The second annual Houston Fine Art Fair (HFAF) rolls into town this week, bringing works from more than 80 respected galleries and a lineup of special programming that includes a talk by '70s comedy icon (and noted art collector) Cheech Marin on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Housed at the Reliant Center, the show kicks off Thursday night with a VIP preview party from 6 to 7:30 and opening reception from 7:30 to 9. The fair runs Friday through Sunday. Tickets start at $25 for a one-day pass and go to $125 for three-day VIP passes.
Also be sure to enter CultureMap's ticket giveaway on Facebook. The contest ends Thursday at noon.
Right: Andy Warhol, Jackie II, 1966, screenprint. Courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston.
"Gallerists across the country are beginning to see the buying power here in Houston," HFAF show advisor Melissa Grobmyer tells CultureMap.
Once again, fair organizers have tapped into the city's longtime commitment to Latin American art, promoting renowned galleries such as Chile's Gonzalez y Gonzalez and up-and-coming artists like Argentina's Gustavo Diaz.
Right: Gustavo Diaz, Estrato de estabilidad vulnerado por un bucle extrano con cuadraditos Godel, 2011-2012, cut and engraved acrylic. Courtesy of The Mission, Chicago.
"This year, we're very focused on our collector base," Grobmyer says. "We vetted many of the galleries around the needs and interests of our own buying community."
For the 2012 show, she and her associates have added a curated selection of young cutting-edge galleries.
An array of galleries dedicated to fine art photography — like Bloomington's Pictura Gallery (with work featured to the right) — are also in the mix.
Right: Evgenia Arbugaeva, Journey to the Lake September 2011, archival inkjet print, edition of eight. Courtesy of Pictura Gallery, Bloomington, Ind.
As was the case with last year's HFAF, proceeds from the opening night party will go to the Core Program — a one-year residency at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston that has given the art world rising stars like William Cordova, Julie Mehretu and Aaron Parazette, whose work is pictured to the right.
Curated by Houston collectors Brad Bucher and Victoria Lightman, a special exhibition highlighting the residency program titled MFAH Core Factor will be on view on the showroom floor.
Right: Aaron Parazette, Juice, 2006, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of McClain Gallery, Houston.
During Thursday's opening reception at 7:30 p.m., Houston's Trenton Doyle Hancock will receive the HFAF Artist of the Year Award.
"It's an honor to be singled out among so many great people working in Houston," says Hancock, a Core Program alum and one of the youngest artists to participate in the prestigious Whitney Biennial.
Dallas' Tally Dunn Gallery, which represents Hancock in Texas, will present a full booth of the artist's work.
Right: Trenton Doyle Hancock, Like a Thief in the Night, 2010, acrylic and mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of Tally Dunn Gallery, Dallas.
Taking advantage of the larger space at the Reliant Center, which has slightly higher ceilings than last year's show at the George R. Brown, Grobmyer says to expect more site specific installations at the 2012 HFAH.
"We'll have a large light installation provided by the Hiram Butler Gallery right as you enter and another large, complex piece made of colored string will be further out in the hall. Gallery Sonja Roesch also will have a 3,000-pound steel sculpture just outside the entrance."
Right: Mac Whitney, Escobas, 2005, painted steel; and Carrizoz, 2010, painted steel. Courtesy Gallery Sonja Roesch.
An extensive list of public programming will include talks arts leaders like FotoFest's Wendy Watriss, Crystal Bridge's director Don Bacigalupi, the Blaffer Museum's Claudia Schmuckli and artist Mel Chin.
On Saturday, CultureMap will join Glasstire's Kelly Klaasmeyer and Core fellow Massa Lemu for a panel discussion on art and the Internet led by artist Michael Petry, director of London's Museum of Contemporary Art.
Right: Jeffrey Millstein, Southwest Airlines B#A0BC61 (2), photograph. Courtesy of Koeikin Gallery, Culver City, Ca.
Additional exclusive programming options come with VIP tickets, including a tour sponsored by AIA Houston, a walk through the private collection of architect Bill Stern, cocktails at the new Turrell skyspace and a rare visit to the Philip Johnson-designed Menil House.
Right: Rebecca Bird, Rapture, 2011, watercolor. Courtesy of Kopeikin Gallery, Culver City, Ca.
"We had a considerable boost in interest from galleries this year," Grobmeyer says. "It was much more competitive to get into the show even after we decided to accept 83 exhibitors compared to 72 in 2011."
Right: Man Ray, Leda and the Swan, 1940, watercolor, ink and graphite on paper. Courtesy of Romero & Shredder, New York.
Right: Daniel McFarlane, Falls, 2011, automotive paint acrylic painting mixed media on wood panel. Courtesy Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston.
The HFAH Fahrenheit series features fresh, innovative work from galleries that have been open less than five years, like Mexico City's Toca Galeria.
Right: Javier Pelaez, Fake Flowers 1, 2012, oil on linen. Courtesy of Toca Galeria, Mexico City.
The HFAH Focus series presents galleries showcasing a single artist's work. This year, Houston's Koelsch Gallery will offer work from Texas multimedia artist Ellen Frances Tuchman.
Right: Ellen Frances Tuchman, detail of MR. LUCKY, 2008-09, mixed media on Mylar film. Courtesy of Koelsch Gallery.
Click forward to see more work from this weekend's fair at Reliant Center . . . which, coincidentally, also will host the Metropolitan Cooking Show featuring both Paula Deen and Giada De Laurentiis.
Right: Eric Fischl, Untitled (Yellow Figure), watercolor on paper. Courtesy of Hexton Gallery, Northbrook, Ill.
Right: Amy Park, IBM Headquarters, 2012, watercolor. Courtesy of Kopeikin Gallery, Culver City, Ca.
Right: Grace Hartigan, Lili Marlene, 2006, oil on linen. Courtesy of C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore.
Right: Kuhne and Klein, Painting a Mountain, 2012 postcard collage. Courtesy of Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York.