Art Capsule Reviews

A picture of our opinions on local exhibitions

"LU" It sure is nice to see so much work by Paul Kittelson these days. The group show "LU" at the ArtCar Museum presents several of the artist's great works from the past two years. Kittelson has cast a truck in papier-m#&137;ch#&142;; it stands perilously, thanks to the good graces of a small wooden armature. This wry inversion sets the tone of the rest of his work, whether it's life-size or super-size. Several six-foot cigarettes, a gigantic kernel of popcorn and other sculptures dominate the main gallery. These works converse with Carter Ernst's giant housefly-obsessed art. Ernst's largest fly eyes an oversize powdered doughnut by Kittelson; drawings of flies line the walls behind sculptures of various materials. In the back gallery, a collection of encaustic paintings by Deborah Moore demonstrate the versatility of the marginalized medium once favored by Jasper Johns. Visitors can also view the exhibit of stereoscopic images by Jan Burandt, a nostalgic drawing by David Kidd and Abu Ghraib puppet torture dioramas by Mary Jenewein outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. But don't just look for art in the galleries — you can also peruse the parking lot for fresh art cars. Through July 22. 140 Heights Blvd., 713-861-5526. — SC

"Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Paintings of the Dreamtime: New Works from Ikuntji" On Feagan in the booming West End sits an exotic treat for art lovers in Houston. The works in this exhibition, a group show by artists from the isolated Ikuntji region of Australia's West MacDonnell Mountains, incorporate the traditional stippled designs of Aboriginal bark painting, but also diverge from standardized styles. The flat planes and distorted perspectives, in primary colors with overt outlines, are similar to those of American folk art, depicting life in Ikuntji with their simplified imaginative shapes. In a significant break from stereotypical Aboriginal technique, Daisy Napaltjarri Jugadai paints the surface of her canvases with flat brush strokes depicting real space, at once from above and at eye level. This exhibit is a divergence from the traditional styles of artists from Alice Springs and Amata, deepening our understanding of Australia's diverse community of artists. Through July 12 at Booker-Lowe Gallery, 4623 Feagan St., 713-880-1541. — SC

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