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John Alexander, the Mediocre

The MFAH showcases an artist of limited talents

Owl Farm, done in 2005, is not ironic.
Courtesy of MFAH
Owl Farm, done in 2005, is not ironic.

Details

Through June 22.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet, 713-639-7300.

The Alexander retrospective opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where it received a scathing review from Washington Post critic Blake Gopnik. Although it smacked of a certain brand of East Coast snottiness, describing Alexander's Go Jesus Go as "less a true nightmare than a bad dream after chili," Gopnick was right on about the work overall, and really more generous than I am inclined to be. As a Southerner, I would love to champion a politically liberal, iconoclastic Southern artist and say, well, those Yankees just don't get it. But Gopnik gets it, and so does everybody else who looks past Alexander's apparently engaging persona to see his work as what it truly is: mediocre.

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