The Houston visual art community stays true to the season with a veritable cornucopia of exhibitions and installations for us explore this month. From fun and provocative outdoor art to view social distancing with family and friends to the opening of the Musuem of Fine Art, Houston's Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, November might just be the biggest month of the year for art lovers.
So let’s give thanks to this bountiful harvest of art.
"Color Field" at the University of Houston (now through May 2021)
The first curated exhibition of outdoor sculpture at UH and the second project in the Temporary Public Art Program, this traveling show from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art brings a splash and sometimes interactive array of colorful surprises to the UH campus. From a working set of giant wind chimes from artist Sam Falls to Texas sculptor Jeffie Brewer’s whimsical menagerie holding Gigaff, Bunny and Kitty to Sarah Braman’s circular, colored windows onto the world, the works of "Color Field" allow gazers to explore the campus in a whole new way, while bringing more art into the open air as we continue to embrace outdoor art.
"Stephanie Syjuco: The Visible Invisible" (through January 9, 2021) and "Simon Fujiwara: Hope House" (through March 2021) at Blaffer Art Museum
Two new exhibitions at the Blaffer give us all the more reason to spend some art me-time on the UH campus this fall. While identity and politics have always been a most combustible fuel for art, this exhibition examination of the supposedly neutrality of color seems on point for our 2020 landscape. Meanwhile, with "Hope House," Fujiwara makes us reexamine what happens when history and real lives become edutainment in the museum within the museum.
Creative interventions: Rice University Outdoor Structures (now through May 21, 2021)
When Rice University built its provisional campus facilities and open-air structures to help bring students safely back to campus, those temporary structures also became huge blank canvases perfect for artists to play. Such is the case with "Twelve Feet Apart," a set of real sea-saws for students to use. Take a jaunt around campus to step upon "Color Walk" from the "Color Factor," commune with some local bees during the large-scale video work, "The Hive," get to know a new kind of flower child depicted in the giant mural, "Detroit Red," and see GONZO247’s latest and collaborative piece, "Adding Value to the Moment." More large-scale works will be added this fall.
"Selected Works from The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at the University of Alabama" at Houston Museum of African American Culture (now through January 16)
As the Jones Collection is known for having one of the largest surveys of 20th-century African American art in the world, this exhibition is sure to offer a Houston art lovers a treasure from the last century. Look for pieces by 40 artists, including Fahamu Pecou, Cedric Smith, Billy Dee Williams, Romare Bearden, Richard Hunt, Sam Gilliam, Ming Smith, Sheila Pree Bright, Whitfield Lovell, Jack Whitten, Benny Andrews, Kevin Cole, Wadsworth Jarrell, and Houston’s Lionel Lofton.
"Meta-Formation: New Connections in Contemporary Blacksmithing" at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (now through January 2)
The latest of the Musuem District’s art institutions to reopen, the HCCC fires up our crafting curiosity with and goes contemporary old school with this most ancient of art forms. Forge a new appreciation these 21st-century smiths in this exhibition filled metal marvels from abstract sculptures to functional ware.
"Silent Revolutions: Italian Drawings from the Twentieth Century" at the Menil Drawing Institute (November 14-April 11, 2021)
The first large-scale survey of 20th-century Italian drawings mounted in the United States, the exhibition will feature 70 drawings, largely selected from the Collezione Ramo in Milan. Taken together, "Silent Revolutions" will explore a diverse set of themes from history and myth, language, subjectivity, the body, the modern city, space, and abstraction. Look for works by some of the 20th century’s most influential and revolutionary Italian artists, including Umberto Boccioni, Alighiero Boetti, Giorgio de Chirico, Lucio Fontana, Jannis Kounellis, Maria Lai, and Carol Rama.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Nancy and Rich Kinder Building opens (November 21)
The crown jewel of the MFAH’s eight-year, $450 million redevelopment project, the Kinder will showcase the museum’s vast international collections of modern and contemporary art. After seeing some of these works in short-term exhibitions and shows, Houstonians and visitors from around the world can finally explore the bests of the collections, including some of their large-scale immersive works, photography, decorative arts, prints and drawings, European and American 20th-century painting and sculpture, and of course, the museum’s world-renowned collection of Latin American Modernism. We bet Houstonian will still be immersing ourselves in this art space for years to come.
"Floating Dreams" at 101 Crawford St., suite 140 (Official unveiling on November 20)
A Houston artist who goes by the moniker Betirri unveils his sprawling new mural, titled “Floating Dreams.” Beitiri, who hails from Puebla, Mexico, pays homage to his native country’s street vendors — specifically balloon men — whose professions are slowly disappearing. The artist worked on the 96-inch-by 72-inch canvas piece from 2017 to 2020. The mural displays a detailed composition of Puebla's colonial architecture and all the spectators in black and white. The official unveiling features remarks from the Consul General of Mexico, Alicia Kerber on November 20 at 6 pm.