AFAC's Select Shows for Fall

I recently attended a panel discussion including a seasoned collector, a curator, a dealer and a conservator. When the question of connoisseurship came up, they all agreed on the importance of enthusiastic looking. The more you look and discuss what you're seeing the better. One panelist commented that connoisseurship is "a practice", not a state of being. One doesn't simply "have an eye" or not, it all comes down to a commitment to, and passion for looking. Looking...looking...and more looking. In that spirit, and now that we are well into the fall season, when the art world is full swing, here are a few exhibits to take in. Happy looking!

Art League Houston’s Texas Artist of the Year at Rice Gallery 

One of the state’s most celebrated and influential contemporary artists, Trenton Doyle Hancock draws on personal experience, art’s canon, and myriad pop culture references to construct a fantastical narrative that spans his artistic career. This exhibition of Hancock’s work, titled “Texas: 1997-2017”, features more than fifty works in a diverse range of media, including mixed-media, painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. His complex amalgamations of characters and plots speak to universal concepts of light and dark, good and evil, and all the grey in between. On view through November 17, 2017. 

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles 

This show examines the experimental works produced by a range of female artists during a key period for both Latin American history and contemporary art. More than 260 works, including photography and video, were produced by 116 artists, from emblematic figures, such as Lygia Pape and Ana Mendieta, to the lesser-known, including Cuban-born abstract artist Zilia Sánchez and Colombian sculptor Feliza Bursztyn. On display through December 31. 

 Dalí / Duchamp at The Royal Academy of the Arts, London 

Examining the unlikely friendship between the father of conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp, and larger-than-life Surrealist Salvador Dalí, this original exhibition brings together around 80 works, including some of Dalí’s most inspired and technically accomplished paintings and sculptures and some of Duchamp’s groundbreaking assemblages, along with correspondence and collaborations between the two artists. Closes January 3, 2018. 

 Rodin at The Met, New York 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates its historic collection of nearly 50 works by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)—representing more than a century of acquisitions—on the centenary of the artist’s death. Bronzes, plasters, and terracottas by Rodin are on display in the newly refurbished B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Gallery through January 15, 2018. 

30th Anniversary Exhibit at The Menil Collection, Houston 

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Menil is highlighting 30 significant works from its permanent collection, which have been chosen to represent the museum’s origins and evolution. The featured paintings, sculptures, and drawings include Native objects, Byzantine icons, Surrealism, and contemporary art. They are specially labeled and distributed throughout the galleries and the campus which is a wonderful way to revisit the entire collection. The works remain on view through January 28, 2018. 

Julie Mehretu HOWL, eon (I, II) at SFMOMA, San Francisco 

The main staircase of SFMOMA’s soaring Haas, Jr. Atrium is newly flanked with a stunning, site-specific diptych by Julie Mehretu, once a resident of the CORE Program, Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The two vast abstract canvases were created as part of SFMOMA’s new art commissioning program. An expansive exploration of the American West, the work deals with the Bay Area’s history of colonialism, capitalism, class conflict, social protest, and technological innovation and how these forces have transformed the social and physical landscape. Ongoing.