ON VIEW THROUGH DEC. 14, 2012
186 local, regional and national artists provide a visual discussion on the topic of God.
Is there a God? If so, who or what is your God? These are the questions presented to artists this year with our chosen topic, and the responses are as varied as the number of entries. There are a number of reasons why we chose such a controversial subject. Discussions about the possible apocalyptic meaning of the Mayan calendar and discovery of the so-called ‘god-particle’ originated the decision, but looking back on events of the past year, there are many that reinforce the need for an exhibition about God.
Consider the end-time scale wildfires; extensive drought; the rise in lethal senseles hate crimes; pointless mass-murders by demented students, disgruntled employees or unhappy family members; flooding and damges from Hurricane Isaac; Syria's war on its own people; the everlasting conflict between Israel and Palestine; civil unrest in Libya and Egypt. The list of tragedies goes on with more than can be mentioned here. All involve the loss of human life - natural disasters at the hands of a creator and man-made disasters based on simple differences of religious or political opinion.
The intention of the "God" exhibition is to provide museum visitors with some visual encouragement and open dialogue on this ‘impolite’ topic. This exhibition includes several trees, dogs, crosses, altars, and mirrors as many of the artists were inspired in a similar manner. The humorous, political,spiritual, environmental, and satirical comments expressed in these artworks are the carefully planned, heartfelt opinions of the artists. Some of the artiworks will speak more loudly or clearly to one viewer than another. Some will provoke an emotional reaction and some a loud chuckle. It is important to note that it was not so many years ago that artwork of a religious theme was the only type tolerated and commissioned. Whatever thoughts you have about this topic and exhibition, we must consider ourselves fortunate to be able to express our religious opinions (or even the lack thereof) and, in this election year, to make political leadership choices. Not everyone is so lucky.
The figures in each painting are not themselves saints, but they all share a saint-like quality. They are not tied by religion but by their humanity. The religious aspect is not the nature of my work. It's merely a reflection of western art history, in the spirit of Michelangelo's sculptures and Carravagio's paintings. This humanization of saints is then combined with the personal expression of Frida Khalo and the universal humanity of Francis Bacon.
The figures are reflective, at peace, sympathetic, and innocent, inflicting no harm or guilt onto the viewer. They represent those who sleep through life, unaware of the good that’s inside, because they don’t meet society’s unattainable standards. They go unrecognized, unappreciated, and, in that forgotten sense, un-judged. I hope to have my art represent the human condition, as expressed through the figurative arts, in the most universal way that one person can. - Michael Healey
“Perry House: Elegance/Violence” is an exhibition that includes paintings from House’s enormous body of work spanning more than 30 years. Perry House, long-time Houston artist and art educator at Houston Community College Central Campus, is a dedicated painter, devoting several hours each and every day to perfecting his craft. House’s ‘alternate reality landscapes’ are neo-expressionist, straddling the line between abstraction and realism with their nearly recognizable forms and figures. The works are allegorical in imagery, yet ambiguous in interpretation. They are, at the same time, both beautiful and disturbing. “Elegance / Violence” will include both recent and older works and reveal House’s venerable quest for balance.
ABOUT PERRY HOUSE: Perry House received his M.F.A. in 1971 from California College of Arts in Oakland. In 1985, House’s work was included in an exhibition titled “Fresh Paint: The Houston School”. Curated by Barbara Rose and Susie Kalil, “Fresh Paint” marked the first time that the Museum of Fine Arts Houston devoted a large show to local painters. Also included in this historically important group show were legendary Houston painters Ron Hoover and Dick Wray. Over the years, House was represented by William Graham, Davis/McClain, and Inman Galleries. At the same time, House was also an instructor at Houston Community College Central Campus, a career from which he has recently retired after 30 years. Perry House’s retirement plans are to continue painting every day. Perry House is currently represented by Dan Allison.
The art car photography exhibition
Art Car REVOLUTION
Opening events March 16, 2012
featuring Maurice Roberts and Irv Tepper is a visual chronicle of the art car experience and was curated by Ann Harithas as two separate one-man exhibitions originally held at the Nave Museum in Victoria, Texas in 2010 & 2011.
“Artcar artists express their individuality through a visual creative language applied ¬¬¬to the vehicles they drive. The themes of humor, politics, religion, decoration, and reinvention of form are all part of this celebration of freedom to express oneself, making the car into a personal shrine. The best of these cars comes alive when I see them. That is what I am trying to capture when I take their portrait, catch that moment, and translate the image into a final print.” - Irv Tepper
“I first started photographing art cars at the 1989 Houston Art Car Parade, and during the following two decades my eyes have never failed to open wide when I get to witness and document the creativity and audacity of those who participate in the art car movement. My photographs attempt to reflect the power of the individual and the power of the art form, which derives true uniqueness and artistic innovation from mass-produced factory form. I document art that embodies motion and progressive action - the very need to move, to apply power to an object and time, and accelerate to an alternate reality.” - Maurice Roberts
The Sea Beneath by Sherry Sullivan, oil and acrylic on canvas, 48” x 66 1/4", 2008.
Each year for the open call exhibition, the Art Car Museum presents a very broad-based topic in order to poll the artistic community regarding their concerns, inspirations and motivations. The types of media are always varied: paintings in acrylic and oil, mixed media collages, wood and metal sculptures, photography and assemblage. The artists always contribute works with humor, partial nudity, technical skill, political viewpoints, exquisite talent or indistinguishable forms and this year is no exception. The works relating to our topic of “Reconstruction” reveal remarkable interest in personal, ecological and political change. An overwhelming majority of these works involve personal and spiritual transformation. There are so many pieces relating to ‘personal reconstruction’ that a listing here of those titles would be monotonous. Several outstanding works consist of recycled and repurposed materials such as Andre Gandin’s “Trent 77 Roadster”, Sam VanBibber’s “Baby Oh Baby” and Kari Steele’s “Golden Cicada”. Well executed political themed works include, among others, Allen Rice III’s “Reconstructing Liberty”, Linn Swartz’s “Tea Time” and Toby Topek’s “Arab Spring”. The participating artists set the tone for the open call exhibition as the interpretation of the assigned topic is left entirely to their imaginations. In this exhibition, the majority of the works on Reconstruction reference deeply personal metamorphoses. The message from these artists is that change begins inside.
Born in 1929, Sherry Sullivan has been an artist ever since she could hold a pencil. She is a talented and prolific abstract painter “always with some subject matter”. Vibrant colors and intricate, elegant designs comprise her unique style. Many of her works have a naturalistic theme and reflect the artist’s concern for the environment. Sherry has been a participating artist in our open call exhibition for many years and was the immediate choice for this honor. Her painting restorations for Casa Juan Diego, in addition to her physical restoration after two hip surgeries last year, are major accomplishments. Sherry’s perseverance and exceptional talent are truly inspirational and the Art Car Museum is excited to showcase a number of her newest works.
Exhibition will be on view through March 2, 2012.