Friday, June 29, 2007

Thievery and Trueness

This interview with LACMA Director Michael Govan is my new favorite toy. Poaching sentences and switching "L.A." to "Houston" is better than writing it myself!

Dan Flavin, untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), 1973(Courtesy Museum Associates/LACMA)

The South has been growing, obviously. It’s also the generational thing. I almost think Houston is at the point where there’s no such thing as Houston artists anymore. Like New York, there was a point when there were New York artists, then all of a sudden it was just artists. I feel like that’s starting to happen here. Doing a Houston show now would be almost a nonstarter, I think, because of the diversity of practices and the number of artists. Also, the fact that Houston hasn’t yet hit critical mass attracts somebody like me because the museums are behind, like way behind.You just look at Houston and you start thinking, it’s going to catch up, right? How could it not — there’s not been a city in history that hasn’t had personal wealth, ethnic diversity, thriving business and good geopolitical location that hasn’t competed on that level.

Well, as far as I can see, cities have often changed their compositions over many ancient centuries to the present. And there’s always been culture and great cities, and it’s taken different forms depending on the kind of shape the city took. So let’s say all the future cities look like Houston. New York looks like Europe, but [what] was the last city you saw that was like New York? Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico City, Seoul — they all look like Houston. And so there’s going to be a different model. We’re just going to be part of that.

Until you reach a critical mass of prestige, you don’t get there. And that’s continuously eluded the MFAH in particular, and other museums, [...] we just don’t have the prestige that the Museum of Modern Art has. Now, we’re not going to get it instantly. You’re going to have to build it over time. It’s just a matter of investment. It’s a classic chicken-and-egg problem.If everyone with a good art collection in Houston donated their art collection in town, for example, critical mass would be instant. I’m not saying that’s going to happen tomorrow, but what you can see increasingly, given the interest in art collectors growing here, is that you don’t have to go far.

The place is littered with stories of people taking their marbles and going off somewhere else. There are two reasons: One, it’s somehow inherent in the place, its separateness and all that. The other is that there hasn’t really been a good enough idea to rally around. You know, a contemporary art museum is a great thing, but not everyone loves contemporary art.

Ahhh, theft. It makes a good point!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Come on Down!!!

You've only got three hours to get into the BIG SHOW down at the Lawndale on Main!!!

Did you hear about the Discovery Green project? This thing makes it look like it would be alright to live in downtown. That big hole next to the George R. Brown Convention Center isn't going to be a high rise or a parking garage, they're pulling out the big guns for a park. Bill White has plugged away at getting it done, investing big bucks where he usually skimps, like in all other city functions.

Also, ten or twenty years after all the hype, Houston will have a concrete skatepark for once. The site will include rails and half-pipes and is scheduled to open next summer near the Sabine Street Bridge west of downtown.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Four on the Block

No good openings this weekend? Oh well. There are four good galleries off the corner of Alabama and Main in Midtown, and this month they all have cool shows too. Brave the the sweat and the Texas heat and mosquiters for a little action. From north to south:

Darren Waterston at Inman is a little bit metal, his watercolor washes always come with a skull or a creepy castle hidden somewhere. Pretty cool, but kinda like fantasy posters.

Peter Lamb at CTRL looks like he makes little collages and paintings, but these are big-ass six foot prints. Good video and a sweet little installation in the back too.

Misaki Kawai at Kinzelman has made a reputation out of her found fabric and trash installation and sculpture. Her paintings here aren't as awesome, but they are still giggle inducing.

Young-Min Kang has some whirling scenery slices at Finesilver, recommended for acid trips and getting rid of pesky perceptions about reality.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Outposts on the Range

Christian McClain + Lauren Kelley

Houston has two new advocates, courtesy some of those ex-pat artists that flow like blood from this city. Up in Chicago Sam Duncan and Vicki Fowler have opened Motherland to explore their love of artists from Texas and the Pacific Northwest- and to try to reach the collectors, artists and students of the Windy City. Opening recently, plywood drawings by Christian McClain and video by Lauren Kelley.

Texas Firehouse

Up in Brooklyn Wyatt Nash has led the Texas Firehouse from a warehouse overlooking the Washington Bridge into "the best rooftop BBQ view in town". Houstonians Jason Villegas, Seth Mittag, Allison Hunter, Scott Calhoun, Peter Precourt, The Sugarbeats and God's Temple of Family Deliverance round out the Texas-fried lineup along with former Press writer Lance Scott Walker.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Guitars in Backyards

A little get-together behind the house...

thanks for the videos Derek!