Our suggestion for Friday, Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg's newly installed Wheel of Everyday Life, is at the Rice University Art Gallery. For more than a decade, Klingberg has been exploring the relationship between the commercial and the spiritual by borrowing designs from supermarket, big-box store and fast food restaurant logos to make large-scale cosmological diagrams and Buddhist mandalas. Installing these patterns across walls, floors and windows, she temporarily creates meditative spaces in public spaces of hospitals and museums.
The kaleidoscopic patterns in Everyday Life feature such familiar names as Kmart, Heinz, Target, Charmin, even Star Pizza and Fiesta, for some truly site-specific flavor. The process for making the pattern is "almost like embroidery or knitting," Klingberg tells us, "but it's made at the computer." Once it's printed on vinyl, the pattern is installed in the gallery, spreading into the foyer area and continuing up on the arched windows. "I want to emphasize the viral aspect in the work," says Klingberg. "The fact that visitors and students literally walk on the pattern and thus become part of the Wheel of Everyday Life makes the work more significant to me."
See Gunilla Klingberg's latest creation 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through March 17. 6100 Main. For information, visit the gallery's website or call 713-348-6069.
Houston's own master of cozy mysteries Dean James appears at Murder by the Book on Saturday to sign the latest release in his Cat in the Stacks series, Out of Circulation. James writes Cat in the Stacks under the pseudonym Miranda James, but fans are in on the secret so no one's expecting to see Miranda. (James also writes the Wanda Nell Culpepper series under the name Jimmie Ruth Evans and Bridge Club series as Honor Hartman.) Out of Circulation features Charlie Harris, who like James in real life, is a librarian. When Harris finds a dead body in the library, he and his rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel set out to solve the mystery. Joelle Charbonneau also appears and will be signing her latest novel, Skating on the Edge.
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See James and Charbonneau at 4:30 p.m. 2342 Bissonnet. For information, visit the bookstore website or call 713-524-8597.
The first word that comes to mind when taking in "2013 NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) Biennial," -- one of a trio of exhibitions at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and our suggestion for Sunday, is awesome. Held in tandem with the NCECA 47th Annual Conference, "2013 NCECA Biennial" features work by 35 chosen artists (from an applicant pool of 740) who have provided 39 works of high ceramic quality, most with an emphasis on the hands as artistic resource, and the face, or facial expression as artistic subject. Among the best of these is Beauty by Claudia Olds Goldies: a white stoneware sculpture of a curvaceous woman in her underwear. However well-intentioned Goldies' efforts may be, however, Beauty is ironically named; the subject does not know she is, for paired with her revealing intimates, patterned with a clever touch of graphite pencil, is the woman's face, which wears an anxious expression, as if she has just revealed herself to a new lover and is unsure of the reception she will receive.
See "2013 NCECA Biennial" 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through May 5. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main. For information, visit the center's website or 713-529-4848.
Meredith Deliso and Altamese Osborne contributed to this post.