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A giant Bigfoot, a mini laundromat and a crazy rooftop: A hipper Texas Contemporary Art Fair has it all

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1 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Alex Katz Dog at Ducktrap
Alex Katz, Dog at Ducktrap, 1975-76, lithograph, 29 x 43 inches. Courtesy of Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque. Photo by Tyler Rudick
2 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Wayne White Famous n' Mopey
Wayne White, Famous n' Mopey, acrylic on offset lithograph, 29 x 45 inches. Courtesy of David Shelton Gallery, Houston. Photo by Tyler Rudick
3 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Hung Liu Street Library
Hung Liu, Street Library, 2013, oil on canvas, wood shelf, Chinese story books, 60 x 80 inches. Courtesy of Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tyler Rudick
5 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 first one
Bruno Horioka and Miguel Ruiz, Uchi plate with built-in utensils, 2013. Courtesy of the artists and the Blaffer Art Museum.  Photo by Tyler Rudick
6 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 second one
Bruno Horioka and Miguel Ruiz, Uchi plate with built-in utensils, 2013. Courtesy of the artists and the Blaffer Art Museum.   Photo by Tyler Rudick
7 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Daniel Petraitis Dumpsters
Daniel Petraitis, Dumpsters, mixed media. Courtesy of the West Collection, Oaks, Pa. Photo by Tyler Rudick
8 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Richard Bosman Barnett Newman's Studio
Richard Bosman, Barnet Newman's Studio, 2010, oil on canvas, 60 x 84 inches. Courtesy of Carroll and Sons, Boston. Photo by Tyler Rudick
9 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Titus Kaphar The Fight for Remembrance I
Titus Kaphar, The Fight for Remembrance I, 2013, oil on canvas. 62 x 50 inches. Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco. Photo by Tyler Rudick
10 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Kent Dorn Shadowland
Kenneth Dorn, Shadowland, 2013, mixed media on canvas, 80 x 60 inches. Courtesy of Freight + Volume, New York. Photo by Tyler Rudick
11 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Hannah Chalew Living Room
Hannah Chalew, Living Room, 2013, mixed media. Courtesy of Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans. Photo by Tyler Rudick
12 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Clayton Brothers Wishy Washy
Clayton Brothers, Wishy Washy, 2006, mixed media, 100 x 96 x 96 inches. Courtesy of Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City. Photo by Tyler Rudick
1 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Alex Katz Dog at Ducktrap
2 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Wayne White Famous n' Mopey
3 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Hung Liu Street Library
5 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 first one
6 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 second one
7 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Daniel Petraitis Dumpsters
8 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Richard Bosman Barnett Newman's Studio
9 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Titus Kaphar The Fight for Remembrance I
10 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Kent Dorn Shadowland
11 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Hannah Chalew Living Room
12 Texas Contemporary Art Fair preview October 2013 Clayton Brothers Wishy Washy

After three years of duking it out with the Houston Fine Art Fair for a slice of the local collectors' market, Texas Contemporary Art Fair appears to be settling into its own role as the hipper cousin to the HFAF's respected stable of high-end international galleries.

Large inflatable sculptures and a homemade mini-laundromat by the Los Angeles' Clayton Brothers greet guests as they enter Hall A of the George R. Brown, setting the stage for a generally light-hearted tone throughout the fair's public spaces. In the main central aisle, a giant stuffed Bigfoot by Tara Tucker holds court alongside a furniture set covered in live plants by Hannah Chalew of New Orleans.

Texas Contemporary's cadre of 70 galleries — including 13 from Houston (compared to eight at the HFAF) — seem to veer more towards canvas work in this year's fair.

San Francisco's Catharine Clark Gallery features bold new paintings by Titus Kaphar, who reworks images and iconography from 19th-century America. The Rena Bransten Gallery, also from the Bay Area, has a compelling 2013 work by Hung Liu while Freight + Volume from New York highlights two fresh canvases by Houston's Kent Dorn.

Be sure to visit the West Collection from Pennsylvania — which has turned its booth into a quasi-rooftop deck filled with art by Philadelphia artists — as well as the Blaffer Art Museum's selection of impressively-crafted design items by students at the University of Houston, many of which are for sale.

Click through the slideshow above for more highlights and check out the third annual Texas Contemporary fair at the George R. Brown through Sunday.

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