1. Ron Mueck | MFAH
Through May 29
You will either love or hate Mueck’s oversized, hyper-realistic sculptures of ugly naked people. This is another crowd-pleaser from the MFAH that will pack ’em in. Go, because you need to be able to say you’ve gone. There’s nothing quite like the exquisite pathos of a hair follicle blown up to twice its normal size.
2. Chickie Brown: I called the zoo but the lion was busy Art League Houston
Through March 11
This is the first-ever exhibition for the 94-year-old Brown, and as such we frankly expected it to be something of a feel-good pat on the head. But the best of these paintings are great, with the kind of incisive social commentary we should all aspire to by the time we’ve reached Brown’s age. Don’t miss the silver-haired fellow with the young babe in a bikini and the words “What was I thinking?” floating above his head. Oh, honey: Chickie knows exactly what you were thinking. Chickie’s been around the block a few times.
3. New Building | Moody Center for the Arts
For every ending, there’s a beginning: Across campus from the shuttered Rice Gallery is the new Moody Center for the Arts, a sleek new building in a heretical dark gray brick that (gasp) doesn’t match the rest of campus. The Moody Center is dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary art, meaning not only visual artists and performing artists working together, but artists collaborating with disciplines ranging from science to engineering to the humanities. Modeled after similar centers at other universities (notably the List Center at MIT), the Moody features a large central open-plan workspace, a “maker space” with 3D print shop, video editing booths, a small theater and a gallery, as well as a groovy little cafe. The inaugural season of programming includes big name artists like Mona Hatoum and Olafur Eliasson. We will be watching this space with interest!