"If you didn't get to Austin to see the Texas Biennial": The Title Says It All

A still from Hillerbrand and Magsamen's humorous and unsettling 2010 video Accumulation.
A still from Hillerbrand and Magsamen's humorous and unsettling 2010 video Accumulation.
Photo courtesy Darke Gallery

The show's title pretty much says it all: It's a group exhibition of Darke Gallery artists who were included in the 2011 Texas Biennial. There's some nice work here, and unlike most group shows, every artist deserves a mention.

Hillerbrand and Magsamen's humorous and unsettling 2010 video "Accumulation," based around a massive pile of household crap, is on view.

Kathryn Kelley has a fabulous installation in a narrow side gallery, left over from her recent show. Her trademark black rubber inner tubes are clustered over the ceiling, dangling down like flaccid stalactites, filling the space and overwhelming the viewer with the smell of rubber.

Working in a decidedly smaller scale, Kia Neill offers up delicate clusters of beautifully fake and sparkly shells and coral.

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There's a lot of strong painting as well. Catherine Colangelo's flat, matte and graphic gouaches of houses and ships always have great color and pattern.

Marcelyn McNeill's paintings blend flat color and hard-edged form with brushy bits in a pretty interesting way.

And while shaped canvases can sometimes be gimmicky, Richard Martinez's Gulf (2007) is an elegantly elongated silver ellipse.

Matthew Bourbon's paintings are on view as well, with scenes in which figures appear to be digitally interrupted with bars or pixel-like clusters of vivid color.

This show is definitely worth a trip, and it's much closer than Austin. "If you didn't get to Austin to see the Texas Biennial" runs through November 19 at Darke Gallery, 320 Detering St. For information, call 713-542-3802.


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