All of us at CAMH want to congratulate artist Joan Jonas on being selected to represent the United States at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Jonas is widely regarded as one of the most influential pioneers of performance and video-art. In 2013 her work was featured in Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and included a selection of her earliest installations and video-works as well as a some of her most recent artworks.
Above: Joan Jonas, Glass Puzzle (detail), 1973. 2-channel video installation, photo-backdrop paper, child’s desk. Video 1: Black-and-white, sound, 17:27 minutes. Video 2 (shown): color, sound, 31:18 minutes. Courtesy the artist, Collection Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.
Writer Dorota Biczel reflects on Melanie Smith’s two solo-exhibitions currently showing in Houston at CAMH and Sicardi Gallery.
"From the perspective of a cynic, two Houston exhibitions of Mexico-City-based English expat Melanie Smith could be seen along a simple dichotomy: large-scale, time-based projects are on view at a museum while smaller easel paintings—commodities for sale—are at a private gallery. Indeed, both shows are tightly focused: CAMH features Smith’s three recent video/film installations augmented with two collections of sculptural objects; The Sicardi Gallery show is thematically organized around a green monochrome, and includes six new paintings and a two-and-a-half-minute, silent video. Cynical bifurcations aside, only by seeing both of these exhibitions one can grasp the reasons for Smith’s phenomenal success in the last decade, which resulted in the solo exhibitions at the Mexican Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, MIT List Visual Arts Center, MUCA Campus in Mexico City, Miami Art Museum, and Tate Britain, among others, and in her presence in virtually every major survey of contemporary art from Mexico.”
Fun fact: Julian Schnabel’s first solo museum exhibition was at CAMH in 1976!
Artist Julian Schnabel’s exhibition An Artist Has A Past (Puffy Clouds and Strong Cocktails)at the Dallas Contemporary opened last Friday night and a few CAMH staff members made it out to celebrate the artist’s first solo-exhibition in Texas since 1987!
Above: Julian Schnabel, Untitled (Milton Puffy Clouds Strong Cocktails), 2005. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian Gallery.
This Friday Filmmaker, performer, and visual artist Wu Tsang will activate his installation at DiverseWorks with a one-night-only performance starring boychild. Playing the role of the main character in Tsang’s film, A day in the life of bliss, boychild is known for vivid and visceral solo performances that bring a sense of otherworldliness to the body. Tsang, in the exhibition and related performance, co-opts the tropes of science fiction and documentary in an exploration of fantasy’s ability to represent social movements. Evoking “the underground” as a site of cultural resistance, he considers how these constructs have been transformed by the internet and social media.
The performance is held in conjunction with CounterCurrent a five-day festival of bold experimental art that occupies a range of unexpected sites in the city of Houston. Presented by the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, CounterCurrent includes audio and visual installation, live performance, and participatory events by artists from around the world.
Wu Tsang’s work will be included in CAMH’s upcoming exhibition Double Life curated by Dean Daderko later this year. Catch his performance this weekend and learn about boychild, the star of the film Tsang is creating for the exhibition at the Museum.
Photo: Wu Tsang, production still from A day in the life of bliss, featuring boychild. Photo by Jesus Torres Torres.
Click the video above to see a preview of CAMH’s latest exhibition featuring the work of Mexican artist Melanie Smith.
We’re preparing for our 65th Anniversary Gala and Art Auction at the Museum. Above is a photo of a few of the art works included in the auction. The work closest to the frame was donated to CAMH by Houston’s own Patrick Renner. (at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston)
C. Spencer Yeh is setting up for his performance at the Museum starting at 2PM. Get the details at camh.org. (at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston)
Trenton Doyle Hancock, Buff and Britches, 2010. Acrylic, mixed media on paper, 10 x 6 ¼ inches. Collection Sloan and Carli Schaffer, Los Angeles. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York.
Trenton Doyle Hancock, Sometimes We Can”t Have the Things We Want, 2010. Acrylic, mixed media on paper, 16 x 13 inches. Zang Collection, London.
See this work and more by Trenton Doyle Hancock at Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin & Bones, 20 Years of Drawing, opening April 26. Learn more.
Al Souza, Ramones, 2006. Cut paper, 33 5/8 x 24 inches. Courtesy the artist and Moody Gallery, Houston.
Dave McKenzie, Proposal, 2007. Acrylic on linen, 16 x 16 inches. Courtesy the artist, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angles Projects, and Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin.