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Capsule Art Reviews: "A Golden Time of Day," "Interstitial Spaces: Julia Barello & Beverly Penn," "New Prints: Gallery Artists," "Perry House: Elegance/Violence," "Six Apart," "UNIT," "Woven Landscapes"

 "A Golden Time of Day" There is a great little photograph of Sammy Davis Jr. up at McClain Gallery now. It's pop perfection — the musician is decked out in a red vest and shoes, his arms out to his sides and his left foot kicked up in a freeze-frame dance pose. The fact that the image, by celebrity photog Milton H. Greene, is included in a group show about the use of gold in contemporary art, with nary any gold in sight, may be a bit perplexing at first. But as this exhibition shows, "golden" can be as much a use of color as a mood or feeling. Houston artist Tierney Malone inspired the name of the exhibition with his work Golden Time of Day, which is, curiously, a mostly red piece — a blood-red board with the text "golden time of day" written across it in a gold, upper-case stencil that gives the work an almost reverent feel, the propriety of this font contrasting the rugged, imperfect quality of the board. Christian Eckart''s Detail Painting #538 is what can be described as gold on gold — a square, textured panel of gold paint displayed in a gold frame. Other stand-out pieces in this pleasantly diverse show include Jonathan Seliger's humorous Golden Pavilion, a stack of gold-plated bronze in the shape of those mass-produced, disposable Chinese take-out boxes; Jenny Holzer's Amber Essays, a ridiculously thin electronic LED sign with scrolling, blinking gold text; and Karin Broker's heart on hold — an intricate, wired mess of vintage gold and pink rhinestone jewelry in the shape of a heart, encased in a glass box. Through August 18. 2242 Richmond, 713-520-9988. — MD

"Interstitial Spaces: Julia Barello & Beverly Penn" The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's inspired current show, "Interstitial Spaces," brings together Julia Barello and Beverly Penn in their first collaborative installation. This is such a natural pairing that it makes for a cohesive, rich, full show, even with only nine pieces on view. The two artists make skillful, sculptural wall works. Barello's materials of choice are X-ray and MRI films, which she cuts and dyes to look like delicate flora — they seem to sprout from the wall, they're so textured and alive. Penn, meanwhile, takes real plants, then freezes and casts them in bronze to capture every curl or twist. The resulting pieces have such a lightness to them, it's surprising and impressive to find out that they're bronze. Each of the artists' works have a sense of wild about them that's still nonetheless contained — Barello's flowers and trees are neat and trim, while Penn's threads are sprawling like unruly weeds yet still contained, whether in perfect circles or straight, exact lines. Their sensibilities combine wonderfully in a new collaborative wall installation made just for the center that stretches the length of the main wall. It's massive — you can't take it all in at once, but have to walk along, taking it in as you move through the space. It's called Submerged, and the film and bronze do seem to move together fluidly, like water or, similarly, a wind current. What really comes through here and in the other exhibition works is the ways the pieces interact with the spaces they don't occupy. Around each twist of a bronze or film flower, there's emptiness in the form of the white wall. As the name of the show implies, these between, or interstitial, spaces are as important as the works themselves. Through September 1. 4848 Main, 713-529-4848. — MD

"New Prints: Gallery Artists" With just enough space to display a single work, the entryway in Inman Gallery has always served as an alluring preview of what's to come in the main gallery. And for its summer show, this piece is one roller coaster of a print. Emily Joyce's Fuchsia Rose in Mike Kelley's Garden or Schooner 1 is a dizzying spiral vortex, a fuchsia-pink-red bull's-eye. It's a flat, top-down view of the flower, an apparent ode to the late installation artist, that sucks you right in. Joyce is one of six artists in Inman's current ArtHouston and PrintHouston show, which explores printmaking practices in contemporary art by some gallery regulars. Jason Salavon is known for his portrait amalgamations, in which he uses self-designed computer software to create the average composite of multiple, related photographs. His Portrait (Hals), a composite of self-portraits by Dutch master painter Frans Hals, has that identifiable, soft look of a Dutch Golden Age painting, but, with Hals's face blurry and undefined, there's a ghostly quality to the print that makes you pause. There's some modern magic going on here. Darren Waterston also brings some experimentation with his "tondos," or circular works. In No. 6, he has a nondescript landscape monotype, but it's been invaded by a dripping splotch of bright-blue paint around the lower left. It's a simple detail that elevates the work. On the more traditional side, there's a nine-color lithograph by David Aylsworth, Gee, But It's Good to Be Here, and Dario Robleto's Will the Sun Remember at All, an epic grid of nine archival digital prints that takes up an entire wall. Through August 18. 3901 Main, 713-526-7800. — MD

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