It's a trio of art shows that should catch your attention this weekend. Lawndale Art Center closes its "30th Anniversary Show" this Saturday. Houston Press art writer Kelly Klaasmeyer reviewed this show; one artist especially caught her attention: Seth Alverson.
Klaasmeyer said of his paintings, "'One depicts the bent-over butt of a woman in running shorts, each dimple of cellulite on her pale legs exactly modeled. In the artist's nearby painting of an upholstered brown velveteen armchair, the soft fabric is rendered with a sheen that mimics the tufted flesh of the woman's legs. In between the chair and butt images is a canvas depicting a pair of hefty, less-than-pert breasts propped on a windowsill. There are also portraits, both of chubby girls, one seemingly painted from a class photo of a smiling Pentecostal student, the other depicting a big, surly-looking girl with her arms crossed, looking like she's just waiting to kick your ass in dodge ball. The Gerhard Richter-like smudged paint of her face is especially ominous." Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main, 713-528-5858. Free.
Closing after a long run at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is "North Looks South: Building the Latin American Collection." The exhibit was put together in less than two months, as a last minute replacement for a canceled Cildo Meireles show.
One of the show's standouts is Alfredo Jaar's installation The Eyes of Gutete Emerita. Klaasmeyer, who reviewed this show as well, described it saying, "In spare language, it tells the story of one massacre ... in Rwanda. Thirty-year-old Gutete Emerita was at church with her husband and their three children when a Hutu death squad attacked. Emerita saw her 40-year-old husband Tito Kahinamura, her ten-year old son Muhoza and her seven-year-old son Matirigari hacked to death with machetes. Emerita and her 12-year-old daughter, Unumaragrunga, managed to escape by hiding in a swamp for weeks."
Jaar took a close-up photograph of Emerita's eyes, made 100,000 slides of the image and displayed them on a large table. Viewers are available for visitors. Williams continued, "Leaning down to peer into the slide viewer is like putting yourself face to face with a loved one. You look into this woman's eyes and you are painfully aware of what they have witnessed, the horror that has been seared into her retinas." The show closes this Sunday. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet, 713-639-7300.
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The third show that deserves a look this weekend is the Heritage Society's "Miles and Miles of Texas: The Lone Star State Through the Eyes of Buck Schiwetz," a rare look at the works of one of the most renowned Texas artists. Schiwetz, who was trained as an architect, worked as an artist for more than 50 years, from the late 1920s to the early 1980s. His paintings show a vanishing way of life, including Spanish missions, Texas oil fields, picturesque buildings and landscapes. "Miles and Miles of Texas" closes Sunday. 1100 Bagby. For information, call 713-655-1912 or visit www.heritagesociety.org. Free.