Gallery Gallop

Galveston conquistadors and Guns 'N Roses allusions: Your cheat sheet to ArtHouston 2011

Galveston conquistadors and Guns 'N Roses allusions: Your cheat sheet to ArtHouston 2011

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The work of Adela Andea, on view at Anya Tish Gallery
Barbara Van Cleve
On view at Wade Wilson Art: Barbara Van Cleve, "Jan, Champion Bareback Rider"
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On view at Bryan Miller Gallery: Paintings in progress in Dan Kopp's studio (Brooklyn, June 2011) Courtesy of Bryan Miller Gallery
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Barbara Van Cleve
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Art dilettantes and savants alike are cordially invited to enter the lairs of the city's scores of galleries this weekend as part of ArtHouston. Receptions abound, but this is more about getting a glimpse of our contemporary art offerings than cocktail dresses and complimentary Pinot.

Open your eyes at Anya Tish Gallery at 6 p.m. Friday for the opening of platform 2011. Consider this group exhibition a yearbook of Tish's cadre of contemporary talent. Missed the January 2010 exhibition on Adela Andea? Then don't dare skip the artist's new light installation at Anya's. 

R eceptions abound, but this is more about getting a glimpse of our contemporary art offerings than cocktail dresses and complimentary Pinot.

 Downstairs, Photographs of the American West at Wade Wilson Art spotlights the work of Barbara Van Cleve. Everyday characters from the artist's Montana dude ranch have been captured in brilliant black and white silver gelatin prints and digital photographs. A reception for the artist goes down from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday.

Graffiti giant GONZO247 will showcase his Aerosol Warfare wares at Philomena Gabriel Contemporary alongside the John Stuart Berger Street Science exhibition. Berger blends zoology with his fascination with high- and low-brow art. Fans of the Menil Collection's Max Ernst holdings won't be disappointed. The opening is at 6 p.m. on Friday.

More double trouble is to be had at Bryan Miller Gallery (née CTRL Gallery). In TIMEAWAY, Dan Kopp splatters acid neons and muted metallic milk-tones upon medium-density fiberboard. It's a visual feast, but even more intriguing is the accompanying exhibition, Josh Bernstein: Galveston. Here, Bernstein investigates the maligned adventures of Spanish explorer Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, whose travels the artist (vaguely) replicated along the Texas Gulf coast — and lived to tell the tail through his mythic photographs. An opening reception is happening from 6 to 8 p.m. (recognize a pattern?).

A few doors down at Isabella Courts is Inman Gallery, which is inaugurating two new exhibitions: Angela Fraleigh: by the time i tell you it will all be forgotten and Marc Swanson: Midnight Sun. The opening is 6 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday at noon, Inman Gallery is joining forces with the neighboring Art Palace to present two programs with Austin-based art historian Katie Geha. Find out more here.

Also at high noon on Saturday is an open house for the Koelsch Gallery show, Kana Harada: Tears of Light. Airy, organic sculptures made from hand-cut foam sheets define the exhibition in a Tokyo-meets-Texas mixed media delight. The artist will be present from 5 to 8 p.m.

While you're north of Buffalo Bayou, drop by Darke Gallery for a 4 p.m. screening of the shockumentary exploring the enormity or the quilting world, Sitched. The film provides a perfect counterpoint to the current gallery show of work by Steven and Wendy Hook, Intersections: Quilts and Mixed Media Paintings.

Activism meets art during ArtHouston at Archway Gallery, which hosts a 5 p.m. Saturday opening of the Third Annual Juried Exhibition, benefiting the Houston Area Women's Center. Juried by internationally recognized artist Bert L. Long, Jr., the exhibition also celebrates the gallery's 35th anniversary.

Slide down Shepherd Drive for the group exhibition at Colton & Farb, Use Your Illusion. Curated by Paul Horn, the show derives its theme from a late 1980s Guns 'N Roses album. On display are gallery stalwarts like Angelbert Metoyer, Trey Speegle and Lawndale Big Show star, Matt Messinger.

Still have some remaining stamina? Rest your eyes on the meditative abstract paintings of Mel DeWees at Laura Rathe Fine Art before making your way to Moody Gallery for the opening of Lawrence Lee's Beautiful Son. In the artist's series, gouache and ink merge on tea-stained paper to tell the story of a kidnapped prince made into a slave of a wealthy family. Arresting, indeed.