"Glass Graphica" The two artists whose works appear side by side in this exhibition, Moshe Bursuker and Miguel Unson, have long been acquaintances. Bursuker taught at UrbanGlass, a community space in Brooklyn, New York, when Unson was a student. The two found that their love of glass was a common bond despite their varied approaches to technique. Bursuker's method combines photography and glass collaged together to create an abstract world, encased in ice. In some of his pieces, nonfigurative forms, almost appearing like globs of glass, hide another world. Inside the shapes, the reflections of buildings and windows can be perceived, although they may not be noticed upon first glance; it is a secret the artist has extended to us. Other works by Bursuker are more colorful yet contain the same twist on reality. Solid plates of melded glass are filled with colorful fractured patterns that at first appear random but come together to make a scenic picture. If the Impressionists had worked in glass, these pieces would fit nicely into their catalog. Meanwhile, Unson's pieces are primarily disc-shaped objects, black with colorful light seeping through. In his piece She Won't Look at You (Won't Look at You), Unson has found a way to weave using glass. The result is beautiful. White strands, almost vein-like, swim through black matter, making intricate patterns and shapes. The two artists complement each other nicely. Their work is wildly different yet holds the same basic foundation, and their passion for the material is ever apparent. Through October 14. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main, 713-529-4848. — AK

"Hilary Harnischfeger and Tommy White" Hilary Harnischfeger's vessels have a natural earthiness to them. It's in the muted earth tones she uses, the purples, greens and blues; the materials that are regular players in natural history museum gift shops — quartz, mica, pyrite (aka Fool's Gold); and the organic shape they take on, as if they've been weathered by wind and rain. At the same time, these pieces aren't anything close to what you'd find in nature. The materials are forced together like some sort of sculptural Frankenstein's monster, with plaster stuck to clay stuffed with layers of multicolored paper. It shouldn't work, but there's an intelligent design here that keeps it all from falling apart. Seven of Harnischfeger's newest works, fresh out of the kiln, are now up on the walls of Front Gallery. The artist is making a name for herself these days with these clay formations, and it's easy to see why. They have an order and process to them that is mystifying for artists and non-artists alike, and the fact that all of these elementary materials work together is pleasantly surprising. Harnischfeger's sculptures are accompanied by 27 collage drawings by her husband, Tommy White. White has an impressive résumé himself, but here he takes a backseat to his wife. Twenty-seven works by one artist is a lot for even bigger spaces than Front to manage, but arranged as they are all on one wall in a grid, their abundance makes it hard to contemplate each on its own, and they become muddled. That might even be the point — White hasn't named any of them, and with repeated reds and pinks used across the board, they look like they could be puzzle pieces to some weird, grotesque phallic imagery. But it was hard to get into the drawings in the first place, especially when pulled back to Harnischfeger's little monsters. Through October 27. 1412 Bonnie Brae St., 713-298-4750. — MD

"Hillevi Baar: Ambrosia" and "J. Hill: New Sculpture with Implied Volume" PG Contemporary has two shows up that couldn't be more different from each other. In one room, you have Hillevi Baar's elaborate drawings and wall hangings that rely heavily on nature imagery. In the other, you have J. Hill's straightforward design consisting mostly of reproductions of electronic equipment in MDF. For all of Baar's femininity, delicateness, color and ephemerality, Hill counters with masculine, hard-edged, monochrome, solid pieces. At the same time, there is much that unites them. For one — Hill, the head of the Sculpture Department for the Glassell School of Art, and Baar, a heavily collected Houston artist, are married. They are both sculptors, and both use the wall to hang their pieces. They are also concerned with detail — Baar's works in graphite on Mylar are carefully composed and deliberate, even when they have names like Unraveled, while Hill's electronic reproductions are very clean and exact. Still, where Hill's work is pretty conceptual and evocative, speaking to how memory influences the form objects take on, Baar's is more visceral. Her pieces are all about color, patterns and textures, and you can't help get up close to take it in. That's especially the case with the marvel Gentle Dragons, which consists of 73 steel rods stuck into the wall with circles of Mylar bunched together like a floral arrangement in every color of the rainbow. The piece smoothly ebbs up and down along the length of a wall like beautiful music. It's impossible to photograph properly, too — it's the type of work that just needs to be experienced. Through October 27. PG Contemporary, 3227 Main, 713-523-7424. — MD

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