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Chameleon, by Anat Ronen, from the 2016 HUE Mural Festival.
Chameleon, by Anat Ronen, from the 2016 HUE Mural Festival.
Photo by Anat Ronen

September Art Shows: Urban Legend, Ground Zero and Prisoner of Love

Between upcoming museum exhibitions that cover everything from murals to American Sign Language and Aboriginal art, to local gallery openings and even a few out of town offerings, September is the month to get out and see what's happening on the local art scene. Dig deeper to learn how the Latin and African-American experiences, ISIS, devastating hurricanes, and 9/11 have informed art and artists.

Museum Exhibitions

September 10-January 11, Anat Ronen, "Urban Legend," Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, 6815 Cypresswood, Spring (view artist at work, August 27-31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Prolific muralist Anat Ronen chronicles some of the 500 pieces of public art she has painted internationally, and also has created site-specific murals on the gallery walls.

Dawn, by Mark Burns.
Dawn, by Mark Burns.
Photo by Mark Burns, courtesy of Pearl Fincher MFA

September 10-January 11, Mark Burns, "Grand Canyon Photographs: Celebrating the Centennial 1919–2019," Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, 6815 Cypresswood, Spring (artist talk September 17, 6:30 p.m., next door at 6823 Cypresswood, reservations requested). In commemoration of the founding of the Grand Canyon National Park a century ago, the American photographer documented the landscape over an eight year period.

Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams, Pitjantjatjara language group. We Don’t Need a Map (Mapa Wiya).
Kunmanara (Mumu Mike) Williams, Pitjantjatjara language group. We Don’t Need a Map (Mapa Wiya).
Photo by Fondation Opale, Lens, Switzerland, courtesy of The Menil Collection

September 13-February 2, "Mapa Wiya (Your Map’s Not Needed): Australian Aboriginal Art from the Fondation Opale," The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross (public opening September 13, 6-9 p.m.; Community Day on September 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.). On loan from one of the most significant collections of contemporary Aboriginal art, this exhibition includes more than 100 paintings, shields, hollow log coffins, and engraved mother of pearl objects.

Untitled by Jasper Johns.
Untitled by Jasper Johns.
Photo by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

September 29-February 16, "Jasper Johns: 100 Variations on a Theme," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main (opening day lecture September 29, 3 p.m.; Art Encounters: Community Prints activity on October 10 at 6 p.m.). In one creative burst of energy, and inspired by American Sign Language and his own hand print, Johns produced a series of 100 prints over a ten day period in his Connecticut studio. The exhibit also features works on paper from museum and private collections.


September Openings for Galleries and Exhibition Spaces

Sicilian Still Life, by Daniel Gordon, coming to Houston Center for Photography.
Sicilian Still Life, by Daniel Gordon, coming to Houston Center for Photography.
Photo by Daniel Gordon, courtesy of Houston Center for Photography

Emerging and established collectors have a wealth of options from which to choose with a full slate of gallery openings and events this September. Don't overlook even more exhibitions that opened over this summer; read more in the below stories.

Through September 21, Katsumi Hayakawa, "Particles of Light," McClain Gallery, 2242 Richmond Avenue (artist reception September 12, 6-8 p.m.). Hayakawa is presenting large scale paper works and multi-panel paintings that employ metallic paint to capture luminosity; his influences include other painters of light including J.M.W. Turner and Paul Cézanne.

September 3-October 11, "Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik: Paper Midrash," Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, 5601 South Braeswood. The artist cuts up comic books and reassembles them into art influenced by the natural world.

Installation view from previous Hunt Slonem exhibit. His designs also can be found in high-end upholstery.
Installation view from previous Hunt Slonem exhibit. His designs also can be found in high-end upholstery.
Photo by Susie Tommaney

September 6-October 5, Hunt Slonem Texas Tour, "Wonderland," Laura Rathe Fine Art, 2707 Colquitt (reception September 6, 6-9 p.m.). A favorite of the Kardashians, Slonem's whimsical bunnies, butterflies and birds have been supplemented by his new "Bayou" series of Southern waterscapes.

September 6-October 19, Vincent Falsetta, "Sensing the Pulse," Anya Tish Gallery, 4411 Montrose (artist reception September 6, 6-8:30 p.m.) With varying brush widths, the artist either fills in or paints areas of dragged or blurred paint; the resulting abstracts remind the viewer of shattered and reassembled vinyl.

Space 24, by Cecilia Villanueva.
Space 24, by Cecilia Villanueva.
Photo by Archway Gallery

September 7-October 3, Cecilia Villanueva, "Transportable Cities: Mexico, A Depiction of Downtown Mexico City at 5 O'Clock in the Afternoon," Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy (reception September 7, 5-8 p.m.; artist talk and performance at 6:30 p.m.). Villanueva captures the unique architecture of Mexico, tinted with the pigment remembered from her architect father's blueprints, and capturing the unique low light of late afternoon in the capital.

September 6-October 19, "Andrea Bianconi: Prisoner of Love," Barbara Davis Gallery, 4411 Montrose (artist reception September 6, 6-8:30 p.m. with artist performance at 7:30 p.m.). Bianconi splits his time between Italy and New York and supplements his paintings and sculpture with performance art that always makes the viewer feel something: awkwardness, freedom, wonder, or the internal search for the meaning of life.

Song of the Celestials (detail) by Robert Dampier.
Song of the Celestials (detail) by Robert Dampier.
Photo by Robert Dampier

September 7-October 29, Robert Dampier, "As Within, So Without," Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th (opening reception September 7, 6-9 p.m.). Born in Houston and now living in Galveston, Dampier takes junk and obsolete objects and transforms them into art forms with new spirit and deeper meaning. In his artist statement, he says he thinks of himself as an alchemist and has found that, "when something specific is necessary — it often arrives."

September 7-24, Bob Mosier, "Actual Depth," Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th (opening reception September 7, 6-9 p.m.). Borrowing from the principles of photography, fiber artist Bob Mosier has spent hours sewing, stitching, seaming and thread painting to create three-dimensional art pieces that give the illusion of sculptural forms.

Untitled by David Janesko.
Untitled by David Janesko.
Photo by David Janesko, courtesy of Gray Contemporary

September 7-October 12, David Janesko, "Landscape Evolution," Gray Contemporary, 3508 Lake (opening reception September 7, 6-8 p.m.). Inspired by Belgian artist Pierre Cordier, the artist produces landscape-inspired chemigrams by applying chemicals to silver based photo paper.

September 7-October 12, Susannah Mira, "Guide Star," Gray Contemporary, 3508 Lake (opening reception September 7, 6-8 p.m.). Mira transforms the ordinary and, by repeating simple connections and patterns, creates dimensional plywood wall sculptures that reference the star motif found in the ancient practice of wayfinding.

September 12-December 18, "Piers Secunda: ISIS Paintings," University of Houston Clear Lake Art Gallery, Bayou Building, Atrium I, Level 1, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard. Secunda traveled to Kabul in Afghanistan and cast bullet holes from the scenes of suicide bombings; he pairs these reliefs with documentation of power tool damage from destroyed sites in Iraq.

September 7-October 12, Melissa Miller, "Predators and Prey," Moody Gallery, 2815 Colquitt (reception for the artist September 7, 5-7 p.m.). Miller's fantastical flora and fauna are always a treat for the eyes, though there's a sense of foreboding in her new Forest Fire that contrasts with her mythological gouache from 2016, Moth.

September 13-November 10, "Learning Curve 12: Juried by Emily Peacock," Houston Center for Photography, 1441 West Alabama  (opening reception September 13, 5-8 p.m.; artist remarks at 5 p.m.). From digital to alternative processes, the work of 13 of the HCP students from the past year are showcased in this curated exhibition.

September 13-November 10, Daniel Gordon, "Hue and Saturate," Houston Center for Photography, 1441 West Alabama (opening reception September 13, 5:30-8 p.m.; curator remarks begin at 6 p.m.). New York artist Gordon merges 2D cut-outs and playful painted shapes to create new photographs that playfully disrupt our ideas about digital photography.

September 14-January 19, "Tsuruya Kokei: Modern Kabuki Prints Revised & Revisited," Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Boulevard (opening reception September 19, 6-8 p.m.; curator talk September 21, 2-3:30 p.m.). With a modern twist on the late-18th century kabuki prints by Sharaku, the artist created bold portraits of Japan's leading actors. This will be the first time that all of his limited edition actor prints from 1984 to 1993 will be exhibited together; the show also explores issues of gender identity, a look at how kabuki has inspired pop culture, and emotionally complex self-portraits by the artist.

September 14 and by appointment, "Beyond Time," Booker-Lowe Gallery in association with Australia's oldest indigenous art gallery, Coo-ee Gallery, 4623 Feagan (4-6 p.m. Saturday). View paintings by some of the artists who helped launch the contemporary Aboriginal art movement in the 1970s, as well as works by leading and emerging artists.

Sunflowers, by Barbara Maples.
Sunflowers, by Barbara Maples.
Photo by Foltz Fine Art

September 14-October 26, "Voices Linger: Women Artists in Texas," Foltz Fine Art, 2143 Westheimer (opening reception September 14, 6-8 p.m.; book talk and signing with Ron Tyler for The Art of Texas: 250 Years, October 5, 2-5 p.m.). View oil paintings, watercolors and prints from the Early Texas Impressionism and Mid-century Modernism eras, with works by Kathleen Blackshear, Mary Bonner, Mary Nell Brooks, Emma Richardson Cherry, Marie Delleney, Kathryn Nobles Douglass, Constance Forsyth, Lucille Jeffries, Anna Keener, Lucie Locke, Barbara Maples, Florence McClung, Flora Blanc Reeder, Emily Rutland, Ethel Spears, Coreen Spellman, Stella Sullivan, Janet Turner, and Elizabeth Walmsley.

September 20-December 21, "Moon Shot," Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University, 6100 Main (opening reception September 20, 6-8 p.m.). July's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing has come and gone, but we're not tired of the subject. Drawing from the work of artists over the past half century, objects include Robert Rauschenberg’s Stoned Moon lithographs and Andy Warhol's Moonwalk. Then explore your own experimental journey through space with the VR work, To the Moon, co-created by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang.

September 21-December 22, Michael Menchaca, "The Codex Silex Vallis (The Silicon Valley Codex)," Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main (opening reception September 20, 6-8 p.m.). Discover Menchaca's latest works on paper in a site-specific wallpaper installation that riffs on how Silicon Valley has infiltrated traditional Latino family customs.

September 21-December 22, Saúl Hernández-Vargas, "Nothing Left of Us in the Wilderness (No queda nada para nosotros en la espesura)," Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main (opening reception September 20, 6-8 p.m.). Oaxacan mud and jeweler's wax become more than the sum of their parts in this interrogation of Mexico's usage of pre-Hispanic jewels to promote a homogenous and unified political identity.

The Burden of Every Drop (detail) by Nathalie Miebach.
The Burden of Every Drop (detail) by Nathalie Miebach.
Photo by Jean-Michael Seminaro

September 28-January 5, "Nathalie Miebach: The Water Line," Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main (reception September 27, 5:30-8 p.m.). In this recognition of the scientific and emotional effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, contemporary basket weaver Miebach transforms weather data into art in this large-scale woven installation that includes sculptures and watercolor musical scores.

September 28-January 5, "Objects: Redux — How 50 Years Made Craft Contemporary," Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main (reception September 27, 5:30-8 p.m.). It's been 50 years since the Smithsonian National Collection of Fine Arts debuted "Objects: USA," putting American craft on the map, and this exhibition includes work by some of those original artists as well as contemporary makers.

Out of Town Exhibitions:

I Don't Want No Water Ma!, by Craig Odle.
I Don't Want No Water Ma!, by Craig Odle.
Photo by Art Museum of Southeast Texas

Through November 17, "Craig Odle: Experiments and Evolution," Art Museum of Southeast Texas, 500 Main, Beaumont. Born in Houston and raised in Beaumont, this pop-surrealist painter finds inspiration in day-to-day life, resulting in acrylics that are sometimes deep and thoughtful, other times lowbrow with a riddle or pun.

September 6-November 11, "Ground Zero 360: A 9/11 Retrospective: 18 Years Later," The Arts Council, 4180 Highway 6 South, College Station (First Responder Day, September 7, 1-4 p.m.). For those who missed the exhibit when it premiered at the Holocaust Museum Houston in 2014, this celebration of the tremendous courage and dignity of a nation under fire returns to College Station.

September 21-March 1, "The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection," African American Museum, Dallas in Fair Park, 3536 Grand Avenue, Dallas. This exhibition will feature more than 150 of the shared treasures amassed by Shirley and Bernard Kinsey during their five decades of marriage and is considered one of the most comprehensive surveys of African-American history and culture outside the Smithsonian Institution.

September 21-December 1, "Prince Varughese Thomas: The Legacy of Narcissus," Art Museum of Southeast Texas, 500 Main, Beaumont (opening reception September 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.). Thomas's immersive multimedia exhibition will fill the gallery space with new photography, video, drawings and three-dimensional installations in this intersection of social media, art and politics that address the collective narcissism found in today's culture.

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