The ACTX Top Ten: May 2018

#10:  Right Here Right Now SA at the CAMH

HOUSTON/SA—Right Here, Right Now: San Antonio, on view through Aug. 5 at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, focuses on San Antonio artists, showcasing 19 individuals and collectives living and working in city. The exhibition’s constellations of diverse and intergenerational artists, the mix of materials and media in art making, all relate to what we see happening in Texas, and in the world, today, sparking a conversation for viewers, asking “is this?” Is this possible? Forgettable? Changeable? They generously and courageously confront, and ask us to recognize, their lived experiences—right here, right now.

IMAGE ABOVE:  Sarah Castillo, Spiritual Warfare Prayers When You’re Demonized for Speaking Up, 2017, C-Print, 8 x 12 inches.
Courtesy of the artist.
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#9: McGee Maddox in An American in Paris

AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO—Broadway in Austin presents An American in Paris. Acclaimed director-choreographer and 2015 Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon brings Parisian post-war optimism into harmony with the treasured songs of George and Ira Gershwin. In the lead role is former National Ballet of Canada Principal and Houston Ballet dancer McGee Maddox as Jerry Mulligan, May 30-June. 3 at Bass Concert Hall. “Jerry Mulligan is your all-American happy-go-lucky guy,” says Maddox. “That requires me to sing, act, and dance, three theatrical disciplines that I have been eager to put to use all at once.” The musical heads to the Majestic June 12-17 as part of Broadway in San Antonio.

McGee Maddox in the national tour of An American in Paris.
Photo by Matthew Murphy.
more about McGee Maddox on A+C TX

#8:  Kamrooz Aram at the Modern

FORT WORTH—Past exhibitions by Kamrooz Aram have carried such provocative titles as Unstable Paintings for Anxious Interiors and Ornament for Indifferent Architecture. The names hint at content and concerns beneath the appealing surfaces of the Iranian-American’s canvases, as does closer examination of his layered, heavily worked approach. Beautiful beyond their references, Aram’s paintings, collages and installations nonetheless challenge Western notions of modern art. He’s after nothing less than renegotiation of the relationship between modernism and traditional non-Western “decorative arts” that have been relegated to minor status in the West. His FOCUS show at the Modern At Museum of Fort Worth is on view through June 17.

Kamrooz Aram, Ornament for Extraordinary Architecture, 2018, oil, wax, oil crayon and pencil on canvas. Overall: 78 × 168 × 1 5/8 in. (198.12 × 426.72 × 4.13 cm). Unframed: 78 × 44 × 1 5/8 in. (198.12 × 111.76 × 4.13 cm) each. Courtesy of the Artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai.
Photo: Kevin Todora.
more about Kamrooz Aram on A+C TX

#7:  Cry Havoc at Amphibian Stage Productions

FORT WORTH—Amphibian Stage Productions presents Cry Havoc (May 11-27), written and performed by Stephan Wolfert, a member of the acclaimed Bedlam Theater in New York City. Cry Havoc is a one-man autobiographical show that merges veterans’ stories with the words of Shakespeare. “The thing I talk about most is how we’re wired for war but not unwired from war,” says Wolfert, “and that’s regardless of era, regardless of experience, regardless of job and regardless of branch.”

Stephan Wolfert in Cry Havoc.
Photo by Manuela Giusto.
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#6:  Francisco Moreno at Erin Cluley Gallery

DALLAS—Francisco Moreno’s The Chapel and Accompanying Works at Erin Cluley Gallery, on view through May 19, is a classical barrel-vaulted building constructed inside the gallery. The detail of plywood craftsmanship of every joint, the curve of the vaulted roof, and the armature of a vaulted window mimicking the roof of the structure are all left exposed and vulnerable, revealing the careful construction. In Moreno’s hands the traditional chapel is reappropriated into a medium not focused on the proliferation of Christianity, but of a semi-religious space that legitimizes the proliferation of a multi-place and multi-ethnic identity.

Francisco Moreno, The Chapel, 2016-2018, pencil, vine charcoal pencil and acrylic on all-encompassing structure, 156 x 144 x 233 inches.
Courtesy Erin Cluley Gallery.
more about Francisco Moreno on A+C TX

#5:  Ballet Hispanico at SPA

HOUSTON— Ballet Hispanico presents works by three powerhouse female dancemakers, Michelle Manzanales (Houston native and UH alum), Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Tania Pérez-Salas as the company ends the dance season for Society for the Performing Arts on May 18 at University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Hall. “It’s so thrilling to be returning to SPA,” says Eduardo Vilaro, Ballet Hispanico’s Artistic Director. “Ballet Hispanico has had a long history with SPA, dating back to the time when I was performing as a dancer with the company in the late 1980s. We are also excited to bring back our summer intensive to the Houston community through SPA and look forward to building inspirational connections with all those young talented artists.”

Melissa Fernandez in Michelle Manzanales’s Con Brazos Abiertos.
Photo by Paula Lobo.
more about Ballet Hispanico on A+C TX

#4:  Luke Fowler at The Nasher Sculpture Center

DALLAS—The Nasher Sculpture Center and Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland, jointly commissioned Glasgow artist Luke Fowler to create a new sound sculpture for both locations. For this commission, on view through Aug. 19, the artist developed a multi-channel sound installation of compositions that subtly examine the material history of the two sites and their acoustic qualities, using everyday objects and acoustic environments unique to each site, and drawing on his practices of focused listening and architectural acoustics.

Luke Fowler, Sightings, Installation View, Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore, Ireland, 2017.
Courtesy the artist and Lismore Castle Arts.
more about the Nasher Sculpture Center on A+C TX

#3:  Hillerbrand + Magsamen at the MATCH

HOUSTON—Hillerbrand+Magsamen present 147 Devices for Integrated Principles, a new, multimedia, performative artwork that animates everyday objects as unifying mechanisms for survival during times of social disconnect and intensified need, created in collaboration with playwright and author Kirk Lynn (Rude Mechs), with music by Peter Stopschinski, May 15-16 at the MATCH. “As an immersive interdisciplinary theatrical experience, 147 Devices for Integrated Principles literally and conceptually unpacks our relationship to objects and how we use them to ease the suffering and pain in our lives,” says Mary Magsamen.

Hillerbrand+Magsamen in 147 Devices for Integrated Principles.
more about Hillerbrand+Magsamen on A+C TX

#2:   Eric Fischl at Dallas Contemporary

DALLAS—Eric Fischl: If Art Could Talk, on view through Aug. 26 at Dallas Contemporary, is a monumental presentation of the artist’s work, with approximately 30 pieces from 1982 to the present, which feature depictions of other works of art within the painted canvas, specifically compositions of “the heady environment of the art fair, with its charged atmosphere of money and taste, financial, and cultural capital.”

Eric Fischl, Her, 2016. © Eric Fischl, 2018. Private collection.
Image courtesy Dallas Contemporary.
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#1: The Humans & Jersey Boys at AT&T

DALLAS— AT&T Performing Arts Center presents two Broadway blockbusters this month, the Tony Award-winning play The Humans by Stephen Karam, May 8-20, and the touring favorite, Jersey Boys, with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, May 22-27. Both at the Winspear Opera House.

Richard Thomas, Therese Plaehn, Pamela Reed, Lauren Klein, Daisy Eagan, and Luis Vega in The Humans.
Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
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