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"TexasMade" and "Option-H" Our coastal locale tends to inspire rough, emotional riffs on contemporary life, and the best and brightest have been gathered for a small exhibit of superstars at McClain Gallery. Robert Rauschenberg's wax fire works series consists of industrial images silkscreened on mirrors in garish colors, while Julian Schnabel's San Pedro throws a hand-painted tornado across a map of an island. Mel Chin's Rough Rider, a sculpted barbed-wire saddle, is a prickly reminder of Texan stereotypes, commenting on both the discomfort of living up to expectations and how Yankees perceive us. James Surls's Untitled is a rounded, hanging metal cage pierced by a rough-hewn wooden knife; it displays his signature homemade feel, along with a sense of constrained malice and a knot of references as twisted as the roots of an East Texas cypress swamp. John Alexander's Nevermore shows crows picking at the smashed contents of a field of watermelons; the painting's expressionist surface is a riot of red and green, conjuring spilled blood and signaling the artist's political discontent. Besides the big names, the gallery is also showing work by younger Houston artists in "Option-H." Mark Flood's Cliff Dwelling bridges the gap between the beautiful and the gritty; his work is the clear offspring of the best of Texan postmodernism. And California surfer dude Aaron Parazette's Flyaway, a kooky computer-modeled text painting, forsakes legibility for a sharp-edged composition. Through February 16. 2242 Richmond, 713-520-9988. — SC

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