If you thought art openings would slow for the holidays, guess again. There’s a cornucopia of exhibitions and gallery openings as well as immersive art experiences to keep us aesthetically warm as November cools the city.
From Latin American masters to a fantastical French architect to an upbeat perspective on a Texas horror icon, we’ve got art for every taste. And if you’re wondering to do with all those Thanksgiving relatives still hanging around your house, Houston boasts an art fun factory for the whole family.
Here are eight eye-catching November arts highlights.
“Beatriz González: A Retrospective”at the Museum of Fine Arts (through January 20, 2020)
The first career retrospective in U.S of this so called “radical women” of Latin American art, the exhibition includes survey’s six decades of the 80 year-old Colombian artists work. The 130 pieces in the exhibition range from oil paintings, drawings, silkscreen prints, and curtains, to three-dimensional recycled furniture, such as beds, tables, night tables, cribs, and armoires, and everyday objects including trays, TVs, and cigar boxes.
“Through her work González proved that art can express pain and grief without resorting to the clichés of figurative painting, creating harrowing images that remain in our consciousness long after we have seen them,” says MFAH curator Mari Carmen Ramírez.
“Will Boone: The Highway Hex”at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (through February 16, 2020)
The acclaimed contemporary artist uses that short stretch of road, I-10 from Texas to California, as a muse for these new works created for this exhibition. This includes a site-specific installation, paintings, and sculptures and Boone’s first narrative long-form video, Sweet Perfume, centered around Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But in this video artwork, “Face,” played by Boone’s wife, artist Stephanie Boone, lives a sweet life in the hills of east L.A.
“Jean-Jacques Lequeu: Visionary Architect, Drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France” at the Menil Drawing Institute (through January 5, 2020)
The exhibition of 50 drawings from one of post-revolutionary France’s most imaginative artists features some of his most detailed architecture drawings and anatomical studies, including proposals for fantastical structures never ever intended to be built.
“Gareth Long: Kidnappers Foil” at Blaffer Art Museum (November 16-March 14, 2020)
Canada meets Texas in this immersive moving image installation, as the Toronto-based Long explores amateur American filmmaking through the work of Texan filmmaker Melton Barker. In the mid-20th century, Dallas-born Barker would create different versions of the same film using cast of local children in small towns across the south and midwest. Long’s installation surrounds viewers with projections of some of the rare copies of Barker’s films.
Galleries and special exhibitions
“White Wide Space” at Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery (through December 14)
A part of Sculpture Month, this show features four of Houston’s sculptors: Antarctica Black, Paul Carola, Michael Kirby, and Margaret Smithers-Crump, who use subtractive techniques in the work. Though using different material and producing very different aesthetic result, all four artists have one thing in common: they all use some form of cutting away a in their processes.
“Homage to the Great Latin American Masters”at Art of the World Gallery (through January 11, 2020)
Inspired by the MFAH’s Beatriz Gonzalez’s exhibition, this show brings in 20th century masterworks from nine Latin American countries. Expect 30 pieces — paintings, drawings, mixed media, printmaking, photography and sculptures — by giants of the art world, including Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Fernando Botero, Wifredo Lam, Julio Larraz, Jorge Jimenez Deredia, Roberto Matta, Vik Muniz, Oswaldo Vigas, Fernando de Szyszlo, and yes, Beatriz Gonzalez.
The Color Factory (through February 2020)
The immersive color experience has finally opened the doors to its vivid 20,000 total square feet Kirby outpost, and Houston seems ready to sometimes literally dive into these hue 16 participatory installation spaces.
While there have been Color Factories in New York and San Francisco, this one is inspired by Houston with exhibitions containing the colors relating to the sights of the city from NASA, the Astrodome, and Buffalo Bayou to the frosting on a Shipley’s Donut.
Art League Houston Fall/Winter Season (November 15-January 4, 2020)
Four new exhibitions/installations open at Art League, including three from three artists. First up: Re-Membering is the Responsibility of the Living, a multi-media, performance based site-specific installation by Brooklyn based artist Taja Lindley.
Also look for “One by One,” an exhibition of recent paintings by Nacogdoches based Artist Arely Morales about her personal experiences as an immigrant and “Soft Listings,” an exhibition featuring recent works on paper by Houston based Artist Daniela Koontz. Finally, don’t miss, “Just After,” a site-specific installation by Galveston-based artist Ann Wood, inspired by Victorian figurative grave markers found in Galveston’s historical cemeteries.