Art Notes

Surreal Scene to Cubist King: While Magritte makes a perfect Valentine at The Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the exclusive American venue for the Georges Braque (1882 %26ndash; 1963) retrospective. This show seeks, via 75 definitive works, to pull Braque from the shadow of Picasso and show his own innovations, from Fauvism to his most pioneering phase %26mdash; cubism (February 13 %26ndash; May 11) %26hellip; Speaking of Surrealism, don%26rsquo;t overlook haunting works by Lee Bontecou in the first-ever retrospective of the artist%26rsquo;s extraordinary drawings, which vary from the marvelous to the macabre, with a touch of sci-fi. The Menil%26rsquo;s Michelle White curates (through May 11) %26hellip; Italian-based/Moscow Biennale-exhibited Andrea Bianconi, whose idiosyncratic practice verges on the surreal, returns to town via %26ldquo;Tunnel City,%26rdquo; opening Thursday, February 13, at Barbara Davis Gallery with a performance, book signing and showing of his latest canvases (through March 15).

Group-On: Art Palace engages with an edgy group view that struts the smartest work in gallerist Arturo Palacios%26rsquo; stable. We%26rsquo;re mad for the performance art/photographic quartet The Bridge Club, accompanied by the latest by Elaine Bradford, Jeffrey Dell, Nathan Green and more, as well as a neat micro show of Nick Barbee%26rsquo;s wry watercolors (both through February 15).

Bert%26rsquo;s Back: February marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Rome Prize winner Bert Long Jr. To honor his memory, jump-start his foundation and move his volume penned by Thomas McEvilley to publication, Deborah Colton Gallery mounts a fund-raising exhibition complete with blues performances Saturday, February 1 (through March 8).

Paper Lover: Marco Villegas%26rsquo; abstract woodcut monotypes, hot off Burning Bones Press, are showcased at Sharon Engelstein%26rsquo;s Front gallery, a lovely space sited in the artist%26rsquo;s bungalow (through February 22) %26hellip; Handmade artists%26rsquo; books are page-turners at Hiram Butler Gallery, continuing a long-standing dialogue with Bill Goldston%26rsquo;s U.L.A.E. (Universal Limited Art Editions). Acquire collectible limited-edition volumes by notables from Elizabeth Murray to Bob Rauschenberg (through February 22).

Installation Station: Check out McClain Gallery%26rsquo;s solo for the brilliant pair Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher. Trailer, serves up a surprising amalgamation of electrical engineering, odd mechanics, light show and miniature dioramas, set to a quirky score (February 6 %26ndash; May 31) %26hellip; One of my fave sculptors has been picked up by Devin Borden Gallery. Master of materials/Pop prognosticator/UH prof Paul Kittelson currently headlines with buoyant new work at Borden%26rsquo;s Isabella digs (through February 18) %26hellip; FotoFest arrives next month. Follow @PaperCityCA for the best of the biennial.

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