Capsule Art Reviews: April 16, 2015

"AT the Core of the Algorithm" Upon entering Hiram Butler Gallery to see Michael Petry's "AT the Core of the Algorithm" installation, one might quickly decide that everything could be seen within five seconds. However, if a visitor looks beyond the simple beauty of hanging glass globes, the piece becomes much more interactive. Inspired by the prime number, the piece consists of glass globes arranged in sets of one, two, three and five and hung by 47 wires at staggered heights and in nonlinear formation. Each of the globes has a section sliced away, similar to when a person takes a bite out of an apple. The work is a nod to the late Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. Using algorithms and computation, Turing is widely considered to be the father of artificial intelligence and theoretical computer science. When he died at 41 of cyanide poisoning, a partially eaten apple was found near his bed. The installation also represents a metaphor for the multiverse, in which many universes float alongside each other, occasionally intersecting and popping in and out of existence. To get the most out of this exhibit, a person must walk around it and underneath it, viewing it from many angles and noticing how it changes from each perspective. Look through the glass, then look through the glass where it is doubled up and notice the change in color. Then look at where the color changes when the orb has fused with another. The artist asks you to also see that the refracted images of nearby orbs appear visible on the glass — both there and not there at the same time — sort of a parallel universe. Continuing through May 30. 4520 Blossom, 713-863-7097, hirambutler.com. — ST

"Desert Awakening: Paintings by the Australian AboriginalWomen of Ampilatwatja" The current exhibit at Booker•Lowe Gallery focuses on the small community of Ampilatwatja near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia. The pieces reflect the desert landscape in full bloom and with riots of exploding color. While Aboriginal artists have long favored the traditional earth colors of white pipe clay, charcoal black, and red and yellow ochre, these works feature bright oranges, blues and greens, celebrating the end of the drought. In this particular region, the painting style incorporates a meticulous dot technique, or rather thousands and thousands of small dots layered in delicate patterns. Many of the works feature repetitive patterns of vegetation without a particular focal point, and could pass for ornate, highly detailed textiles. In Kathleen Nanima Rambler's My Father's Country, she has painted the deep-blue sky with an almost childlike, magical quality, sprinkled with stars and watching over four volcanoes. She has added tiny kangaroos to her landscape, a nice surprise. Her 24"x24" piece by the same name showcases a purple, blue and orange sky over a hot orange landscape. In both pieces, she has used a scallop pattern for her dots, meticulously changing the colors within each curve. Margaret Kemarre Ross's Bush Flowers and Bush Medicine Plants is a bright and happy piece, vertical in orientation, with wonky rows of different plants. I did not need to understand the mystical healing properties of bush medicines to appreciate the beauty of this painting. Of the works that focus primarily on pattern repetition, one of the strongest was Betty Pula Morton's My Country and Bush Medicine. This piece was smaller in scale than some of the others, at only 42"x12", and featured a garnet-red background. Through June 13. 4623 Feagan, 713-880-1541, bookerlowegallery.com. — ST

"Drawing the Eye to Nothingness" Thedra Cullar-Ledford, in her exhibit "Drawing the Eye to Nothingness" at G Gallery, has launched a full-scale attack against what she refers to as tit cancer, but her weapons of choice are her body, her mind and her creativity. Incorporating images of the breast in all its incarnations — sustenance for the infant, object of lust or tissue on the operating table — survivor Cullar-Ledford's message is more than just cancer awareness; she also wants to educate survivors that post-mastectomy reconstruction surgery is not mandatory. The Tit Wall Installation features dozens of concave and flat metal bowls and platters, each oil-painted with pink and brown and rose-colored breasts. It's a wonderful optical illusion, appearing convex in form, and a fitting tribute to the unique individuality of women. Her Kitchen Performance, a series of ten photographs in collaboration with Everett Tassevigen, is a witty and artful photo-journal of a gin-infused mid-century housewife who bakes and frosts tit cakes in varied states of undress, ultimately re-enacting the surgeon's work in a smeared frosting fishnet-stocking state of ecstasy. Women over 40 will appreciate the uncomfortable parallel as Cullar-Ledford's housewife presses her breast flat in a Suzy Homemaker oven door. Her large-scale paintings also are powerful, especially FU Pink Shit, a montage of three smaller photos of the aforementioned tit cake, knife and fishnet hosiery, a painting of two very fresh surgical scars, and the angry graffiti words "Fuck Cancer" and "Pink Shit" interspersed with scissors, cut lines, arrows and X-marks. Similarly effective is Suck My Tits with the word "Suck" so loud it explodes off the canvas, and an angry X blotting out the word "Cancer." Through April 28. 301 East 11th. 713-869-4770, ggalleryhouston.com. — ST