After promoting over 500 art shows in Houston during 2023, it was hard to choose ten museum exhibits that I couldn’t forget. What were your favorites? Here are some of mine!
(1) “Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence” at Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Kehinde Wiley’s new, monumental body of work, with large-scale paintings and sculptures of men and women in repose. Through his work, with detailed portrayals of Black and Brown individuals, the artist confronts the silence surrounding systemic violence and injustice. (MFAH website)
(2) “Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits” at Asia Society Texas Center
Featuring more than 30 paintings, sculptures, and textile works, the exhibition traces the evolution of Sherpa’s Spirits series as it stretches, bends, reconfigures, and repurposes elements from traditional Tibetan art, merging them with modern imagery.
(3) “Robert Hodge x Tim Kerr: No Kings But Us” at Blaffer Art Museum
A collaboration between Houston-based artist and impresario Robert Hodge and Austin-based musician and artist Tim Kerr, their individual work is steeped in the rich history between music and pop culture, and they share a deep interest in racial equality and human rights. With mutual admiration and converging interests, from color palette to messaging to medium, they came together to entwine a creative vision.
(4) “Evita Tezeno: Out of Many” at Houston Museum of African American Culture
I was lucky to meet Evita Tezeno at The Armory Show in New York months before her exhibition opened in Houston. Her collage paintings employ richly patterned hand-painted papers and found objects in a contemporary folk-art style, depicting a cast of characters in harmonious everyday scenes inspired by her childhood memories in South Texas and personal dreams from her adult life.
(5) “The Iconic Portrait Strand by Nestor Topchy” at The Menil Collection
The best part about attending the opening of this amazing exhibition was meeting several of the artists who were the subjects of the 124 portraits made over the past twenty years by Houston-based artist Nestor Topchy. The small paintings, with their gold backgrounds, resemble Byzantine icons; however, rather than representing religious figures, Topchy depicts friends and colleagues in the art community.
(6) “THIS WAY | A Houston Group Show” at Contemporary Art Museum Houston
Imhotep Blot by way of Amaechina Blot and Studio KER led by Michael Bennett; Colby Deal, Nahtan (Nate Edwards), Dom Elam, Amarie Gipson, Priscilla T. Graham, Gem Hale, Charonda Johnson, Berlin, Jaylen Pigford, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, and Jason Woods (Flash Gordon Parks) were invited to examine innovative ways to participate in the storytelling of Black legacy and heritage in Houston Freedmen’s Town.
(7) “Flesh and Bone: John Guzman” at Blaffer Art Museum
As a spectator to claustrophobic psychological and physical states growing up in San Antonio’s Southside, John Guzman’s monumental paintings are a byproduct of experiences, recordings, and environmental reflections. The artist abstracts the human figure to reflect the harm endured by the body, and the unrecognizable transformation brought on by years of punishment, addiction, relapse, and self-destruction.
(8) “Max Adrian: RIPSTOP” at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Max Adrian’s volumetric, pneumatic work transported viewers into a realm of artifice, desire, and world building. This exhibition featured patchwork textiles and inflatable sculptures by the Ohio-based fiber artist.
(9) “Bert Long Jr. Spring Survey Exhibition” at Houston Museum of African American Culture
Curated by Christopher Blay, this exhibition featured an incredible breadth of talent from Kaima Marie Akarue, Saran Alderson, Crystal Coulter, Mark Francis, Preston Gaines, Lamonte French, Catherine Martinez, and David Stunts.
(10) “Christopher Myers: of all creatures that can feel and think” at Blaffer Art Museum
Across disaporas and diaries, it has been said that Christopher Myers works with materials that hold histories within them, of movement, migration, and exchange. His diverse, rigorously researched practice spans textiles, actions, shadow puppets, film, and sculptural objects, which are often produced in collaboration with artisans from around the globe.