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1. Right Here, Right Now: San Antonio
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston | April 28–August 5
When museums have the guts to give shows to local artists, it transforms a city’s art scene, and the careers of the artists — just ask Los Angeles artists Ed Ruscha, Ed Keinholz and James Turrell about their retrospectives at LACMA and MOCA. The good news for Houston is that the CAMH has been making a concerted effort in recent years to exhibit the work of local Houston artists, and with this ambitious new iteration of their Right Here, Right Now series, they widen the scope to include some of the best artists in San Antonio. Trust us: this is one summer show you will not want to miss.
2. Delilah Montoya: Contemporary Casta Portraiture: Nuestra “Calidad”
Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology | April 11–May 13
Delilah Montoya body of work merges two things that are sometimes thought of as disparate: art and anthropology. For her show at the Transart Foundation, a previously nomadic space that has recently found a permanent home in a new building along West Alabama, Montoya has photographed families in Houston and New Mexico, pairing her seemingly photojournalistic images with maps and DNA tests showing the migratory patterns tracing familial histories. In their collection of information, Montoya’s works show more than just a portrait of a people; they explain the origins of those who have made America what it is today.
3. The Black Chamber
Wedge Space | April 13–June 18
The newest exhibition by Houston-based artists Phillip Pyle II, Stephen Wilson and Gregory Michael Carter is nestled in a small, intimate gallery space in Houston Community College‘s Eastside Campus. Loosely based on a post-WWI US cryptanalytic organization by the same name, the show creates cyphers and messages using coded language that is up to the viewer to translate. In the three artists’ textiles, drawings, transfers, and digitally made pieces, Air Jordan logos, schematics of guns, Rolexes, and African masks become comments on consumerism and how the Black experience is shaped by our culture.
4. Gustavo Díaz: Fuzziness: Thinking on Paper
Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino | Through May 24
You have to see these works in person to believe them. Argentinean artist Díaz, these days a resident of Houston, uses computer plotting and a laser cutter in his Montrose studio to cut his intricate designs, inspired by chaos theory and the theory of systems, into individual sheets of paper. The geometric, undulating forms in these massive drawings are mesmerizing, and their detail is simply astonishing. As seen in art fairs all over the world, and lucky for us, right now in town.
5. Dario Robleto: The First Time, The Heart
Inman Gallery | April 6–May 26
One thing you can always expect from an exhibition of works by Dario Robleto is a poetic and comprehensive grasp of whatever subject he is choosing to explore. Sometimes he looks into pop culture, other times he studies cosmology, and recently — since his 2013 residency at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center at the University of Houston — he has been looking into the recorded histories of human heartbeats. The First Time, The Heart is Robleto’s most recent journey into the subject, featuring a portfolio of prints drawn from early recordings of pulses. Visit the show for the gallery arrangement, for which the artist called on poet Adrian Matejka to reorder the prints to create poems using the text within the pieces.