Identity Unknown

The Texas Biennial kicks off in Austin.

Austin's Anthony Sonnenberg shows Beauty Is Not Benign at Women & Their Work.
Troy Schulze
Austin's Anthony Sonnenberg shows Beauty Is Not Benign at Women & Their Work.


>Texas Biennial

Through May 14. Various locations in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. For a full schedule, visit

Having seen precious few gallery-goers all day, we were surprised at the big turnout for Saturday night's Biennial party, also at Arthouse. Liquor flowed, a string quartet played, the view from Arthouse's chic, modern-design roof was spectacular. But it all felt sort of nondescript, generic. The Biennial catalog, appropriately, is a plain white book. Perhaps over the next couple years, the organizers will regroup and re-examine the event's purpose and identity. Maybe give it one.

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Wow, Troy, for a failed actor who really makes a meager living serving coffee, you might have learned something about art and art criticism by attending the public panel discussion which included the ever competent Los Angeles Times art critic David Pagel( ),artist Margarita Cabrera; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston curator Alison de Lima Greene; artist Trenton Doyle Hancock; 2011 Texas Biennial curator Virginia Rutledge; and UT-Austin art history professor Richard Shiff at the Blanton Museum of Art. For that matter, if you hadn't procrastinated, and planned properly, you might have made the circuit to all the opening venues and events on Friday evening with the throngs of truly dedicated arts professionals and afficianados. And if you had done that, you may not have been surprised at all at the huge crowd at the celebration on Saturday at Arthouse, energized and excited by Friday's events, perhaps hungover, and still pouring it on throughout Saturday, and if you had bothered to stay and mingle, you might have noticed the other 2 bands and the performances and video. Certainly not all art is created with the intent nor meant to be seen, and obviously most of the Texas Biennial art was not meant to be seen by you. Like a errant teenager heading to Austin for the first time, your priority was 6th Street and a tattoo. I'm only guessing here, but I imagine that your new tattoo is of an asshole, right in the center of your forehead. Now that's art.