"David Fulton: In and Of" David Fulton's paintings are filled with snaking, overlapping lines that make reference to geography -- the paths of rivers, the edges of coasts, the outlines of lakes. For this exhibition, Fulton has expanded the scale of many of his works. Conversion (2005) is the standout. The translucent white lines of the painting create a narrative, leading you through layered networks of paint into the dark caverns of the ground. Fulton is also experimenting with color over dark backgrounds in some of the works on view, but not all of them are as successful. The gallery lighting may be a factor, but the shiny varnish on the paintings makes some of the works hard to see. The most successful of the colored works is the tall, narrow painting called Immersion, (Red) (2005). In this haunting work, Fulton's crimson lines of pigment glow like hemoglobin. Through October 15 at New Gallery, 2627 Colquitt, 713-520-7053.
"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.
"Gego, Between Transparency and the Invisible" Gego was the Venezuelan avant-garde artist formerly known as Gertrud Goldschmidt. Sculptures, drawings, prints and collages by the artist are on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The woman who would become a major figure of the Latin American avant-garde was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1912. After the Kristallnacht in 1938, she escaped to Caracas. In looking at her work, you can see evidence of Gego's Germanic training in architecture, engineering and drafting. Line is the dominant element in her art. But the lines she uses warp and subvert notions of geometric and mechanical precision, thwarting and relaxing them. For an untitled 1970 work, Gego used a ruler to draw an anal-retentive grid of angled lines. But then she disrupted the crisp regularity of the diamond-shaped cells of the grid. Cell by cell, she bisected each one with a tentative, hand-drawn line. In a similar untitled 1966 work, she covered a page with two ruled grids of lines. They look like they should meet in the center of the page, but they're intentionally off. With a careful, purposeful line, Gego carefully traced around where the lines should meet. In these drawings, she's setting up an expectation of precision and then subtly and delicately undermining it. Gego mastered the skills and precision demanded by her fields of study but comfortably discounted them, like a classically trained musician who strays and improvises. In her series "Drawings Without Paper," Gego used wire to break free from the page. Using random scraps like old coat hangers, she created whimsical drawings in space. In her later years, Gego was afflicted with arthritis and could no longer work with wire. She turned instead to paper, creating tejeduras by cutting strips from old catalogs and magazines and weaving them together in loose grids. Her pursuit of line continued unabated. Through September 25. 5601 Main, 713-639-7300.
"Perspectives 147: Adrian Paci" Adrian Paci hired a professional mourner for his video The Weeper (Vajtojca) (2002), one of the strongest works in the artist's show at the Contemporary Arts Museum. The artist left Albania with his family in 1997, fleeing the country's post-communist strife. In the video, set in his native land, Paci arrives at the vajtojca's home and changes into a dark suit while she carefully arranges a sheet over a Soviet-esque day bed. Paci lies down on the bed and neatly folds his hands over his stomach as the vajtojca sits in a chair beside him. She drapes a scarf over her head and begins to mourn. The mourner weeps for his children and for his exile through a poem she wrote. When she is finished, the corpse, Paci, rises from the dead to shake her hand, and they embrace. The ironic yet poignant work mourns the fate of a country as well as the fate of an individual. Through October 2. 5216 Montrose, 713-284-8250.