Houston Artists Bring "Texas Positivism" to Miami

Memory Collage by Molly Gochman
Memory Collage by Molly Gochman

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Art Basel Miami this year was "more buzzing than it's ever been," according to conceptual artist Molly Gochman, and Houston artists were in the middle of it. Speaking last weekend from their exhibition site during the installation process, Gochman, McKay Otto, Angelbert Metoyer, and Weihong fired up their speakerphone to talk to Art Attack about the "Texas Positivism Project," an exhibition and performance piece that was Miami-friendly, but with a uniquely Texan take on contemporary art.

The "super diverse" show featured artists with strong Houston ties, including Libbie Masterson, Harvey Bott, Allison Hunter, Wayne Gilbert and Anthony Thompson Shumate, and included interactive works by Weihong and Gochman, who staged another of her Memory Collages, in which she composed a collage out of personal items people had emailed to her.

This is "the first collaborative project with a host of artists that have been working in Houston over the last 10 years" to represent Houston and Texas in Miami, said Metoyer, who organized the show together with Otto.

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What might have seemed like a group of artists bound only by geography had more in common than originally supposed, said Gochman. "I was really blown away; it's very well curated...I believe in the power of energy. Maybe that's why we're in this show--because we're interested in positive energy forces and how we can use those to positively impact our lives and the lives of others."

Speaking of well-curated things, the show had strong ties to the Texas Artists Today book, and built on the narrative about Texas art that author Catherine Anspon has successfully woven. Anspon was on hand in Miami Friday to sign copies of the book. "We curated based on the book," said Metoyer. "We thought it would be fitting as part of the moment."

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