"James Turrell: Holograms" The normally well-lit Hiram Butler Gallery has gone dark for its current show — holograms by the famed light artist James Turrell. He's best known of late for his skyspaces — meditative areas both indoor and out that encourage you to sit while they play with your perception of light. These spaces are minimal works that require little on your part but are still wholly immersive. Like the famous skyspaces, these works also play with perceptions of light, but they aren't such a passive experience. Rather, these six holograms demand interaction — a call and response that will have patrons unconsciously doing the "hologram dance," as the gallery's taken to calling it — a silly shuffle from side to side that enables you to experience the glowing pieces three-dimensionally. The six holograms on view are unnamed, though they can be distinguished by the distinct color and shape of their subject — light itself. A thin blue and green sphere, an orange beam, a blue ring and a slanted blue oval, all glowing against a stark black background, comprise the four long transmission holograms hanging across from each other in the main space. As you move from side to side, the light changes color and shape, coming out at you without the aid of cheesy 3D glasses. Though they don't rival them in size, the exhibition's two smaller holograms are the most remarkable on view. They're smaller than an iMac and feature crisper and bolder holograms. The bluish-green circle in the last hologram is so sharp and real looking, you can't help but try to grasp it with your hand, only to go through it like some geometric ghost. Through September 22. 4520 Blossom St., 713-863-7097. — MD

"Michael Petry: Bad Restoration" There's a bit of backstory to Michael Petry's new body of work. While the Texas-born, London-residing multimedia artist was in a residency last year at Sir John Soane's Museum in London, the museum was undergoing a restoration project. This idea of restoration pervades his pieces — they're works that are seemingly ruined. At the same time, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray had a major influence — the idea of a piece representing the passage of time, reflecting back an image of a person that isn't really there. The result is eight glass mirror pieces that are currently hanging in the front room of Hiram Butler Gallery. They're called mirrors, but you wouldn't trust them to help you apply your eyeliner in the morning. They're broken, consisting of layers of thin sheets of glass and pieces of sterling silver or 24-karat gold, one over the other. They'll only reflect back a partial, broken form of yourself, with the intent to make you pause and think about how you present yourself to the world. Or something like that. I was too distracted by the beautiful damage of the silver- and gold-leaf pieces to notice my own shattered reflection. In each work, the gold or silver has complex layers and textures that look at turns like ridges, the contours of fingerprints or, in the case of silver especially, broken surfaces of ice. The surface of all these images has been compromised, but they're being displayed nonetheless, warts and all. It's a funny and completely modern thought — this idea of constantly wanting to improve and restore, and that going badly despite your best intentions. Yet there's still beauty in the damage. Through September 22. 4520 Blossom St., 713-863-7097. — MD

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help