June heralds in a stunning summer of art, thanks to local museums and galleries.
From Impressionism to a centuries’ survey of American masterpieces to new large-scale work that expands the nature of sculpture to the latest in artful cosplay armor, this month brings arts for every taste. It’s a great time to explore new art worlds in Houston.
“Brie Ruais: Movement at the Edge of the Land” at Rice Moody Center (now through August 28)
This first institutional solo exhibition of the award-winning Brooklyn sculptor will feature large-scale, abstract ceramic works created especially for the Moody space inside and out.
Ruais’s work redefines sculpture’s static nature, as she creates large ceramic pieces by hand and delves into the connection between the human body, movement, the environment and nature. Using the walls and floors of the Moody galleries as well as the outdoor patio the setting for her work, Ruais will create sculptural landscapes evoking both the desert and sea.
“Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning” at the Blaffer Art Museum (now through September 19)
This first survey of the influential Texas artist and Texas Southern University professor will trace the trajectory of Cyrus’s career. Presented in partnership with TSU, the exhibition will showcase 50 objects and images including paintings, drawings, and works on paper, papyrus, and grits as well as textile-based pieces, sculpture, assemblage, and installations.
At TSU’s University Museum, Cyrus will marry a selection of historical works from the University’s permanent collection with artwork being made in the community of Houston’s Third Ward. Look for a scheduled performances and events in conjunction with the show.
“Suited Up: Contemporary Armor Making in Texas” at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (now through September 11)
Ancient traditions meet 21st century innovation and whimsey in what may be one of the most fun exhibitions opening this summer, as the HCCC celebrates Lone Star State armor makers. The show will spotlight techniques from metalwork and leatherwork to 3D-printed and innovative DIY pop culture suits, as cosplay becomes art.
“Texas has a strong representation of makers who carry on historic traditions of craft practice, while merging them with modern motifs and techniques, to create a new language of form and function that is entirely self-defined,” describe co-curators, Kathryn Hall and MarНa-Elisa Heg.
“Some Things Just Hurt”at Tank Space (now through July 17)
Houston-based artist Damon J. Thomas’s site-specific sculptural installation ponders the idea of memorials and those who create these remembrances for the lost. Using found objects, especially worn stuffed animals laden with their own histories, Thomas sculpts a new kind of memorial to shared tragedy, sympathy, and solidarity.
“9ja Vision: The Fiber and Mixed-Media Work of Joy O. Ude” at Center for Contemporary Craft (now through September 11)
The Houston-based artist grounds her fiber and sculptural work in the traditions of West African textiles to explore themes of assimilation, identity, race,and culture with an emphasis on the immigrant experience.
“The works included in 9ja Vision represent the interweaving of Western and Nigerian cultures, as experienced from the perspective of an American-born child of Nigerian immigrants,” says Ude.
“Elsewhere” at Laura Rathe Fine Art (June 10-July 12)
This group exhibition features new work from Caprice Pierucci, Michael Schultheis, and Sydney Yeager, who all create a sense of elsewhere in their art.
While drawn from unique sources of inspiration and an array of differing mediums, the artwork included in this exhibition is unified by bending and undulating forms that transcend the senses, creating a sense of controlled chaos and taking the viewer beyond the walls of the gallery.
Lindy Chambers: "Living the Dream” at Deborah Colton Gallery (June 12-August 28)
Inspired by rural Texas, Chambers paintings depict vivid worlds where resilience and optimism conquer meager incomes, happiness and peace replace the uncertainty of a former life.
“The Big Show 2021” at Lawndale (June 19-August 14)
The interdisciplinary art center invites Houstonians to discover the diversity and creativity of the regional art scene at their annual juried competition. This very big show will feature 212 artworks by 182 artists from a 100-mile radius.
The works will be selected from over 500 submissions and juried by independent curator and art historian Cecilia Fajardo-Hill.
“Impressionism to Modernism: Monet to Matisse from the Bemberg Foundation” at MFAH (June 27-September 19)
Organized by the MFAH and the Bemberg Foundation in collaboration with Manifesto Expo, this new show will bring 90 paintings and works on paper from the late-19th- and early-20th-century French painting movements to Houston. Notably, this is the only venue for the exhibition in the U.S.
While visitors bask in the art of Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Signac, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, and Odilon Redon, they’ll also get to know the Georges Bemberg, the forward-seeing collector who brought the works together.
“Three Centuries of American Art: Antiquities, European, and American Masterpieces—The Fayez S. Sarofim Collection” at Museum of Fine Arts (June 27-September 6)
Houston has its own tradition of brilliant collectors, and this MFAH organized exhibition celebrates one of the greats. “Fayez Sarofim is widely known for his philanthropic leadership in Houston,” says MFAH director Gary Tinterow.
“Much less known, and revealed in this exhibition, is his abiding fascination with the art and culture of his adopted American homeland.” The exhibition of Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alexander Calder, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Smith will certainly illuminate visitors to the breadth and depth of the Sarofim collection.