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"Push Play" In his first solo show in eight years, for those keeping track, Kyle Young picks up right where he left off. His bold paintings continue the play with geometric shape and order that he's become known for in his new show at Art Palace. And the colors are as bright as ever. Young has been operating a fairly successful art storage and refurbishing company, Ty-Art, handling the care and treatment of other people's art. That detail gives a whole new way of looking at his work here. Most of his paintings have been chopped up, first painted on a whole canvas, which is then sliced into even pieces that are rearranged very carefully to make the canvas whole again. It sounds like a nightmare to potentially destroy your art, but the works are very clean and smooth, handled with utmost care and each piece placed just so. That's not to say they aren't without tension. In such pieces as Fathers and Dialogue — Red & Orange, your mind tries in vain to piece the work back together to its original, more familiar form, the visible strokes of paint no longer connecting from piece to piece. Similar to this reordering and rearranging to create something new, some of Young's works also deal in inverses. The most impressive of these, Chalice Reversed, shies away from the artist's bright pastels and works with just black and white — with the black largely engulfing what little white there is. It is a giant, and takes up one of the gallery's walls. The work references Chalice, a much smaller painting in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's collection that consists of the same image and proportions, but with the black white and the white black. A simple detail like that, even without the referenced work displayed, reminded me that this is a piece of art that has a history, a lineage, and no one work is ever really "done." Through April 7. 3913 Main, 281-501-2964. — MD

"Thin Places" For this exhibition, on display at The Vineyard Church of Houston in the Heights, each artist has given his or her interpretation of the "veil that separates heaven from Earth." Peel back a corner of the veil, and just maybe you will see your maker. The exhibition is a group show featuring photography, collage and mixed media, under the thematic umbrella of spirituality and a higher power. Because the show is being presented in conjunction with FotoFest, much of it is simple photography, which happens to be the strongest work in the show. A series of photographs, The Great Physician by Hala Aboudaher Needham, takes an intimate, painful look at what happens behind the hospital curtain. The series feels like a story, beginning with a tearful diagnosis on a surgeon's table and ending with more crying, but this time tears of joy over a newborn baby. In another series of photographs, Postures of Mourning by Mike Higuera, haunting faces and contorted bodies in various states of mourning beg for your sympathy. The images, some multiplied for exaggeration, almost blend into their pitch-black backgrounds, which is very effective. A young man stares from out of a dark place, his face filled with despair, while a woman is in the throes of emotional pain, each moment captured beautifully by Higuera. While these and some other pieces are standouts, "thin" may be more of a description of the quality of the overall show than anything else. It lacks substance as a whole, and I had a difficult time connecting the dots between the featured works and the theme of the exhibition. Through April 8. 1035 East 11th St., 713-869-9070. — AK

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