cultural affairs position, vacant due to Minnette Boesel's retirement. Boesel redefined the job description, to be a tireless advocate for Houston's visual arts community; McNulty, who back in the day was director of Art League Houston, is also deeply connected (husband Dean Ruck, of Ruck/Havel Projects, creates poignant public art out of our discarded past) … As Houston Center for Photography awaits a new director, Linda Shearer leads the respected photographic nonprofit as interim director; her previous post was director of Project Row Houses. She also get kudos for acquiring the late great Bert Long Jr.'s home as her residence and keeping it in the art family … For more topics we're tracking — Dance Salad, Trenton Doyle Hancock's commission for University of Houston Downtown, Art Blocks and Holocaust Museum Houston's "Butterfly Project" — check in at our arts channel, Catherine D. Anspon Art Notes COURTESY THE ARTISTS AND BLAFFER ART MUSEUM All of Houston's hot spots, fun fashion finds and beautiful people are now in one place: your inbox. Go to the new to sign up for our weekly edit feed. YOU HAVE CHIC MAIL Slavs and Tatars' Zulf (blond), 2014, at Blaffer Art Museum PHOTO NASH BAKER © NASHBAKER.COM Thorsten Brinkmann's The Great Cape Rinderhorn, 2016, at Rice University Art Gallery T he field of African- American art is red-hot. A once overlooked art historical niche, black painters, sculptors and photographers of the past century are the last great under-valued area within American art, and both collectors and institutions are racing to catch up. Enter this month's show at The University Museum at Texas Southern University, "Collector's Legacy: Selections from the Sandra and Lloyd Baccus Collection." The exhibition travels to Houston from the University of Maryland David C. Driskell Center, a leading think tank for the study and exhibition of works by black artists in America. The nearly 70 works on view include titans of the field such as Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, as well as Houston's own Dr. John Biggers and iconic portrait lensman James Van Der Zee. The lyrical power of the influential Charles Alston and fellow Harlem Renaissance artist Loïs Mailou Jones is presented alongside today's contemporary masters, including Betye Saar, Radcliffe Bailey and Faith Ringgold. University of Maryland professor emeritus David C. Driskell — artist, scholar, collector and the center's namesake — does curatorial honors. The late Sandra and Lloyd Baccus established a successful medical business in Atlanta, where they were collectors, community leaders and patrons of TSU's University Museum. Mrs. Baccus grew up in Austin, the daughter of famed philanthropist and Civil Rights activist Ada Collins Anderson. The couple bequeathed their significant $2.4 million cache of African- American art to the Driskell upon Mrs. Baccus' passing in 2012, so it seems fitting that it touch down at the University Museum this spring. March 11 – April 24, at The University Museum at Texas Southern University, Catherine D. Anspon MISTERS BIGGERS, LAWRENCE AND BEARDEN ARE IN THE HOUSE: A Storied Collection Travels to Texas Radcliffe Bailey's Untitled, 2010, at The University Museum at Texas Southern University Charles Alston's Untitled, not dated, at The University Museum at Texas Southern University Loïs Mailou Jones' Waterlilies, 1989, at The University Museum at Texas Southern University COURTESY DAVID C. DRISKELL CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, PHOTOGRAPHY GREG STALEY COURTESY DAVID C. DRISKELL CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, PHOTOGRAPHY GREG STALEY COURTESY DAVID C. DRISKELL CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, PHOTOGRAPHY GREG STALEY C hoosing paint colors is the Achilles heel of even the most seasoned decorators. Not only are the options endless, but even tried-and-true hues look different in every space. That's why many interior designers rely on Farrow & Ball, whose palette is refreshingly restrained to 132 colors, each one creatively and aptly named — for example, Railings, Mouse's Back, Borrowed Light, Elephant's Breath and Manor House Gray. Made in Dorset, England, Farrow & Ball combines high levels of pigments and rich resin binders with key ingredients for a superior finish, no matter the project. Every few years, the company retires nine colors and introduces nine new ones. Among the latest, we love Drop Cloth (the precise shade of the painter's dust sheet), Shadow White (white with a dash of shade) and Peignoir (a dusty gray-pink inspired by chiffon nightgowns). At Boxwood Interiors, 1320 W. Alabama, 713.893.0350. 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