ArtHouston Magazine issue #16

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o day, museums are facing a new normal that includes commercial immersive experiences and digital art videos. They are reinventing themselves lending a new kind of experience to the young adults who hold a stereotypical view of museums as being boring.

I believe that immersive exhibitions have become an integral component in the diet of our culture and are here to stay. The pathway into the future it presents is excitingly real; it blurs the boundary between the viewer and the exhibition and explores new relationships between people and their surroundings.

Immersive exhibitions are all about merging oneself with the universe, so for this issue, we are happy to feature Swiss video art pioneer Pipilotti Rist’s universe. She is returning to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston with yet another series of grand-scale, immersive presentations. Her work pushes the boundaries between video and the built environment, exploiting new technologies to create installations that fuse the natural world with the electronic sublime. She brings us closer to nature and to one another, leaving the visitor engulfed in an interactive journey full of endless possibilities, leaving a lasting impression.

Also, in this issue we wanted to pay tribute to one of the most important artists of Texas, the modernist sculptor and painter David Adickes, a giant on the local art scene who just celebrated his 96th year of life. His most famous work is the 67-foot tall “A Tribute to Courage” statue of Sam Houston in Huntsville, Texas. But, for me, my most favorite one is the Lone-Star-State-skewed version of Mount Rushmore, called Mount Rush Hour, placed at a notorious downtown I -10 bottleneck.

Among the numerous remarkable individuals, I’ve had the privilege of knowing, David shines for being constantly vibrant and creative, at once spontaneously ready for sparking comedy.

Yours faithfully,

I still do something every day, I don’t know what else I’d do. – David Adickes
Bernhard & David Adickes. Photography by Gary Milnarich
Joh n



Rist John Bernhard 30
Menil Sabrina Bernhard 36
Art Meghan Hendley Lopez 42 Jorge Pardo: Folly Arthur Demicheli 48 Oaxaca Inspired Art William Hanhausen 52 David Adickes Meghan Hendley Lopez 60 Artificial Intelligence Verity Babbs 68
Baby Burn Arthur Demicheli 72 Fold of Desire Mark Ross 84 Villa Albertine Bettina Gardelles 88
America William Hanhausen ARTHOUSTON 7 SPRING 2023 CONTENTS ON THE COVER : Installation view of Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish at The Museum of Fine Art Houston. March 12–September 4, 2023. Photo courtesy of The MFAH.
at the



Center for Contemporay

Craft A Global Showcase of Contemporary Glasswork

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) presents Tg: Transitions in Kiln-Glass , a biennial exhibition organized by Bullseye Projects that features the best of contemporary kiln-glass design, architecture, and art. The juried competition and resulting exhibition reflects the expansion and evolution of the kiln-glass medium and its community. While still encouraging emerging talent, the parameters for this year’s exhibition have been widened to include a broader range of artists and to acknowledge the expansion of kiln-glass into the architectural and design fields. In contrast to glassblowing, which uses a pipe to inflate and shape molten glass, kilnforming uses a kiln to bind and shape layers or particles of glass, known as frit. Tg refers to the temperature at which glass transitions from behaving like a solid to behaving like a liquid. This metamorphosis embodies the ethos of kiln-glass: the transformation that occurs when glass softens and yields to the fierce heat of the kiln.

Tg: Transitions in Kiln-Glass offers viewers an opportunity to explore the aesthetic choices, conceptual frameworks, and technical innovations of contemporary kiln-glass by artists from the U.S. and abroad. On view until May 13, 2023

Celebrated artist and Holocaust survivor Alice Lok Cahana made a vow as she faced the horrors of Auschwitz, and later, the Bergen-Belsen camp - if she survived, she would not hate those who imprisoned her and, she later learned, those who murdered her family.

“If I hate,” Cahana often told friends, “That means Hitler would’ve won.”

Alice Cahana passed away in 2017, however, her story lives on through a prolific collection of artwork that illustrates her experience during the Holocaust and memorializes the lives lost. Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) celebrates Cahana, with the opening of The Life and Art of Alice Lok Cahana, on view until April 9 , in the Josef and Edith Mincberg Gallery.

“Our first exhibition when the Museum opened in 1996 was a retrospective of Alice Lok Cahana’s works,” said Dr. Kelly J. Zuniga, CEO of Holocaust Museum Houston. “The 2023 show brings us full circle to honor her memory while introducing her prolific work to a whole new generation of art lovers.”

ARTHOUSTON 8 news bits
From left: Bruno Romanelli, Procyon , 2021. Cast glass. Photo by Hanmi Meyer. Helen Slater Stokes, In the Pink , 2019. Kilnformed glass, digital ceramic transfer. Photo by Hanmi Meyer. Te Rongo Kirkwood, detail of Eunoia , 2020. Fused and coldworked glass, cord, steel. Photo by Jennifer French. ALICE LOK CAHANA Holocaust Museum Houston Alice Lok Cahana Tree of Life, oil/mixed media on canvas Photo by Wilson Parish



Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Endowed by Collector Hossein Afshar, Galleries will Feature Iranian Art from the Afshar Collection and Selections from the Museum’s Holdings to Reflect the Breadth and Depth of Historic Islamic Lands

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, opens new galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds. Building upon a historic, decade-long collaboration with the renowned al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, which has brought hundreds of objects of Islamic art on extended loan to the MFAH the Museum will mark the 10th anniversary of that initiative by opening new, permanent galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds on March 5, 2023. These new galleries have been endowed by collector Hossein Afshar, and will present for the first time the full extent of MFAH holdings in Islamic art in the context of an extensive selection of Iranian masterworks on long-term loan from the Afshar Collection. Carefully assembled over the past 50years, the distinguished Afshar Collection conveys the rich artistic traditions of Iranian civilization from the 7th to 19th century, in several hundred exquisite paintings, significant ceramics, precious inlaid metalware, and finely woven silk fabrics and carpets. The MFAH has devoted permanent gallery space to Islamic art for more than a decade, and the new Afshar galleries nearly double previous display space for Islamic art. Hundreds of objects—exquisite paintings, manuscripts, ceramics, carpets, and metalwork spanning more than 1,000 years—will reflect the breadth of historic Islamic lands, including present-day Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Türkiye, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

The opening of the galleries culminates a major, longtime initiative at the MFAH to develop special exhibitions, new scholarship, signature acquisitions, and dynamic public programs in Islamic art. Gary Tinterow, Director, the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair of the MFAH, said, “These new, permanent galleries enable us to significantly expand a cultural home in Houston for art from historic Islamic lands. We remain enormously grateful to Sheikha Hussa Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah and the late Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who placed their distinguished holdings with the Museum on long-term loan in 2012. And we are immensely grateful to Hossein Afshar, creator of perhaps the most extensive collection of Iranian art in private hands, for placing his collection on long-term loan so that we may enhance our effort to reflect the city whose many communities we serve.” “The new galleries are a culmination of the strong partnership between the Museum, our dynamic Houston communities, and an extraordinary historical collection,” said Aimée Froom, curator, Art of the Islamic Worlds at the MFAH. “Encompassing diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages, and regional traditions, this new presentation, with the Museum’s own growing collection paired for the first time with the Hossein Afshar Collection, will convey the extraordinarily vibrant contributions and legacies of Islamic civilizations.”

Iran, Bookbinding , late 16thcentury, watercolor, gold-colored pigments, and lacquer on pasteboard, The Hossein Afshar Collection at the MFAH.


Contemporary Arts Museum

Contemporary Arts Museum

Houston’s (CAMH) Teen Council presents their 13th biennial exhibition featuring work from Houston-area teen artists.

Where Do We Go From Here?

This exhibition’s title was posed as a question to over 100 teen artists from across Houston. The resulting artworks—ranging from painted collage to abstract sculpture—disrupt societal norms and boldly confront challenging topics through the lens of change. From recent socio-political upheaval to personal rebirth, these teen artists have a great deal to express about the contemporary world. On view until July 2, 2023


The Celebration Tour

Madonna, the best-selling female solo touring artist of all time, will be performing in Houston her “Celebration Tour” which will be highlighting her unmatched catalog of music from the past 40 plus years.

The “Celebration Tour” will take us on Madonna’s artistic journey through four decades and pays respect to the city of New York where her career in music began. “I am excited to explore as many songs as possible in hopes to give my fans the show they have been waiting for,” states Madonna. Sept. 13 – Toyota Center


Christie’s New York

Most expensive artwork sold in 2022

Andy Warhol gained the title of American artist with the most expensive lot at auction with this staggering $195 million price tag, achieved at a Christie’s New York sale last year. The 1964 silkscreen painting Shot Sage Blue Marilyn , the most expensive ever sold at auction by an American artist, was sold as part of famed late Swiss art dealer Thomas Ammann and his sister Doris’ collection.


The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) announced an investment of over four million dollars in the selection of 12 new site-specific art commissions for the new Mickey Leland International Terminal (MLIT) and the new International Central Processer (ICP) at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The commissioned artworks will be new additions to the City of Houston’s Civic Art Collection and are expected to be installed and on view by the Spring of 2024. In line with the equity guidelines and ethos of the City’s Civic Art Program and considering the goals of the HAS, this effort sought concepts for art meant to enhance passengers’ experiences by highlighting ideas that are reflective of the international character of Houston.

“The magnitude of commission efforts at IAH leads in the pace and funding for increased activity in Civic Art across the City and we’re very proud of the artworks residents and visitors to Houston will soon encounter,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “And, how fitting, that artworks from Houston’s own artists will welcome every single international passenger landing at IAH.”

For each of the six gates for MLIT, the City requested the submission of proposals from Houston-based artists to design, fabricate, and install a three-part installation addressing the upper and lower landings of six new international gates at the forthcoming airport facility. For all commissions, preference was given to artists not currently represented in the City of Houston Civic Art Collection.

“We are proud of our strong collaboration with the Houston Airport System,” says MOCA Director, Necole S. Irvin. “Together, we are creating a presence at the airport through art that strongly conveys the character of our city, known to be a gateway to Latin America, and our warm welcome to visitors to our city.”

Here are five most expensive paintings ever sold:

Salvator Mundi, Leonardo da Vinci

- $450 million

Interchange , Willem de Kooning

- $300 million

The Card Players , Paul Cézanne

- $250 million

Nafea Faa Ipoipo , Paul Gauguin

- $210 million

Number 17A , Jackson Pollock

- $200 million


Blaffer Art Museum

American artist and writer Christopher Myers’ exhibition will look back at the past five years of Myers’ inter-disciplinary work – bringing together epic appliqué tapestries with stained glass lightboxes and a new installation that highlights Myers’ ongoing work in performance. May 19—August 20

All the artworks reflect the welcoming nature of Houston as a city with a distinct culture, celebrating the rich and diverse local fabric that makes Houston inspiring for residents and visitors alike.


The Menil Drawing Institute

Between the 1940s and 1970s, American artist Gray Foy (1922–2012) created a body of extraordinarily meticulous drawings, most often rendered in graphite on paper.

Hyperreal: Gray Foy exhibition spans the entirety of Foy’s career.

On view April 21 – September 3

Andy Warhol, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn Concept for artwork from artist Miguel Arzabe for Bush Intercontinental Airport Gray Foy, Untitled, 1946


The Menil Collection

Exhibition showcases historic works and artistic traditions from the Cameroon Grassfields and highlights their connections to Houston

The Menil Collection presents Art of the Cameroon Grassfields, A Living Heritage in Houston, an exhibition celebrating the enduring artistic traditions from Cameroon and its diaspora, the show will present more than twenty historical works from Houston-based collections, including the Menil; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and local private collections. In an accompanying gallery space, the exhibition features two recent artworks by Douala-based artist Hervé Youmbi. Hervé Youmbi said, “In my work, I have been building connections, or gateways, between two parallel worlds, the one of global contemporary art and the ritual one of so-called traditional African art. The two installations that will be presented at the Menil Collection were made and exhibited as contemporary art and, later, activated through ritual ceremonies or integrated into the royal courts

of the Grassfields. Local communities and leaders have accepted them, made them theirs, but they can move fluidly back and forth between the two worlds. For this exhibition, they travel from their traditional spaces in the Grassfields to the museum.”

Art of the Cameroon Grassfields features headdresses, masks, prestige hats, royal stools and figural sculptures, and palace architectural elements from several of the Grassfields kingdoms. Highlights include two tsesah—rare examples of a type of headdress historically associated with Bandjoun, Batcham, and other kingdoms in the central Grassfields that epitomize the sculptural virtuosity of artists. When activated by dance, music, and ceremony, these objects represent the authority of religious and political leaders, powerful nobles, and heads of extended families. On view through July 9, 2023

From left clockwise: Hervé Youmbi, Panther, 2019. One of the five thrones from Celestial Thrones, 2019. Wood, glass beads, and silicone, 17 x 13 x 13 . Courtesy of his majesty Fo Gabriel Ndjiemeni, the artist, and Axis Gallery, NY. © Hervé Youmbi. Headdress (Tsesah or Tsemabu), early 20th century. Bamileke peoples. Cameroon, reportedly Bandjoun. Wood, 34 13/16 in. Collection of Laura and John Arnold. Stool, early 20th century. Bamileke peoples. Cameroon, Grassfields region. 18 in. Collection of Laura and John Arnold


book reviews

Art of Armor: Samurai Armor


This book showcases the Samurai armour collection of the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-MuellerMuseum in Dallas, Texas. Offering a look into the world of the Samurai warrior, this book begins with an introduction and several informative essays. It consists of a catalogue of objects, concentrating on 120 significant works in the collection.

Yale University Press

50 Artists Houston


Art can delight our senses and provide us with a feeling of comfort. It can share a message to encourage and inspire us. Art can be a healing force. The Houston art community is a thriving entity that embodies that special experience and connection. 50 Artists is a time stamp of the Houston art scene in the year 2022. It is a collection of artists and artwork that depict an age of building community and abundant creativity.

Di Angelo Publications

Three Women Artists


A fresh perspective on the influence of the American southwest—and particularly West Texas—on the New York art world of the 1950s, this book aims to establish the significance of itinerant teaching and western travel as a strategic choice for women artists associated with traditional centers of artistic authority and population in the eastern United States. The book is focused on three artists: Elaine de Kooning, Jeanne Reynal, and Louise Nevelson. They were inspired to innovate their abstract styles and introduce new critical dialogues through their work.

Texas A&M University Press

Making a Scene!


Making a Scene! is the story of how visionary individuals created an international art world around photography. A classic Texas tale of seemingly quixotic ideas, audacious goals, oil booms and busts, generous philanthropists, southern sensibilities, grandiosity, and resolve, this book documents the social history of ‘who did what and when’ to create an international photography scene in such an unlikely place as Houston.

Why the Museum Matters


This book is a powerful reflection on the universal art museum, considering the values critical to its history and anticipating its evolving place in our cultural future. It’s an excellent and unflinching assessment of the current conditions, ambitions, and limitations of the contemporary American art museum.

Yale University Press

Carrie Mae Weems


The most comprehensive survey of Weems’ genre-defying oeuvre yet published. One of the most influential American artists working today, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated narratives around family, race, gender, sexism, class and the consequences of power for more than 40 years.

D.A.P./Fundación MAPFRE


coups de cœur

Karin Broker creates art that deals with the experience of being a woman, referencing topics such as “bad boyfriends, quirky family problems, death, and that ever-marching ticking of time called aging.”

Through a deep interest in the strategies of black aesthetic tradition, notions of incompleteness, and ideas of pursuance, Nathaniel Donnett’s work, which stretches across various artistic disciplines, challenges traditional modes of linear timeline narratives and Western frameworks. Based in Houston, Texas, Donnett uses the streets of his hometown as both conceptual inspiration and provider of artistic materials.

In her paintings, Becky Soria approaches the human figure less from its familiar shapes, and much more from within, making visible its visceral emotional life. Using abstractions of language, color, and texture that allow her to capture the profound sentiments that humans have felt throughout the ages for the Earth as Goddess and Mother, Soria explores the historical evolving woman.

Nathaniel Donnett ARTIST Becky Soria ARTIST Karin Broker ARTIST


Bogdan Mihai has created a series of images that depict natural beauty and diversity as fragile, porcelain figurines. These tiny statues are often cast aside these days, as being trite, of another time, and generally overdone. The same could be said of many of the environmental warnings that now sound hollow in our collective ears.

Ángel Madrigal ARTIST

Memory constantly undergoes a mutation, becoming a story— a story that molds a fictitious space. Miguel Ángel Madrigal works in this fictitious space to provoke new conceptions of memory in the movement between his pieces, discovering symbiotic relationships between animals and everyday objects. The objectification of memory is realized in sculptural moments made from the everyday, a familiar place with empty spaces to be contemplated by the viewer.

5535 Memorial Drive #L, HOUSTON 713-457-8800


Aston Martin Residences in Miami, currently the tallest residential building south of New York, reveals Aston Martin’s first Triplex Penthouse in the world, with a pioneering compendium of art, orchestra and poetic literature.

The highly anticipated three-floor crown jewel of luxury residences - on the market for $59 Million and named “UNIQUE” - is unveiled by way of a breathtaking 80page fine art book, featuring original works of art by the property’s six internationally acclaimed artists-in-residence, showing the spectacular multi-level Aston Martin interiors for the first time. The Aston Martin leather-bound coffee table book is considered to be the first of its kind by any residential development.

The owner of the UNIQUE Triplex Penthouse will also receive the last remaining limited edition Aston Martin Vulcan race car - one of only 24 ever made - that is valued at $3.2 Million and comes with its own climate-controlled garage inside the building.

Aston Martin Residences “UNIQUE” Triplex Penthouse, 63rd Floor Living Area in Miami.
Happenings ACCROSS THE U.S.
Photo courtesy Aston Martin Residences



713 227-2787


March 9 - 19


May 25 - June 4

ALLEY THEATRE 713 220-5700


713 227-4772


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Apr. 7 & 8


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May 5, 6 & 7


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May 12, 13 & 14


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April 21 - May 5

SALOME Brown Theater

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MARCH 3 – 26


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May 16 – 28


APR. 4 – 16

The Museum of Fine Art Houston continues its series of grand-scale, immersive presentations with Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish

This special experience brings together two works from the Museum’s collections: Pixel Forest , an installation of thousands of hanging LED lights, each distinct like crystals (or ‘frozen labias’, as the artist states in her catalog); and Worry Will Vanish, a video projection that takes viewers on a dreamlike journey through the natural landscape, the human body, and the heavens. The presentation transforms the vast, central gallery of Cullinan Hall into a cosmic destination.

Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist has been among contemporary art’s chief innovators since the mid-1980s. Her work pushes the boundaries between video and the built environment, exploiting new technologies to create installations that fuse the natural world with the electronic sublime. She has transformed the way we see, she lets us see things anew, compelling the audience to consider a playful spatial experience imbued by a strong poetic language. Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish also demonstrates Rist’s profound engagement in what it means to be human in the cosmic cycle of generation and regeneration.


Pixel Forest comprises 3,000 LED lights encased in resin spheres and suspended from the ceiling on cables. Each light is controlled by a signal so that the “forest” is constantly changing. Visitors can stroll throughout this environment, which Rist describes as “a digital image that has exploded in space.”

Worry Will Vanish takes viewers into a fantastic dreamscape where the body and nature become one. The video footage is immediately enchanting, and the soundtrack heightens the aura of wonderstruck celebration. Visitors are invited to recline on pillows and lose themselves in Rist’s cosmos.

On view: March 12–September 4, 2023

Installation view of Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish.

“When I close my eyes, my imagination roams free. In the same way I want to create spaces for video art that rethink the very nature of the medium itself. I want to discover new ways of configuring the world, both the world outside and the world within.”



JOHN BERNHARD: When working with Pipilotti do you think there are some specific Swiss values that influence her and your work?

KAORI KUWABARA: Respect and precision! My parents are from Japan, and I see some similarities in Swiss and Japanese values such as politeness, respect and precision and enduring hard work. Pipilotti Rist’s work is full of respect, and I see her deeply polite personality reflected not only in all her works, but on all the collaborators as well. The big passion for precision in work I deeply share with Pipilotti and it makes her a color magician. For example, when she creates an orange color, she uses eight different shades of orange to let the color look more organic, deep, and alive.

DANIELLE KÜCHLER FLORES: Switzerland is well known for its clocks and that derives from a long-standing tradition of detailed and precise work. The technicality required for Pipilotti’s works go hand in hand with this. But also, I believe you can see the Swiss appreciation of nature: The awe for green landscapes, plants and what goes on deep inside the forests is often represented in Pipilotti’s imagery. Seeing the images of tiny plants or even close-up of body parts makes us, feel humble towards that, what we so often take for granted or do not pay attention to in our daily lives.

JB: Pipilotti was born Elisabeth Charlotte Rist and later renamed herself “Pipilotti” in honor of Pippi Longstocking, the fictional girl rebel in the eponymous series of children’s books. Are there moments of rebellion in working with Pipilotti?

DFK: There are many moments of rebellion - and this rebellion mixed with the precise way of working is what makes the installations so mesmerizing. As far as the video work is concerned, there are many set rules: industry standards you need to know and how to get the machines and software up and running in the first place. What is

From left: Kaori Kuwabara is a senior lighting designer, and Danielle Küchler Flores is a video technician. Both are based in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo by Stavros Adamou Opposite page: Installation view of Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish.

particular to working with Pipilotti, is that once you’ve understood and implemented the rules, it’s crucial to break them. A rebellious act that leads to a sea of opportunities and unique results.

JB: Pipilotti began working with Super 8 film when she originally began as a video technician and artist. Today you are working with digital film. How do you stay on top of the fast-paced technology developments and implement them in your work (with Pipilotti)?

KAO: Constant education is a hobby from all of us I guess, and the master of new technology and joyful implementation is anyway Pipilotti!

JB: Pipilotti’s video installations are very complex and ambitious, often activating whole rooms in museums as here in Houston. How do you make this possible as a team?

DFK: In the beginning there is always an idea, a vision of Pipilotti. From there the whole team starts the conversation, some keep the thread of technical implementations, some follow up the organizational side of things, some start the conversation of video content… so it’s all a giant conversation. And this definitely wouldn’t happen if

we could not extend these ideas to the generous supporting partners such as the MFAH. Without their invitation to the space and their trustful collaboration in installing it such a complex work like the Pixel Forest would not come to see the light.

JB: What does Pipilotti’s work Pixel Forest mean to you and what do you hope other people might feel when visiting it?

KAO: Pixel Forest means to me a space of epiphany and peace where we are embraced by Pipilotti’s universe where we all are equal no matter who you are and where you’re from, you can all share and experience the delightful moments literally, physically together.

DFK: To me the Pixel Forest feels like a safe space to let go, to let go of the need to always understand what you are seeing and instead seeing and literally entering images with an open mind. I wish for other people to feel welcomed and embraced and I hope for them to feel free enough to experience what they wish too. I hope this is a space where they can practice their unique way of looking at and interpreting images - a little break from the outside telling you what you ought to see.

Left: Close-up view of Pixel Forest, LED lights encased in resin spheres and suspended from the ceiling on cables.
Below: Installation views of Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish

Hopps, 1959. Oil paint and resin on hardboard and wood with metal, plastic, animal vertebrae, candy, plaster, leather, pills, glass, printed paper, graphite, colored pencil and ink on paper, mat board, and adhesive tape, 87 × 42 × 21 in. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Lannan Foundation. © Kienholz. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA.



The Menil Collection presents The Curatorial Imagination of Walter Hopps , an exhibition featuring approximately sixty artists and more than 130 artworks, many of which are recent or promised gifts to the museum from Caroline Huber and the Estate of Walter Hopps. The show explores the influential curatorial vision of Walter Hopps (1932–2005), Founding Director of the Menil Collection. His distinctive approach to exhibition making, and appreciation for a variety of 20th-century art movements, featuring drawings, paintings, photography, and sculpture, ranging from the 1930s to the early 2000s is put on display.

Once dubbed “the marvelous mad maven of modern art in America,” Hopps estimated that he had curated some 250 exhibitions in his fifty-plus year-long career. He started out in Los Angeles where, in 1952, he organized his first shows while still in college, and a few years later opened the Ferus Gallery with artist Edward Kienholz. He was appointed director of the Pasadena Art Museum in 1964 and went on to serve as the Director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and as the curator of modern art at the National Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum), both in Washington, D.C. Hopps met John

Edward Kienholz, Walter Hopps Hopps
Photo by Paul Hester

de Menil while curating an exhibition on Jasper Johns for the Pasadena Art Museum in the late 1960s and met Dominique de Menil in 1971 at an opening for a Barnett Newman exhibition in New York City. In 1980, she invited Hopps to direct the museum she and John had built at Rice University and join the board of the Menil Foundation. The following year, Hopps was appointed Founding Director of the Menil Collection, a museum that opened to public in 1987.

Rebecca Rabinow, Director, The Menil Collection, said, “ The Curatorial Imagination of Walter Hopps and the Menil Collection’s new publication Artists We’ve Known celebrate a promised gift of more than 500 works to the museum from Menil Foundation trustee Caroline Huber, and the Estate of Walter Hopps. While Director of the Menil, Hopps worked with Dominique de Menil to curate landmark exhibitions of artists Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Kienholz, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. We are delighted to exhibit these new and recent gifts to the Menil in our galleries as we highlight this important part of the museum’s history.”

Clare Elliott, Associate Research Curator, The Menil Collection, said, “This exhibition explores the achievements of one of the most talented and influential curators of the 20th century. The wide scope of Hopps’s interests and his embrace of artworks across forms and styles are demonstrated in the range of movements and media on display. Represented are artists like Jay DeFeo, Sam Gilliam, and William Eggleston, as well as figures who remain underrecognized today like Gretchen Bender, Louis Faurer, and Carroll Sockwell.”

The Curatorial Imagination of Walter Hopps opens with a room dedicated to artwork showcased in the early years of the Los Angeles-based Ferus Gallery, which became a gathering spot for young Californian artists like Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, and Jay DeFeo. Ferus also brought artists active in New York, such as Jasper Johns and Barnett Newman, to the West Coast and was the first gallery to show Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can paintings. While still active at Ferus, Hopps began curating exhibitions at the Pasadena Art Museum, including the first museum survey of Pop Art, New Paintings of Common Objects , in 1962, and the first museum exhibition of Frank Stella in 1966.

The exhibition celebrates Hopps’s interest in photography, a hobby since childhood, which was reignited when he met William Christenberry, who in turn introduced him to two foundational figures in American photography, William Eggleston and Walker Evans.

From top: Joe Goode, Untitled, ca. 1962. Oil paint on canvas, wood, and glass milk bottle, 27 × 25 1/2 × 6 1/4 in. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Caroline Huber and the estate

of Walter Hopps. © Joe Goode. Photo by Caroline Philippone John Chamberlain, Rooster Starfoot, 1976. Paint and chromium - plated steel, 79 1/2 × 73 7/8 × 44 in. TheMenil Collection, Houston, Gift of Heiner and Fariha Friedrich. Conservation was funded by a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Hopps continued to showcase emerging artists such as Gretchen Bender, Robert Longo, and Haim Steinbach. Subsequent sections of the show highlight the retrospectives he organized at the Pasadena Museum of Art focused on three pioneering figures of Dada and Surrealism: Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, and Kurt Schwitters. It concludes with a selection of work by Robert Rauschenberg, a friend for nearly fifty years whose wide-ranging interests and varied approaches mirrored those of Hopps. On view March 24–August 13,2023


CLockwise from left:

Linda Connor, Untitled, ca. 1967-1969. Oil on photograph, 8 1/8 × 11 7/8 in. © Linda Connor

Louis Faurer, Untitled, 1947.

Photograph, 81/2 × 13 1/2 in. ©

Robert Longo, Master Jazz, 1982-1983. Graphite, charcoal, ink, dye, and acrylic on paper; lacquer on wood; silkscreen ink and acrylic on hardboard; graphite, charcoal, and dye on paper. 96×225×2 in. © Robert

Estate of Louis Faurer Longo / ARS New York. Photo: Paul Hester All photos courtesy of The Menil Collection.

A Myriad of Movement in Miami: Houston Galleries and Artists Make Their Mark in 2022



This past December Art Basel celebrated its 20th-anniversary in Miami Beach with 283 premier galleries, the largest show in Miami Beach to date. More than half of this year’s galleries have principal gallery locations in North and South America, joined by exhibitors from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

This is one of the premier global fairs in the world and it’s the main attraction of Miami Art Week. The show presented an exceptional overview of artists, galleries, and new perspectives from around the world, but it is not the only game in town during its week-long run. In addition to the main fair, there are also several alternative fairs and pop-up events that take place

throughout Miami during the same time. These events offer a more intimate and alternative experience for those looking for something different from the main attraction.

The Texas attendance in Florida was modest this year with only a few galleries and a handful of artists representing our vibrant and diverse art scene during Art Basel Miami 2022. Leading the way with a myriad of monumental artists, wrapped in the history of exceptional exhibitions, Sicardi Ayers Bacino was the only Lone Star State anchor at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. One of the hallmarks of this gallery’s exhibitions is their focus on conceptual and

Installation view of Sicardi Ayers Bacino’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Photo by Mikhail Mishin.

process-driven works, often pushing the boundaries of traditional mediums and techniques. “Art Basel provides a venue to showcase some of our artist’s best work to an audience that may otherwise not have the opportunity to experience it in person.” states Allison Ayers, Partner and Gallery Director.

This year’s showing at Art Basel included nothing less than spectacular with the full roster of artists including Mercedes Pardo, Jesus Rafael Soto, Julio Le Parc, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Fanny Sanín, Francisco Sobrino, Fanny Sanín, Gego, León Ferrari, Xul Solar, and Willem de Kooning. The steady stream of viewers rotated around an array of vibrant color and well orchestrated composition throughout the fair. Sicardi Ayers Bacino’s showcase echoed the theme of Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 with the process-driven and conceptual works, providing a fresh and innovative look at the ever-evolving field of contemporary art.

In addition to the main fair in town, there were also several pop-up events and more than a dozen of additional fairs that took place during Art Basel Miami. These events include gallery shows, artist talks, and other special events that are organized by individuals and groups outside of Art Basel. With the emphasis on the new and emerging, these events offered art lovers a great way to experience the Miami art scene and discover new and emerging artists.

One of the most popular alternative fairs during the comprehensive week is Art Miami and Context in which longtime Houston art scene staple Laura Rathe brought an array of art from popular artists amongst their patrons: Michael Laube. The booths at each event showcase mixed media paintings and sculptures by leading artists who exemplify innovative artistic expression such as Michael Laube, Zhuang Hong Yi, and Stallman Studio, among others.

Art Miami is a highly curated competitive art fair and being selected as a participant is extremely prestigious…”, says Laura Rathe. “It is the second best fair under Art Basel and to be chosen for the second year from hundreds of galleries across the world to be a participant. I consider it to be one of my most important accomplishments in 25 years as a gallerist.

Not only did we show in Art Miami, but we also simultaneously exhibited in their sister fair Context. We are a small team and the execution of delivering, installing, manning the booths, delivering and installing sold art, de-installing the booth and successfully making sure all the remaining art arrived back to Houston safely is one of the most challenging tasks I have ever put in front of myself and my team. On top of these mountains of accomplishments we simultaneously ran three galleries in Texas and crossed the finish line in the green…It was a crazy ending to 2022. Thankfully it’s over and we came out on top.”

Art Basel Miami week also featured another companion fair with SATELLITE. This offering featured an international roster including over 30 immersive installations, outdoor sculptures, AR/VR activations and live performances. In celebration of their roots as an artist-run fair, selected exhibitors represented seminal artist-run initiatives from organizations like Tiger Strikes Asteroid, SaveArtSpace, Franklin Furnace and House of Yes.

This year, Houston based artist Chu Okoli exhibited “Pillow Talk” as an installation inside a container on the beach. This unique display featured two lovers with one human and the other a human creation having a pillow talk. This visual narrative balanced the notions of romanticism paired with the rapid transformation of the subject in the 21st Century. From robots to holograms, tech and touch, Okoli examined the competition for attention towards the things and the people that we love.

Laura Rathe Fine Art booth at ART MIAMI under the name LR Projects, showcasing a solo show from notable German-artist Michael Laube. Chu Ocoli exhibited “Pillow Talk” as an installation inside a container on South Beach.

At the Spectrum art fair another Houston based artist had a showing of her signature works from her Inversion Series. Angela Fabbri brought a sample of these pieces where the value of time is a common theme, including the letter’s being backwards. The viewer must focus more intently to decode the messages both repeated and hidden at first glance. In a handful of pieces, Fabbri added an additional layer of augmented reality/3D experience viewable with your smartphone, echoing the web3 motion and popularity of the crypto world within Miami.

Lastly, in our Miami wrap up we look at inspired visionary “MrD 1987” Sebastien Boileau who brought his masterful murals to the Miami Beach hotel art circuit. The Sagamore South Beach, Miami Beach’s historic art deco hotel known for its year-round art programming and museum-quality exhibitions, once again celebrated Miami Art Week with a series of interactive activations and events. This year’s theme was “Into the Wild (Future) with the Sagamore as the stage for a five-day Art Week takeover featuring hotel-wide displays, immersive audiovisual experiences, and mural artists such as “MrD 1987” Sebastien Boileau.

This celebrated Houston artist combined his American Pop Art and Graffiti movement of the 60s, 70s, and 80s with his signature “Canpressionism“ a neo-impressionist style primarily done with spray paint and street art techniques. He created, in collaboration with Houston floral artist Karla Modesto, a mural full of color, floral, and visually stunning layouts of multiple cultures that meld and make Miami the happening place so many flock to, especially in the winter months for picturesque beaches and even more impressionable art. Overall, Houston’s presence was felt in all the fantastic ways allowing our city to shine on a global scale by the sea.

Above left: Angela Fabbri interacting with the spinning 3D bitcoin augmented reality component of her Bitcoin clock painting, at Spectrum. Left: Laura Rathe Fine Art booth at CONTEXT. Right page: Karla Modesto posing in front of the mural created in collaboration with “MrD 1987” Sebastien Boileau, at The Sagamore South beach, Miami beach.





Public Art of the University of Houston System (Public Art UHS), an arts organization that serves multiple campuses across the UH System and the greater Houston community, last Fall unveils its newest temporary installation: Folly by Mexico-based Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo. This work marks the third project in Public Art UHS’s temporary public art program and the second site-specific Grove Commission developed for Wilhelmina’s Grove, a serene on-campus gathering space anchoring the UH Arts District. The Temporary Public Art Program of the University of Houston System is generously supported by The Brown Foundation, Inc.

Jorge Pardo describes Folly as “… a group of paintings…a little building…amongst some trees…a folly…” Inspired by a garden folly—a decorative structure meant for delight rather than function—Folly blurs the lines between art, architecture and design. From the outside, the work appears to be a simple building; once inside, visitors are

Jorge Pardo (American, b. Cuba 1963) Folly , 2021, mixed media and light; 15ft. tall x 22ft. wide x 40ft. long.

immersed in a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, eclectic patterns and a variety of materials and scales. Pardo’s piece features laser-cut, hand-painted wall panels, which are complemented by the artist’s signature sculptural chandeliers. Folly is meant to be appreciated slowly, over time, as its overall experience changes with the shifting sun and lighting conditions.

Folly debunks traditional views on follies as purely ornamental structures that lack utility. Pardo’s intent is for the work to heighten the capacity to “structure to our looking” across the wooded space it inhabits. At the same time, he treats the interior as a vast canvas, folding in his ubiquitous palette of vibrant colors, dizzying patterns, and dramatic lighting elements. In this sense, Folly produces great visual delight yet, conceptually, it also begs us to question the distinctions between fine art and design.

Folly is on view through 2023. Public Art UHS invites visitors to explore Folly by visiting the installation during opening hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.


Established in 1969, Public Art of the University of Houston System is the oldest, most significant and only collecting arts organization within the University of Houston System, the fourth-largest university system in Texas. Through robust programing, publications, research and collection, it serves diverse communities throughout greater Houston and Southeast Texas as well as stakeholders including more than 74,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff. Public Art UHS oversees the permanent collection of the four UH System universities, which is one of the most significant university-based art collections in the United States.


Born in Havana and raised in Chicago, Pardo studied biology at the University of Illinois but his gift for painting led him to pursue a BFA from California’s ArtCenter College of Design. His first show after graduation—an exhibition of reimagined household tools held at Tom Solomon’s Garage in 1990—completely sold out. Over the course of his career, he’s landed in the collections of the Whitney, MoMA, the Tate Modern and the Centre Pompidou, among others, and earned a coveted MacArthur “Genius” Grant.

All photos including previous spread: Folly by Jorge Pardo at University of Houston. Photography by Shannon O’Hara, courtesy of Public Art UHS Jorge Pardo, courtesy of Petzel Gallery


Inspired A r t


The legendary Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and one of the most innovative and dedicated Houston’s art colonnades, Serrano Gallery, summon to juxtapose artists and members of the MFAH exploring the creative sunlight and shadows of Oaxaca. To the world famous artists of the region with their latest and most daring and rarest works. A place where art and nature reconcile to explore and meet the mesmerizing fusion of the real and unreal. Woven with complex meanings and shearing a dystopian narrative which shares visual literacy alongside images dredged from the depths of the subconscious of a primitive expressionism.

On Thursday, August 10th 2023, for the first time in its history, the school will host three exhibitions that have a common denominator; “Oaxaca Inspired Art”, with works that have a preponderance of color and brightness striking contrasting communication.

The Levant Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of 4 artists assembled with works in a wide range of styles, but united by an energetic approach translated to the walls of the schools’ galleries. Saul Castro, Didier Mayes, Ixrael Montes, and Rolando Rojas.

The Bucher Gallery will present Glassell students that participated in one or more of Glassell sponsored Oaxaca fieldtrips in a juried exhibition.

The Orton Gallery will be introducing an exposition of women printmakers of Oaxaca, co-curated by Misayo Tsutsui & Mayuko Ona Gray.

This rudder that has been assembled thanks to the “mano a mano” determination between Patrick Palmer faculty chair and dean of The Glassell School of Art at the MFAH and Valentina Atkinson principal at Serrano Gallery.

Rolando Rojas, Series fantasia de luz , Marble dust and oil un linen, 80x60 in.


In 1871, anthropologist E.B. Tylor defined culture as “the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, customs, and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society.” It is a useful definition to keep in mind as one considers the state of Oaxaca, which is in the Southeast region of Mexico, and known for its wide diversity of Mesoamerican cultures. Of the state’s 570 municipalities, 418 continue to be governed under a system of customs and traditions.

The history of painting in Oaxaca dates to the caves of Yagul and Mitla. With the arrival and during the Spanish conquest, the Catholic Church led the effort to disseminate the arts, including painting and the graphics. Churches and temples were decorated with murals, and frescoes, ceramic figures, sacred wooden statuaries, altarpieces, as well as works created with conch inlays. These paintings incorporate the use of iridescent Mother-of-Pearl shells, in a decorative technique that can be traced back to the Mixtec people; a practice that is consistent with cultures that have

long inhabited the state. It would be impossible to overlook the artistic legacy of Oaxacan painter Miguel Cabrera (1695 - 1768), whose work, earned him recognition as the greatest painter in all New Spain. Over time, the arts gradually broke free from the Church, and an artistic personal expression began to flourish.

Oaxaca became known as a prominent cradle for the arts in Mexico, and as the home of such excellent artists as Rufino Tamayo, Rodolfo Morales, Rodolfo Nieto, and Francisco Toledo.

In Oaxaca, the natural and human landscapes come together in a way that celebrates the coexistence of “real” and “imaginary” beings in infinite metamorphoses and combinations. Phenomenon beautifully captured in the visual work of many Oaxacan artists, like Rolando Rojas, Didier Mayés, Saúl Castro and Ixrael Montes.

The city of Oaxaca in southwest Mexico. Photography by Anne Joelle Galley


Ixrael Montes

Didier Mayes

Oaxacan Artist, Didier Mayés zealously guards his creative freedom, to paint with passion, inspired by the memories and emotions that arise with each stroke he creates in what appears to be a playful pursuit.

His concern of materials, especially those related to the land, comes from his knowledge and professional studies in Archeology, Adam Paredes is a graduated of the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City.

Saul Castro

Saul Castro a native Oaxaqueño artist who lives in the historic center of the city. His artistic style is inspired by his everyday life. He sees himself as an emotional painter whose actions affect his art or whose art affects his actions. Castro’s works are made up of geometric compositions that are full of vibrant colors.

Rolando Rojas

A visual artist with a growing international presence, has been an enduring and steadfast presence in the Mexican visual art scene for decades. Born in Oaxaca, Rolando is inspired by the legends, stories, and myths of the Zapotec culture that have permeated his life.




Great Heights: From bananas to bigger than life sculptures, how David Adickes moved from war to wonder, shaping the greater Houston landmarks

David Adickes, photography by Nathan Lindstrom

1983, Adickes was commissioned to make his first monumental sculpture. He created the “Virtuoso”, a 36-foot steel and concrete statue of a string trio dispayed at the Lyric Center downtown Houston.

1986 , he created “Cornet” as a stage prop for the New Orleans World Fair now displayed in Galveston.

1990, he created the eight-foot bronze statue of President George H. W. Bush “Winds of Change” displayed at the Bush Intercontinental Airport.

1994 , he created a 67-foot statue of Sam Houston “A Tribute to Courage” near Huntsville, Texas.

“It was at the end of World War II, it was in all the papers. Do you remember that one…?,” chuckled David Adickes, sitting amongst a wild variety of sculptures and paintings in his massive warehouse on a scorching Summer’s day, tucked away behind the skyscrapers east of downtown. “My two older brothers were pilots, one in the navy and one in the marines, and it was a given I was going to be a pilot. The war was basically over but I joined halfway between VE Day and VJ Day Spring of 1945. There was one program the Navy had called the V5 program where they were still training pilots. The requirements were that you had to be 5 foot 6, which I was, and you had to weigh 115 pounds, which I didn’t. I weighed 105 pounds. So, to be prepared I rode my bike and bought 10 pounds of bananas. So by being a good Boy Scout and being prepared, I decided to eat them the night before the train ride to check in with the Navy…very bad mistake…” said Adickes, heartily laughing at the memory.

“All night I was throwing up and my roommate took me to the doctor who said there isn’t anything more indigestible than a lot of bananas. Bottom line: I didn’t make the train. In a way, the 10 pounds of bananas saved my life because if I had gotten into the Navy, I would have been sent to the battle of Iwo Jima, one of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the Pacific War, where not many G.I. survived.”

Clearly the universe and any divine entity knew to preserve Adickes for his fate of his height and weight would not stop him from creating momentous work. Shortly after the famous banana blunder, Adickes joined the air corps which sent him to Paris. This would change the trajectory of this legendary artist for the rest of his life. He had always painted, even noting that at 14 years old, he created oil paintings of Frank Sinatra that he still has to this

day. His love of painting was sparked yet again due to the luminous sights and captivating sounds of the city of lights, knowing that after his service he would return. Everything was marvelous from the look of the French women to the sound of the language…”, said Adickes. “I just fell in love with Paris and the inspiration it gave me.”

When the war was over, Adickes had two years and six months on his G.I. bill. So Adickes went to the Kansas City Art Institute where he stayed for six months before hopping over the ocean to Paris. He visited the embassy to review the various schools he could enroll in and found the famous Académie Fernand Léger where he spent the next two years studying art “The best part of being at that school wasn’t just the classes but being in Paris itself alongside the other students. One of them became my very best friend. His name was Herbert Mears.” Knowing our city’s history, Mears was one of Houston’s most active and visible figures in the emerging art scene of the 1950s and 1960s.

Adickes remembers calling Mears up and asking him to come to Houston to open an art school with him. Mears was on the next flight. Only living in New York and Paris, the tropical climate to the treacherous cockroaches were a bit alarming to Mears but perhaps nothing was as startling as one of the staple cuisines of Houston. “One of the first meals I took him to when he arrived was a Tex-Mex restaurant. I remember him saying this is not food! What is this place?” chuckled Adickes. “He was used to eating French food so this was something bizarre to him but he became a Tex-Mex guy over time.”

Mears became one of his partners in crime art wise in a blossoming arts scene in Houston. Capitalizing on their Paris training and cultivating it for their new home base,

2006 , he erected 60-foot statue of Stephen F. Austin in Brazoria County, Texas. 2011 , he erected the giant bust of of President Eisenhower in Denison, Texas. 2012 , he erected the giant bust of Stephen F. Austin in Bellville, Texas. 2008 , he erected the Lone Star State version of Mount Rushmore at a notorious Houston hot spot for bottlenecked traffic, which Adickes calls “Mount Rushhour”. David Adickes, Mademoiselle en Rouge, 1963, oil on canvas, 34x46in. 2017 , David Adickes moved his 36-feet tall Beatles statues (built in 2007) to the 8th Wonder Brewery Lot, in Houston.

Adickes and Mears started building on this old wooden structure on Truxillo Street and named it the Studio of the Contemporary Arts. This school took on several formations before Mears and Adickes turned more into their skill sets and artistic practices. Shortly after, Adickes turned to expanding his myriad of mediums by delving into sculpture. Over the years, the fantastical quality of his work caught the attention of noted developer Joe Russo, who helped construct the 36 story Lyric Center in downtown Houston.

Noted as one of Adickes’ favorite pieces, Virtuoso is a 36-foot-tall, 21-ton outdoor concrete sculptural group installed in 1983 paying homage to music, dance and performing arts with a gigantic cello being played by a virtuoso who is invisible except for his head and hands. Behind the sculpture, includes a life-sized trio of abstract musicians including a violinist, bass, and flute player accompanying the giant cellist.

One cannot mention Adickes without noting the sculptural fixture of Sam Houston, the world’s tallest statue of an American hero, in the city of Huntsville, where Adickes was born and raised. He created this monument to the man who still inspires Texans to reach great heights.

Started in early 1992, the 67-foot tall, over-30-ton steel-and-concrete colossus consists of 10-foot sections, each containing five layers of concrete reinforced with steel straps with the outside layer including a fiberglass mesh. Entombed inside the giant head is the statue’s cement mixer – it died on the final day of construction – and the colossus was dedicated on October 22, 1994.

Installed in 2008, one of Adickes most notable works includes the Lone Star State version of Mount Rushmore at a notorious Houston hot spot for bottlenecked traffic, which Adickes calls “Mount Rushhour”. Gargantuan busts

of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Sam Houston, and Stephen Austin give morning commuters something to look at as they slowly migrate into downtown from the northwest. Across the bases it is labeled: “A Tribute to American Statesmanship”. It’s fitting that Adickes made a career of augmenting larger than life historical figures within his favorite city, which all seemed to echo back to his early days in Europe including two encounters of the legendary side of art.

As we drew to the end of our time at the warehouse, I asked if he remembered any particular humorous moments with famous artists. His inclusion in Pablo Picasso’s massive birthday party, attended by over 5,000 people, was a memory that came to mind. “I remember they built a wooden coral for bull fights for the party…”, stated Adickes. “I snuck under the bleachers with my camera while Picasso and his family were sitting about twelve feet up. So I took a picture looking up which was a shot up his nose,” chuckled Adickes.

In the same breath, Adickes told us about his memory of the mystical Salvador Dalí. Upon arriving at a beach in the fishing village of Port Lligat, Spain, Adickes recognized the artist and asked if he knew where the public beach was. “Dalí answered, no no…please use my private beach.

Look for two eggs and a piano.” Adickes adds. “So I went about fifteen feet along the trail and it was covered in chicken feathers. Down in the alcove was a piano half in the water and two 8-foot sculptural eggs made of plaster.” The eggs and the piano were set pieces for the Orson Welles-narrated film Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dalí. “Later, I saw Dali getting into one of the eggs and coming out with his swimsuit in hand… so I’m one of the few people that saw Salvador Dalí’s wienie…” exclaimed Adickes with a laugh. Fitting it was for us to conclude with these stories, all tying together the masters and makers of history both in the flesh and immortalized in concrete.

Above: David Adickes in his studio downtown, photo by Nathan Lindstrom. Below: David Adickes in his house in Montrose, photo by John Bernhard. Opposite: David Adickes, Virtuoso at the Lyric Center Houston.
“Of all my works my old time favorite is Virtuoso .”

Is A rtificial Changing

The AI image generator DALL-E’s response to the prompt “Mondrian painting of a tomato by the sea”
(Courtesy DALL-E)

Intelligence Art History?

AI image-generators have got art historians in a twist, as more artists make use of these tools to inform their practice.

People get up in arms whenever the hand of the artist is detached from the final artwork. “Are photographs real art?” they muttered in the 19th Century. “God I hate this Pollock guy,” cried haters witnessing a splattered canvas that the artist seemingly never touched. So it’s no wonder that AI image-generators have got art historians in a twist, as more artists make use of these tools to inform their practice. I love diving into what gets people’s blood boiling in the art world, and last year AI crept its way onto the leaderboard of irritants. But why? And what might it teach us about art history and visual consumption?

DALL-E 2, a text-to-image AI generation program, went live to audiences last autumn. The initial version of the model — which takes its tongue-in-cheek name from Disney’s lovable 2008 robot WALL-E and the Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí — was released in January 2021 by the OpenAI research lab. A version of the tech, DALL-E Mini, was released early on the Hugging Face platform, taking Twitter by storm as a meme sensation, and springboarding the program to international interest beyond AI experts. Over 1.5 million users are creating more than 2 million images per-day with DALL-E.

DALL-E 2 uses the “GPT-3” model of CLIP (Contrastive Language-Image Pre-Training, announced by OpenAI last year), a computer vision system, to generate 1024×1024 pixel images from typed text prompts. The tool was trained using

650 million pairs of images and captions taken from the internet. After collecting image-text pairs, researchers trained the CLIP model to generate text to accurately describe an image, creating a mathematically reliant model. DALL-E then reversed this process, generating images that are well-described by text inputs based on CLIP’s data. Users can also use DALL-E 2 to “outpaint” images — extending pre-existing images beyond their previous borders — and to edit a pre-existing image using text commands.

When inputting your DALL-E 2 request, you’re given the instruction to “start with a detailed description” and the example of “an Impressionist oil painting of sunflowers in a purple vase.” But, what does DALL-E 2 actually “understand” by the style of the Impressionists? Or any artistic style or movement, for that matter? Using the same prompt of “a tomato climbing a ladder by the sea” I put DALL-E 2’s art historical prowess to the test.

For the Impressionists (“An Impressionist painting of a tomato climbing a ladder by the sea”), DALL-E 2 seems to identify that it is a style based around loose brushstrokes, and color-contrasts indicating the impact of light.

It did a surprisingly good job at pinpointing what was meant by “18th Century” art, too. Adding textural elements at the sides and producing a really quite broodingly regal image. What is also interesting is that DALL-E 2 represented what


18th Century artworks look like today, their color palette dulled by time.

My personal favorite was DALL-E’s interpretation of Robert Mapplethorpe’s style. The monochrome image gave the tomato a distinctly pygian look, a sexy nod to Mapplethorpe’s figures. The “Henry Moore sculpture” prompt also made me smile: it would seem second nature to DALL-E 2 that a sculpture requires a plinth.

There were some styles that DALL-E was less adept at recreating, like De Stijl or the Surrealists. It made a good go of interpreting “Mondrian” in the prompt, adding straight lines which cut through the image. Close enough. Warhol’s tomato, too, captured some of the flatness associated with his work, and the Cubist attempt was — in places — angular. Playing with DALL-E 2 brings up two questions: to what extent can this technology truly “understand” art, and is it useful to see art history quantified in the “mind” of a machine?

Rinat Akhmetov, Product Lead at the Artificial Intelligence consultancy Provectus said that while DALL-E 2 does not have the emotional capacity of a human scholar, “the model has seen more images, paintings, styles, etc., than most experts [in] humanity, and its opinion will be a subjective but comprehensive view.”

It is true that DALL-E 2 did indeed optimize hundreds of billions of parameters in its quest for knowledge, but it is significant to remember that the images it consumed weren’t necessarily

“neutral.” Much like artists project their gaze onto their canvases, DALL-E 2 has absorbed a data set not without its own biases. José Lizarraga, senior innovation and creative advisor for the Algorithmic Justice League, spoke to me about this issue of gaze: “What is striking about AI-generated art is that it is dependent on systems and a corpus of visual artifacts that still center the white heterosexual male gaze — by virtue of who is represented in the tech design and development world, and who does content moderation … Similarly, it has been shown to generate offensive and racist images because of the unfiltered data that the AI uses”.

Professor Sunil Manghani at the University of Southampton, who has recently begun a special interest group for Arts & AI, is in agreement. The biases in the data set do not only affect which gaze is platformed by DALL-E 2’s creations, but also its accuracy in recreating certain genres, he said.

“There will be historical biases,” Manghani stated. “Very early works will likely be less in abundance, while very contemporary works may be skewed too (partly for copyright reasons). That leaves us in the ‘middle’ with perhaps high preponderance of styles such as Impressionism, Surrealism, [and] Expressionism”.

So where does this technology fall in the ongoing writing of the history of art? Manghani gives an apt metaphor for DALLE 2’s image generation: “If I toss a coin three times and get all

From left: DALL-E image based on the prompt: “An Impressionist painting of a tomato by the sea.” DALL-E’s interpretation of “18th-Century painting of a tomato by the sea.” DALL-E channeling Robert Mapplethorpe. DALL-E’s Cubist “tomato by the sea.”
DALL-E channeling Henry Moore. DALL-E’s Andy Warhol version. (Courtesy DALL-E)

heads I might be led to think there is a higher probability to get heads. But if I toss the coin 1 million times it will be quite clear it is 50/50. As such, image diffusion models, while extremely clever in terms of the method (they convert imagery into noise then re-tune back up to a credible or probable picture) are only really working from previously existing imagery. In this sense, why would we add them to the history of art? DALL-E 2 is re-making all that has been before.”

However, these images — while based on a fixed data set from the past — are new. Maghani sees the crux of the issue as what we define “art history” as: “If you treat [art history] as a discipline to be policed then you are inclined to reject DALL-E 2 imagery. If you treat art history as simply the expression of a worldly history of the creation of imagery (going back to the beginnings of civilization) then you should logically now accept DALL-E 2.”

Very shortly after the technology’s release on Hugging Face, DALL-E memes swept the internet. Within two months of the announcement of DALL-E 2, the technology was used to produce the very first AI-generated cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. Big brands like Heinz and Nestlé have also harnessed the technology for advertising campaigns — Nestlé opting for a particularly art-historical angle by outpainting Johannes Vermeer’s 1657 painting The Milkmaid. The technology is beginning to deeply ingrain itself in visual culture.

AI artist Mario Klingemann points out that DALL-E’s propensity for art-knowledge isn’t necessarily its ultimate purpose. “I think that replicating existing art styles is not the true calling for these models anyway,” he said in an

interview. “Their real potential lies in learning what is relevant and important in all forms of image-making and perception and then hopefully allow[ing] us to discover new modes of expression”.

DALL-E could become instrumental in arts education, and will without doubt be incorporated into artists’ practices. Rishabh Misra, a senior machine learning engineer at Twitter, mentions the potential of AI as an independent art form. “AI has drastically changed the nature of creative processes and is disrupting the art industry,” he said. “AI can be treated as a creative entity in its own right, capable of replicating aspects of creative artistic behavior and augmenting human creativity.”

Aditya Ramesh, a lead researcher on the DALL-E project, commented on the significance of DALL-E for art lovers, saying, “AI-generated art creates the opportunity for personalized art generation. DALL·E has shown us that a lot of people find value in the process of creating art and engaging with a community of creators, even if they haven’t had formal artistic training.”

Whether the images generated through DALL-E have intrinsic value as stand-alone pieces of art opens up an entirely different debate. But OpenAI have already predicted DALL-E’s potential as an image-generator de force, implementing content regulations and preemptive anti-deep fake features, meaning that no recognizable faces can be generated. It would seem that to find a definitive answer to what DALL-E 2’s place is in art history requires a limited view of what art history is, and a reductive understanding of the technology’s potential.

This article was first published in Hyperallergic.


An interview with gallery owner Heidi Vaughan who represents, embraces, and celebrates diversity with projects that support local creative communities and ideas.


JOHN BERNHARD: How did you get started in Houston?

HEIDI VAUGHAN: I am from Chicago and have a solid marketing background. In 1995, my husband (at the time) was recruited from the University of Chicago by Conoco. We lived in Houston three times, also Norway, and

Qatar. We had children and I didn’t work. I earned a graduate degree in art history from the University of Houston and appraisal credentials from the International Society of Appraisers. I got divorced and the children grew up. Since then, I have done work with the major museums in Houston and was briefly with a gallery. When a business

partnership I was working on fell through, I found myself with my own art gallery here in Houston five years ago.

JB: You have one of the smallest galleries on Colquitt gallery row. Small galleries need to take advantage of their strengths. What are your thoughts on the use of this space?

Heidi Vaughan in her gallery in Houston. Photography by Bachman+Petrie.

Clockwise from top:

Heidi Vaughan Fine Art gallery on Colquitt gallery row.

The Andy Moran Collection, John Biggers and Friends exhibition installation at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art.

Hillerbrand+Magsamen exhibition installation at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art.

Susan Budge exhibition installation at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art. All photos courtesy of Heidi Vaughan.

it’s about supporting artists from our own community.

HV: The gallery is small, but it is special. It doesn’t take many people to make it feel like something is happening. I like to compare the gallery to Holly Golightly’s apartment in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It just gets packed and it’s always fun. You would be amazed who comes here. It amazes me. We sell a lot. Our top sales so far are one painting at $2 million, one for $1.1 million, and one for $300,000. We do handle sculptures and have a little courtyard for the outdoor ones. Our size does not seem to be holding us back.

JB: You represent local mid-career artists based in Houston. They live here but are from all around the world. In building your roster, what’s your criteria?

HV: First, it’s about supporting artists from our own community. Second, I have to want to buy the work. If I see the work and I’m not saying to myself, “How can I find a way to get that?” I know it’s not for me. After those two criteria, and equally as important, is simply that they have to shine bright. We do not work with difficult people.

JB: Do you have any special exhibitions or artists that you were most proud of and would like to share?

HV: I am proud of every artist I represent and to select one or two would not be fair to the rest. I will say our show with Jereann Chaney, The Chaney Collection Benefitting the Houston Arts Alliance, was pretty spectacular. The sale featured works that had been in the MFAH’s Red Hot Asian Art from the Chaney Family

Collection exhibition. It was important museum-level work priced to sell. One hundred percent of the proceeds went to the Houston Arts Alliance’s Emergency Relief Fund, which supports artists and arts workers during a disaster. Another high point was making the front page of the Houston Chronicle with The Andy Moran Collection, John Biggers and Friends. It honored the wonderful Black artistic tradition honed at our very own Texas Southern University. It happened here before the Black Lives Matter movement took off.

JB: You also represent Houston art collectors and collections and help them sell their art in the secondary market. Could you share some insights about that side of the business and what’s involved?

HV: This is a significant part of my business. I work with people who have one object to sell up to entire collections. With the secondary market, it’s typically 80 percent to the consignor. I am known for being fair. My reputation is everything and I take care of my clients. I sell through the gallery if I can. I also work with Sotheby’s, Christies, and Simpson Galleries here in Houston, among others. I appraise art for insurance purposes, charitable donations, equitable distribution, etc., too.

JB: You are a busy businesswoman. You serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Houston Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization that oversees the maintenance of Houston’s most iconic public sculptures.

How did you become interested in that organization?

HV: A dear friend and mentor, Gus Kopriva, owner of Redbud Gallery, pulled me in years ago. HAF was founded in 1965 and continues to be relevant and responsive to today’s needs. With the help of Chris Hill and Hill Branding Solutions, and the marvelous photographer Shau Lin Hon, we launched a new logo and sophisticated website (covered in this magazine). We are in the process of growing our Adopt A Monument program. In 2023, we’ll be working on the iconic Jesús Moroles Police Officer’s Memorial to have it in tip top condition as Mayor Turner rounds out his final term.

JB: You are the Co-Host of The Houston Hour with Mister McKinney and you have interviewed an amazing number of illustrious guests. How much time do you dedicate to this endeavor?

HV: A lot and it’s worth every second. We interview someone from the arts (Houston Symphony, Alley Theatre, Houston Ballet, visual artists, etc.), and what we call a Houston legend, someone like Mayor Turner, Lynn Wyatt, and Phoebe Tudor, on each episode. The show airs every Friday at 6 pm on 90.1 KPFT.

JB: What are your ambitions for the future?

HV: I love the gallery. It doesn’t need to be any bigger than it is. Awhile back I got an offer that I turned down from someone who said to me, “Don’t you want to be a player on the world stage?” I said no.




BURNER is a next-level, not-to-be-missed, traveling exhibition of urban artworks featuring works by some of the most recognizable names in the graffiti art movement. A burner piece is a complicated, often legal street artwork that takes time and effort and makes a style statement. It’s so good that it “burns off the wall.”

The collection will be making a stop in Houston from the end of March to mid-April at Off The Wall Gallery. An extensive showcase of works by over a dozen renowned and collectible street & graffiti artists will be showcased, such as Banksy, KEF!, Ben Eine, Craig Knight, Epsylon Point, Harry Bunce, Henri Lamy, Dalek (aka James Marshall), Lucas Roy, Magnus Gjoen, Pure Evil, The Connor Brothers & more. Pricing and affordability are accessible to young and

seasoned collectors, from signed, limited edition prints, rare posters, mixed media, and originals to coveted signed serigraphs by artworld’s provocateur, Banksy. KEF! excels in painting variations of meditative lines and a signature abstract style inspired by spirituality in nature and Buddhist philosophy; he believes that happiness comes from more uncomplicated, harmonious, and peaceful energy. He will be on hand to talk about his works and create live painting demonstrations.

“This is our first street-art exhibition since we opened forty-five years ago in Houston, and we can’t help it to feel pretty cool! Our Gallery represents artworks by incredible, fine contemporary artists and modern masters, and being able to offer works by amazingly talented, procured, street and urban artists creating artworks of aesthetic value immensely enhances our Gallery’s collection oeuvre. It opens doors to new conversations around art, freedom of expression, current events, and a new generation of artists to watch.” Says Mimi Sperber of Off The Wall Gallery.

The Gallery will host three receptions during this special, limited engagement exhibition. During the opening reception, you will have the opportunity to Meet Berlin-based graffiti artist KEF! (RSVP required)

Opening Receptions:

Saturday, March 25 / 5 – 8 pm

Sunday, March 26 / 2 – 5 pm

Closing Reception:

Saturday, April 15 / 2 – 5 pm

Free entrance during Gallery’s business hours. Familyfriendly. All works on exhibition are available for sale. Contact the Gallery for more information, availability, and how to RSVP! 713.871.9040 /

Clockwise from top: Banksy, Craig Knight, KEF! Opposite page: Harry Bunce
All photos courtesy of Off the Wall gallery
“ ”
This is our first street-art exhibition since we opened forty-five years ago in Houston, and we can’t help it to feel pretty cool!
Mimi Sperber
Above: Lucas Roy Opposite page:The Connor Brothers

FOLDS of Desire

Among the available experiences in art appreciation , bearing witness to the evolution of an artist is a reaffirmation of our shared dynamic nature. Moving effectively through various notions and mediums, the artist accepts and embraces the challenge of a new form; a new language, unexplored potentialities. “Folds of Desire” , a recent show by Lesley Bodzy at Yvonamor Palix Fine Arts, featured a daring series of poured and shaped acrylic sculptures. The show demonstrates the serendipitous meeting of artistic inspiration with a new medium.

This exhibit displayed how the evolution of the artist can be a shared journey, an appreciation not only of the art works, but of the process by which artists evolve, and the unimpeded artistic impulse.

First being acquainted with Bodzy’s earlier works; Both figurative and abstract watercolors, I was struck by the range of emotions spilling out of these smaller works. The feeling was of delicate sensitivity with a sweet melancholy. The sensory effect was subtle but clearly present. It is from these figurative explorations that the artist finds the requisite seeds of abstraction.

This latest show by Bodzy, while featuring a new medium, exhibits in a much more powerful way, these same effects. Delicate Sensuality is paired with a Golden “precious metal” palate inviting the mind to explore the more nuanced implications of the pairing. While not overtly Feminist at first glance, the flickering of “the eternal-feminine” of Goethe, the slavish conformity of being bathed in Gold. This subtle

Everything transient Is but a symbol; The insufficient Here finds fulfillment; The indescribable Here becomes deed; The eternal-feminine Draws us on high.
( Goethe,”Faust”, part 2)

sneer is opposed by the folds and drapes of raw sexuality. A forever battle between our primordial urges and our sense of humanity.

Sometimes the lyrics follow the music, the art takes form and is defined later. I don’t know the theory behind much of the art I appreciate, and abstraction seems to often demand an explanation. This recent body of work by Lesley Bodzy offers the kind of powerful imagery that defies the requisite explanations and theories. The “theories” are already there, slapping and tickling you.

The objects themselves tell a story as varied as the observers. One is persuaded if not encouraged to explore the art from our own perspective. Which is not to say we are in some way bridled by our lonely observational space, quite

the contrary; These works seem to explore the paradox of desire, the power of yearning, and the objectification of what is uniquely feminine. The usurpation of bourgeois morality. While “the eternal feminine” of Faust explores the 19th century German perspective, much of what we experience today reflects these same conventional notions of what constitutes the feminine.

“As the unity of the modern world becomes increasingly a technological rather than a social affair, the techniques of the arts provide the most valuable means of insight into the real direction of our own collective purposes.

73 Lesley Bodzy, I wasn’t invited? , 2021, Acrylic and styrofoam, 24 x 88 x 111 in., All photos courtesy of the artist O p p o s i t e p a g e : Lesley Bodzy, Did I hear it right? 2021, acrylic. 8 x 16 x 10 in. REVIEW
‘‘ ‘‘

In this age of increasingly complex technological advances, it is left to the artist to unravel the implications of this sensory overload. The minimalist ideals are in some way a Luddite reaction, not of nostalgia, but of a forward-looking responsibility to absorb and translate the currents of technology. Exploring new mediums always creates a new environment from which we can continue these explorations into our

Lesley Bodzy, ...when you didn’t show up , 2021, Acrylic and medium, 77x33 in. Photo courtesy of the artist

own nature and face the implications of hyper technological advancement. A reaffirmation of McLuhan’s edict: “The medium is the message”

And so from this modest exhibit in Houston, we bare witness to what is most certainly the central task of the artist: To firmly grasp the implications of new knowledge and escort humanity to a place of integral awareness.


gallery listings

CASA RAMIREZ FOLK ART 241 West 19th St. 713-880-2420


2635 Colquitt St. 713 524-5070

COMMUNITY ARTISTS 4101 San Jacinto, Suite 116 713 523-1616

1502 Sawyer Street, #215 281 513-1691


2110 Jefferson 832 748-8369


2305 Dunlavy St. 713 522-2409


2201 Westheimer Rd. 713 526-1201


1024 Studewood St. 281 467-6065

ART LEAGUE BAYTOWN 110 W Texas Ave. Baytown 281 427-2222


4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 524-2299


5015 Westheimer Rd, #2303 713 621-7151

ARDEN GALLERY 239 Westheimer Rd. 713 371-6333


HOUSTON 1953 Montrose Blvd. 713 523-9530

ASHER GALLERY 4848 Main St. 713 529-4848

ASSEMBLY GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. #F 713 485-5510

BARBARA DAVIS GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. #D 713 520-9200

BISONG GALLERY 1305 Sterrett St. 713 498-3015

BOOKER LOWE GALLERY By Appointment 713 880-1541

CHISTOPHER MARTIN GALLERY 2625 Colquitt St. 713 667-5802


DAVID SHELTON GALLERY 3909 Main St. #B 832 538-0924

DAVINCI GALLERY 315 West Main St. Tomball

DEAN DAY GALLERY 2639 Colquitt St. 713 520-1021

D. M. ALLISON GALLERY 2709 Colquitt St. 832 607-4378

DEBORAH COLTON GALLERY 2445 North Blvd. 713 869-5151

DEVIN BORDEN GALLERY 3917 Main St. 713 529-2700

DIMMITT CONTEMPORARY ART 3637 W Alabama St. #160 281 468-6569

ELLIO FINE ART 3201 Allen Parkway, #180 281 660-1832

FOTO RELEVANCE 4411 Montrose Blvd. #C 713 505-1499

Gspot GALLERY 223 East 11th Street 713 869-4770

GALLERY SONJA ROESCH 2309 Caroline St. 713 659-5424

THE GITE GALLERY 2024 E. Alabama St. 713 523-3311

GALVESTON ART CENTER 2501 Market St. Galveston 409 763-2403

GLADE GALLERY 24 Waterway Avenue The Woodlands 832 557-8781

GRAY CONTEMPORARY 3508 Lake St. 713 862-4425



HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY 4520 Blossom St. 713 863-7097

HEIDI VAUGHAN FINE ART 3510 Lake St. 832 875-6477

ART MACHINE GALLERY Jay T. Jax, Go With The Flow, Wood with Turquoise Inlay 15x30x10 in.

Lyn Sullivan Studio 312 281-520-1349

Fariba Abedin Studio 303 713-417-7777

Andy Gonzalez Studio 202 713-291-7533

Gretchen Bender Sparks Studio 214 713-444-7562

Sarah Luna Studio 315 832-330-3041

Clovis Postali Studio 215 832-696-5789

Rolando Rojas Studio 304 936-668-0109

Chu Okoli Studio # 319 713-291-9456



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gallery listings







2631 Colquitt St. 713 522-0718


1441 West Alabama Street

713 529-4755



1834 1/2 Westheimer Rd. 713 492-0504


3901 Main St. 713 526-7800


2310 Bissonnet 713 526-2983



904 Marshall St. 832 819-2918

KOELSCH GALLERY 1020 Peden St. 713 862-5744


4912 Main St, 713 528-5858


4444 Westheimer Rd. F105 + 2707 Colquitt St. 713 527-7700


2815 COLQUITT ST. 713 526-9911


2242 Richmond Ave. 713 520-9988

1824 Spring Street # 104, 281 682-6628


1440 Greengrass Dr. 346 800-2780


UH-Downtown One Main Street 713 221-8042


GALLERY 1320 Nance St. 832 548-0404


2365 Rice Blvd. Suite E 713 521-5928


303 E. 11th St. 713 862-2532

ROCKSTAR GALLERY 5700 NW Central Dr #160 832 868-0242

REEVES ART+DESIGN 2415 Taft St. 713 523-5577

1836 Richmond Avenue 713 807-1836

SHE WORKS FLEXIBLE 1709 Westheimer Rd. 713 522-0369


1506 West Alabama St. 713 529-1313


6116 Skyline Dr. Suite 1 713 524-6751


6423 Richmond Ave. #H 832 831-0670


2000 Edwards St. #317 713 724-0709

FOLTZ FINE ART 2143 Westheimer Rd. 713 521-7500



5015 Westheimer Rd.. Galleria II, Level II 713 871-0940


2012 Peden St. 713 524-1593


The Woodlands 832 668-534

Tatiana Escallon Dalek (aka James Marshall) Rachel Gardner



Diane Severin Nguyen’s “IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS”

sparkles as a bright curiosity in Houston’s post-pandemic contemporary arts landscape, while Troy Montes Michie’s “Rock of Eye” displays technical skill but falls short of tackling the themes of border, race, and identity brought into light during lockdown and subsequent American political runoffs.

I walk into a room on the top floor of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston covered in wall-to-wall crushed red velvet. The floor is red. The lights are red. There’s a screen tucked into the glowing semi-darkness and surrounded with more red velvet – curtains – a poor digital person’s mimicry of a theater stage. I take a seat with the other viewers, who are strangers to me although we are part of the same republic, on one of the three large benches set before the screen. What unfolds before us is somewhere between a girl’s diary, the visual representation of her heart’s wishes and its pains, and a young woman’s interpretation of a communist manifesto at the crossroads of cultures.

“IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS” creates a strikingly beautiful reality that creatively forces viewers to join its

dreamworld and take part in its ideology. The short film-dream displayed on the screen is divided loosely into three parts, which become more apparent and meld together as the loop continues into perpetuity.

There is the opening, gentle with spring rains and greenery. A little girl is washed up on a beach, a picture of peace rather than alarm. An overlay of a letter of a man speaking to her with political words and warnings that are so serious. The girl stretches and dances in her new world with a sweet cool innocence, and plays with ribbons among brutalist architecture. “Where is the truth in unremembered things?”

There is the adolescence, where we see the girl transformed into a teenager. There is the same air of innocence, but it is covered with the caramelized sugar top of angst and a burgeoning womanness. “Weronika,” our protagonist, sports a nose ring, fringe, and bright red nails. She alternates between worlds of visual beauty and worlds of serious violence. And she is joined now by friends, or countrymen. Weronika sings with a hammer, there is a closeup of strawberries being cut

Installation view of Diane Severin Nguyen: If Revolution is a Sickness Photo by Ariana Akbari
reviews ARTHOUSTON 80

with sharp fractured glass, she and her comrades drown shiny metallic balloons in a river. They jog together, they stretch, they sparkle among decrepit buildings and empty quiet landscapes. “What do my two natures have in common besides memory?”

There is the music video, where the group performs a KPop routine to a cool communist victory march. They dance with equal parts intentional and unintentional seduction. They raise their fists to the air and fire invisible guns, performing in front of old communist monuments. Dandelions flow into hair streaked with red - like the wishes of many caught into something bigger than they are. “All their stories began with catastrophe and ended in victory.”

Ultimately, what Nguyen gives us is something very beautiful and multilayered that can be reconstituted for each person who views it and within each person who views it. I, personally, am left with questions about the truth – truth as the manipulation of memory, malleable as the body, which stretches and dances as we make it. And you?

Traveling to the floor below, we come to Michie’s “Rock of Eye.” The scene swirls with concepts – fabric, sewing, the zoot suit, reconstituting of identity, blackness, gayness, the body, the lack of body – all fighting to find some leading character that never appears.

It is obvious that Michie is very technically skilled, as there

is artistic demonstration on display in a variety of mediums. Particularly, the sewn elements display a unique talent. However, the way that everything comes together - in both individual pieces and as an early career retrospective - is overwhelming in a way that comes full circle to being juvenile. There are incredible elements: like a footnote on “the invisible man,” a nod to the “zoot suit riots,” sewn silhouettes against seductive images of black men recomposed, and recomposed, and recomposed. But there are also elements that are depressing and camp…but not in a good way: destroyed zoot suits hang on a line haphazardly, everything screams throwntogether collage, and my God if I never see another cut out T-shirt collar glued to an image of a mutilated zebra carcass it will be too soon.

Perhaps it is a mistake in the curation - the delightful ambiguity of the show above leads to certain expectations for the show below - wherein the ambiguity never appears. Perhaps it is a lesson in missed opportunities - a performance of sorts to a dynamic, multiracial, multi political Texas audience that relies on niche tropes better suited to a monolithic audience where these themes are unfamiliar. Regardless, the shows both demonstrate exciting things to come for the CAMH, as they both explore the institution itself pushing for something new in our new society.

Installation view of Troy Montes Michie, Rock of Eye . Photo by Ariana Akbari



Matthew Craven was the focus of a 2022/2023 exhibition at the David Shelton Gallery titled MULTI~CURSAL , which featured new collage works on paper. Craven has long been interested in the universality of symbols and patterns referencing textiles, painted pottery and mosaics from across the world. Newfound elements have emerged, extracted from botanical encyclopedias and Historical textbooks. Focusing entirely on vintage collage elements, the large pieces in this exhibition are bursting with a dizzying array of patterns and colors and entirely composed of found materials, some over 50 years old. All of the work is composed on the reverse sides of vintage B-movie posters, forming each work’s foundation–patinaed, browned, stained or torn from a previous life. Where previously the artist drew inspiration from travel and in-person visits to book shops across the country, strict lockdown orders and a relocation have turned his references inward.

Craven received his MFA from School of Visual Arts in New York and his BFA from Michigan State University. He has had exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, including solo shows at David Shelton Gallery.

Now living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Craven’s life has become connected to his partner’s career as a florist. Going on flower walks became a needed routine during the pandemic. Slowly, the imagery from the walks became the focal point of this new body of work. The laborious and time-consuming process of these creations requires slowing down, it’s a form of meditation.


The Gallery Sonja Roesch presented renowned sculptor John Clement’s 4th solo exhibition at the gallery. The show titled John Clement - Eye of The Storm was a mind-bending adventure, a memorable art experience for people of all ages. John Clement effortlessly cuts, bends, joins, and welds steel and aluminum pipes into flowing, interconnecting forms. Clement transforms these industrial materials into monumental line drawings that swirl through time and space. The sculptures appear to defy gravity as they twist and turn in the air. Endlessly devoted to the geometry of the arc, John Clement refines cold steel into graceful, vibrant, curling sculptures with power and elegance.

Referencing time and space, John Clement’s sculptures are painted in vibrant, primary colors creating a child-like playfulness in a world filled with imagination, hope and potential. Despite the large scale and solidity of his medium, Clement’s work celebrates the joy of movement and the rediscovery of space while altering our view of the surrounding landscape.

A student of acclaimed public art sculptors Mark Di Suvero and John Henry, John Clement’s works are permanently displayed across the globe and are on view in North America, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Korea

John Clement lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife Jean and children, Kini and Duke. The love and support he receives from his family is a major force in his creativity.

John Clement, Cherry Pop, 2020 5/8” steel pipe, steel plate, auto paint, 12x12x7 in. Matthew Craven, MULTI-CURSAL, installation view, 2023. Photo courtesy of David Shelton



How can we deconstruct our collective imagination of outer space? Can we nurture a thirst for exploration without feeding the hunger for conquest, territory, and appropriation?

In Marfa, Villa Albertine and the Centre Pompidou (Paris) launched a residency program to confront these questions head-on, through the work of four international artists and researchers: French

author and exhibition curator Léa Bismuth, Spanish filmmaker and aerospace engineer Vanessa del Campo, France-based American designer Elizabeth Hong, and French CNRS research director Jean-Philippe Uzan. From October 5 to November 5, 2022, under the starry skies of Marfa, Texas, these four creatives-in-residence critically examined the drive for civilizational, technical, and economic conquest and proposed

A b o v e : Marfa, photo by Vanessa Del Campo. R i g h t : The four 2022 resident artists engaged in a creative discussion in Marfa, photo by JP Uzan

tools and reflections to help construct new imaginaries of outer space. Marfa and its surroundings are an ideal place for stargazing in the desert. The Big Bend International Dark Sky Reserve was certified in 2022 and is the largest Reserve and protected Dark Sky Place in the world, spanning from Fort Davis, Texas, to the Rio Grande River and three protected areas in Mexico. It is home to the McDonald Observatory,

a world-class astronomical observatory and research facility in Fort Davis, less than 40 miles north of Marfa.

The small town of Marfa has also become an art oasis in the desert and a world-famous contemporary art outpost since 1979, when minimalist artist Donald Judd decided to leave the bustle of Manhattan for the solitude of Marfa. With its unique combination of rurality and eccentricity, Marfa has grown into one of the world’s great contemporary art centers, where a new generation of artists has kept the flame alive.

Designed in collaboration with the historian, researcher, and theater director Frédérique Aït-Touati, this residency program establishes a dialogue between American experts and creators from France and beyond, while enriching residents’ individual projects with moments of collective reflection, learning, and critique.

Why now for an international cultural reassessment of space travel?

Gaëtan Bruel, Director of Villa Albertine, noted “In 2022, the appropriation of geographies and resources is an existential global issue. This residency is an opportunity to zoom out and imagine a different approach to the worlds around us, both terrestrial and beyond. We see Marfa as a perfect environment for this work, combining dark skies with a brilliant and diverse cultural scene.”

For a month, the four residents had time together to explore cultural institutions, the McDonald Observatory, and meet with Marfa artists and scientists. They had the opportunity to visit the Chinati Foundation and the Judd Foundation. They visited the Dixon Water Foundation ranches whose mission is to promote regenerative land management (water, carbon sequestration...). They spent a night at the McDonald Observatory to observe the sky. They visited Big Bend National Park with a geology professor.

They also had the opportunity to work on their personal projects: Léa Bismuth was writing a book called “Astral Meditation” in reference to Auguste Blanqui, French socialist and political activist; Vanesa del Campo was working on an experimental movie around the moon and maternity; The project of Elizabeth is called “Sky Walk”, and invites us to take a collective walk amongst the stars, the pathway guided by a


fictional narrative that confronts the complex entanglements of space and colonization. Jean-Philippe Uzan started writing a fiction, which will perhaps take the form of an (art) installation.

Work is currently in progress for a global reflection on the residency, alongside the Centre Pompidou. But after the success of this first experiment, a second iteration in Marfa is a certainty for 2023.

Zooming out, this new residency in Marfa involved just four of the 90+ international artists, writers, researchers, and curators in residence across the US with Villa Albertine in 2022. Through the concept of exploratory residencies, Villa Albertine invites creators of all disciplines and nationalities to embed in a territory of their choice, exchange with key local communities, and nourish an original artistic or intellectual reflection on a contemporary issue or question.

These residencies are not intended to be conducted behind closed doors – that’s why Villa Albertine breaks down the four walls of the traditional residency based in a single location. Instead, these experiences serve as probing field work that inspires and forges new connections and ideas. Houston has already hosted five of these residency projects, including French astronomer Fatoumata Kebe and multi-prize-winning visual artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar. Another eight residents will pursue their work in Houston in in 2023. More about the residency program, and how to apply at:

La Moon House at sunset. Photo by Lea Bismuth
This Marfa residency involved just four of the 90+ international artists, in residence across the US with Villa Albertine in 2022.



Rolling down the hill to celebrate is optional but encouraged during the Anniversary season

As the curtain rises on the 100th Anniversary performance season at Miller Outdoor Theatre (MOT), The Miller Theatre Advisory Board has announced that Houstonians and visitors alike can expect eight months of exceptional cultural arts programming plus four stellar 100th celebratory events, all free of charge to the public. The 100th season kicks off March 17 when Irish eyes will smile when The Trinity Irish Dance Company brings their progressive Irish Dance to Houston for St. Patrick’s Day. The following evening transports all to 1923, the “birth” of Miller Outdoor Theatre, complete with a celebratory roaring 20s themed extravaganza with Vaudeville performers, swing dance

lessons, photo opportunities and more. Additionally, the Board has launched a $12.5 million dollar capital campaign to raise necessary funds to improve the visitor experience at the theatre. Renovations and improvements will be made to the theatre’s fixed and hillside seating. Also, the creation of a signature entryway to the theatre will both welcome guests and facilitate smooth access in and out of the facility. As always, admission to MOT remains free to all. Make plans to join the season-long celebration. For the entire 2023 performance and event calendar and details on how to obtain FREE tickets for the covered seating, visit

Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, Houston. Photo by Jeff Myers



you did not give up on us!?

My concern is about the integrity of the Latino culture and genre. It seems to me consistently, that the poor is who lights the candle and the ignorant who gets the miracle. My constant goal is to promote Latino Art as American Art. The vehicle of a genre perspective that is not in solitude but aware of its uniqueness. To create an appetite in all Americans to understand why this culture is so important to the history and evolution of our country. Swamped by a supernatural evil force, the genre, is not equipped or prepared to deal with. Then there are those thoughts which are too numerous to list and just to awful - shameful to name.

The case in full… “Latinx” …a popular believe to look through the back mirror and not through the windshield! Founding your actions in what you heard and not on what you see, the term “Latinx” is not using the head and only

going by gut. Been this the reason why the term is stupid and totally wrong. It is a trendy and popular overleveraging and overvalued term. A minority inside a minority that is not using their head!

In Nicolás Bejarano, Colombian born American Latino, podcast “The Art Salon”. He talks against the term “Latinx” and the critical theory. He enlightens why the word “Latinx” is wrong, and why the term “Latino” is the correct representation. Remarking that “Latino” covers the entire variety of genders and races.

The term “Latinx” doesn’t align with the “Latino” narrative. It is greatly used by not native-born Latinos, that usually are not Spanish speakers and not capable to read or write in Spanish. In a few words, not a member of the community. He calls “Latinx” the “Erosion of reason’. Exploring deeply


Stupid America

Stupid America, see that Chicano

with a big knife on his steady hand. He doesn’t want to knife you he wants to sit on a bench and carve Christ figures but you won’t let him. Stupid America, hear that Chicano

shouting curses on the street he is a poet without paper and pencil and since he cannot write he will explode. Stupid America, remember that Chicano flunking math and English he is the Picasso of your western states, but he will die with one thousand masterpieces hanging only from his mind.

into the term, and what he believes to be one of the most useless additions to the English language. Been this one of the symptoms of a larger problem brewing in America.

He describes the roots of the adoption of the term “Latinx” and its unviability. The term suggests a younger generation with college education, but the truth is, and he appoints the existence of data that proves that only 3% of Hispanics describe themselves as “Latinx” and 1% of them are college educated. That, is basically nothing. In fact, there is substantial evidence that the Chicano and Hispanic community rejects it and doesn’t identify with it.

If we follow this trail, “Latino Art” as a genre, will die in less than 25 years. We have to keep in mind that “you have to live it, to be part of it”. Only artists that experience the everyday life, despite if they were born or not in this country

can be considered part of the genre. Artists that juxtapose all the visible and invisible to impact the expression of their communication format and better grasp of the present suffering voice.

Consider that for about 245 years we have suppressed the importance of Latino history and for the past 100 or so, we have not been aware of the cultural complexity of our Latin-American inheritance. What about volition been seen as inferior acts of the will who’s occurrence makes the difference between voluntary and involuntary actions?

Those interesting artists who keep us guessing — those, who to borrow Stephen Sondheim’s phrase, “Give us more to see” are the ones most likely to endure.

We, they and us, cannot be represented by such a miserable term.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My family immigrated from Mexico when I was two years old. We eventually settled in Houston’s Second Ward neighborhood comprised mainly of hispanic immigrants. My elementary music teacher discovered my talent for singing early on, which put me on a path to sing both locally, and internationally with the Singing Boys of Houston, a free program supported at the time by HISD. I later attended Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, before being accepted on scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music. After completing both BM an MM degrees in Vocal Performance, my singing career was launched as a young artists with many prestigious opera companies in the US. Later, I had my debuts in Germany, Egypt, France, Austria, and most recently as a leading tenor with the Prague National Opera. The pandemic prompted a shift to focus back on family and community. I built and opened Garza Studios, 10 professional rehearsal spaces, totaling more than 4,000 square feet, ideal for use by musicians, dancers, actors and other creatives. And most recently, I founded my first nonprofit, Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus, which aims to enrich the lives of children and families in Houston’s diverse East End, which is 70% latino/hispanic, through access to bilingual music education and transformative performance opportunities while lifting up our community, celebrating our culture and traditions.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

I opened Garza Studios over a year ago, and in that time, Garza Studios has become an important addition to Houston’s Arts and Culture Scene. Providing a haven for many of Houston’s top musicians and teachers to rehearse, create, and inspire the next generation. Garza Studios, a project fiscally sponsored by Fresh Arts, supports and sponsors many other arts non-profits by providing affordable access

to professional rehearsal space crucial for performing artists to prepare for performances and hone their craft. Garza Studios is now in a position to create more targeted initiatives to directly impact the lives of children through music education. Our newly launched organization, currently also a fiscally sponsored project by Fresh Arts while we await our federal 501(c)3 status, Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus is positioned to make a meaningful impact in the lives of children and families from Houston’s East End neighborhoods, through bilingual music instruction and community-building performance opportunities.

What types of mediums do you work in?

My chosen medium is classical music and opera, performing works from Mozart to Stravinsky. Early in my artistic development, however, I also trained and performed in the musical theater genre, which included dance and acting training.

Thematically, what is your work usually about?

With the creation of Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus, this is an intentional effort to focus on breaking down barriers which prevent families with limited resources from accessing arts and culture programming and education. We specifically target children from bilingual households through bilingual instruction and programming that represents the culture and traditions of the chorus members and their families. Our chorus sings almost entirely in Spanish which makes it the only chorus of its kind in Houston and possibly the state of Texas. We are, in fact, Houston’s first and only bilingual children’s chorus.

Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus offers programming at no cost to the students and families, ensuring access to the highest quality arts education opportunities regardless of socio-economic circumstance.

I envision a future where the chorus and its members serve as proud ambassadors of the Latino community, throughout Houston, the United States, and potentially internationally.

What recent projects are you most proud of?

Both Garza Studios, and Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus have been a great source of pride. Garza Studios, was named as a 2022 BIPOC Artists Network Fund (BANF) Award Recipient, as well as being designated an East End Arts and Cultural Landmark.

For Segundo Barrio Children’s Chorus, we received upon the occasion of our inaugural concert this summer, commendations from both United States Congresswoman Silvia Garcia, and Texas House Representative Christina Morales. Collaborations with Houston Grand Opera and Houston’s Alley Theatre this coming season promise to give the children, their families, and our community visibility and access to arts and culture opportunities.

Jorge Garza, Tenor singing the role of Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Opera - Eugene Onegin Garza Studios, professional rehearsal spaces located in Houston’s Second Ward, East End Neighborhood.

editor’s pick Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee

The 240-feet-long “Aquarius Art Tunnel”, connecting Terminals D and E at the George Bush International Airport in Houston, is the brainchild of Indian American contemporary artist Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee. An audio-visual treat for travelers en-route to exotic destinations, the brightly colored murals fill the walls from floor to ceiling, evoking a sense of hope and optimism towards nature, the oceans, and abundant underwater life. The tunnel showcases species of fish, coral, sharks, dolphins, barracudas, lobsters, and, even, oil rigs, among many other creatures that call the oceans their home. The floor of the tunnel is a coral carpet, inspired by the artist’s deep-sea dives at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary off the Texas coast, and the accompanying sounds are a combination of classical music and the artist’s own meditative, underwater breath, created by Andrew Karnavas. UNESCO endorsed the Aquarius Art Tunnel as a site for its scientific and educational importance towards ocean conservation through artistic outreach as an immersive art installation.

Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee, “Aquarius Art Tunnel” Photography by Jay Marroquin











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Ariana Akbari


Arthur Demicheli is a freelance copywriter and photographer from New York who has worked in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries since 1992. Recently, Arthur has been a dynamic part of ArtHouston’s team. He holds an MA in Humanities from the University of Geneva. He is an avid fan of art, film, and photography history.

Ariana Akbari is a Texas native with a degree in the History of Art & Architecture and the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University. She is very passionate about art and architecture as it relates to quality, locality and uniqueness. Currently she is intrigued by early 20th century orientalist landscaping in the America South.

Meghan Hendley Lopez

A combination of creative and cause related initiatives, Meghan Hendley Lopez is a classically trained pianist, composer, and vocalist who has turned her talent towards the world of nonprofit administration/management, grant writing, PR, journalism, Web3 endeavors. Over 17 years of experience centers the balance of presentation and preservation of the arts, agriculture, sustainability.

Bettina Gardelles

Mark studied philosophy and literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Finding the Art world fertile ground for critical observation, crossing over the imagined barriers that separate art forms, understanding that music, literature, poetry and fine art are bound together as the highest forms of human expression, is a common theme in his writings. Mark now lives and writes in Houston.

Sabrina Bernhard is a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a BA in International Relations and in French. She is working with ArtHouston to fulfill her passion for the arts, while further developing Houston’s admirable cross-cultural reputation. Sabrina is passionate about travelling, contemporary arts, la Francophonie, music, and culture.

Verity Babbs


Nathan Lindstrom is a commercial portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Houston with clients from all over the world. Having grown up in Iowa and lived in Argentina and Spain, Lindstrom draws on his experiences for inspiration. His work was included in two shows during the last FotoFest exhibition. Lindstrom has a studio in Silver Street Studios and lives with his wife and their dog, Kirby.

Verity Babbs is an art writer, presenter, and host of the art-themed comedy night Art Laughs. She graduated with a degree in History of Art from the University of Oxford and is based in Southampton, England. Her work focuses on accessibility within the art world, and introducing art to new audiences.

Bettina Gardelles has been working for more than 10 years in the fields of culture and innovation in various French and foreign institutions: at the Terra Foundation for the American Arts, at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, at a publishing house in Vietnam as well as the Centre des monuments nationaux. Based in Houston, Bettina now works as a cultural attaché and director of Villa Albertine in Texas.

An art venture capital investor, former faculty Professor of Marketing at the Universidad Anahuac Mexico City. Member of the Latino Advisory Committee at the MFAH. While eschewing what he describes as “Latino Art is not Latin-American Art”, he is a maverick of “Latino and Chicano Art an underrepresented american style”.

Nathan Lindstrom PHOTOGRAPHER William Hanhausen WRITER
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