After a one-time stint at the Reliant Center in 2012, the Houston Fine Art Fair (HFAF) returns to its original home at the George R. Brown Convention Center this weekend with 80-plus galleries and a full schedule of programming.
Nestled atop the third floor of Hall A, the third annual show feels slightly more intimate than its predecessors, in spite of the uptick in booths. Aisles seem a bit cozier, ceilings a bit lower and booths a bit smaller — all making for the fair's most personable and interactive edition to date.
On the whole, galleries seem to have traded subtlety for flash this year. Yet, amidst a sea of puppy sculptures and Rauschenberg prints, a handful of booths managed to cut through the noise and shine brightly with more subdued pieces.
Ecuador's DPM Gallery hosts a series by Pablo Cardoso titled Lago Agrio, named after Sour Lake, where Texaco oil was founded in 1903. Across 120 small canvases, the artist paints a bottle filled with water from a polluted lake in South America. The murky bottle appears in a variety of settings on the artist's real-life drive from Ecuador to Texas.
LOCAL Arte Contemporaneo from Santiago, Chile features a fascinating assortment of works by Javier González, who selectively removes ink from found posters in his series exploring gender dynamics. The gallery also represents Martín Kaulen, who affixes fake house plants with motion sensors to make them shake every time someone walks into the booth.
Along the central aisles are booths dedicated to FotoFest founders Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin as well as Houston artist Robert Pruitt — who will receive HFAF's Lifetime Achievement and Artist of the Year awards, respectively.
The Houston Fine Art Fair runs through Sunday at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Visit the fair's website for a full schedule and list of exhibitors.