ArtHouston magazine issue #12

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artH O U S T O N V I S U A L A RT S , C U LT U R E , R E V I E W S






Photo by F. Carter Smith



A creative life cannot be sustained by approval any more than it can be destroyed by criticism.

– Will Self

ince I began publishing ArtHouston in 2014, I have created reoccurring feature sections like: Iconoclasts, Collector Focus, Gallery Interview, Curator Guest, and Artist Profiles. Recently, I felt the need to address the vital lack of opinionated editorials in the press covering the Houston art and cultural scene. So, I decided to create a new section called “Opinion”. It is a written rule of American journalism that writers reporting the news should remain entirely unbiased. But the divide between news and opinion is not as clear to many readers who often struggle to know how to distinguish fact from opinion. Opinion is another pillar of the basic editorial structure in any publication. And with this addition, I believe ArtHouston will be enriched by the incorporation of an element of criticism. In this issue we gave carte blanche to our writer Ariana Akbari and gave her the chance to find and express a personal voice. Yours faithfully. John Bernhard

Joh n








Towards a Houstonian Art Ariana Akbari 20


Authenticity in Art Hanneke Humphrey



Silent Revolutions Arthur Demicheli 30


Maria Sammartino JT Morse



The Stark Museum of Art Ariana Akbari 42


Forms of Inheritance Arthur Demicheli


* Fresh Arts’ interviews


Art of the World Gallery John Bernhard 50

ArtChitecture Sabrina Bernhard 60

Art Education Haley Berkman Karren 66

Seeking Appraisal Mark J. Prendergast

ON THE COVER: Illustration by melitas.


Essential Jobs William Hanhausen


news bits HOCKNEY - VAN GOGH: THEMuseum JOYof OF NATURE Fine Arts Houston This spring, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will examine the common ground between David Hockney (English, born 1937) and Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) in Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature. The exhibition reveals Van Gogh’s unmistakable influence on Hockney’s work through a collection of 57 carefully selected landscape paintings and drawings by the two artists. Inaugurated in 2019 by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature will be on view in Houston— the only U.S. venue—from Sunday, February 21, through Sunday, June 20, 2021. “This exhibition offers visitors an extraordinary opportunity to see these two visionary artists side-by-side,” said Gary Tinterow, MFAH Director, the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair. “We are delighted to collaborate with David Hockney and the Van Gogh Museum to bring these exceptional works to our audience in Houston.” “Hockney once asked, ‘How can you be bored with nature?’ In this exhibition, we discover both artists’ profound love of nature expressed through brilliant color and the capacity to see the world with fresh eyes,” said Ann Dumas, consulting curator of European art for the MFAH. These imposing works offer vivid insight into Hockey’s love of nature and expose clear links to Van Gogh’s landscapes, such as Field with Irises near Arles (1888) and Path in the Garden of the Asylum (1890). “I’ve always found the world quite beautiful—and that’s an important thing I share with Van Gogh,” Hockney has noted. “We both really enjoy looking at the world.” From left: David Hockney, Woldgate Vista, 27 July 2005, oil on canvas, © David Hockney. Photo by Richard Schmidt Vincent van Gogh, Field with Irises near Arles, 1888, oil on canvas, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.



Holocaust Museum

University of Houston

Holocaust Museum Houston presents Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory., an epic new exhibition showcases more than 60 personal artifacts brought to America by Survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Exploring the relationship between objects, their meaning to the original owner and subsequent significance, each artifact is dramatically paired with oversized photographs by renowned documentarian Jim Lommasson with handwritten responses by Survivors or their family members. The exhibition includes artifacts and stories of eight Houston-area Holocaust Survivors. The objects featured in Stories of Survival are as everyday as a baby doll and a black suitcase and as symbolic as a young mother’s cookbook and a wedding announcement, as saved by Survivors from the Holocaust and genocides around the world, including Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Syria. For more information on Stories of Survival, please visit On view now through April 18, 2021.

The University of Houston is enriching its collection of Dorothy Hood treasures with a donation of the Texas painter’s work to Public Art of the University of Houston System. “Coptic Days,” a painting and mixed media collage created by the late artist, is a gift from Houston gallerist Deborah Colton. Hood was a seminal figure in midcentury American modernism, fusing the Mexican and New York schools through a Texas borderland ethos. As with many women artists of her generation, Hood, who died in 2000, is now beginning to receive critical attention. “Dorothy Hood’s work is timeless, and her epic paintings inspire us to look far beyond ourselves into the universe, but also look at ourselves within the universe,” said Colton about the Texas icon, who in the early 1960s worked at a Houston gallery and as an instructor at the MFAH Museum School. “Dorothy Hood once said, ‘You’re looking at the outside of things doing representational and the inside of things doing abstract.’ Her collages are an example of this.”




Clint Willour. Photo by Hall Puckett

Clint Willour was a gallerist, curator, collector, and a mentor to generation of artists, but above all he was a friend. In an interview for ArtHouston in 2016, Clint Willour said “It’s been a great ride”. A kid from Shelton, Washington, a logging town with 5,000 people, Clint reflected, “I didn’t go to a museum until I was in college. Who would have thought that I would be in Houston, Texas, having an almost 50-year career in the art world? It’s interesting what paths we take.” Indeed, beginning in 1990, he took over the exhibition program at the non-profit Galveston Arts Center, taking it from a rather sleepy entity to one entirely focused on early and mid-career artists from Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Clint barnstormed his territory like a one-man-band, serving as curator, registrar, art handler, and truck driver. At his retirement in 2016, Clint calculated that he had created 469 exhibitions in Galveston, showcasing approximately 4,000 artists from across the region, as well as selected national figures. His impact on Galveston was not limited to exhibitions as he helped found the ever-popular Galveston ArtWalk in 1990, which continues today, promoting the visual arts throughout the city. Clint made his first gift to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 1976. Since then, Clint helped build the MFAH collection, focusing on the photography department. He joined forces with its curator Anne Tucker whose long-time friendship and collaboration exactly paralleled the evolution of photography in Houston. He generously donated or funded the purchase of more than 1,500 works of art and 2,500 books. He once told me about his donation to the museum. “You know, I’ve enjoyed these pictures, but other people could really benefit by them, and I gave them to the museum. So, I gradually started giving.” In addition to his extraordinary support of the MFAH, Clint also donated artworks to museums across Texas. His generosity and support of non-profit institutions extended beyond acquisitions. Clint was a founding member of the Houston Center for Photography, which was established in 1981. He was also an early and avid supporter of FotoFest, serving on their exhibitions committee for many years. Clint’s list of accomplishments is way longer than I am allotted for space here. But, what most of us will remember is that Clint was respected and loved for his kindness and generosity. The Texas art community has lost one of its greatest patrons.

Virginia Jaramillo, Genesis, 1969. Acrylic on canvas, 72 × 72 in. Courtesy of the artist and Hales, London and New York. © Virginia Jaramillo.

VIRGINIA JARAMILLO The Menil Collection This focused exhibition presents eight abstract paintings by Jaramillo (b. 1939, El Paso), in which thin, undulating lines dance across monochrome fields of bright, flat color. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, American artists like Jaramillo took a cool and minimal approach to painting. These works have been defined with descriptive terms such as post-painterly, hard-edge, and non-gestural. The Menil’s presentation marks the fiftieth anniversary of The De Luxe Show, one of the first racially integrated exhibitions of contemporary art held in the United States. Organized by the Menil Foundation in 1971, The De Luxe Show was installed in a shuttered movie theater located in Houston’s Fifth Ward. The trailblazing exhibition, curated by New York artist Peter Bradley, included works by Sam Gilliam, Al Loving, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, and others exploring new approaches to abstraction. Jaramillo, was the only woman and Latina included in the show. Rebecca Rabinow, director of the Menil Collection said, “Virginia Jaramillo’s ongoing career spans six decades. The Menil Collection is deeply honored to present her first—and long overdue—solo museum exhibition. We are especially proud that the exhibition will include an untitled painting by Jaramillo from 1971 that was recently acquired by the Menil. After half a century, the impact of The De Luxe Show, in which she was a key participant, continues to resonate throughout the contemporary art world. By celebrating Jaramillo’s achievements, we also pay tribute to the legacy of the artists who made The De Luxe Show an epochal event.” Virginia Jaramillo: The Curvilinear Paintings, 1969–1974, is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition is on view exclusively at the Menil until July 3, 2021.


Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting celebrates lighting devices—innovative, practical, delightful, and fun. Over the past 100 years, the field of lighting design has been a catalyst for technological and artistic expression. The exhibition examines lighting as a transforming force in daily life and in major design movements. From the first electric light in the early 1800s to energy-efficient bulbs in the 21st century, lighting technology has fascinated engineers, scientists, architects, and designers worldwide. Rare and limited-production examples by the world’s leading designers are presented in three sections, organized by theme rather than chronologically. “Typologies” focuses on different types of lighting, from desk lamps to chandeliers; “The Bulb” addresses the importance and design of the lightbulb, from basic to whimsical; and “Quality of Light” considers the manipulation of light effects, including reflection, diffusion, and light-filled sculpture. Amplifying the works on view are three large-scale immersive experiences. February 27–May 16, 2021

Martine Bedin, manufactured by Memphis Milano, Super Lamp, designed c. 1978




Artcurial Auction

Art Basel

A rare color drawing of Tintin by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé (1907–1983) has set a new record for the most expensive work of comic book art, selling for $3.8 million last January at an auction at Artcurial in Paris. The 1936 gouache painting was originally intended as the cover image for The Blue Lotus, the fifth volume about boy reporter Tintin, recounting his travels in China during the Japanese invasion of 1931. The Blue Lotus thus sets a new world record for a work by Hergé sold at auction, but also a new world record for an original comic strip work sold at auction, all artists combined. The leader in this field, Artcurial currently holds eight of the top ten auction prices for work by Hergé, including the previous world record price for a comic strip drawing by any artist, achieved on 24 May 2014 for the inside cover pages of a Tintin album $3.1M.

Art Basel postpones Basel show to September and announces three Online Viewing Rooms for 2021 Due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic and travel restrictions worldwide, Art Basel has decided to postpone its June fair. The 2021 edition of Art Basel will now take place at Messe Basel from September 23 to September 26, 2021, with preview days on September 21 and September 22, 2021. The decision was made after extensive discussions and analysis in consultation with gallerists and collectors, as well as external experts, putting foremost the health and safety of all concerned while aiming to achieve the broadest possible international attendance for the show. Marc Spiegler, Global Director, Art Basel said: ‘While the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination programs started in many parts of the world last month, 2021 is a year in which planning remains complex due to many uncertainties. By moving our Basel fair to September, we hope to offer our galleries greater possibility for successfully preparing their year. Following ten months of vaccination programs in many countries, we anticipate broad international participation in our Basel show in September, because all our conversations within the artworld indicate a strong desire to see art in person and engage face-to-face with the global cultural scene. Naturally, we will continue our digital activities connecting Art Basel galleries with global patrons, as we prepare our return to staging physical fairs in the post-pandemic period.’ In 2021, Art Basel will present three Online Viewing Rooms, to which all galleries accepted to Art Basel’s shows between 2016 and 2021 will be invited to apply. ‘OVR: Pioneers’, taking place from March 24 to March 27, 2021, will be dedicated to artists who have broken new grounds aesthetically, conceptually, or socio-politically. A second thematic Online Viewing Rooms will take place from June 16 to June 19, 2021, with Art Basel curators determining themes and helping to select the participating galleries. In the beginning of November, ‘OVR:2021’ will exclusively feature artworks created this year. Further details will be announced in the coming months. Mark your calendar for these upcoming Art Basel shows: Hong Kong, May 21-23, 2021 Basel, September 23-26, 2021 Miami Beach, December 2-5, 2021

This initial cover design for The Blue Lotus, marked a turning point in Hergé’s career, and is undoubtedly one of the most evocative covers of any of the young reporter’s adventures. After becoming friends with Tchang Tchong-Jen, the only real person other than Al Capone to be incorporated into the adventures of Tintin, Hergé’s style changed, becoming more assured.



The Houston Symphony livestream setup with CEO John Mangum acting as host. Photo by Wilson Parish

BY AMANDA ANDRADE Almost a full year out from the outbreak of Covid-19, what is the pulse of the Houston Performing Arts scene? How and when will Houston’s Performing Arts community return to live, in-person stages? In general, the Performing Arts groups are proceeding with caution. Typically, the start of the new year sees the release of season line-ups. For most performing groups, these calendars have been postponed until the spring, mostly March or April. The Houston Grand Opera says their Season Announcement might be pushed until as late as May. For the past year, Houstonians’ access to the performing arts has been mainly through virtual shows. Though the Houston Symphony has been performing live, most other performing groups will continue to produce programs virtually until at least June. The Houston Grand Opera is planning a live-return and full season for the Fall, though no definitive dates have been published. While there is optimism for the next season, Houstonians should expect to see mostly digital programming for at least the next few months. This return to in-person performances can be tricky. A large show can involve several hundred individuals – performers, backstage, orchestra, etc. Some performing arts groups must wait for performer’s unions to agree conditions are safe. For others, social distancing might limit the financial benefit of putting on a live show. Of course, performance groups are considering the risks to audiences as well, namely airborne transmissions through speaking or singing in an enclosed,

indoor space. Molly Dill, acting Chief Operating Officer at Houston Grand Opera stressed that safety is a priority and that they are looking to ensure the environment is safe for guests as well as performers. Though Houstonians might be impatient, there is hope the vaccine roll-out will bring about a wave of openings and, hopefully, a return to in-person performances. Performing Arts groups are monitoring the vaccination numbers and looking to vaccinate their performers as soon as possible. John Mangum, CEO of the Houston Symphony, says he hopes to get the majority of the performers vaccinated in May or June. Houston First, which operates the district’s city-owned venues, maintains that their theatres are ready to open pending the City’s official protocols. While it might be hard to hear, the financial impacts of Covid-19 were deep and likely to last for years. Molly Dill of HGO says the “the biggest impact is the financial impact. With Harvey, we were able to continue performing, with this, we have had to stop everything.” While performing groups are hopeful about the future, they are doing so in an environment of layoffs and illness. So, Houstonians can trust their performing arts groups to be hopeful, but cautious. These artists remain dedicated to their craft and to their audiences despite the challenges of Covid-19. John B, speaking for the Houston Symphony says “all we can do in the performing arts is to be as creative as we can, do our work and serve our audiences. Beyond that, we are at the mercy of those larger forces.”


book reviews

Texas Made Modern: The Art of Everett Spruce

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Wartime Texas Letters

Texas Made Modern: The Art of Everett Spruce traces Spruce’s artistic evolution from his early experimental work of the 1920s through the mysterious, surrealist-imbued landscapes of the 1930s. The work addresses his boldly expressionistic imagery of the 1940s and his abstract expressionist–inspired paintings of the mid-twentieth century. Departing from previous accounts of Spruce, which label him a prototypical regionalist, this study reveals the nuanced meanings behind the artist’s shifting approaches to Texas subject matter and resituates his artwork within the broader narrative of American art. Texas A&M University Press, 2020

Amy Von Lintel brings to readers the collected O’Keeffe correspondence and added commentary and analysis, shining fresh light on a period of the artist’s life she characterizes as “some of the least appreciated in the vast O’Keeffe scholarship,” but also as “a time when she discovered her own voice as a young, successful, and independent woman. She maintained an active correspondence with her future husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, and other friends back east during the years she lived in Texas. Texas A&M University Press, 2020



Writings on Art ROBERT STORR

The first volume of the collected writings on art by renowned American art critic and curator Robert Storr. Featuring the best of Storr’s criticism–reviews, articles and essays–from the 1980s to the mid-2000s.Writings on Art offers fresh insights on some of the most influential artists of our era, and is a must-read for curators and students, artists, exhibition-goers and all those interested in the art and culture of today. HENI Publishing, 2020

Ode to East Texas

Selling the Movie The Art of the Film Poster IAN HAYDN SMITH

As long as there have been movies, there have been posters selling films to audiences. This book showcases a century of iconic movie posters by the medium’s top designers, this lavishly illustrated book charts the international history of the poster and how it has lured audiences to cinemas across the globe. University of Texas Press, 2018

Life Meets Art: Inside the Homes of the World’s Most Creative People SAM LUBELL

An inspiring collection of the extraordinary private spaces of 250 of the world’s most creative people, past and present Life Meets Art presents an unparalleled, global, behind-the-scenes tour through 250 beautiful interiors from the homes of the most creative people in art, architecture, design, fashion, literature, music, film and theatre. Phaidon Press, 2020


In 2017, Huntsville artist Lee Jamison embarked on a trip with sketchbook in hand, recording his impressions and recollections of East Texas, a region he has called home for about 45 years. Exhibiting an unshakeable awareness of place and a poet’s sensibility, Lee Jamison’s Ode to East Texas stands as an affectionate hymn to a familiar region, an invitation to a new appreciation of its qualities. aficionados of Texas art will be grateful for this fresh examination of a region too long overlooked. Texas A&M University Press, 2021



coups de cœur


Page Kempner Page Kempner’s work is representational, primarily consisting of garden imagery. Her source materials are plants that she find in her yard—usually the weeds that thrive at the edges and fence lines. But lately, magnolia leaves have found their way into the work. The foundry casts the waxes she creates and sandblasts the bronzes, she then add color—acrylic paint, watercolor pencil, graphite powder, ...or maybe a skin of encaustic. She is represented by Moody Gallery


Carol Simon

Carol Simon’s signature abstract paintings of ink on plexiglass are eruptions of dazzlingly colorful geometric figures, biomorphic shapes, and blended color fields, which their shimmering, large-scale canvases can barely contain. It’s the kind of work that transforms whatever space it inhabits, bringing color and joy to those fortunate enough to experience this art on a regular basis.



Jeff Forster

The sculpture, along with many others, is created purely from clay waste and glaze discard from the Glassell School of Art ceramics studio. Jeff Forster breathes new life into re-purposed materials creating abstract sculpture often imbued with a sense of time or change.


Francesca Fuchs

Born in London, Francesca Fuchs moved to the U.S. in 1996 for the Core Program at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She makes paintings that consider closely the overlooked intimacies that shape our lives, giving careful attention to family relationships, objects of the everyday, quiet moments, and what art offers when it enters our personal spaces.


Billy Schenk Billy Schenck is a contemporary artist with work in over 40 museum collections and corporate collections that include Sony, IBM, Saatchi and Saatchi, American Airlines and others. His subject matter spans genres from western landscape to cowboy pop. He has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe.


To w a r d s a H o u s t o n i a n Ar t, Architecture, and L andscape, O R W H Y O N E O F T H E W O R L D ’ S S H O U L D S T O P L O O K W I T H I N



Clockwise from left: The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from above. Photo by Richard Barnes, courtesy of the MFAH. Botanic Garden, Alcoves behind Tropical Heart in Global Collection Garden. Photo courtesy of Houston Botanic Garden. Installation view of Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Chromosaturation MFAH, Paris 1965 Houston 2017. Photo by Thomas Dubrock, courtesy of the MFAH.

I recently visited the new MFAH Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for modern and contemporary art, as well as the new Houston Botanic Garden. Both installments represent large, expensive, positive cultural additions to the Houston urban fabric. However, both of them also demonstrate the greatest issue in Houston arts and architecture at present - a bypassing of all that is local in favor of that which is elsewhere. I argue that if Houston’s art and architecture truly want to be considered on par with or greater than that of the rest of the world, in the future it will need to further embrace its own natural landscape and locale, invest in its own artists and architects, and divest from self-defeating sycophantic reviews. Houston. It’s big. Swampy. Diverse. It has an exorbitant amount of money, which is rivaled only by the degree of its all-too-apparent concrete fetish. The city is home to the Astros, NASA, and Chef Hugo Ortega, and there are few places in the world that can rival it in terms of its cultural and historical richness, even or especially given its relatively short time in existence. However, there is something about Houston’s art and architecture that is simultaneously incredibly vibrant and incredibly stifled. While the quality of Houston’s natural landscape and the work done by its numerous, local artists and architects (who are often graduating from top tier schools in and around the city) are incredible and unique, it is often suppressed and rejected by Houstonian developers, collectors, and curators. Instead, what is praised and coveted in Houston are works from elsewhere metropolises - Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, etc. This is reflected in the new Houston cultural additions of the Kinder Building of modern and contemporary art and the Houston Botanic Garden. The Kinder Building is stunning, and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word - one look at its exterior or interior will find one temporarily immobile in awe. It appears, on the exterior, crashed among the Noguchis and the live oaks, like a glowing, sugar-cube shaped spaceship. On the interior, it is seemingly limitless and packed with world class art collections. The Kinder Building, however, was created by New York Citybased Steven Holl architects. It both looks and feels like something created by an entity well-versed in luxury but not terribly

familiar with the specificities of Houston itself. It is a beautiful piece, a stunning display of might and artistry, Its white, lightfilled body is captivating but without a particular message or identity. For a forgivingly critical take, as a piece of “starchitecture” by a “starchitect,” perhaps it is meant to be more like a piece of art collected from a world-famous artist not from Houston, much like the modern and contemporary art pieces inside. Similarly, the Houston Botanic Garden has immediately become a crowd favorite, but its development was outsourced to West 8, a Dutch design firm with North American bases in both Philadelphia and New York City. The design of the space is exciting, clean, and educational for its visitors, although it could benefit from additional descriptions for its flora as well as a greenhouse to allow for more vibrant blooms, even in the off-season. The Houston Botanic Garden features an especially exciting array of cacti and very lovely natural play spaces, where children and adventurous adults can climb over and on top of large tree trunks. However, the Houston Botanic Garden - like the Kinder Building also feels like it was designed by an entity that was familiar with and competitive regarding international design standards, yet was not familiar with Houston’s particular landscape, history, and culture. There is not the sense that this is a distinctly Houstonian space or that it is an ode to the swampy, towering natural world where the Big Thicket meets the Gulf Coast. There is instead the sense that this is a strictly refined and defined space that could theoretically be found in any city interested in financing minimalist contemporary architectural landscape design. What is worse than the delocalized features in the Kinder Building of modern and contemporary art and the Houston Botanic Garden is the lack of original, non-topical arts reviews on both of them in publications both local and national. Each review that I have seen, except one very well done review on the Kinder Building for Artforum by Natilee Harren, an arts professor at the University of Houston, reads just like the one before it: some derivation of brief physical descriptor + “Amazing!” There is no critical thought or even evidence of actual knowledge of art and architecture beyond the superficial and the complimentary. I, at present, do not fully know why! Perhaps writers are writing to keep philan-



The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, streetlevel gallery with works by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. Photo by Richard Barnes, courtesy of the MFAH.


thropists happy? Perhaps they fear losing their jobs if they write something more complex? Perhaps some Houstonian arts writers are in the wrong field? Regardless of the reason, this must be remedied. To draw a parallel between the structure of the arts world and the structure of the U.S. government: Houston’s artists and architects are like the executive branch - they push things forward; those running Houston’s art institutions are like the legislative branch - they make the laws and regulate commerce; and those writing about Houstonian art and architecture are like the the judicial branch - they evaluate the laws and actions and make sure that everything is running as it should be. All parts of the system must be functioning for it to work. Editor’s note: As it is the newest and arguably most significant addition to Houston’s cultural art scene; we welcome readers’ comments about the architecture, the art collections, the gardens and their impact as well as their relevance to Houston.

From top: The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, west facade. The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, atrium. Alexander Calder, International Mobile, 1949, sheet aluminum, rods and wire, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Gift of D. and J. de Menil in memory of Marcel Schlumberger © 2020 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. The galleries of the department of modern and contemporary art on the second floor of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Photos by Richard Barnes, courtesy of the MFAH.


Houston Botanic Garden, Arid Valley in Global Collection Garden.



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A uthenticity . in A rt BY HANNEKE HUMPHREY

Their dedication printmaking is what led me to write about these wonderful artists, but our discussion pointed to so many other commonalities. Each artist has a vision of what she wants to communicate, and printmaking is only one aspect of the creative process. It is often the starting point, from which other media and marks can develop. What really struck me is their authentic, thoughtful approach, far from following art trends. Coming from different parts of the US and world, their art is nourished by their rich backgrounds. They have enjoyed the transformation of Houston into an international center of the arts and have thrived in the open, dynamic culture here. And they are active in supporting the Houstonian art world. Cathie helped found PrintMatters and is a member of Burning Bones Press, the printmaking cooperative in the Heights. Lucinda teaches a variety of courses at Art League Houston, and Anna is on the board at the Houston Center of Contemporary Craft, where she contributes to exhibitions and artists in residence.


Lucinda Cobley Lucinda grew up and studied design and illustration in England. The translucence and quiet of her work reflect in part early inspirations which included Rothko and Frankenthaler. But she is also fascinated by the stillness of Japanese art and has had exhibitions there. Pieces such as Transposition 1 use ukiyo-e woodblock and suminagashi marbling techniques which confer a minimal, meditative quality. Her aim is to bring drawing, painting, and printing together. And she is very talented, from figure drawing to still life painting. Lucinda’s work exudes experimentation, which keeps the process fresh. Her relief prints are characterized by transparency and atmospheric effects, made possible with glass, plastic, delicate papers, and ink. She also uses a variety of textures such as papyrus paper, plastic film, fabric, and thin wood, which she lightly carves into. The build up of ink on these elements leaves an impression. While they are monoprints, repetition comes from reusing the strips of wood and other materials over and over again to create her singular works.

From top: Lucinda Cobley, Intervals 13, 2018, relief print on archival film, edition 1/1, 50 x 40 in. Photo by Eric Sauseda Lucinda Cobley, Transposition 1, Relief Print (ukiyo-e) in watercolor, with suminagashi marbling, with silverpoint drawing on 100% cotton paper, edition 1/1, 4 x 10 in. Photo courtesy of the artist


Cathie Kayser Cathie fulfilled the dream of devoting herself to art after raising her family and a career in graphic design. At that time, she went back to school and studied with Suzanne Mann at the Glassell School of Art. Her work often references how we perceive the natural world, with unexpected perspectives. Then, she builds series, a bit like Jasper Johns, using what is happening in one piece to create another. And she stretches the creative process, employing a wide range of printmaking techniques and applied materials. The series Interstices, or spaces in-between, was inspired by a trip to Dinosaur Park. She was drawn to the angular lines of cliffs, but negative space also became an integral part of the prints. She innovated in printing off of the backs of old copper plates used in etching, which had been eaten by acid. All of this created chance elements in minimalistic works. Echo Chamber emanated from Carlsbad Cavern, with its impenetrable darkness. She pulled colors through a screen, exploring repetition, movement, and color to create a gorgeous found landscape.

From top: Cathie Kayser, Echo chamber, screenprint, 22 x 30 in. (unframed) Assistant printer: Tess Doyle. Cathie Kayser, Dance with the wind, 2019, 11 x 15 in. Photo intaglio etching and aquatint with Japanese handmade paper chine collé. Photos courtesy of the artist


Anna Mavromatis Anna weaves her family history, bridging Turkey and Greece, traumas of the 20th century, as well as her own experiences into her work. Indeed, her journey has taken her far from Greece, studying architecture in Italy, fashion in London, and printmaking at the Glassell School of Art. Using fragments of photographs and mementos, she forms a narrative about her memories, identity, roots, and female roles on paper. In Listening to Blues, we see figures such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg as well as women known to Anna, who in a patriarchal society refused to succumb. All these women fostered social change. Over the last year as guest artist at Rice University, she gave workshops and talks on “The Art of Paper Art” and

produced a series of dresses, which address the dictates of society on girls. She uses everyday objects as coffee filters and heirloom fabric, gestural drawing, charred paper, and a variety of printing techniques. Then, she drapes and forms gorgeous garments from paper. The delicate paper is transformed into lovely sculptures, and her messages bring forth discussions about gender. This body of work will be exhibited at her solo show at Barbara Davis Gallery later this year. From left: Anne Mavromatis, Listening to Blues cyanotypes on industrial coffee filters stitched into a dress form. 52 x 32 x 8”. Anne Mavromatis, Nostalgic Tunes: 3 dimensional work made of Transfer monotypes on industrial coffee filters and stitching. 16 x 10 x 6”. All photos courtesy of the artist



First large-scale survey of twentiethcentury Italian drawings mounted in the United States BY ARTHUR DEMICHELI

Silent Revolutions features 70 drawings by Umberto Boccioni, Alighiero Boetti, Giorgio de Chirico, Lucio Fontana, Jannis Kounellis, Maria Lai, Carol Rama, and others. Rebecca Rabinow, director of the Menil Collection, said: “Silent Revolutions aims to introduce our visitors to the essential and multifaceted, yet often overlooked role that drawing played during a remarkably creative period of Italian art.” For most of the twentieth century, Italy generated a continuous series of revolutionary artistic movements that significantly influenced international artists. From Futurism to Spatialism to Arte Povera, and beyond, artistic production in Italy was characterized by a high level of innovation. Nowhere was this creative spirit more manifest than in the realm of drawing, which gave Italian artists free rein to experiment with a wide range of materials and techniques and allowed them to create new artistic concepts and styles. Artists produced autonomous works in their own right, as well as studies exploring ideas to be potentially realized in other mediums. Through drawing, artists tackled themes as varied as history and myth, language, subjectivity, the body, the modern city, space, and abstraction. One of the earliest works in the exhibition, Against the Light (Controluce) is a haunting masterpiece by Umberto Boccioni (1882–1916) made in 1910. The drawing depicts the head of a young woman in front of a window with oblique rays of light falling across her face. The composition’s innovative sense of transparency hints at Boccioni’s theoretical interest in the optical interpenetration of bodies, which he further developed as part of his involvement with the revolutionary aesthetic of the Futurism movement.


Adolfo Wildt, Animantium Rex Homo, 1925. Graphite pencil and charcoal on paper mounted on canvas, 35 3/8 x 51 ½ in. Collezione Ramo, Milan. Photo: Studio Vandrasch Fotografia, Milan. Left page: Maria Lai, Diary (Diario), 1979. Fabric, paper, and thread, 9 x 6 7/8 x ¼ in. Collezione Ramo, Milan. © Archivio Maria Lai. Photo: Studio Vandrasch Fotografia, Milan


Silent Revolution Installation view. Photo by Paul Hester


Clockwise from top: Alberto Burri, Untitled (Combustion), 1957. Acrylic, vinyl glue, and combustion on paper, 13 ¾ x 10 ¼ in. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome. Emilio Scanavino, Untitled, 1969. Grease pencil and acetate on cardboard, 20 ½ x 13 in. © Estate of Emilio Scanavino. Alberto Magnelli, Untitled (Composition),1936. Gouache on paper, 12 5/8 x 9 ½ in. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Lucio Fontana, Untitled, Ten Studies for Concetto Spaziale, 1953. India ink, aniline, ink and watercolor on paper, 11 x 8 5/8 in. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome. Right page: Umberto Boccioni, Against the Light (Controluce), 1910. Graphite pencil and ink on paper, 14 7/8 x 19 ¼ in. From Collezione Ramo, Milan. All photos: Studio Vandrasch Fotografia, Milan



Another highlight of the display is Untitled (Combustion), a powerful piece from 1957 by Alberto Burri (1915–95), a central yet singular figure of the postwar period who used unconventional materials and processes—burning in this instance—to make pioneering work that destroyed and reconceptualized the Western pictorial tradition. The artist’s novel approach to manipulating modest materials, which transcended the painted surfaces and gestural qualities of contemporaneous Abstract Expressionism and European Art Informel, had a profound impact in Italy and beyond. Born on the island of Sardinia, Maria Lai (1919–2013) developed an artistic language informed by the folklore and traditions of her native region, particularly the ancient practice of needlework. Her work in this exhibition, Diary (Diario), 1979, is typical of Lai’s imagery as it uses sewing as a form of drawing. This poetic piece is part of a group of stitched books she made using fabric, paper, and thread. Her illegible narratives movingly allude to the difficulties and complexities of human communication. Active on the margins of the dominant art movements of her day, Lai forged a deeply personal path of her own. Edouard Kopp, John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Chief Curator, Menil Drawing Institute, said: “Silent Revolutions highlights a period of Italian art that, save perhaps for a select few movements and artists, is not well-known in the United States. During this time, artists broke new aesthetic ground in so many ways and

did so with a dizzying sense of creativity, particularly in the field of drawing. For Italian artists of the twentieth century, drawing proved not only a powerful creative tool and a versatile means of expression, but also the site of spirited—and indeed revolutionary—dialogues between form and matter, tradition and innovation, figuration and abstraction, the local and the universal.” Irina Zucca Alessandrelli, Curator, Collezione Ramo, said: “This is the first time that Collezione Ramo has been hosted by a U.S. museum of such prestige. It is a great honor not only to have been invited by one of the most important institutions in the world as far as drawing is concerned, but also to play a part in a splendid story of European collecting in America, so profoundly marked by a faith in peace, by the need for spirituality, and by a commitment to civil rights. These ideals that are still indispensable and more relevant than ever today.” Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the United States, said: “The exhibition on Italian drawings of the twentieth century hosted by the Menil Drawing Institute, in collaboration with the Collezione Ramo, will shed new light on some of the most quintessential movements in Italian arts and culture. From Futurism to Metaphysical Art, Spatialism to Arte Povera and beyond, this carefully curated exhibition, featuring artists such as Lucio Fontana, Maria Lai and Umberto Boccioni, will enthuse the many viewers and connect them even more to Italy and its marvels.” Exhibition on view at the Menil Drawing Institute until April 11.







Mariana Sammartino at work in her studio at Silver Street Studios in Houston’s Sawyer Yards art district. Photo by Nathan Lindstrom

W H Y C R E A T E A R T, M A R I A N A ? “ Art

can be a symbol, an ornament, or whatever it needs to be. Art is a way to connect with ourselves and understand the world. Simply let the art come out of you; just pick up the material and work. We should all be open to creating art. That’s why I am an artist.” Investigators, philosophers, and creators have been asking the question ‘why’ since the dawn of civilization. From wisdom-seeking Socrates to curious twenty-first century kindergartners, knowing the motives of one’s actions can be revealing, inspirational, and educational. On a dreary afternoon, amidst a time in our world weary with social

distancing measures and intensely political social media drama, metal-artist and jewelry-maker Mariana Sammartino graciously gifted me with half-a-dozen intimate and delightful responses to my inquiring ‘whys.’ May the passionate joy and poignant depth of her answers brighten your day and enlighten your heart, as much as they did mine. Mariana, there are so many financially lucrative and more stable careers out there, why choose the path of the professional artist? “After studying architecture and industrial design in college, I married a man in the gas and oil industry, and we set out on the gypsy life—moving all




FA B R I C AT I N G — S TA R T I N G F RO M A F L AT S H E E T O F METAL THEN CUTTING, BENDING, AND JOINING IT T O B U I L D S O M E T H I N G — I S W H E R E I F I N D T H E A R T. over the world for his work. When we landed in Houston, I decided I wanted to focus on learning to create outdoor furniture and work with metals in the field of industrial design. Then I became a student at Glassell and started tinkering with precious metals and making jewelry. That’s when I fell in love. I was captivated by the potential for exploration and expression via metalwork and jewelry creation. One day, I said to myself, ‘Let’s see what happens if I play with this artistic hobby while looking for more permanent, serious work.’ Then I met the right people that helped get my foot through the artworld door and, next thing I knew, I was elbow-deep in the wearable art and jewelry industries. My career took off from there and while there have been hurdles, I can’t imagine not being an artist now.” Why work with metal? It’s heavy, requires special tools to wield, and is often too cold or too hot to even touch. Wouldn’t clay or other mediums be easier? “Working with metal is the why. Actual hands-on working with the metal. Fabricating—starting from a flat sheet of metal then cutting, bending, and joining it to build something—is where I find the art. I suppose it connects to my earlier journey with architecture, of taking a 2D plan or vision and rendering it into 3D, building the floors, the walls, the ceiling. The problem-solving aspect of metalwork also keeps me motivated and engaged. Plastics, wood, and other materials are great and have their purpose and time, but metal has always been my preference. For one, it’s cleaner; no airborne dust. Metal shavings just fall to the floor rather than hanging around in the air. Plus, I’ve always been able to see the vast disciplines and applications for metal; it’s a never-ending land of artistic opportunities.” Staying in the realm of metalwork, why do you have such a specific fascination with woven wire cloth? Sure, it might be better to work with than barbed wire, but it still seems

like a challenging material to coerce into artistic vision. “I first discovered woven wire cloth and a variety of metal meshes while making furniture in design school. Then I witnessed its use in a decorative arts museum in Paris. At that time, my husband had resources for obtaining remnants of stainless-steel woven cloth, so I had the opportunity to begin playing with it in my art. Mesh fascinates me. It’s a textile and a metal. It can be pleated and folded. It comes in roll, like fabric, so it relates to notion and interest in taking something 2D and turning it into something 3D—going from flat material to structural/sculptural. I also wanted to explore the unique combination of industrial and precious metals. I saw how the ‘precious’ quality of precious metals helped join the mesh and denser, more industrial metals. This new artistic pathway allowed me to take common filters— meshes and woven cloth—and elevate them to this precious status in my sculptures and jewelry.” Your work has been described as ‘sculptural, ambiguous, and intriguing.’ Why do you think these specific words have been applied to your work? They are great adjectives, but why these three? “The first question people often ask when they see my work—particularly with the woven mesh—is, ‘what is this? I love it but what is it?’ Hence, its intrigue. Color can be created with the application of heat to the metal. My pieces can appear soft but also hard. People ask, ‘Is it glass or silk?’ It’s hard to believe how flexible these metal materials are. Almost unbelievable. As for the label of sculptural, my work is a bridge between jewelry, industrial product, and sculpture. Sold with a stand, my work is categorized as sculpture. But context creates the category. With jewelry, you—the wearer—become the stand. Is it still sculpture, simply displayed on a human body? So, not only are my sculptures ‘sculptural’ but so are my jewelry pieces. Hence leading to the ambiguous Mariana Sammartino, detail of site specific art installation, from INFINITO series. Photo by Nathan Lindstrom



Mariana Sammartino, INFINITO Lumina, illuminated art works. Photos by Nathan Lindstrom

issue. Is my work ‘jewelry,’ ‘art installation,’ or ‘industrial product’? These three labels blend, dance, and intertwine in my art. It’s hard to categorize hybrid art. I prefer no labels; only expression without pre-conceptions.” Excellent segue, Mariana. Tell me more about why others making a connection with your work is so important to you? It’s your work, your expression, your sense of beauty, not theirs. Why should you care? “You—the viewer—bring your experience to the art as well as I—the artist—bring mine. I trust my own intuition to know where something goes in a sculpture or piece of jewelry, but people seeing something else in the work—something personal and intimate for them—is one of the greatest joys of being a creator. It’s the same with reading a book or even a magazine article. When you reread the words, they speak to you differently each time. The story and the art are different for each person, each time they engage with the piece. This is also why I don’t write artist statements anymore. There is a story backbone to

each piece of my work, but I don’t publish these stories because I want people to connect with the art, find meaning, or see something in the piece on their own. Then, and only then, is the work completed.” Taking a step back, a step away, zooming out, and broadening our scope, let’s close with the questions of why are you who you are, and why do you do what you do—in general, as a person, as a human being? “These are the questions of our lifetime, aren’t they? The ultimate question is ‘why are you who you are.’ I don’t have a ‘because’ or why for being here. For me and my work, and for the people who come across my work, I can only offer this answer: I am process, and art is process. I am as I live. As I grow in years, I understand myself better and better. My husband says, ‘You can only do you, and get out of the way.’ I walk a lot. One step at a time, forward, sideways, backwards but always moving. Always walking. We can’t question the steps; just be where you are and keep moving.”


5535 Memorial Drive #L, HOUSTON



The Stark


I N T H E M I D D L E O F A F O R M E R D O W N T O W N , razed and reconstructed with turn-of-the-century Texas timber money, there is a series of spectacular buildings developed in very distinctly different architectural forms. The most modern among them, like a gorgeous stone monolith caught in movement, is the Stark Museum of Art. Standing guard outside of the museum is a greenhued, formerly bronze statue of a shirtless Native American warrior sitting atop a stallion perched upon some rocks - he gestures powerfully towards the sky holding the skeleton of a longhorn. This spectacularly curated exterior, consisting of pieces that go together even if they are not necessarily the same, guards the simultaneous presence of the mythos and reality of the American West that lies within. Upon entry, the Stark Museum of Art opens up into a magnificent theater. To the side, there is a small historical exhibit and

timeline of the Stark family, their cultural significance, and the rise and endowment of their family fortune. Around the space are three cars formerly owned by the Starks themselves - two Model Ts and a silver sports car, the likes of which I wish people today would prefer to their over-enormous Dodge Rams and Cadillac Escalades. The center of this opening space is a double-tiered, open form square within a square that is brightly lit from the top with a grid of lights. Around the top of this space is a collection of beautifully-woven Dine (Navajo) blankets and tapestries. Beneath them on pedestals of different heights is an array of small cast-bronze statues depicting cowboys and Native American warriors. Bordering these on the other side of the space is a collection of bird and flora statues made by the artist Dorothy Doughty. These items collectively create a picture of the American West that is naturally more full than what would ordinarily be


Jules Tavernier, White Man’s Weapon, 1880, oil on canvas, 28 x 22 in.


Thomas Blackshear II, Rodeo Poster, 2018 oil on canvas, 31 × 43 in. Opposite page from top: Charles Bird King, Nesouaquoit, Bear in the Fork of a Tree, a Fox Chief, 1837, oil on canvas, 35.5 x 29.625 in. Thomas Moran, The Mirage, 1879, Oil on canvas, 25 1/8 x 62 3/8 in.

displayed in a museum; It is the gallery equivalent of producing independent, human thought rather than regurgitating rote memorization. There is the feeling that these items reflect something personal and beloved, perhaps because this was the way in which they were collected. Moving through the rooms, we encounter variations on this unique approach to a collection of pieces presenting the American West. The arrangement of the spaces and the pieces gives the impression to visitors that they themselves are moving back in time through the American frontier. Images are presented both scientifically and romantically - they extol the virtue of the “Wild West” as something miraculous and mystical in a way, yet also foreign, and, at times, powerfully intimidating. Many of the depictions in the Stark museum - of Native Americans, flora and fauna, wide views, and early infrastructure reflect that which was held most dear and which was also deliberately destroyed in the white man’s pursuit of wealth and dominion. Native Americans are shown armed - too late - with the white man’s weapon, and fighting in the white man’s army for white man’s benefit. There are also many portraits of what

are now endangered species that were hunted to near-extinction by these early settlers as well as depictions of early passengerbearing railroads that would later fall to the might of Ford into disuse. The collection evolves from these depictions of the environment of the American West into integrating Native American craft and Modern and Contemporary variations on the theme of the American West. Two standout pieces in this category of the collection are “Fantasies” by Walter Ufer and “Rodeo Poster” by Thomas Blackshear II. The foremost of the pieces speaks directly to the simultaneous display of an American West as mythos and the American West as reality, showing a man in the West painting a landscape of the West while a Native American ghost looks on. The second of the pieces comes from a recent unilateral push across digital media and physical art forms to present and integrate the Black cowboy into the canon of the genre. It shows a highly realistic and unbemused Black cowboy reclining against a wall featuring a poster of a White cowboy. While this is a very strong statement of inclusivity and a turn for the contemporary being pushed by a larger national narrative,




the piece’s presence also brings into perspective the lack of pieces in the Stark collection that are created by and/or depict the lives of women and children throughout the still-ongoing fight for dominion over the fantasy and reality of the American West. Looking at the collection at present, one might surmise that perhaps there were no women or children in the American West. Or any artists of the American West beyond Georgia O’Keeffe - two pieces from whom the museum maintains - who were themselves women. Overall, the Stark Museum of Art is a certified gem, not only among the Southeast Texas woodlands but among all collections of American Western Art in the nation. The quality of the space, the exhibit rooms, the personnel (who were incredibly friendly and assisted me in understanding the history of the collection and its creators), as well as the pieces themselves all work in tandem to create something that is truly magical. Even after viewing the collection, so many questions remain hanging softly in one’s mind and capturing the imagination: Who were these people and these places? What were they like? How were they all so different? When and where did the Starks come by this collection? How did they choose? Why? Mostly, I am left pondering the nature of the American West: Was it real? Does it still exist? Upon exiting the museum, looking around at the woods, the buildings, my car and myself within it all - I realize that the American West was real. And it was an ideal. And it still coexists as both of these things, although on a much smaller scale, in the present. The Stark Museum of Art is located at 712 Green Avenue, Orange, TX 77630. It is only a short two hours drive from Houston. It’s open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am-5pm.

From Top: Maynard Dixon, Apache Plunder, 1944, oil canvas 30 x 40 in Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley, c. 1898, oil on canvas, 54 x 84 1/8 in. Walter Ufer, Fantasies, 1922, oil on canvas, 42 x 38 in.






Anna Mayer, Fireful of Fear,”2008 – present. Process image from the retrieval of wildfired ceramic sculptures from the charred landscape in Malibu, CA, 2019. Photo by Poppy Coles. H O U S TO N C E N T E R F O R C O N T E M P O R A RY

presents Forms of Inheritance: The Work of Anna Mayer, an exhibition of ceramic and bronze sculptures that explores humanity’s reckoning with mortality and demonstrates the fragility and fierceness of the natural world. Anna Mayer’s social and sculptural practice explores the impact of humanity throughout geologic time, with a focus on the temporal relationship between humans and the land beyond an individual’s life span. Her work in the exhibition reflects deeply upon the realities of death and decay. Drawing upon a language of mourning and burial practices, she uses materials like raw clay and porcelain dinnerware to communicate a narrative of what remains when people die and what is left for others to inherit. By grinding pieces of dinnerware she inherited and


mixing the bits with raw clay to give it a new texture and purpose, she creates sculptures that appear to seep and bubble-up from the ground. These ceramic works are juxtaposed with a pair of bronze hands and feet that are cast from a composite of Mayer’s own body, along with the fingers and toes of others from communities in Los Angeles and Houston, where the artist has lived. By combining attributes from different people to form a new body, Mayer identifies a need for a society that relies on the collective strength of individuals. Mayer’s work also bears witness to extreme weather and humans’ effects on the planet. In her practice, she incorporates raw wild clay, collected from areas of drought, urban construction, and geothermal activity, from Texas to California, and uses analogue firing



techniques, which do not require electricity or gas. The artist is fascinated by the transformative power of fire to both incinerate and create, giving new life to repurposed materials. In 2008, as part of her project, Fireful of Fear, Mayer placed 12 clay tablets in the canyons in and around Malibu, California, to be fired by eventual wildfires. Since then, six of those tablets have been fired by wildfires. She describes the surface of those wildfired pieces as, “a smoky swirl of ash and earth, through which the carved words of the sculpture speak, as if through a fog.” In the last decade, the pieces have become markers for global warming, as wildfires around the world have increased in number and intensity. Through this ongoing project, Mayer welcomes the unknown and recognizes the complex relationship humans have with the environment and disaster. The exhibition showcases various aspects of Fireful of Fear, including some of the wildfired tablets, as well as photographs taken at the sites where they were buried and annual letters written by the artist to mark the project’s anniversary. On view until May 8, 2021


Anna Mayer, side view of Obvara Mourning Ware (Starfish), 2019. Inherited crushed dinnerware embedded in Texas clay, obvara fired, niachrome wire. 15.5 x 9.5 x 6.5 in. Photo by Jacob Dotson.



With more than 20 years of experience in the art business,

Art of the World Gallery focuses in modern, postwar and contemporary art. Their impressive inventory is comprised

of masters, mid-career and cutting-edge artists from Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. B Y



JOHN BERNHARD: Art of the World

Gallery has been open since 2016. As a husband-and-wife team, can you share how you got started and why you chose Houston? LILIANA MOLINA + MAURICIO VALLEJO: Since 2003, we have been

involved in the Houston art scene. For five years, we had a gallery at the

John Hancock Center in Chicago until we finally decided in 2016 to open a space in Houston. Liliana’s family has been in the art business for over 30 years. Since she grew up surrounded by art, she pursued a creative career, graduating with a degree in Graphic Design and eventually a specialization in Interior Design in Madrid. We moved from Colombia directly to Houston,


Art of the World Gallery opening during the Fernando Botero exhibition. Photo by Paul Davis from DABFOTO.

traveling back and forth from Chicago, and we noticed that Houston was lacking an important gallery that displayed masters from Latin America. Presently, we believe that Houston is becoming a hotspot for art and are lucky to consider this city home. We have been blessed to have made more than a handful of connections with some of the most important curators and museums around the world who are avidly looking to add artworks by the artists we represent into their collections. JB: You have an exquisite two story

museum-like building nestled in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood. Did you design it?

to acquire a land to build our gallery, but we couldn’t find one with the size we were interested or in the area we wanted to be located in. When we found this new building four years ago, we signed a lease right on the spot. Luckily, we had the opportunity to work alongside the architecture firm and customize the space to our liking. We have a total of 6,500 square foot in a beautiful two-story space.

LM: Just to clarify, on the night of the grand opening we had 300 collectors visit. During the entirety of the exhibition [three months], we had more than 2,500 visitors from around the world. We are essentially the only place in Houston, the state of Texas, and really anywhere in the South, where you can view museum-quality works by Botero, and this has continued drawing collectors and curators to us. During this exhibition, we sold more than 75% of the works on display.

JB: Your grand opening reception,

JB: Fernando Botero is 88 years old

which featured world-renowned Latin American artist Fernando Botero, drew in over 300 art enthusiasts. How have you created a relationship with him?

and is the most prominant living Latin American artist. Also considered one of the top 10 most important living artists of the moment.

LM: At the beginning we were looking


Installation view of Fernando Botero exhibition. Below: Installation view of Lita Cabellut exhibition. Photos by Paul Davis from DABFOTO.

Today, 50% of our sales are made in Houston.


more than 20 years ago, and we are very honored to represent him and to consider him a friend. Normally, every 3 or 4 times a year, we visit Botero’s studios in Pietrasanta, Monaco, or Greece to further acquire artworks. We’re looking forward to visiting with him again after the pandemic is over! Typically, we sell these artworks to private collectors, corporations, museums, and auction houses only for private sales and to other galleries. JB: You represent more than 30

artists, mostly painters and sculptors from all over the world. What are your criteria in choosing them? LM: We focus on Modern and

Contemporary art, spanning midcareer, cutting edge, and master artists, representing more than 20 countries. True to our name, we host a variety of artists and styles. About 98% of our artists have exhibited in museums, have participated in biennales, or have been included in some of the most important auctions houses like Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips just to mention some. JB: I know that you participate in Art

Fairs; tell us about your experiences. LM: We participate in some of the

most prestigious domestic and international art fairs. A few that we have participated in are Art New York, Art Miami, Art Palm Beach, MACO in Mexico, Art Singapore, KIAF in South

From top: Guests at the Cristóbal Toral Grand Opening Exhibition: Brian Spack, Cristóbal Toral, Carolyn Farb, Liliana Molina, Mauricio Vallejo Guests at the Rafael Barrios Grand Opening Exhibition: Susan Mackie, Joanne King Herring, Gregg Harrison Guests at the Gustavo Vélez Grand Opening Exhibition: Mark Sullivan, Lynn Wyatt, Mauricio Vallejo, Liliana Molina Photos by Paul Davis from DABFOTO

LM: Our relationship with him started


Korea, Art Central, in Hong Kong, Art Taipei Dangdai in Taipei, Art Monte Carlo in Monaco and we are waiting to hear back from Art Basel in Basel for 2021. Our name is Art of the World, and truly we have clients all around the world. Of our total sales, 50% come from art fairs. This year we’ve experienced the evolution of art fairs online and that has definitely been an interesting change. JB: We are flirting with sign of relief with the COVID vaccination on the way. How have you managed the pandemic? LM: 2020 was a challenging year, but it

has been our best year in sales since we opened the gallery. We have an excellent team of art advisors. We are working avidly on our social media and have a few different partnerships with some of the most important art websites like Artsy, Artnet, and ARTbnk, among other marketing tools, to continue reaching potential clients. JB: Can you tell us about your recent

involvement in supporting The Houston Grand Opera? LM: We have a large number of collectors

that support the Houston Grand Opera, so we decided to collaborate with our friends, Adrian and Marcelo from Be Design to donate a percentage of all the sales during the month of November to the Opera. We always look for ways to collaborate with the Houston community and with different foundations to support them in all possible ways. This includes the American Heart Association (AHA), during the month of February we became

a Life is Why retailer in support of the Heart of Houston campaign. JB: Going back to 2016, did you ever

imagine having the success you have today? What are your plans for the future of Art of the World Gallery? LM: From the very start, we knew that

with the level of artist we represent and our clientele that we wanted to have an independent space in River Oaks to strengthen our connection with Houston collectors.

“We believe that Houston is becoming a hotspot for

art and are lucky to consider this city home.

Today, 50% of our sales are made in Houston and some of the most important collectors have already added at least one artwork by one of the masters we have on display in our gallery. For example, Maestro Botero is in almost every important art collection in town. We continue to look forward to making more connections with people in Houston as well as abroad. It’s our goal to provide a seamless art acquisition process and to guide collectors who are not only interested in enjoying an artwork, but also in potential art investment opportunities. We provide a multitude of services including art consulting and curatorial fine art design & planning for not only private collectors, but major corporations. Additionally, we serve as an event space for private events with VIP clients, having previously worked with Chase, Shell Oil Company, Schlumberger, Aston Martin, BBVA USA, just to mention a few.



Artchitecture C u r t i s


W i n d h a m

A r c h i t e c t s



Architectural rendering for an entertainment pavilion. Houston, Texas. Opposite page: Bill Curtis (left) and Russel Windham sitting in their office in Montrose. Photo by John Bernhard

For architects Bill Curtis and Russel Windham, a home should be classically curated, hand-drawn to detail, and respectful of its place. Sitting high in their office amongst the foliage of the Montrose giant oak, I was immediately transported into what I could imagine one of their finished homes felt like. A comfortable, welcoming, picturesque office that seamlessly hits the sweet spot between cozy and elegant. I was taken aback by the careful consideration of every detail, from the design of the space, to the décor around me. As I walked through the first floor, socially distant office spaces downstairs, peeked down the endless

interior design closet, and eyed the boxes of drawings, my growing desire to learn how this successful architecture firm came to fruition overwhelmed me. The partners both grew up in very small towns in Texas. Not ever living in Houston before, but knowing it was the right choice, they decided to set up shop. They both viewed Houston as a wide-open town, where you could meet great people who were willing to give you a chance. In the 80s, great architects were gaining recognition for building notable structures, yet not one was from Texas.



Bill and Russel had the independent desire to go off to get some experience and then come back to construct it into realization. Bill attended The University of Texas at Austin and went on to DC and Australia to build his repertoire of experience, as Russel attended Texas Tech University and went off to London and the East Coast to enrich his. They were introduced by a mutual friend that understood the staunch passion they both had for traditional architecture and classical design. After their introduction, they cultivated a friendship and professional partnership. The two have always had and continue to share the same office in which their desks face one another. They mutually had an idea, a sort of business model, that embedded three main goals: produce really great work that they can be proud of, enjoy going to work (almost) every day, and make a living. In hindsight, they note it was naïve, but it worked. It was astonishing how simple a plan they had, yet how fertile their firm became. This simple, yet honest business model worked for these ambitious, hardworking individuals as they grew their firm to now employing 25-35 architects, landscape architects, and interior designers. The office synergy is important to the principals as they value the experience and tools they were given in starting their careers, in the same fashion, they want to offer the same

Architectural rendering for a restaurant on Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas.

opportunities to their architects. Bill and Russel prefer to be teachers rather than bosses. They do a lot of sketching, a lot of sketching. A third of their day is spent drawing and getting ideas down on visible paper for the team or clients to work with. All of the architects use AutoCAD, yet the partners still enjoy the era of pre-computer architecture, a communicative drawing. This emphasis on doing the work by hand is crucial for the firm. They have specific times dedicated to sketching for a fixed period to keep engaging and improving their skills. Going through their renderings and pencil sketches, I was astonished at the artwork. They had pieces in pencil and in watercolor they did not view as breathtaking pieces of art. “Nearly everyone here can draw pretty darn well, and some of them are virtually artists. To communicate an idea is one thing, but to create an ambiance and a spirit of place and space in a drawing is another.” Bill began drawing at a very young age, it was his first outlet for communicating. His parents fostered his interest with art lessons. His father built a building with a local architect when he was 5 years old. He remembers going to their office and feeling like it was the coolest place, with all the paper and models everywhere. It felt free and creative; he never thought he could be anything else but an architect. “I was always interested in art, but not practicing it.” He has an affinity for


Nearly everyone here can draw pretty darn well, and some of them are virtually artists.

art as he is an art collector and art history buff. It hasn’t been until a couple of years ago that he started learning how to paint with watercolors, where now he can describe himself as an artist, but he may think even that may be a push. Russel grew up loving to build things and draw. He doodled everything. When he was in the 8th grade, he began designing his own clothes that his mother would then make for him to wear. He dabbled in everything and anything. Growing up in the middle of nowhere in the Panhandle, he was so accustomed to vast amounts of space. It was the type of place “where you could watch your dog run away for three days”. When going into the city, he was most intrigued by the enclosure of the buildings, he immediately felt the effect of the buildings as it was so foreign. The act of listening to and seeing with my eyes the evident, innate artistic abilities Bill, Russel, and their team hold, yet the hesitation or ability to identify as artistic was baffling. Architecture is one of the three branches of visual art, among painting and sculpting. It is an art form that reflects how we present ourselves across the earth’s landscape with its own style and medium, decided by the architect, the artist. True architects are artists, whether they realize or not. With an increase in specialization during modern times, the disciplines of art and architecture have parted ways, but Curtis & Windham Architects prove that is not the case, the sole change is the effect in the way one views oneself- as one or the other.

All architectural renderings for private residences. Houston, Texas. Courtesy of Curtis & Windham Architects.



gallery listings

BISONG GALLERY 1305 Sterrett St. 713 498-3015


Becky Soria , Compassion, Acrylic on canvas, 12x12 in.

4623 Feagan St. 713 880-1541

ARCHWAY GALLERY 2305 Dunlavy St. 713 522-2409

CASTERLINE|GOODMAN GALLERY 4444 Westheimer Rd,#F105 +1 970 948-0393

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

18 HANDS GALLERY 249 W. 19th St, Suite B 713 869-3099

CATHERINE COUTURIER GALLERY 2635 Colquitt St. 713 524-5070


Virtual Opening & Artist Talk: Saturday, April 3, 6:30P.M.

AEROSOL WARFARE 2110 Jefferson 832 748-8369

ARADER GALLERY 5015 Westheimer Rd, #2303 713 621-7151

CLARKE & ASSOCIATES 301 E 11th St. 281 310-0513


ARDEN GALLERY 239 Westheimer Rd. 713 371-6333

COMMUNITY ARTISTS 4101 San Jacinto, Suite 115 713 523-1616

ART PALACE 3913 Main St. 832 390-1278

DAVID SHELTON GALLERY 3909 Main St, 832 538-0924


DEAN DAY GALLERY 2639 Colquitt St. 713 520-1021


4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 524-2299 APAMA MACKEY GALLERY 628 East 11th Street 713 850-8527

1953 Montrose Blvd. 713 523-9530 ASHER GALLERY 4848 Main St. 713 529-4848 BARBARA DAVIS GALLERY 4411 Montrose Blvd. 713 520-9200


3637 W Alabama St #160 281 468-6569

CAVALIER FINE ART 3845 Dunlavy St. 713 552-1416

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

3917 Main St. 713 529-2700

CARDOZA FINE ART 1320 Nance St. 832 548-0404

APRIL 3-29, 2021 Becky Soria Consequential Journeys

2201 Westheimer Rd. 713 526-1201


4411 Montrose Blvd., #C 713 505-1499 Gspot GALLERY 310 East 9th Street 713 869-4770 GALERIA REGINA 1716 Richmond Ave 713 523-2524 GALERIE SPECTRA 303 Memorial City Way, 832 656-9671

GALLERY SONJA ROESCH 2309 Caroline St 713 659-5424 THE GITE GALLERY 2024 Alabama St. 713 523-3311

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

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

DEBORAH COLTON GALLERY 2445 North Blvd. 713 869-5151

GLADE GALLERY 24 Waterway Avenue The Woodlands 832 557-8781


Karren Art Advisory is a full-service art advisory and appraisal firm specializing in modern and contemporary art and photography. Art Acquisitions Collection Management Cataloguing and Inventory Fine Art Appraisals Exhibition Planning Art Experiences



gallery listings

GRAY CONTEMPORARY 3508 Lake St. 713 862-4425

KOELSCH GALLERY 1020 Peden St. 713 862-5744


LA COLOMBE D’OR GALLERY 3410 Montrose Blvd. 713 524 -7999

2501 Sunset Blvd. 713 522-2701

HANNAH BACOL BUSCH GALLERY 6900 S. Rice Ave. 713 527-0523 HARAMBEE ART GALLERY 901 Bagby St. HARRIS GALLERY 1100 Bissonnet 713 522-9116

HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY 4520 Blossom St. 713 863-7097 HOOKS-EPSTEIN GALLERIES 2631 Colquitt St. 713 522-0718

HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY 1441 West Alabama Street 713 529-4755 HUNTER GORHAM GALLERY 1834 1/2 Westheimer Rd. 713 492-0504

McCLAIN GALLERY 2242 Richmond Ave. 713 520-9988

MEREDITH LONG & CO. 2323 San Felipe 713 523-6671


2815 Colquitt St. 713 526-9911

UH-Downtown One Main Street 713 221-8042

PARKERSON GALLERY 3510 Lake St. 713 524-4945 PEVETO 2627 Colquitt Street 713 360-7098 POISSANT GALLERY 5102 Center St. 713 868-9337

SIMPSON GALLERIES 6116 Skyline Dr. Suite 1 713 524-6751 TEXAS GALLERY 2012 Peden St. 713 524-1593


2143 Westheimer Rd. 713 521-7500

REDBUD GALLERY 303 E. 11th St. 713 862-2532


5700 NW Central Dr #160 832 868-0242

NICOLE LONGNECKER 1440 Greengrass Drive 346 800-2780


OCTAVIA ART GALLERY 3637 West Alabama #120 713 877-1810


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

INMAN GALLERY 3901 Main St. 713 526-7800 JACK MEIER GALLERY 2310 Bissonnet 713 526-2983


1836 Richmond Avenue 713 807-1836

Susu Meyer

SHE WORKS FLEXIBLE 1709 Westheimer Rd. 713 522-0369


SAMARA GALLERY 3100 Richmond, suite 104 713 999-1009


2000 Edwards St. #117 713 724-0709

Roy Lichtenstein

SICARDI AYERS BACINO GALLERY 1506 West Alabama St. 713 529-1313

1024 Studewood 281 467-6065 ZOYA TOMMY 4102 Fannin St. 832 649-5814






Making art has always felt natural to Kathleen Buys; she knew at a young age that she wanted to be a practicing artist. After excelling at art in school, it is no surprise that Kathleen enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design, where she received a BFA in painting. While a student at SCAD, Kathleen realized that beyond just being a practicing artist, she also wanted to become an educator and share her love of art as a high school art teacher. She was determined to obtain the best art education possible and then become certified to teach. Academically trained in painting, Kathleen has a thriving artistic practice as a realist painter working primarily in oil on wood. She focuses her practice on portraits of people as well

as animals, particularly birds, and she enjoys commissions. Of her practice, Kathleen states, “I am always working on art. I can’t not create; it is who I am. I am an artist first, and everything else second. I see paintings in everything. I am constantly mixing color formulas in my head or creating imaginary compositions for pieces in what I see.” Kathleen’s artistic practice is vital to her process as a teacher – she constantly draws inspiration from her own work: “The more I practice, the more I learn, and the more I can teach.” This academic year is Kathleen’s ninth year of teaching high school art classes. She is currently teaching at James E. Taylor High School in Katy ISD after teaching in Spring Branch ISD. Kathleen teaches Art I, which is

an introduction to art as well as focused painting and drawing classes. She also teaches AP Art History. By dedicating her career to teaching art in high school, Kathleen understands the vital importance of arts education. Though few would deny that the arts confer intrinsic benefits, advocating “art for art’s sake” has been insufficient for preserving the arts in schools. A critical challenge for arts education has been a lack of empirical evidence that demonstrates its educational value. In Houston, there have been recent steps to produce evidence, with studies like “Investigating Causal Effects of Arts Education Experiences: Experimental Evidence form Houston’s Arts Access Initiative,” published in February


Kathleen Buys in her classroom. Photo by John Bernhard


“A l l o f u s w h o c a r e a b o u t t h e a r t s i n t h i s c o u n t r y h av e t o c a r e a b o u t arts education, about exposing young people, early and often, to the arts in rich, rigorous, a n d r e p e a t e d w ay s .”

From left: Kathleen Buys, Cowboy Paul, 2018, Graphite 34x26 in. Kathleen Buys at National Gold Key students exhibit in New York City. Student work from Painting course taught at Stratford High.

2019. This report found that “strong evidence that substantial increases in arts access can produce significant, multifaceted education benefits for students.” Rocco Landesman, a prior Chairman for the National Endowment of the Arts, advocates for arts in schools: “All of us who care about the arts in this country have to care about arts education, about exposing young people, early and often, to the arts in rich, rigorous, and repeated ways.” As a teacher, Kathleen’s motivation is to spark appreciation for the arts in each student. One fine art credit is required to graduate, so it is no surprise that Art I may include all types of students who may not show aptitude or interest in the arts. Because of the broad nature of the introductory course, many teachers prefer not to teach Art I; Kathleen embraces the challenge. Kathleen states of her experience teaching Art I: “Nothing is more rewarding when one of these kids stop me and say, ‘I was never an artist, I only took this

class for credit, but look how talented I am, I did that!’ I truly believe everyone is an artist, their talent just might not have been tapped into yet.” Kathleen forges special relationships with her students. One student who has benefited from Kathleen’s teaching is Sophia Early, who took classes with Kathleen her sophomore, junior, and senior years. Sophia mentioned her interest in focusing on graphic art in college, so Kathleen asked to see the portfolio she needed to apply. Kathleen quickly realized that Sophia needed to broaden her portfolio and create more artwork; Sophia became Kathleen’s Teaching Assistant to allow them more time to work together. Of working closely with Kathleen, Sophia notes that “What really stood out to me was that she spent so many one-on-one hours working with me and wanted me to succeed. I spent so many afternoons and hours at school, and Mrs. Buys was always present and willing

to help.” Sophia’s hard work paid off: not only did she win a Scholastic Arts and Writing National Gold Key, but she also was awarded a scholarship to Belmont University in Nashville based on the strength of her portfolio. Kathleen understands that her motivations as a teacher are not only to encourage the students with an affinity for art, but also to support students that may need her in other ways. She is known in the community for going above and beyond for her students and encouraging them in many ways. There is no disregarding the fact that it has been an incredibly difficult year for all teachers. Kathleen, like so many others, pivoted quickly and now teaches a combination of in person and virtual classes. She has become adept at teaching via a computer screen. Despite the challenges of this year, Kathleen’s joy, passion, and enthusiasm for art and teaching remains absolutely infectious.


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Tel: 713-854-3758 ©2021 ArtPub, a publishing division of ArtHouston, is dedicated to designing, producing and publishing books on contemporary art and photography.





The lion loves the way her nail s shine. He licks what he believes to be her claws. And where the moon informs their primitive connection (a gypsy, sleeping, guarded by a lion) the light is shimmered, incandescent , haloing his mane, her hair, and the face of a silent mandolin. The canva s ha s no vegetation, its horizon slate, unf inished, a background that resembles the sur face of the moon: with f igures noble in their isolation, free a s girl and lion, and the mandolin, in silence, a song about to happen -tender a s a ballad and primal a s the lion’s need

Photography by John Bernhard

Rousseau ha s shared her savage dreams....


Jenny Guarino

Clovis Postali

Fariba Abedin

Gretchen Bender Sparks

Rolando Rojas

Laura Bueno

Vicki Hessemer

Jatziri Barron

Kymn Harrison Fine Art

Lacy Husmann

Valentina Atkinson

Nichole Dittmann

Samson Bimbo Adenugba

Lyn Sullivan

Katherine Mason

Studio 117 989-600-7569

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g Se e k i nAppraisal BY MARK J. PRENDERGAST

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG (American, 1925-2008) Steel Arbor (from the Rookery Mounds series), 1979 Lithograph in colors, 35 x 31 inches

Collectors seek the engagement of professional appraisers to learn what their art and antiques are worth for many different reasons. Sometimes it is just curiosity to see if that painting inherited from grandma could be a valuable lost masterpiece or if their beloved collection has increased in value or not. Other occasions might require formal appraisal documents for estate distribution, tax implications or insurance coverage. Depending on the purpose of the appraisal, the type of valuation conclusion and the reporting requirements can vary significantly. Think about valuations that appear on popular television antique shows as a bit of a cautionary example of the unreliability of undefined valuations. A work of art can be justifiably appraised for a variance of thousands of dollars depending on who is offering the appraisal and how they express that valuation. For example, Robert Rauschenberg’s print Steel Arbor of 1979 could range accurately in valuation anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. An auction house specialist would likely put an estimate of what they think the print would bring at auction sale - say $2,000 to $3,000 for the print at hand. An independent appraiser when considering for insurance coverage could assess the replacement cost at around $8,000, reflecting the retail market. While a high-end dealer might suggest that they would put a price tag of $10,000 on the print should they have it for offer at their New York gallery. All are valid valuations, however only for the purposes and in the situations expressed.

The precise purpose and use of the appraisal should be discussed with the appraiser to determine exactly what type of valuation and reporting document is being sought. I am often contacted for an “appraisal” when actually the individual is only trying to find out what their artwork might sell for and if I can assist in selling it. These evaluations don’t have all the documentation requirements of more formal appraisals and can often be provided verbally or through informal email exchanges. In formal appraisals, the two types of valuation primarily used are fair market value and retail replacement value. For tax, estate, financial planning or charitable donation purposes, a fair market valuation is required. A retail replacement valuation is most often used for insurance purposes, but the appraiser will consider all relevant markets and sales to justify the appropriate valuation. Many contemporary artists sell only through the retail galleries since their works haven’t yet come for sale in the secondary market, so require retail market valuation even for fair market assessments. An oversimplified difference between fair market value and retail replacement value is - the price you can sell something for versus the price you would have to pay for it at retail. For collectors this is very important to note, as their insurance appraisal (reflecting the retail replacement cost) does not usually have any bearing on what they may be able to sell something for. Likewise, family members might be shocked when an estate’s personal property appraisal (fair market value) shows


see similar values well below what they ine. items being offered for sale onl d and It is important to hire a qualifie raiser who experienced professional app mber of a me a is in good standing as , such as prominent appraiser’s society America the Appraisers Association of Apprais(AAA) or American Society of complibe also ers (ASA). They should of Prords ant with the Uniform Standa (USPAP), fessional Appraisal Practice formance which is the ethical and per fession pro al rais standards for the app US9. 198 as adopted by Congress in r you rs PAP is updated every two yea h the reappraiser should be current wit you are e sur ke quired education. And ma dgewle kno hiring an appraiser who is stio que n. able about the type of items in areas of The appraisal societies have appraistify cer y speciality in which the kground bac ers - though often broad help you and displayable experience can ns. determine the right qualificatio g is key. din tan ers In all, clarity and und address will A well-qualified appraiser both unall the questions needed so you requirederstand what the purpose and are, so ds nee al ments of your apprais is both t tha they can provide a valuation reliable and accurate.



Pacifico Silano, Cowboys Don’t Shoot Straight (Like They Used To)

Robert Polidori, The Mocking of Christ by Fra Angelico, Cell 7, Museum of San Marco Convent, Florence, Italy, 2010, archival pigment print mounted to dibond, 44 x 54 in. Image courtesy Kasmin Gallery



Cowboys Don’t Shoot Straight (Like They Used To) presents a series of large-scale, photo-based installations from the lensbased artist, Pacifico Silano, whose ongoing practice explores imagery sourced from vintage gay pornography magazines published after the Stonewall Riots of 1969. As an artist born during the height of the AIDS epidemic in New York, Silano’s practice is keenly attuned to the sense of loss and invisibility felt by many in the gay community during the 1980s. As a child, he lost his uncle due to complications from HIV AIDS and witnessed his family’s subsequent erasure of any visual record of his life. While his biography figures prominently into the initial impulse behind his archival interventions and source material, this work extends far beyond the personal, diving deeply into the slipperiness of the medium of photography and the mutability of its meaning over time. Through cutting and layering, Silano obscures the explicit nature of the original imagery, instead presenting quiet, tender moments of reflection that become at once memorials for those who have passed as well as points of reflection on our current moment. Pacifico Silano is a lens-based artist whose work is an exploration of print culture, the circulation of imagery, and LGBTQ identity. He received his MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. His work will be part of the group exhibition, Fantasy America, opening at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in March. The exhibition will be on view from March 12 to May 9, 2021.

McClain Gallery presents Edge of the Divine, a group exhibition featuring artists whose creative process and introspection touches on contemporary notions of the divine. The seven artists include Seth Cameron, Christian Eckart, Sheila Hicks, Dorothy Hood, Sam Gilliam, Robert Polidori, and Ai Weiwei. Edge of the Divine coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Rothko Chapel, its lasting impact on Houston, and the concurrent exhibition Artists and the Rothko Chapel: 50 Years of Inspiration at Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University. During his first European tour in 1950, Mark Rothko discovered profound inspiration in Fra Angelico’s frescoes in the Convent of San Marco in Florence, Italy. Painted in the fifteenth century, Fra Angelico’s ecclesiastical commissions were also manifestations of his faith and devotion. Rothko was taken with the artist’s delicate application of light and color, and how his frescoes welcomed a contemplative viewing. It was this meditative and inward atmosphere that Rothko hoped to reproduce. The frescoes mirrored for Rothko what Hegel described as the invention of “artistic interiority.” The experience provided Rothko a portal to emotional transcendence, forming the impetus for his own work. In Edge of the Divine, Robert Polidori’s large-scale photographs place the viewer into the friar’s cells at San Marco, intimately capturing a private devotional space. This must-see exhibition is on view until May 1, 2021.




Alfredo Gisholt, Night Studio, 2018 - 2020, Oil on Canvas, 78 x 90 In.

Albrecht Dürer (1480-1528) German. The Martyrdom of St. Catherine, woodcut



The paintings and works on paper in the exhibition, Rituals of Perception, are Mexican born Alfredo Gisholt’s response to two places: the studio and the landscape in the seacoast of Maine where he has spent much time. These two places provide Gisholt with the subject and the structure from which he builds, configures and reconfigures spaces into new pictorial realities. The transformation occurs through the accumulation of visual experiences: the light moving across the room, the clouds shifting in the sky, the pile of objects in a corner, the ebb and flow of the tide. With his studio being an interior space, and the landscape being an exterior one, the duality of interior and exterior space is an allusion to internal and external personal experience. The dialogue between both, through the act of seeing and responding, becomes a metaphor from which imagination can transform the subject. Goya has for many years been an important influence on Gisholt’s work due to Goya’s willingness to take on and speak of all aspects of the human experience. Since Goya titled one of the etchings from the series The Disasters of War, “I saw it” (Yo lo ví), his claim to have seen it has made a lasting impression on Gisholt. The importance of seeing “it,“ whether it be the landscape or a corner in the studio, Gisholt becomes fully engaged in this ritual of perception. Seeing and looking at the world, using paint and material to be the evidence of the experience allows Gisholt to imbue each painting with a physical and emotional reality that contain its meaning. On view until May 1, 2021.

The Printing Museum presents Heaven, Earth and the Underworld: Old Master Prints from the Permanent Collection. This exhibition of over 40 woodcuts, engravings and etchings from the museum’s permanent collection traces the early history of printmaking in Western Europe—from the workshops of armor decorators to those of the greatest painters of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, such as Albrecht Dürer, Annibale Carracci, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Paper and the earliest printing technique of woodcut arrived in Europe from China via the Islamic world by the 1300s. Originally developed to decorate textiles, the method of woodblock printing involved cutting patterns and designs into a block of wood, inking the resulting image and transferring it to paper or cloth by applying light pressure. The process of engraving developed from the goldsmith’s trade of armor decoration. Designs were most likely transferred onto paper to record the designs being sold. Eventually these processes entered the studio practice of the era’s leading painters. Artists portrayed a wide array of subject matter. The public associates religious themes and imagery with old master prints as they are largely the ones to survive due to the preservation efforts of the church. Prints were not merely copies of paintings. Artists treated them as artworks, creating paintings and prints based on study drawings. Artists employed highly skilled engravers and draftsmen in their studios to achieve their desired artistic styles. The collection features works from the Italian, German, Flemish, and French schools of printmaking. Until July 18, 2021.










it has been

feelings, values so desperately needed to

where they see much more than the mun-

discussed around the world the statistics

transport us to an alternative world with a

dane individualism.

resulting from a research done by Milieu

hopeful inspiration.


Insight, a market research corporation, and published by the Singapore Sunday Times.

Yet I ask, what is this all about and why is this important to us as Latinos?

Those experiences which they have lived accompanied by a social mix of traditions and a rally of cultural expressions that have

This research designates artists among the

Latino Art is about people and their nar-

top 5 non-essential jobs during this pandemic

ratives, a social expressionism that estab-

tion of integrity and human understanding.

which has sparked backlash around social

lishes through a strong emphasis to details,

Conceptual artist Felipe Ehrenberg once

media, upsetting every corner of the art world.

a contrast between the tangible and intan-

said, “Before being Hispanic or Latino, imag-

After reading about this, I made a point to

gible. Their work is a communication channel

ination’s flight is simply human…”

digest what I read…

evolved uniquely to present a clear percep-

where they have imbedded their own story

By considering artists non-essential work-

The world is changing every day, today

to spread a message that condenses our

ers, without the awareness of the density

is no exception, since the artworks and the

visions, values, morals and ideas. Funda-

of the cultural damage to our inheritance

artists are facing an indifferent and improp-

mental elements to be interpreted by us par-

and harmony as a nation, we are suppress-

er conception that they are non-essential.

ticularly in settings like the aftermath of the

ing and devaluing art as a forceful device.

It is my belief that humanity seems to be

recent and devastating events in our country

The only instrument that can create images

losing sight by not supporting them and the

and globally.

to compete with reality over delusion, un-

value of their messages–a grim designation

Latino artists perceive this clearly as a

scrambling the essential from the insignifi-

that has created a singular commotion in the

dual influence that cannot be ignored. Art-

cant in our intellect and keeping our inner

richest legacy of humankind.

ists have a vison, with a constant awareness

life loaded of hope and renovated promises

of what is going on in the streets and above,

for the future.

Artists touch our hearts and communicate


From left: M.E. Jugando con la Pandemia #2, 2020 Collection of William Hanhausen. Fernando Casas. Colosus, 2019 Collection of the artist.







What was the very first independent creative project you worked on? I bought a small etching press in 2010, to make small drypoints and linocuts. I was a new mom with a career painting architectural renderings in watercolor, and printmaking without a press in my spare time. In 2011 I took the family to a PrintMatters steamroller event, on the street outside of Art Supply on Main. I was really taken by the inky prints strung up in the wind, and the process of running a steamroller over a woodcut design, layered with oil based ink, and delicate paper. The next year, the same event, moved to Saint Arnold Brewing & teamed with Burning Bones Press. After carving for a month, I made my first large scale steamroller woodcut print. It was the first time I felt like I made something wonderful. I felt like I became a printmaker right then & there. I have printed, and exhibited with them each year since. It was not completely independent, because the event is a huge group effort, but since my career up until that point, was full of architectural plans, job numbers and design briefs, that first floral woodcut unleashed my creativity.

What types of mediums do you work in? Which medium are you the most comfortable with? Most of my work is watercolor and gouache painting, woodcuts, stencils, and painting murals with exterior paint. Printmaking, carving







woodcuts, and pulling prints is nice and lengthy, and tranquil, but I feel like there is much more for me to learn and tap into there. I am most comfortable painting with gouache and watercolor, or a bottle of black ink, those come natural to me.

T h e m a t i c a l l y, w h a t i s your work usually about? Why do you choose to focus on these issues? My work usually contains simplified and abstracted florals, botanical elements, organic forms and references to the natural world. I’ve always been drawn to wallpaper and textiles and decorative arts. Learning about feedsacks from my greatgrandmother fascinated me for life. In her youth, the siblings would take turns going to the feed store and picking the attractive fabric, in the form of feedsacks, for their household needs. She told me it took 2 trips to the feed store, weeks apart, before she had enough to make a pretty yellow floral dress. I love the contrast and balance of a rustic feed store, design beauty, and make and mend creativity. That contrast and balance usually shows up in my work.

Is having a “successful career” as an artist something that is important to you? Success for me is so internal. Making art that I am completely proud of is success to me. Rendering what is inside me, using my skills and love for ordinary beauty to create

work that is expressive, harmonious, and of course getting that work in front of viewers is important, if it enriches their inner life in any way, that is success to me.

What recent projects are you most proud of? My Arts District mural at 1520 Silver Street is special to me. I enjoyed my time spent right on the railroad tracks. I am really proud of the design, it reflects my style on a large scale, beauty in a rustic setting, and also taps into the history of the neighborhood. Months after finishing the mural I found out my sweetest grandmother lived just up the street, at 1919 Silver St. as a child. She taught me how to draw a rose. I got the sense that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Why do you create art? My mind is almost always thinking creatively, it’s just the way I am. I’m really just trying to put what I think is beautiful outward.





Te l l u s a l i t t l e b i t a b o u t yourself. Where are you from? I am a Houston based artist. I was born in the state of Coahuila, Mexico.

What upcoming project(s) are you working on? I am currently doing more experimentation in the studio. This year, I’m challenging myself to be more expressive and to create a large body of work by the end of the year. I have a mural lined up in my hometown so I’m very excited for that opportunity.

What was the very first independent creative project you worked on? The very first project where I felt I had a lot of independence and freedom was actually my first mural. I was contracted to create a mural installation for a creative agency in the East End. For this project, I was given a theme of “exploration”, which with it’s vagueness, gave me a lot of room to do some independent searching. It resulted in a collage piece that incorporated both organic and non organic elements, pixelations, patterns and juxtaposition. It is one of my favorite pieces not solely for me but for many others.







What types of mediums do you work in? Which medium are you the most comfortable with? In the studio I use a bit of everything, starting out I was really into ink and brush pens, india ink and watercolor—that shifted into acrylic paints. For murals, I started off with exterior acrylic paint but I’ve shifted more into spray paint. I see those two being my main mix for mediums to use in and out of the studio.

T h e m a t i c a l l y, w h a t i s your work usually about? And why do you choose to focus on these issues? The narrative of my work has always been about the push and pull of life - who are are, who we are expected to be and who we are not.

Why do you create art? I create art because it allows me to share my stories with others. Working as an artist can be difficult because I know that from the initial sketch until its fully completed I can only hope that others see it and feel something.

How do you define success? The positive influence that my art can have towards a community. I definitely feel some fulfillment when I see or hear about the community engaging with my art.

What recent projects are you most proud of? I recently had the opportunity to create a large mural with East River. I put a lot of thought into that mural. It is the largest mural I have painted so far. It was definitely one of the toughest projects for me but it taught me so much about the process.





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ArtHouston is published semiannually by ArtHouston Magazine, LLC. ©Copyright 2021. All right reserved. The entire contents of ArtHouston may not be reproduced in any matter, either in part or in whole, without written permission from the publisher. In addition, the artists within hold copyrights on their images and essays. Any use of or copying of their works without their written permission is in violation of the copyright law. ArtHouston Magazine, LLC. is not responsible in any way for mispellings, omissions, incorrect phone numbers or addresses. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and other materials must be accompanied by postage and a self-addressed return envelope. ArtHouston is not responsible for unsolicited submissions. Address all correspondence to: ArtHouston Magazine, 9114 N. Allegro St. Houston, Texas 77080.

C O L O P H O N 7799


Jody (aka JT) Morse WRITER

JT Morse is a freelance, multi-genre writer based in Evergreen, TX. She pens everything from award-winning flash fiction to spec fic poetry to nonfiction articles for local and national magazines. Morse also teaches writing workshops for Writespace, Comicpalooza, HIA, and RWA. For more information, visit her social media pages: @JTMorseWriter.

Mark J. Prendergast, AAA WRITER

Mark J. Prendergast earned his degree in Art History from Vanderbilt University and began his career in the arts, working with a national dealer of American Art. Joining Christie’s in 1998 and advancing during a decade tenure to the position of Vice President. In 2017, he established MJP Art Services, servicing the appraisal, sales consulting and auctioneering needs of his private client, corporate, and museum clientele.

Nathan Lindstrom PHOTOGRAPHER

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.

Hanneke Humphrey WRITER

In addition to writing, Hanneke Humphrey is active as a creative artist, event organizer, and MFAH docent. Of American, French, and Dutch background, she worked as an economist, marketing strategist, and educator for many years, while pursuing her love of the arts.

Sabrina Bernhard WRITER

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.

Ariana Akbari WRITER

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.

Haley Berkman Karren WRITER

Haley Berkman Karren is an art advisor, independent curator, and writer. She is the Founder and Director of Karren Art Advisory, where she specializes in modern and contemporary art and photography. She has many years of curatorial experience at international arts institutions. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.

Amanda Andrade WRITER

Amanda is a young art historian working on her Masters in Fine and Decorative Art and Design at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. In 2020, she graduated from the University of St Andrews with a Masters of Art with Joint Honours in History of Art and International Relations. Her interests include sustainable art, medieval devotional objects and baking for family and friends.

William Hanhausen WRITER

An art venture capital investor, former faculty Professor of Marketing at the Universidad Anahuac Mexico City. Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Museum of Texas Art (MoTA) and 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”.


Texas JohnnyBoy

Artists: John Moschioni, (aka Texas JohnnyBoy). Photography by Joe Aker

editor’s pick

John Moschioni will be remembered as a multi-faceted artist. His career began by painting van murals and signs as the owner of “Paint by John” in the 90’s. He later became an eclectic bluesician known as “Texas JohnnyBoy”. Accompanied by guitar legend Milton Hopkins, he played old school rhythm and blues from the 40’s and 50’s. He entertained Texas audiences with charismatic vocals while playing flute, harmonica, and saxophones on stage and was self-taught. He performed often at the Mucky Duck, Big Easy and Rehab Bar. In 2020, his career highlight was an HAA grant project titled Junk on My Street which debuted at the Art Car Museum. A photographic exhibition of assemblages created from found street materials and an original tune that spontaneously combusted while picking up junk on his street. That was Johnny the real deal often creating music from his heart. Borrowing his lyric, She leaves a big hole in my heart when she goes away, best describes the hole in the hearts of his wife, daughter and family. A celebration of life is anticipated in 2021.

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