Saturday, April 12, 2008


The Homeless Have A Name
Nick | ניק

Corner of Westheimer and Taft

what to do.

look for this guy in front of Numbers for political signs made to order,
built out of museum and gallery art trash!

Does It Say "Art Show" In There?

what the fuck, midtown...

can you spot the painting? good grief...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Johnny From Beaumont

Ship of Fools

Fresh from the new MFAH show John Alexander: A Retrospective come these quips from a preview today:

from MFAH director Peter Marzio

"[John Alexander has] more friends than anyone I've ever met."

and the more questionable

"Most artists of John's generation never left Texas."

hmm... even with a few quick citations like Jim Love, that claim seems dubious at best.

click the pic for larger version

from curator Jane Livingston

"Jim Harithas encouraged Alexander to focus more on bodies than landscapes in the 70s."

Fish Dancing

John Alexander via ARTnews, January 2008

"One thing that has been consistant throughout my life is the images I draw from; the dark side of man, the glorious side of nature, and the destruction of them both."

Rock on.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Little Birdy Told Me

woops! you missed it!

Two Museum Trips; Context and Content

Who the hell would love the representational work over at the MFAH versus some abstract canvasses at the Menil?

Well, I guess it was me.

Alex Katz, Ada and Alex, 1980
in the MFAH collection is Perry and Pamela, 1977

Francesca Fuchs, Woman in Hospital, 2007

Janet Fish, Goldfish and Autumn Leaves, 1979-80

Philip Pearlstein, Two Nudes with Animal Marionettes, 1988
a similar painting is in the MFAH collection

It was just so nice to see Francesca Fuchs between some heavy hitters in the Representational Work From the MFAH Collection. Flanked by Alex Katz, Janet Fish and Philip Pearlstein, Fuchs holds her own with several different interpretations of realism, her flat colors and light brushstrokes toying at an illusion of depth (if you really want to see it). The curatorial composition in the room is dramatic.

Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Susan Frecon, Purple Forbidden Enclosure, 2005

Ellsworth Kelly, Red Blue Green, 1963

Unfortunately, putting Susan Frecon's recent work in the context of great abstractionists that the Menil Collection provides does not prevent her from falling flat on her face with muddy maroons and beige and boring color fields. The unimpressive canvasses are even more unbelievable given their 21st century date- this is not only fifty years too late, but it also make a quick jump into the hallowed halls of posterity. Where Barnett Newman and Ellsworth Kelly hold court Frecon's work pales in comparison.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

56 Year Old Mural, Take It Please!

Betcha this story will have some legs!

UPDATE: Now it's on the news! ABC13 click HERE

Peter Hurd, West Texas Farm, 1952

Peter Hurd's 16-by-47-foot mural depicting life on a West Texas farm, currently installed at MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1100 Holcombe, will be razed along with the building.

"The painting is free. But the cost of removing it from the curved wall in the building's foyer, restoring it and installing it elsewhere likely would exceed $500,000."

"Ann Hale, director of the Hurd La Rinconada Gallery in San Patricio, N.M... placed the mural's value at more than $3 million."

"Three of Hurd's paintings are displayed at Smithsonian Institution museums, including the official White House portrait of Lyndon Johnson, which the former president rejected.

"MFAH Director Peter Marzio said his museum was approached about taking the mural, but it declined because the painting was "site specific."

To complicate matters, Hurd's mural depicts white landowners and black farmworkers, making it a hot potato of racial/historical controversy. Reinstalling it in a new Cancer Center slated to be constructed on the spot is out of the question, so says William Daigneau, "[Hurd's mural] does not reflect the values of M.D. Anderson. ... There's the issue of who's running the farm, and who's working on it."

"Faculty and employees, he said, were opposed to installing the mural in a new building.

"There is a lot of science to art in a healing environment," Daigneau said, noting that the cancer center employs a consultant to help choose soothing artwork for patient areas.

Why couldn't it have been THIS mural he did for Texas Tech?

That would've been easier to save- even though it has less to do with Houston history than the work in question... Hurd's work is anachronistically reminiscent of 1930s murals, but it is also of the postwar period that John Biggers found himself engaging in upon his arrival in Houston to found the Texas Southern University Art Department. Much of his early work is within this genre, where he reflected his own values into the backwater vernacular popular in Houston.

John Biggers, Red Barn Farm, 1960

just to be oblique, one anonymous comment on the Chronicle article says:

"There is no dishonor in hauling hay. My family has done it for hundreds of years."

via Chron

A Couple'a Fun Things Friday

check out Tina Hernandez- in the top left corner

Elia Arce, untitled (2005-2008)

Luisa Hernandez, D. Queen

self-definition, social justice and responsibility, and an ambivalence toward commercialism
Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston Thesis Exhibition
Friday, April 11, 7-9 pm

Elia Arce, Chuy Benitez, Jeanne Cassanova, David Damico, Jane Eifler, Woody Golden, Sarah Hannah, Luisa Hernández, Iskra Ivanova, Ann Marie Nafziger, Kadriye Ozpolat, Kelli Vance

Numero Tres

Dogon Thursday

Also this Thursday, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
@ The Menil Collection




Menil curators have removed the entire African wing of the museum, replacing vitrines and removing walls then building different vitrines and walls. Rumor has it that the new display will be entirely new, replacing a lot of great Dogon and other West African work that has been on display since the museum's opening in 1989.

They do have more than enough to go around in their archives, and it would be nice to have some of the work that hasn't seen the light of day in years on display, but I'll miss some of the old guys too.

The scary rabbit, the orange paste mask, the giant snake and the almost Japanese looking mask should come back.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Texas Biennale

2009 Texas Biennial
A quasi-independent survey of contemporary Texas art

not that kind of Texas biennial, Texas Paintbrush

Call for Entry runs
April 16-May 31, 2008

The 2009 Biennial is happy to announce our Call For Entry for two components of this upcoming project: the Group Exhibition and the Temporary Outdoor Project in cooperation with Austin Art in Public Places.

As an independent survey of contemporary art, the 2009 Biennial is excited to use this opportunity to investigate and promote the innovation that lies within Tejas.

All submissions will be digitally submitted online and artists of all medias are encouraged to submit. Launching on April 16th, the 2009 Biennial website will provide all information on the Call for Entry process, as well as detailed instructions for the two components of the project available to propose work for. The Temporary Outdoor Project will be funded by the City of Austin and will award budgets for projects from 3 to $10,000. Artists have the option to submit to one or both.

Calendar for AIPP Temporary Outdoor Project
Call for Entries Dates: April 16-May 31, 2008
Artist Notification of Selection: July 31, 2008
Funding awarded: August 1, 2008
Artists present final designs for approval: November 1, 2008
Fabrication Begins: December 1, 2008
Installation Begins: TBD on project/ Beginning of 2009
Exhibition dates: March 7 – Dec. 31 (or earlier, depending on nature of artwork)

Calendar for Group Exhibition for 2009 Texas Biennial:
Call for Entries Dates: April 16-May 31, 2008
Artist Notification of Selection: July 31, 2008
Artwork received ready to hang: February 16, 2009
Installation begins: February 25, 2009

Exhibition dates
March 6th - April 11th, 2009

Opening receptions
March 6th – Group Exhibitions
March 7th – Solo Exhibitions & Temporary Outdoor Projects

Group Exhibition Venues
Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street, Austin
Women and their Work, 1710 Lavaca St., Austin

Mexican-American Cultural Center

Temporary Outdoor Project Locations
Town Lake Metropolitan Park -Auditorium Shores
Mexican American Cultural Center grounds
Fiesta Gardens

Submission Fees

David sez: It’s a sucker tax, losers pay for the winners’ show. Boo for that.
$20 Submission fee per entry (Group Exhibition or Temporary Outdoor Projects)
$30 Submission fee to apply to both
5 works per entry, each work may be represented by up to three views
1 proposal per entry for Temporary Outdoor Projects

2009 Texas Biennial Jurors:

Michael Duncan is Corresponding Editor for Art in America.
Risa Puleo is the Assistant Curator of American and Contemporary Art at the Blanton Museum of Art.

Please contact Xochi Solis at or visit for further information.

Chuy Benitez on MSNBC

CB, Self-Portrait

Although an article about a photographer usually contains photographs, AP writer Monica Rhor makes up for a lack of images in her article with a thousand words. Benitez's Houston Cultura is on display at the Lawndale Art Center through Saturday, April 12th.

"I went through all these transformations of finding those things in the community and I'm just trying to pass that along," says Benitez, a 24-year-old with a sharply trimmed goatee and amber eyes. "If you know nothing about it, look, I knew nothing. Let me show you what there is."


After he graduated from college, Benitez began to look for other examples of hybridity. He found the perfect muse in Houston, a city where Mexican and American cultures are fused on an almost molecular level.

"There's no border, so it's all just mashing up and doing whatever it wants to do. No holds barred. It's just free," he says about Houston.


In many of the works, tiny markers of Houston (often Houston Astros paraphernalia) pop up amid the chaos -a reminder that the photographs are not only portraits of people but also of a city in transformation.

Look Around You

It's loquat season! These friggin things grow all over Houston, and without anyone to harvest them in yards and on street corners they go to waste every year. Rather useful even if they are weird, loquats are tasty and tart raw. Eat one off of the tree if it's orange and a little soft. (peel it first)

If you have a whole tree to plunder you might be interested in jams, liqueur, wine, beer or herbal medicines.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back From the 80s

James Surls


James Surls

Sharon Kopriva

Artists’ Reception Saturday April 12th
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
dammit, right in the middle of westfest

on view
April 12th through May 5th

Barbara Davis Gallery
The 'Big Block'
4411 Montrose

"James Surls is one of the most influential Artists that Texas has produced. There will be an open dialogue with the artists during the opening reception on April 12th from 11am to 3pm."

Success and Ballet (Austin is Coool)

Eric Zimmerman sez:

"Believe the hype. Cult of Color: Call to Color really is that good, and this is coming from someone who is generally not much of a performance person."

choreographer Stephen Mills (left)
composer Graham Reynolds and
painter Trenton Doyle Hancock


should'a been there, bro.

performance work at the Artery last weekend

photo Kara Duval

(cough) (cough) BULLSHIT (cough) (cough)...

Did I read that right? Did you say giant spider? Hmmmm... where have I heard of a contemporary artist making giant spiders... hmmm... it's somebody totally famous... I think they have them in museums around the world and installed in cities from New York to Paris to Bilbao... who was it... hmmmm...

Oh Yeah!

Dixie Friend Gay is totally ripping off Louise Bourgeois.

Pretty weak execution versus the real thing... at least it is going to Austin (suckers)

They Were Asking For It

The first one you've heard before... the Raining Blood remix by Frank Olson is just like a cup of coffee in your pants. Good morning!

Rainin' McCain
to the tune of the tranny karaoke bar classic

Rainin' McCain Blood
to the tune of the Slayer song

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Reality Really?

Spotted by one KTRU DJ; a film crew working on a reality show in the Montrose neighborhood... it's been tough to search it online... ugotaclue?