''Joseph Havel: Hope and Desire''
In his solo show, ''Joseph Havel: Hope and Desire,'' Houston artist and Glassell School of Art director Joseph Havel has just two pieces in the Hiram Butler Gallery’s main room. The more prominent, and colorful, even in its monochromatism, is Hope and Desire, which also gives the show its name. It consists of ten Plexiglas boxes densely stuffed with carefully arranged shirt labels embroidered with the words ''hope'' and ''desire.'' There are upwards of 30,000 of them to each box, with each box alternately consisting of shirt labels labeled ''hope'' and ''desire.'' Thanks to the white edges of the labels, the labels form blue lines that run up and down, across and diagonally, like some Sol LeWitt line drawing done in fabric. Havel has worked with shirt labels and Plexiglas boxes like this before, but the ten used here make it the largest of this scale yet. It's visually striking, too. The labels read like blue and white paint until you get up close to confront it and the illusion is gone. The messages in the labels are also mostly hidden, save for some that are revealed along the edges of the clear frame or are out of place in the line, like a happy accident.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Dec. 7. Continues through Jan. 26, 2012
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