Art Notes


Into the Future: It%26rsquo;s the final column of 2010, and our mantra is %26ldquo;Collect, collect, collect.%26rdquo; Turn to this issue%26rsquo;s Gift Guide for some suggestions of the visual persuasion. Meanwhile, we%26rsquo;re departing from tradition here, reflecting back and gazing forward on some exciting trends %26mdash;%26nbsp;and those who make them happen %26mdash; in our 21st-century art nexus. These past 12 months were a banner year, and often a thrilling one, especially with The Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Arts of China Gallery opening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with a bold gunpowder explosion choreographed by international superstar Cai Guo-Qiang, whose legacy is the remarkable Odyssey now installed for perpetuity in the MFAH%26rsquo;s new exhibition space, thanks to the vision of curator Christine Starkman and the faith of director Peter Marzio ... Speaking of the East, Asia Society Texas Center is readying its extraordinary new building, designed by MoMA expansion architect Yoshio Taniguchi for a Fall 2011 reveal, with a grand opening planned Spring 2011 ... At The Menil Collection, we were given both the amazing Kurt Schwitters (through January 30; go immerse yourself in the recreated Merzbau environment)%26nbsp;and the new de Menil volume profiled on page 44 ... The MFAH also opened its futuristic, green, gleaming Kilroy Visitor and Education Center at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, designed by hometown architect Leslie Elkins, creating a gracious portal to the past ... An addition, too, is planned for the Blaffer, which now adds %26ldquo;Museum%26rdquo; to its moniker; we%26rsquo;ll be reporting the architect in the months to come ... And we can%26rsquo;t wait for the Galveston Arts Center to be restored this coming year post-Ike, so Clint Willour can return to the original GAC instead of curating his brilliant views in exile.

We Heart Iconoclasts: We love that Houston has three important alternative spaces: Lawndale Art Center, where the strange Boozefox Collective was utterly captivating this fall; Art League Houston, which I resolve to visit more in the coming year; and DiverseWorks, where the Yes Men exhibition this spring was simultaneously chilling, humorous and prophetic ... Kim Davenport%26rsquo;s Rice Gallery amps up the energy with installations that vary from the bold and strange Wayne White to the hypnotic Andrea Dezs%26ouml; ... Let%26rsquo;s also celebrate that our galleries are not all in one place. It%26rsquo;s an easy 10-minute zing from Colquitt down the Richmond corridor to 2500 Summer Street, the Isabella Courts on Main, across to 4411 Montrose, then back to West Gray, where this wonderful Wegman is on view at Texas Gallery (through December 31), and the West End and the 11th Street spaces (which G Gallery%26rsquo;s Wayne Gilbert reminds me we need to cover more. Go see the fire drawings of San Antonio%26rsquo;s Bill FitzGibbons, whose day job is director of Blue Star Artspace, December 4 %26ndash;26) ... Let%26rsquo;s celebrate the innovative incubator spirit realized in Jim Harithas%26rsquo; dual art spaces %26mdash; the riotous Art Car Museum and the international Station Museum of Contemporary Art. The former showcases iconoclastic voices decrying the Gulf spill including Alicia Duplan, John Linden and my pal, assemblage sculptor Jonathan Rosenstein, through January 14. The Station%26rsquo;s survey for Venice Biennale Texan James Drake is simply as good as it gets (through January 9) ... Finally, my three favorite discoveries of the year are Box 13 in the happening East End, with kudos to Kathy Kelley and JoAnn Park; Sketchy Neighbors, a collective all about the art of drawing, co-directed by Devon Moore from his studio on Arlington (check out our blog for details of their December extravaganza); and Montrose Art Society, a group of talents nonchalantly popping up exhibitions around town, including at War%26rsquo;Haus Gallery, hidden in plain site next to a boxing studio on 4715 Main Street in the Museum District.

Images:

William Wegman%26rsquo;s On Edge, 2010, at Texas Gallery

Jonathan Rosenstein%26rsquo;s Don%26rsquo;t Tread on Me, 2010, at Art Car Museum

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