Art Notes


Fair Season: In 2010, we%26#8217;re looking forward to the Dallas Art Fair, year two. Save our special section in this issue for who to peruse and what to collect at Texas%26#8217; foremost art fair. Mark these dates on your calendar: Friday through Sunday, February 5 through 7, at Fashion Industry Gallery (F.I.G.); dallasartfair.com. Forty Candles, Galactic Galleries: Happy 40th to Colquitt grande dame Geri Hooks, celebrating four decades as an art dealer this 2009 %26#8211; 2010 season. This month, Hooks unfurls one of the most anticipated gallery views this spring: a solo for Whitney Biennial%26#8211;exhibited Houston notable (and Otabenga Jones co-founder) Robert Pruitt, who debuts his newest drawings, The Forever People (January 9 %26#8211; February 13) ... It%26#8217;s Dal%26#237; time at Off The Wall Gallery. The late surrealist master of the melting watches, Salvador Dal%26#237;, is showcased in a special three-day exhibition curated by Christine Argillet (January 22 %26#8211; 24) ... Over on Colquitt, Laura Rathe Fine Art now represents contemporary painting master Tony Magar. His latest, vaporous oceanic-inspired abstracts are on view in Rathe%26#8217;s architecturally stunning space%26nbsp; (formally home to Mix: Modern Clothes). Magar writes about his work: %26#8220;Abstract art has always been like coming home to me ... a place where I can feel free to expand my inner thoughts, a place to invent ... Once I get free to enter the world, I can start to develop and explore a vocabulary with the painting ... This process encompasses a mystery and surprise that I always love %26#8212; and undiscovered country.%26#8221; Materials Magic: From the intimate and poetic to the bold and mythic, materials and process are highlighted this month. First, catch the final days of Lisa Ludwig%26#8217;s exquisite bronze works cast from nature at Moody Gallery (through January 9) ... At Hermann Park, heroic scale is embraced in a nine-month installation opening January 23 (through September 30) of the French sculptor maestro Bernar Venet. Fifteen monumental Cor-Ten steel sculptures %26#8212; some 30 feet tall and weighing as much 12 tons %26#8212; transform the park into the ultimate public sculpture garden. More than 20 other culture capitals have hosted Venet exhibitions to date. The works at Hermann Park will be personally sited by the artist and McClain Gallery in eight locations; the project is sponsored by Texan-French Alliance for the Arts and endorsed by the City of Houston, the French Consulate, Hermann Park Conservancy, Houston Parks and Recreation Department and McClain Gallery, with support from AXA Art, the fine-art insurance company that continues to make innovative contributions to preserving cultural heritage. AXA collaborated with Dewitt Stern to underwrite insurance for this ambitious international installation. Rice Heats Up: Following Wayne White%26#8217;s giant pop puppet at Rice Gallery last month, the university art space presents work possessing a completely different aesthetic: a new installation by Nigerian-based international artist El Anatsui, who will create one of his signature suspended sculptures (incorporating such unexpected materials as liquor-bottle tops) to forge a form resembling a tapestry (January 28 %26#8211; March 14). FYI: Houston%26#8217;s Kinzelman Art Consulting commissioned El Anatsui%26#8217;s first site-specific work in the United States, Wrinkle of the Earth 2, 2007, for ConocoPhillips%26#8217; Houston office ... Stay tuned for more unfolding updates about Rice%26#8217;s burgeoning campus-wide sculptures, with the newest, a series of wild three-dimensional orbs by Aurora Robson, being installed as you read these pages. Asian Fall/American Spring:Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, it%26#8217;s an American spring at the MFAH, with impressive exhibitions on John Singer Sargent and Maurice Prendergast (both opening February 14) and Alice Neel (opening March 21). And be sure to catch the final days of the MFAH%26#8217;s %26#8220;Arts of Ancient Viet Nam (through January 3), %26#8220;Chaotic Harmony: Contemporary Korean Photography%26#8221; (through January 3), and %26#8220;Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea (through February 14). Kudos to Blaffer Galley, Heartfelt Farewells:Blaffer Gallery received a Coming Up Taller Award, personally presented by First Lady Michelle Obama for the museum%26#8217;s work with after-school arts and humanities programs. Then the museum%26#8217;s now-on-view artist Josephine Meckseper (through February 6; curated by Rachel Hooper) was selected for inclusion in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. Meckseper, who also designed a window and story displays for Neiman Marcus in conjunction with her Blaffer show, resides in New York; she will be among 50-some artists showcased when the Biennial opens February 25 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (through May 30) ... David Brown departs Spacetaker, the innovative nonprofit he founded ... And Franklin Sirmans will be greatly missed at The Menil Collection. However, we%26#8217;re hoping his move to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will foster a greater L.A./Houston connection.
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Image:%26nbsp; Robert Pruitt%26#8217;s "Superbad Garveyite," 2009, at Hooks-Epstein Gallery; courtesy of the artist and Hooks-Epstein Gallery

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