This airy, light-filled space is an institution on Gallery Row where visitors get a feel for the heritage of contemporary Texan art and the bright future of the thriving Third Coast scene. Open since 1975, Moody Gallery has been known for Houston’s finest collection of Texas-based artists and represents masters such as Luis Jiménez and Jim Love as well as rising talents Lisa Ludwig and Leandro Erlich. Many of Betty Moody's represented artists have been selected for the prestigious Whitney Biennial exhibitions. The contemporary architecture couldn't be a better setting.
When he was director of the Taos Arts Association, Thom Andriola recruited a stable of artists who were offspring of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. The foundation of his group began with Tony Magar, Louis Ribak, minimalist Larry Bell and surrealist Lee Mullican. A little over a decade ago, Andriola moved his gallery from New Mexico to its current location in Upper Kirby. The range is from local to international, but always contemporary, and always fresh. Ask to see a few works held in the back by local sculptor Tara Conley, video artist Michal Rovner and painter Yigal Ozeri. A common thread of elusive and uncommon forms emerges amid the disparate media.
Designed by New York architect Albert Marichal, Laura Rathe Fine Art was awarded a 2007 AIA Design Award. The three-level structure of cast-in-place concrete, with its skylights and flood windows, begs to showcase contemporary art. The selection leans towards corporate, but the skyline views at opening events more than account for the aesthetic compromise. Can't brave the Kirby traffic? Gallery staffers Carol Altergott, Kathy Dimmit and Rick Wells will check in to your own home or office.
Goldesberry Gallery fills the contemporary craft niche on Gallery Row, exhibiting glass, fiber, wood and metal in the forms of jewelry, painting, collage and mixed media. The gallery’s diverse register includes unusual and distinctive art works such as figurative wall pieces that look like little blue monsters by Melody Ellis, a tea set in the shape of tornadoes by Sharon Dennard, and vessels of all shapes, sizes and colors. Eccentric and discriminating art collectors are drawn to the wildly original wood block prints, drawings and collages.
This is the only place in town to find prints by photographic masters such as Kertesz, Cartier-Bresson and Doisneau. Having been in the business of buying and selling exceptional photographs for 15 years, native Houstonian John Cleary is renowned for his expertise and discerning collection of pieces by modern dynamos like Becom, Fokos and Kenna. The John Cleary Gallery is represented at several prestigious photography exhibitions every year, including Photo LA, The Photography Show in New York and Photo San Francisco. The gallery also sells vintage books, rare tomes and catalogs by some of the most successful and avant garde artists of today.
If you’ve strolled around the storied surrealism installation at the Menil Collection and longed for a work of your own, head to Upper Kirby's Hooks Epstein Gallery, where you’ll find works by surrealistic wizards such as Dalí, Munch and Magritte. This longtime powerhouse gallery focuses on American, European and Latin American representational art in the surrealist vein, and concentrates on sculpture as well as works on paper. Founders Geri and Charles Hooks are longtime members of the art world in-crowd — they were instrumental in establishing the Houston Art Dealers Association, and have received national and international acclaim for their groundbreaking exhibitions. Hooks-Epstein represents dozens of emerging as well as established artists whose works range in media from blown glass, cast glass and sandblasted glass to three-dimensional paintings and mixed media collages.
With a seriously diverse painting and sculpture focus and a new exhibition every month, Thornwood Gallery is a barometer for what is new and cool in the art world. Thornwood has solo and group exhibitions in the main gallery that change so often that we urge you to jump on the opportunity to see new works before they are gone.
McClain is a big name in big name international talents like Julian Schnabel, Christian Eckart and Andy Moses. The focus of McClain Gallery is on the exhibition and sale of museum-quality contemporary and 20th-century work from artists in New York, Europe, Asia and Texas in a full range of media: painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography and conceptual installations. The updated, modernist style of the structure seamlessly extends to two landscaped sculpture courts, creating a clean, light-filled backdrop for the exhibitions. For both private and corporate art collectors, McClain offers consulting services in obtaining a specific piece of work or building a comprehensive collection. In a city full of major league art galleries, McClain is one of the all-stars.
Head a tad north of the Upper Kirby District and visit Meredith Long & Company, the granddady of Houston galleries. Founded in 1957, the gallery is known for its history of exhibiting 19th-century American icons Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent as well as contemporary masters like Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland and Frank Stella. Here you can acquire or simply stop by to appreciate American art from the period spanning 1860 to the present. As it has for the last several decades, the gallery continues to play a critical role in informing many of Houston’s most significant private collections. And its location, right on the cusp of River Oaks, makes it easy for those with the discretionary income to just pop on over from their nearby manse.