If you’re wondering what to do with all those visiting friends and family for the holidays once the last pie has been eaten, you can be thankful for a cornucopia of art on view this month.
From golden treasures to immersive and kid-friendly art in the park, from modernist masters to underground contemporary light art, Houston has visual (and sound) art treat for every family member this month.
"A Blissful Abyss” at Sawyer Yards (now through January 15, 2023)
In this Winter edition of the tenant exhibition at Sabine Street Studios, the artists respond to the poetic context of "Emptiness is nothingness, yet inspires dreams.” The themes range from expressive figurative works to winter landscapes, from colorful abstractions to monochromatic Malevichian experiments.
Negative Women: Four Photographers Questioning Boundaries at Houston Museum of African American Culture (now through January 27, 2023)
Featuring the work of Letitia Huckaby, Tanya Habjouqa, Mari Hernandez and Ciara Elle Bryant, the exhibition will highlight how these award-winning photographers push against accepted narratives, and tell complete histories. Huckaby’s recent work focuses on Africatown and the last slaving vessel to reach the shores of America. Hernandez creates narrative photos that explore the boundaries of gender and history.
“Paul Anthony Smith: Standing In” at Blaffer Art Museum (now through March 12, 2023)
This new exhibition highlight’s the Jamaica-born, New York-based artist resistance to some of the violent implications of the word “shooting” when it comes to photography. Smith creates photo-based works that push back against the medium’s inherently aggressive dimensions while simultaneously introducing new added layers to the act. The Blaffer explains that Smith employs his previous training in ceramics to disturb and modify the pictorial surface, using a series of sculptural picks to simultaneously dismantle the image and thicken its meaning.
“Golden Worlds: The Portable Universe of Indigenous Colombia” at Museum of Fine Arts (now through April 23, 2023)
Time travel a 1000 years into Columbian art history, with guidance from contemporary Indigenous collaborators, in this exhibition of 400 works of figurative ceramics, ceremonial and ritual items, feather works, textiles, metal works and historical documents, and yes lots of gold. Co-organized by the MFAH, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Museo del Oro of Banco de la Republica, Bogotâ, Golden Worlds really holds a vast world of art as it focuses on the history and splendor of the indigenous peoples and cultures of Colombia.
“The Collective Hive” and “Exploración Orgánica” at The Ion (now through May, 2023)
Photo courtesy of The Gordon Parks Foundation
Gordon Parks, Alberto Giacometti in His Studio, c. 1951, silver print on paper, Archives, Fondation Giacometti.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents "Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure"
As the Ion District continues to grow, so do the art initiatives. The next showcase window installations from the Ions’s EyeOnArt program will set art-lovers a buzzing with artists Lisa Morales and Stacy Gresell “Hive” project designed as an amalgamation of “found object” bees ranging in size from 12” to 4’, each with plexiglass wings. As Morales and Gresell asked the broader Ion community to donate old odds and ends that the artists then used as materials for the bees’ bodies. The second winter window installation, “Exploración Orgánica” comes from a creative team lead by Maria Rodriguez. The installation stimulate each individual’s “own visual experimentation” as the contents inside the window shift their visual appearance from the continuous projection of micro footage of the chemical interactions from mixing oils, acrylic paint, ink, alcohol, milk, and water
“Solstice” at Discovery Green (November 11-February 14, 2023)
The latest art installation commissioned by Discovery Green Conservancy places the audience in a space of ever-changing colors and soundscapes created by frames, mirrors, and a central sun. Perfect for Winter, the interactive work from Studio Iregular is comprised of a series of mirrored and LED arches. Together, the piece reflects the transformation of Earth when the sun is at its closest and furthest from the equator. Guests will be able to experience the longest day of the year to the shortest in an explorative and interactive format. The immersive experience even gives park-goers a chance to harness the power of the sun, or at least feel like they can, as interacting with the piece can influence the changing of sound and colors.
“(w)Hole" at Jung Center (November 12-December 20)
For this audio-visual exhibition investigating grief, apology, and healing, the Jung Center brought together six artists, an audio producer, a writing teacher, seven actors providing voice recordings to create 18 original written works in collaboration with 18 works of visual art. Visitors can cross visual art boundaries by bringing their phones, personal earbuds, or earphones to the gallery, scan a QR code located next to each work of art, and sink into a painting while the voice of a performer tells a story.
“Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure” at Museum of Fine Arts (November 13-February 12, 2023)
One of the most important 20th century sculptors takes the spotlight in this exhibition featuring 60 masterpieces highlighting the Giacometti’s major achievements of the postwar years (1945-66). The MFAH notes that the modernism giant reasserted figural representation in art during a time when the abstract dominated the art world. His elongated, sometimes seen as emaciated, figures became associated with existentialism, evoking fear and uncertainty. Along with galleries organized around Giacometti’s head sculptures, his innovative use of space and bases, the exhibition will offer how other artists perceived Giacometti, including photographers like Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Ernst Scheidegger.
“Robert Motherwell Drawing: As Fast as the Mind Itself” at Menil Collection (November 18-March 12, 2023)
In what the Menil is calling the most comprehensive survey ever mounted of the Motherwell’s, the exhibition will showcase 100 works of the pioneering mark-making abstract expressionist. Spanning Motherwell’s career from the 1940s into the 80s, the survey will explore several aspects of Motherwell’s practice, including his dialogue between the geometric and organic, and his diverse approach to calligraphic mark-making.
“From early Surrealist works to the artist’s late gestural abstractions, this exhibition will provide an invaluable opportunity for visitors to experience the boldness and intensity of Motherwell’s extraordinary career,” describes Menil director Rebecca Rabinow.
“Cistern Illuminated” at the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern (November 25-January 8, 2023)
The former 1920s underground drinking water reservoir, turned Houston’s most unique art space gets another special immersive art experience this time for the holidays. Designed by local artist and engineer Kelly O’Brien of Fenris, Cistern Illuminated is a custom temporary lighting installation that provides fresh perspective on this historic chamber. This new lighting experience, colors shift between warm white and muted oranges, reds, and yellows, evoking flickering candlelight and the way embers flare up and fade on a dark winter’s night. During the “Cistern Illuminated” run look for scheduled concerts by the Schola Cantorum of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. featuring works of Hildegard van Bingen, Guillaume Dufay, Elizabeth Poston, Arvo Pärt, Ola Gjeilo, Crista Miller.
Art on the Avenue at Winter Street Studios (December 1-3)
Yes, technically this is a December art event, but we’re putting one of Houston art lovers favorite parties and art-buying extravaganzas on our calendar early. This usually November silent auction and art moves its is weekend of collecting and reviewing opportunities a few weeks later this year and we don’t want to miss it. Featuring artwork from more than 250 local Houston artists each year, the event benefits Avenue’s work to build and preserve affordable housing, revitalize distressed neighborhoods, while supporting local artists. The event kicks off with a preview party on Thursday, and the opportunity to buy those works that catch your eyes early. Saturday brings open exhibition hours in the day and then the party and auction fun begins Saturday evening.