From Norman Rockwell at MFAH and Sicardi’s big anniversary to world-class sculpture and Terrell James’ newest paintings, here’s a look at 10 must-see art events in Houston this month.
Houston-based artist Veronica Dyer does not approach her work with a preconceived idea, as evidenced by her new collection of mixed-media paintings and sculptures on display in Segments & Spaces at Archway Gallery. “Each of my works is an adventure, using all the tools and media at my disposal,” she says. “Each abstract is the result of the direction of my heart and soul at the moment of inception.” Born in Venezuela, Dyer, who became a U.S. citizen in 2010, learned her craft from her grandfather, Italian artist Nerino de Panfilis. Today, she is represented by a handful of local galleries, and her work can be found in private collections around the world. Through Jan. 2, 2305 Dunlavy St.
Moody Center for the Arts
The celebrations honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing continue with Moon Shot, an exhibit of innovative, artistic responses to the historic moment, at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University. The selection of featured works includes a screenprint by Andy Warhol; a multimedia sculpture by Siah Armajani; a collection of 70 framed archival inkjet photographs by Michelle Stuart; a virtual reality project by Laurie Anderson and co-creator Hsin-Chien Huang; and a series of 34 lithographs by Robert Rauschenberg, which are showcased all together for the first time since the work’s creation shortly after the 1969 spaceflight. Works by Matthew Day Jackson, Nancy Graves, Rachel Rose and Katy Schimert are also on view. Through Dec. 21, 6100 Main St., MS-480
Hiram Butler Gallery
From intimate panel works to mural-size oil paintings, Houston-based artist Terrell James’ works represent interpretations of both internal and external landscapes. Launching a new exhibit at the Hiram Butler Gallery, the abstract painter gives a gallery talk Dec. 7, a program presented by Visual Arts Alliance. In over three decades, James has produced a variety of work in different media—from etchings, lithographs and monoprints to small sculptures in bronze and clay, flat works in patinated steel and site-specific installations around the world. However, primarily a painter, she boasts a poetic use of color, form and light in her gestural paintings, as seen in “Misfits, Territories, Falling and Gravity Lane.” Through Jan. 25, 4520 Blossom St.
Barbara Davis Museum
For 38 years, Barbara Davis has enriched the Houston community through her namesake gallery, exhibiting innovative contemporary art and launching the careers of international artists such as Denmark’s Mie Olise Kjærgaard in the process. In October, the award-winning artist, who is known for exploring dystopian ideas through man-made architectural constructions, opened her sixth solo exhibit with the Montrose gallery. On view through early January, Ambiguous Aggregations is a collection of large-scale paintings, made with polluted water, that portray people traveling by horse, bike or boat through the fictional realm of Moirania. Through Jan. 10, 4411 Montrose Blvd., Ste. D
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
History comes alive in the MFAH’s Norman Rockwell: American Freedom. The comprehensive exhibition, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., encompasses the illustrator’s series of oil paintings that depict the four essential freedoms outlined in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union address, “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom From Fear and Freedom From Want.” The iconic 1943 paintings were published in The Saturday Evening Post before the U.S. government reproduced them as posters that helped raise $133 million for the war effort. The gallery, which includes historical documents, artifacts and interactive displays, also showcases other works by Rockwell and his contemporaries, such as Dorothea Lange, J.C. Leyendecker and Mead Schaeffer. Dec. 15-March 22, 5601 Main St.
The freeing, whimsical nature of a flock of birds in flight is brought to life in the expressive clay sculptures meticulously designed by ceramic sculptor Fiona Waterstreet, whose works are currently on display at the McClain Gallery. A native of England, the self-taught artist, who lives in New York and is married to American painter John Alexander, plays with texture in the various curves and crevices of her celebrated creations. Alongside her series of handbuilt, glazed birds, which range in size and color from gold to black to creamy stone, Waterstreet makes other intricate porcelain beauties, including bowls, skulls, trees and follies. Through Dec. 21, 2242 Richmond Ave.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
CAMH debuts the first solo museum presentation of the work of New Orleans-based filmmaker Garrett Bradley with an opening reception Dec. 18. On display for three months in the Brown Foundation Gallery, Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody will feature a selection of films by the New York native that examine themes like race, social justice and familial relationships. The institution’s first exhibit organized by its newest curator, Rebecca Matalon, American Rhapsody will include short video AKA; multichannel video installation America; and 13-minute documentary Alone, which shines a light on the realities of the prison system. All of the projects are inspired by real stories but are told somewhere between fact and fiction. Dec. 19-March 22, 5216 Montrose Blvd.
Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art
Using common materials like graphite, acrylic paint and charcoal, Colorado painter and sculptor Paul Weiner creates abstract work infused with political and social meaning. His large-scale, monochromatic paintings, which reflect influences of neo-expressionism and post-conceptualism, are the focus of a December solo show at Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art in the gallery’s new River Oaks location, which opened last January. In his recent work, Weiner, who was born in 1993, examines contemporary issues within American culture, offering a distressed perspective of a country that’s heavily divided, through the use of obscure symbols that refer to the American flag, cultural hybridity, the legal system, the military industrial complex and more. Dec. 14-Jan. 11, 3465 B W. Alabama St.
Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino
In his 69 years of life, Venezuelan Alejandro Otero established a reputation as one of his country’s most ingenious artists, specifically recognized for his exploration and influence in the field of geometric abstraction. In conjunction with its 25th anniversary, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino—a local gallery founded by María Inés Sicardi in 1994 to promote avant-garde and contemporary artists from Latin America—celebrates the master painter and sculptor in Rhythm in Line and Space. The exhibit showcases his various works, including modular paintings made with industrial paint on wood planks, in which brilliant colors intersperse a system of black-and-white stripes, from his series Coloritmos (Colorhythms). Through Jan. 16, 1506 W. Alabama St.
The Printing Museum
Origami artist Joan Son’s original paper-doll dress designs from 1958 are made life-size in Paper Couture, on display at The Printing Museum. The magical installation of the retro-inspired creations demonstrates a variety of paper techniques that Son used to shape the sculptures and, in turn, build perhaps the most innovative fashion show to date. It was just over 25 years ago when Son received her first commercial origami commission for the Tiffany & Co. display windows in the Galleria. Ever since, she has given paper a personality, enlivening spaces with fine art in the shapes of cranes, butterflies, animals, geometrics, bowls, robes and more. Through Dec. 21, 1324 W. Clay St.
Photography by: From top: Artwork by Veronica Dyer/photo courtesy of Archway Gallery | “Moonwalk” by Andy Warhol/photo courtesy of the Ronald Feldman Gallery © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. | Terrell James, “The Brink” photo by Tom DuBrock/courtesy of Hiram Butler Gallery | portrait of Mie Olise Kjærgaard with “Together” by Mathilde Schmidt | Norman Rockwell, “Golden Rule” Cover illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, April 1, 1961. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. © SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved, curtislicensing.com | Fiona Waterstreet ceramics photo courtesy of the artist and McClain Gallery | Garrett Bradley, “America” (film still)/photo courtesy of the artist | photo copyright Paul Weiner/courtesy of Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art | Alejandro Otero, Rhythm in Line and Space at Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino Art Gallery photo by Paul Hester | photo courtesy of the artist and The Printing Museum