Featured Show: The Pastoral and the Celestial, group show with Richard “Ricky” Armendariz, Cecilia Biagini, Graciela Iturbide, Nicolás Leiva, and Cecilia Paredes
March 20-May 18
Ruiz-Healy Art presents The Pastoral and the Celestial, a group exhibition comprising painting, photography, and ceramics. The artists characterize their work as cartography and gather inspiration from sublime, imagined worlds, prompting viewers to do the same. The cosmos, layered colors, landscape, pattern, texture, camouflage, and more give form to ways of being. While each artist brings their individual perspectives to the show, they share a topical interest in environmental stewardship.
Featured Show: misha de ridder: Unreal Reality, March 8-April 20
In Unreal Reality, de ridder continues his practice of “eschewing the objective view of the camera as a tool for capturing reality in favor of viewing reality itself as an act of deep imagination,” presenting recent photo works that look at historically and culturally significant locations. Taking as his subject “the machine eye of the camera,” the artist makes visible the connections between the perceptual and the conceptual and our subjective tendencies to create our own reality. From natural phenomena to architecture to evidence of geologic time, de ridder uses abstraction to illuminate new perspectives on and considerations of our material surroundings.
Featured Show: Janet Alling: Plant Life, March 2-April 6
New Houston gallery Seven Sisters debuts an exhibition of realist painter Janet Alling’s works from the early 1970s to today. Alling’s ruthless observations of flora and fauna are activated through her dynamic adaptation of realistic painting techniques. Color, scale, and imagination feed her compositions, whether she is working from life or photographs. Alling’s subjects embody “forever-changing nature, making them equal parts character studies and vibrant happenings.” Viewers will recognize the artist’s love of and interest in the natural world and be led to newly appreciate “a category of painting long regarded as decorative and conventional.”
Featured show: Annabel Livermore: Cosmic Gardens, Feb. 17-March 23
For Annabel Livermore’s third exhibition at the gallery, Kirk Hopper Fine Art presents works from two of the artist’s series, Cosmic Gardens and Garden. The oil on panel paintings of Cosmic Gardens “provide a sense of looking into the universe to an unknown infinity,” writes Susie Kalil. Light, color, and floating forms produce an atmospheric effect that heightens viewers’ awareness of what is known and of what else might be possible. Inspired by the artist’s courtyard and garden in El Paso, Livermore’s Garden watercolors feature “flowers in full bloom with vigorous, intertwined stems that awaken the senses,” and hint at life’s fragility.
Meghan Borah’s series Girls and Horses is what you might expect, except that it’s not. The Chicago-based painter and educator wrangles this specific trope gently and thoughtfully through flattened compositions, reductive details, and sketch-like paint handling. In works such as Girl and Horse with Fireflies, Borah’s subjects push at the edges of the canvas as well as the viewer’s assumptions and imagination. Galerie Urbane explains that while in previous works that artist has “explored horses as symbols of power and their function as pedestals, here her interest lies in the relationship between horse and rider” and “the porous boundaries between mount and rider, background and foreground, abstraction and figuration.”
Self-described intuitive abstract artist Charlie French “embraces a blank canvas as an adventure in imaginative freedom.” That energy is evident in his colorful, textured paintings on canvas, the newest of which will be on view at SAGE Studio & Gallery where he has been an exhibiting artist since 2018. French studied painting in London, Dallas, and Santa Fe, and derives creative inspiration from personal experiences in nature, such as a sudden rainstorm during a desert hike. In a recent interview with AATONAU, French offered context for his artistic pursuits: “I have Down syndrome. And I also have Down Syndrome Regression Disorder, which means I need a lot of support. But creating art is therapeutic and my passion. It helps me cope. It helps me share myself with the world.”