The ACTX Top Ten: Summer 2019

1) Summer at the MFAH

HOUSTON⁠—In 2013 with James Turrell: The Light Inside, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston began a unique summer precedent, presenting an immersive contemporary art exhibition. That immersive tradition now enters its seventh summer with William Forsythe’s Choreographic Objects (through Sept. 15). Yet this year, one exhibition isn’t enough for the MFAH, as they add a second major immersive piece: Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors (July 20 –Sept. 2), along with two photography exhibitions, Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography (through Sept. 22), and Shooting the Moon: Photographs from the Museum’s Collection 50 Years after Apollo 11 (July 20–Sept. 2) to top off the summer art fun.

Tamsin Carlson performing in “Night of 100 Solos” Merce Cunningham Centennial Event on April 16, 2019. Photo by Reed Hutchinson/CAP UCLA, Night of 100 Solos at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

2) Celebrating the Merce Cunningham Centennial at The Modern

FORT WORTH⁠—Celebrating the Merce Cunningham Centennial – Modern Dance Festival at the Modern runs July 12-27, and includes former Merce Cunningham company member Tamsin Carlson performing her Cunningham solo segments on July 19, along with films, music, dance performances and discussions throughout the festival.

3) Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today at the McNay

Deb Kass, Double Double Yentl (My Elvis), 1993. Silkscreen and acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist. © 2019 Deborah Kass / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

SAN ANTONIO⁠—The McNay Art Museum describes Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today (on view through Sept. 15), as the first broad survey of contemporary art that engages with outward appearance as it constructs gender identities. Timed to honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the exhibition coincides with a number of others around the country considering the multiple legacies of that event.

Family Portrait of Leon Addison Brown as Dubba J, Liz Mikel as Laura Mae, Esau Price as Jon-Jon in the Dallas Theater Center’s production of Penny Candy. Photo by Ace Anderson.

4) Penny Candy and As You Like It at Dallas Theater Center

DALLAS⁠—Dallas Theater Center presents Jonathan Norton’s Penny Candy through July 14 , and Shakespeare’s classic As You Like It, as part of Public Works Dallas, adapted by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery, with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub, Aug. 16-18 at Wyly Theatre, Potter Rose Performance Hall.

Jeffrey Gibson. PEOPLE LIKE US, 2018. Custom-printed polyester satin and neoprene, cotton, silk Ikat velvet, wool, repurposed quilt, tapestry, and vestment, with glass, plastic, and stone beads, nickel and brass studs, brass grommets, cultured pearls, nylon ribbon, and artificial sinew on canvas, suspended from tipi poles with rawhide ties, 85 x 74 x 5 in. (215.9 x 188 x 12.7 cm). Courtesy of the artist; Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; and Kavi Gupta, Chicago. Photograph by Caitlin Mitchell. Image courtesy of the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College.

5) Jeffrey Gibson at the BLANTON

AUSTIN⁠—There are many songs that thread through Jeffrey Gibson: This is the Day on view at Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art, July 14-Sept. 29. The exhibition’s title comes from a New Wave song of the same name by British band The The. “This is the day/your life will surely change,” they sing. Gibson describes past, present, and future as having different cultural significances, different relationships to imagination. “For many people described as participants in minority culture, we are always talked about as tertiary,” he says. “That is very stagnating. To really feel present in your body and your mind, that was my goal.”

Cassandro, The Exotico! screens on July 25 as part of QFest at the MFAH. Photo courtesy of MFAH.

6) QFest

HOUSTONQFest 2019, the 23rd Annual Houston International LGBTQ Film Festival, runs July 24-Aug. 1 at multiple venues including, Rice Media Center, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Aurora Picture Show, Brasil Cafe, Brazos Bookstore, The Holocaust Museum Houston, Mystic Lion and The Station Museum, with a line-up that includes, Pasolini, Before Stonewall, Tongues Untied, Cassandro, The Exotico!, Before Stonewall, Tongues Untied, Angel, Tarnation and much more.

Tiff Massey, Je Ne Sais Coiff Series, ongoing. Rope and wool. Dimensions variable. Photo by Tim Johnson, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

7) Tiff Massey at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

HOUSTONHouston Center for Contemporary Craft presents Tiff Massey: A Different World. The artist’s immersive installation uses jewelry and adornment as a starting place. Massey’s diverse artistic practice deftly renders her observations on race and class in contemporary American culture. On view through Sept. 1.

John Leguizamo in Latin History for Morons. Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2017.

8) John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons

DALLAS/SAN ANTONIOJohn Leguizamo’s Broadway hit Latin History for Morons, a mad recap from the Aztec empire to stories of unknown Latin patriots of the Revolutionary War and beyond, makes two stops in Texas: July 26 at Winspear Opera House in Dallas, presented by AT&T Center for the Performing Arts, and July 27 at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio.

Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858) The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō (Hara: Mount Fuji in the Morning) Japan: Edo period, 1834. Woodblock print. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus, 1984.202.14

9) Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido at the DMA

DALLASFor the first time in more than thirty years, the Dallas Museum of Art will exhibit the entire suite of prints by master printmaker Utagawa Hiroshige from its permanent collection . Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido depicts waypoints along the imperial road in Japan of the 1830’s. It is notable for its realistic representations of daily life and its “refined depictions of nature.” On view through Nov. 10.


(L to R) Steven Epp and Wyatt Fenner in Immortal Longings at ZACH Theatre. Photos by Kirk Tuck.

10) Immortal Longings and Ann at the ZACH Theatre

AUSTIN—The ZACH Theatre presents the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s  Immortal Longings, an exploration of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, through July 14, and Holland Taylor’s Ann, a one-woman show about the colorful and captivating Texas Governor Ann Richards, July 31-Sept. 8.