Minimalist composer Morton Feldman was an acolyte of John Cage, and it was through avant-gardist Cage that Feldman began his rewarding association with abstract-expressionist art and New York Schoolers like Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Philip Guston. Feldman's music is often likened to abstract impressionism, chiefly because of its improvisational, seemingly unstructured quality. Da Camera fetes the late composer in Art As Inspiration: Morton Feldman and the Menil Collection; the program includes Feldman's most famous work, Rothko Chapel, which was commissioned by the Menil Collection and whose performance here is dedicated to the art trust's late founder, Dominique de Menil. Also scheduled: Structures for string quartet, For Franz Kline, De Kooning and To Philip Guston, plus related readings by Houston poets Daniel Stern, Cynthia Macdonald, Adam Zagajewski, Lorenzo Thomas, Edward Hirsch, Susan Wood and Richard Howard. 7:30 p.m. The Menil, 1515 Sul Ross, 525-9400. $20 (Da Camera Music Center: 524-5050).
You've never seen anything quite like the work of German artist Otto Boll. If we'd waded through the artspeak regarding "Otto Boll: Sculpture, Drawing, Projects, Photography and Film" without accompanying visuals, we'd have thought Boll was the dullest artist on earth. But we've seen the visuals, and they're stunning. Example: Boll's "floating sculpture," hypercool pieces of angular invention/optical illusion that form misleadingly simple -- and inexplicably powerful -- black lines in white space; sometimes the steel and/or aluminum rods sprout "wings" like hollowed-out Stealth bombers. Just as cool: Boll's "Black Stone" series, featuring white-chalk variations on his black lines drawn on jet chunks of plaster or artificial stone; the works call to mind oddly configured coffins, mod divans and the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The exhibit opens with a reception for the artist at 7 tonight and continues through May 28. Goethe-Institut Houston, 3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 100, 528-2787.
Cheri Knight runs a flower farm when she's not harvesting fragrant and earthy songs, but she's no shrinking violet; in fact, the metaphorical rocker "Black Eyed Susie," one of the best selections on Knight's finely rendered second album, The Northeast Kingdom, kicks major ass while celebrating the process of planting and its flip side: the deathlike inevitability of plowing under. The native of Hatfield, Massachusetts, displays the sort of backdoor approach to Nashville country pioneered by Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Emmylou Harris. (Emmy lends her voice to several tracks on Kingdom.) Though Knight doesn't sound much like any of the above, she fuses the sounds of these barstool divas in an unorthodox way, incorporating Griffith's Gaelic-tinged folksiness, Carpenter's literate accessibility and Queen Emmy's technical purity (Knight's lovely "All Blue" would've been right at home on Harris's Elite Hotel). 6 String Drag opens. The Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Avenue, 869-
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