Visual Arts

Houston Fine Art Fair Offers Exclusive Preview of Dorothy Hood Retrospective

This will be the fifth year for the Houston Fine Art Fair, known as “The City’s Art Fair,” with more than 60 Texas-based art institutions participating in the four-day event that kicks off with oh-so-exclusive VIP and Black Card previews.

One of those exhibitors, the Art Museum of South Texas, will offer a preview of next year’s Dorothy Hood retrospective, “The Color of Being/El Color del Ser,” which will open in September 2016. After her death in 2000, AMST received a major portion of her estate, including paintings, collages, drawings, prints and personal memorabilia. Hood, a Texas-born modernist who moved to Houston in the 1960s, impacted a full generation of painters as an instructor at the Museum School (now The Glassell School of Art), at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Her colorful compositions have been described as representative of “the inner space of the mind,” and she was known to combine incongruous colors for bold effect. While not everybody will be able to travel to Corpus Christi for the exhibit next September, this exclusive preview offers a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of this important artist’s work.

Patricia Covo Johnson, author of Contemporary Art in Texas, last year inducted 15 Houstonians into the inaugural year of the Houston Artists Hall of Fame, naming those artists who – by choice or birthplace – have been integral to Houston visual arts. “Dorothy Hood was inducted in the 2014 Hall of Fame,” said Johnson. “The upcoming retrospective in Corpus Christi is overdue and a huge cause for celebration.”

Ten artists and a collaborative team are being inducted into the Houston Artists Hall of Fame this year; their works will be showcased in an exhibit at the fair. Four of the painters – Gael Stack, Joseph Glasco, Richard Stout and Dick Wray – represent the older generation. “The older artists are well known in Houston and have reputations elsewhere, nationally and some international,” said Johnson. “Joseph Glasco was a giant presence and master painter; he'll be represented by a major work that's been in private hands since the early 1990s.”

She selected the three younger painters – Mark Flood, David Aylsworth and Aaron Parazette – for the strength of their work. “Though they may not be as well known, I believe their paintings can stand up in the context of their older counterparts.” The sculptors being inducted are Troy Woods, Bill Steffy, Ed Wilson and the team of Dan Havel and Dean Ruck.

Johnson’s interest in making the selections was to show major works (like the four double-sided panel painting by Glasco), as well as to “offer a glimpse of Havel/Ruck whose site-specific installations are powerful but temporal.”

“Another criterion was to highlight Houston artists of note whom I believe should be even better known," said Johnson.

The Houston Fine Art Fair – recognizing the important relationship between artists, museums, galleries and patrons – is honoring esteemed members of the Houston art community with achievement awards.

The 2015 Illuminating Award for Achievement in Art Education will be given to Michelle Swain Barnes, co-founder and executive director of the Community Artists’ Collective (The Collective), on Friday, September 11, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Clint Willour, curator at the Galveston Arts Center and cofounder of Art Houston and the Galveston Art Walk, will receive the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, September 12, from noon to 1 p.m., followed by a VIP reception.

Houston-based collector Lester Marks will be named 2015 Arts Patron of the Year on Saturday, September 12 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.; his collection contains thousands of works by both emerging and established artists.

There are opening night previews 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Black Card) and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (Black Card and VIP ticket holders) September 9. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. NRG Center, 1 Reliant Parkway. For information, call 631-283-5505 or visit Black Card $125, VIP $100, general admission day pass $20, parking $12 (cash).

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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney