Art Notes

The Koreans Are Coming: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, continues its Asian season with an up-to-the-minute survey of the brightest voices in contemporary Korean art. Anne Wilkes Tucker co-curates a concise presentation of 40 lensmen, spanning two generations, in %26#8220;Chaotic Harmony, Contemporary Korean Photography%26#8221; (through January 3). Concurrently, the MFAH%26#8217;s Christine Starkman co-curates %26#8220;Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea,%26#8221; the first American museum exhibition in two decades to explore the exploding contemporary Korea scene (through February 14).

The Last Chapter:
This month is all about libraries %26#8212; a story whose final chapter celebrates a successful preservation story. First up, there%26#8217;s the ribbon cutting on the Julia Ideson Library, a visionary project that restores the original 1926 building to a graceful venue for social events, while adding a new archival wing for the rich holdings of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. The nonprofit Julia Ideson Library Preservation Partners, led by chairman Phoebe Tudor, has raised 89 percent of its $32 million goal. To make a contribution in time for the holidays, contact executive director Margaret Lawler, 713.660.0772.

Destination Dallas Art Fair:
The clock is ticking on securing VIP tickets for year two of this boutique art fair presented by Mo%26#235;t Hennessy at Fashion Industry Gallery (F.I.G.) in the Downtown Arts District, Friday through Sunday, February 5 through 7. Offered in a limited number, the VIP pass provides insider access to the Preview Gala on Thursday, February 4, and the fair itself. VIP ticket $400, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Information Tracy Moberley, 214.220.1278;

Let There Be Light, India Calling:
Among the most optimistic shows is Anya Tish Gallery%26#8217;s %26#8220;Light Switch,%26#8221; which culls artists who employ light including emerging Texas talent Adela Andea%26#8217;s way-out installation bathed in green rays (through December 31) %26#8230; Then Wayne Gilbert%26#8217;s G Gallery mounts an impressive exhibition of contemporary Indian artists (through December 28).

Outside the Box, Artful Bijoux: Bering %26amp; James is the place to be for the annual %26#8220;Art Box,%26#8221; a holiday show packed with portable miniatures, presenting 700 works by 250 artists whom think inside the box, all priced at $125 (December 4 and 5) ... At Darke Gallery, this month%26#8217;s jewelry exhibition serves up wearable masterpieces by avant-garde designer Raphaele (December 12 %26#8211; January 16).

Daring Dario, Lollipops, Here Comes Art Palace: There%26#8217;s been an energy shift to the Isabella Courts, with the early 2010 arrival of Art Palace, Austin%26#8217;s most influential gallery, joining Inman and Ctrl. And don%26#8217;t miss Dario Robleto%26#8217;s museum-caliber show mounted by Inman is a special project space (through December 31). While you%26#8217;re there, investigate Ctrl Gallery%26#8217;s tightly curated show of cutting-edge abstraction, %26#8220;Good Ship Lollipop,%26#8221; including the quirky, almost molten assemblages by Texan Richie Budd (through December 19).

Fabled Faberg%26#233;: The Houston Museum of Natural Science unveils a splendid exhibition of imperial jewels from Carl Faberg%26#233;%26#8217;s workshops including the exquisite Nobel Ice Egg (through April 4). This is the first time treasures from the privately held McFerrin Collection have been presented in a single exhibition.

Name Change, Franco the Fabulous: As you read this, Deborah Colton Gallery is now Colton %26amp; Farb Gallery, reflecting business partner Carolyn Farb%26#8217;s prominent role. Catch director-collector Lester Marks%26#8217; curatorial debut at C%26amp;F (through December 12) as well as a one-night-only event Wednesday, December 3, for Whitney Biennial%26#8211;Prix de Rome artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz and a book signing for Jay Rusovich on December 15.

A Surls for Heights Boulevard: Before the end of the year, James Surls%26#8217; Park Avenue Project will be reprised along Heights Boulevard and on the Rice University campus. While sites for Rice are being finalized, the three Heights sculptures will be placed at the 400, 900 and 1300 blocks of Height Boulevard including a new sculpture completed just for this project.

Books, Back to Nature: We love the small printed treasures at McClain Gallery (through December) including books from Fondation Beyeler ... Collage master John Pavlicek solos in %26#8220;Ordinary Miracles%26#8221; at Gremillion %26amp; Co. Fine Art (December 9 %26#8211; January 16) ... At Meredith Long %26amp; Company, tonal plein air canvases by Barbara Hines continue the grand tradition of American landscape painting (December 10 %26#8211; 30) ... Libbie Masterson turns her camera on her native state, in a mystical new series of black-and-white images shot at twilight in West Texas, at Houston Arts Alliance%26#8217;s 125 Gallery (December 3 %26#8211; January 7) ... Wade Wilson Art now represents mid-career masters Houston artists Ann Stautberg and Frank X. Tolbert 2. Investigate their respective photographs and paintings at the pair%26#8217;s open studio, co-hosted by Wilson and Cothren Contemporary Consulting on December 6 (513 Railey, info 713.521.2977).

Terrific Tierney: DiverseWorks rolls out one of the tour de forces of the fall. %26#8220;Tierney Malone: Third Ward is My Harlem%26#8221; (through December 19), in the nonprofit%26#8217;s Main Gallery. For this commission, Malone alters the artspace via an immersive installation featuring his eloquent signage. Often made on sheetrock or other humble materials, his paintings bear text fragments and phrases conjuring pop-cultural references, especially jazz and blues (many works evoke actual album covers), while conveying a sense of place as well as the power of the African-American experience. Additional leitmotifs are the Houston artist%26#8217;s own personal history, as well as the broader framework of growing up in urban black America. What%26#8217;s new here are sound components and a site-specific theater where Malone%26#8217;s first-ever film project screens. Catherine D. Anspon

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