Capsule Reviews

"Angelina Nasso: Transparent Presence" Angelina Nasso makes paintings with dots of rich color that create the effect of dappled light. The works are abstract but feel like they just might resolve themselves into a recognizable scene. But the paintings on view at McClain Gallery are less satisfying than the last group she exhibited there. In the current crop, she's breaking up the paintings by broad brushing over sections of them. The technique comes off okay in a couple of the works, but overall her approach feels formulaic, with strokes that go either vertically or horizontally and don't seem to relate to the rest of the painting. In some works she is painting birdlike, floating leaf forms that tend to sit awkwardly on the surface. Nasso seems to be making a transition from her earlier work, but she still has issues to resolve. Through November 12. 2242 Richmond, 713-520-9988.

"Brad Tucker: Night and Day" Night and Day (2005) is a huge sculpture in Inman's main gallery that looks like it has been crafted from giant Tinker Toys. Using slender sections of wood and yellow circular connectors made from manufactured wood panel, Brad Tucker created what looks like an upturned geodesic dome. Tucker's work has a relaxed sort of craftsmanship; it's thoughtful but never fussy. With its open spaces and thin pieces of wood, the sculpture is visually light, yet it fills half the gallery. In the rest of the space, Tucker has arranged seven tiny circular tables just big enough for a toddler. They're draped with fabric in shades of blue -- navy blue, royal blue, pale blue. The material hangs in perfect pleats, exaggerating the toylike qualities of the tables and tying in to the playful quality of the structure. Tucker has pulled together a charmingly quirky work. Through November 8. 3901 Main, 713-526-7800.

"David Simpson: Iridescent -- Interference" Seventy-seven-year-old David Simpson has been painting abstractly since the 1950s and was included in the famed 1964 exhibition "Post Painterly Abstraction" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which was organized by Clement Greenberg, the czar of modernism. One wonders what the anti-minimalist Greenberg would have to say about Simpson's work 40 years on, given that it has become decidedly minimal. In this exhibition, Simpson makes minimalist paintings with a lush, iridescent beauty. Using layers of color and interference pigments that have the ability to refract light, Simpson creates paintings that shimmer like fish scales. Their burnished surfaces glow, and their colors shift according to the light in the room and the position of the viewer. A painting that appears lavender will shift to pink or gray. The works are quietly beautiful. No word on what Greenberg is doing in his grave. Through October 30. Gallery Sonja Roesch, 2309 Caroline, 713-659-5424.

"Wesley Heiss: Suburban" Wesley Heiss has used just about every square inch of the Glassell School of Art's upstairs project space for his installation Suburban. Stuffed in the red-painted room is a big gray inflatable figure, partially inflated. To experience the installation, you squeeze past it and stand on an "X" along one wall. Suddenly the flaccid figure begins to inflate, crowding you into the space. Move off the "X" and it stops. Step back on and it starts again. The figure is of a dog, lying on its side, its head in the corner next to you. While the act of stepping on and off the "X" is comic, there's also something pathetic about the rising and falling dog with its face hidden in the corner. In Suburban, Heiss has made used-car-lot decor poignant. Through November 22. 5101 Montrose, 713-639-7500.

"William Wegman: New Paintings" Everyone knows William Wegman's dog pictures, those witty photographs he stages with his Weimaraners. But Wegman also makes paintings, and his humor runs through this work as well. On view at Texas Gallery, his paintings are built around an assortment of kitschy postcards. Wegman glues them to the canvas and then extends their images with paint, working the disparate collection of images together into compositions. Blue Bays (2004) pieces together a landscape. There's a postcard from some goofily named place in Finland -- oh, wait, they all have goofy names -- and images of the London Bridge, Del Ray Beach, Mount Fuji, the Rockies...Meanwhile, Museum (2005) builds galleries around a bunch of artwork postcards with oddball inserts such as an image to two 1960s-looking women operating massive punch-card machines. Wegman has a great eye for kitsch, and while it can be entertaining to play "find the hidden picture" with the paintings, overall, they aren't successful. Wegman just doesn't do a good job of composing the works around the postcards, and the majority of the paintings feel too awkwardly pieced together. It's not a bad idea, he just doesn't execute it well enough. Through November 12. 2012 Peden, 713-524-1593.

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Kelly Klaasmeyer
Contact: Kelly Klaasmeyer