Glasstire Top Five: April 1, 2021

Christopher Blay and Christina Rees on Texas barns in danger, Italian drawings in Space City, and an artist who has her finger on the pulse of human awfulness.

There’s something deceptive about her work. It tends to be really charming, really beautiful — and really dark.”

To watch last week’s Top Five in which Brandon Zech and Christina Rees talk the reopening of Dallas Contemporary, a show by some New York legends in the Panhandle, and one artist’s way of making the frame a part of the art, please go here.

1. Silent Revolutions: Italian Drawings from the Twentieth Century
November 14 – April 11 | Symposium held April 7 – 9 | The Menil Drawing Institute (Houston)

From the Menil:

“Silent Revolutions: Italian Drawings from the Twentieth Century, is the first large-scale survey of twentieth-century Italian drawings mounted in the United States. The exhibition, presenting works largely selected from the Collezione Ramo in Milan, will be exclusively on view at the Menil Drawing Institute from November 14, 2020, through April 11, 2021. Silent Revolutions will feature 70 drawings by Umberto Boccioni, Alighiero Boetti, Giorgio de Chirico, Lucio Fontana, Jannis Kounellis, Maria Lai, Carol Rama, and others. The works on view will be augmented with several drawings from the Menil’s own collection.”

2. Celia Eberle: The Reanimation Project
April 3 – May 8 | Cris Worley Fine Arts (Dallas)

From the gallery:

“Celia Eberle is best known for her sculptural works steeped in mythology and paradox. The artist often explores themes with ominous dichotomies such as those between: nostalgia and naivety, past and future, man and nature, worship and destruction, and romance and longing. The artist intuitively selects materials for each artwork; often carving wood, bone and precious stones alongside ceramics, sound components and various found objects. This recent body of work includes sculptures which feature animatronic movement, or which present the expectation of movement.”

3. Jennifer May Reiland: Carnage
February 6 – May 1 | Lawndale Art Center (Houston)

From Lawndale:

“In Carnage, Jennifer May Reiland creates a personal pantheon of secular and religious saints and martyrs, ranging from Princess Diana to bullfighter Juan Belmonte to Maria of Agreda, a Spanish nun whose body was said to be seen floating over Texas in the early days of the Spanish conquest. In works on paper and wood, Reiland draws from medieval European imagery and the tradition of Mexican devotional painting to examine female guilt, martyrdom, and violence against women. These works weave together the stories of many women, historical and imagined. From medieval saints like Saint Catherine and Saint Agatha to historical martyrs like Marie Antoinette and Juana la Loca to modern celebrity martyrs like Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, these women’s bodies are sexualized, idolized, then ritually picked apart by the mob. Reiland combines the known facts of their lives with dreams, associations, and fantasies about them, attempting to fill in the holes where the truth is unknowable.”

4. Jaylen Pigford: See What I See
April 2 – 24 | Presa House Gallery (San Antonio)

From Presa House:

“Jaylen Pigford (b. 1996) is an Afro-Latino painter born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, and based in Houston. The son of an African-American father and a mother of Mexican descent, Pigford is a self-taught artist who has been creating artwork since childhood. Pigford views his work as a balance of light and dark, a reflection of past negative experiences, and a story of adversity. His intention is to uplift his viewers and goes on to explain, ‘It is always good with the bad. We all struggle, our failures test us, it’s what action we take to correct them that matters most.’”

5. Colleen Blackard: The Abandoned Series: Returning
April 3 – 27 | Redbud Gallery (Houston)

From the gallery:

“The Abandoned Series’ tells the story of Colleen’s struggle with feeling disconnected and abandoned when her sister was born. A lonely old barn in various settings personifies the experience of confusion and resolution as she finds her way to reconnection.” (Julia Moak, “Greenpointers.”) “Even when all hope is dashed by impending waves from a hurricane or a looming F5 tornado, the barn still remains undeterred. Is the barn blissfully ignorant, or confident in its inner light? Ultimately shedding the structure of the barn, the light bursts out and integrates with the landscape.”

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