best november art
10 vivid and eye-catching November events no Houston art fan should miss
Here’s our yearly holiday gifting and entertaining tip: Art. Sure, art is a solution to many of life’s problems, but as a thing to do — or gift — for all those visiting family and friends, Houston art really is our go-to hack.
From another blockbuster visiting exhibition at the MFAH, to several outdoor (and underground) installations and multidisciplinary works to the beginning to holiday art market season, we’ve got lots of art to see in November.
“Skyspace: Olivia Block, 12 Degrees of Sky” at James Turrell "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace at Rice University (now through November 29)
Ever since its building, the Turrell Skyspace has been a place of inspiration for other artists from musicians to dancers to visual artists.
Block is the latest acclaimed artist to bring a multidisciplinary work in collaboration with the space for what the Moody Art Center is describing as a dramatization of/investigation into the limitations and thresholds of human perception that will incorporate sound and light into the experience.
These threshold moments are expressed through sound and color in varying degrees of brightness and loudness. The work can be enjoyed as a sound composition, light piece, or both.
“The Sleep of Reason” at Site Gallery (now through December 2)
This month is the last chance to see the latest group exhibition in one of Houston’s most unique art spaces, inside the Silos at Sawyer Yards.
With a title alluding to the famous etching by Francisco Goya, the contemporary local and Texas artists of the exhibition explore the directions and trajectory of figurative art after a century of deconstruction.
The show seeks to muse on the question of whether the fragmentation and de-construction of the human figure — and its subsequent re-construction — has become the predominant symbol of 21st century man. And, what’s the nature of that figure when installed inside an old rice storage silo?
“2023 Texas Artist of the Year: Vincent Valdez” at Art League Houston (now through December 2)
Another last chance to see: This special exhibition is ALH’s selection for artist of the year.
Blending large, representational paintings, as well as mural painting and cinema, with contemporary subject matter, the award winning artist examines memory and remembrance from both personal and cultural perspectives.
A sobering and striking highlight of the exhibition is the installation Siete Dias/Seven Days. It's composed of 21 banners suspended from the gallery's ceiling that showcase a handful of the more than 150,000 individuals who have disappeared in Central and South America since the 1970s.
"Keli Mashburn: Dispatches from the Invisible World” at O'Kane Gallery at University of Houston Downtown
The Osage photographer and video artist grew up on a ranch in Oklahoma, and now as as an artist, Mashburn chooses to live and work within her Grayhorse community, remaining on the Osage Reservation in Fairfax, Oklahoma.
Reflecting that environment, her work creates space for mutual respect and consideration as opposed to confrontation, inviting viewers to discover/rediscover bonds and relationships in and to the natural environment. The exhibition continues this exploration and features both photographs and short film.
“Intimate confession is a project” at Blaffer Art Museum (now through March 10, 2024)
This group exhibition, that will include commissions and site-specific projects with a Houston history focus, explores themes of transmission, intergenerational life, and cultural inheritance.
Centering on two seemingly very different concepts of intimacy and infrastructure, the 11 artists showcased in this exhibition will present projects that play with these ideas.
Look for a continuing programs of talks, readings, concerts, and performances in connection with a range of citywide and institutional partners across the exhibition’s six-month run.
"Rafael Domenech and Tomas Vu: Heat Silhouette!” at Asia Society (now through June 2)
For its first public outdoor art installation, the Asia Society — in partnership with University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts — commissioned this new outdoor pavilion.
A collaboration between Cuban American artist Rafael Domenech and Vietnamese American artist Tomas Vu, the monumental installation will include two stages, occupying Asia Society’s 13,000-square-foot lot at the intersection of Oakdale and Caroline Streets.
Described by the artists as a form of “urban acupuncture,” this “Heat Silhouette” was designed to welcome the spontaneous circulation of people, energy, and events. The pavilion’s material of aluminum framing, and laser-cut construction mesh, were purposefully chosen to reflect and adapt into the Houston Museum District’s landscape.
The title references Houston’s summer weather, a heat so palpable that it feels as if it occupies actual space, creating a silhouette or edge.
“Radiant Nature” at Houston Botanic Garden (November 17-February 25)
Holiday lights ablaze across the city this month, but we’ve got our eye on this artfully illuminated celebration of nature and the Lunar New Year amid the world landscapes of the Botanic Garden.
"Radiant Nature" features more than 50 larger-than-life installations inspired by the traditional Chinese lantern festival. Highlights of this holiday light spectacular include a football field-sized dragon, 50-foot pagoda, 100-foot magnolia tunnel, a walk-in kaleidoscope, and a Texas prairie with 10-foot bluebonnets, along with lighted swings and other interactive exhibitions.
“Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence” at Museum of Fine Arts (November 19-May 27)
MFAH members and regulars have become familiar with the vibrant colors and complex painted narratives of Kehinde Wiley’s work the last few years. The MFAH was one of the few stops for the Obama Portraits Tour that featured his definitive portrait of President Obama, and they also showcased his "Judith and Holofernes” early this year.
Now comes a chance to see a full exhibition of the acclaimed artist’s latest work created in response to our turbulent times — especially the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Best known for his portraits that render people of color in the traditional settings of Old Master paintings, this new exhibition of Wiley’s work will feature 26 paintings some of both the largest and smallest that he’s created.
“Kehinde Wiley's elegies, at once sublimely beautiful and deeply disturbing, are profoundly moving, even unforgettable. We are very proud to exhibit them at the Museum and participate in this national tour,” commented MFAH director Gary Tinterow in a statement about the exhibition.
“Cistern Illuminated” at Buffalo Bayou Park (November 25-January 7)
The restored, historic 1920 underground water retention space, a.k.a the Cistern, is another of our favorite weird and wonderful and only-in-Houston places to see new art.
For the holidays, Buffalo Bayou Park brings back a multidisciplinary work by artist/engineer Kelly O’Brien that debuted last year. O’Brien has altered the piece this time, incorporating new audio and visual elements to create a more fully immersive experience.
Lighting instruments controlled by customized software cast colored light throughout the space. The special angle of these lights created an uncanny reflection of the Cistern’s ceiling on the glassy water below.
This year’s installation will further amplify the Cistern’s features, from its cavernous expanse to its repeating columns which appear infinite due to the Cistern’s illusory qualities.
2023 Studio School Student Art Sale at MFAH’s Glassell School of Art (December 8-10)
Sure, we’re getting a few weeks ahead of ourselves, but we don’t want to miss one of our favorite annual collecting and art buying opportunities. Gift yourself works from an up-and-coming local and, many times, a professional artist in one of the best art-buying opportunities of the year.
Browse a huge selection of jewelry, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, and more. Many of the artists also staff the sale and so are there to answer questions and give buyers the art scope of the work and process.