“John Biggers: MAAME”

Redbud Gallery’s latest coup is “John Biggers: MAAME,” the first commercial exhibition in Houston of work by the muralist in more than 30 years. “I was able to pull together 34 pieces for the show,” gallery owner Gus Kopriva says. “Houston is a treasure trove. He lived here half a century, living here, making art.”

Biggers’s murals remain in place around the country, with a good number in Houston. “He is one of our most important American muralists,” says Kopriva. “I just want to make sure the younger artists get to know his work. This is a rare opportunity. In this show, we will have works on paper, drawings, Conté and colored pastels; he was a great printmaker. We’ve captured the essence of color in this show.” The art, which captured the anguish and suffering of those living in the South, often focused on women and everyday objects. “He went from social realism — women working in the fields — to African-American art. He nailed it,” said Kopriva. “In 1957, he got a [UNESCO] grant and went to Africa, before going to Africa was cool.” After that, his pieces morphed into modernism, as he incorporated African symbolism and folklore into his work.

Born in North Carolina in 1924, Biggers eventually made his way to Houston. He served as the founding chairman of the art department at Houston’s Texas State University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University), and as such directly influenced generations of artists.

There’s an opening reception 6 to 9 p.m. April 4. Regular viewing hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Through April 26. 303 East 11th. For information, call 713-862-2532 or redbudgallery.com. Free.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: April 4. Continues through April 26, 2015

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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