8 Must-See Art Exhibitions To Visit This September

From photography to experimental film and craft, check out these shows in Houston this month.

By Amarie Gipson September 8, 2021

The Lawndale Art Center presents Bria Lauren: Gold Was Made Fa' Her this month. Image courtesy of artist. 

Image: Bria Lauren

There’s no shortage of quality art in H-Town. We’re home to some of the nation’s most reputable art and cultural institutions, and have served as a launching pad for world-renowned talent. This fall marks the opening and closing of some of the year’s most captivating exhibitions.

From photography to experimental film and craft, here’s a list of must-see shows:

Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s 

Niki de Saint Phalle, Overpainted Photo of Hon, 1979. Paint on gelatin silver print, 1181/8 × 115 3/8 in. (300 × 293 cm). CollectionNiki Charitable Art Foundation, Santee. ©Niki Charitable Art Foundation. All rights reserved. Photo: Katrin Baumann. Courtesy of the Menil Collection. 

Known for her vivacious celebrations of womanhood, French-American sculptor and painter, Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) has been the focus of several closely watched exhibitions this year. Exploring one of the most pivotal decades in her practice, the Menil Collection’s Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s aims to solidify Saint Phalle as one of the foremothers of feminism. On view at the Menil Collection opening September 10.

Vicki Meek: The Journey to Me 


Dallas-based artist Vicki Meek was chosen as Art League Houston’s artist of the year. Meek's commemorative exhibition, The Journey to Me will feature three site-specific installations that trace her evolution as an artist and her interests in collective memory, the African diaspora and healing. On view at Art League Houston opening September 10. 

Bria Lauren: Gold Was Made Fa’ Her 

Bria Lauren, Ganny, 2020 from Gold Was Made Fa' Her series, 2019-ongoing. Courtesy of the artist and Lawndale Art Center. 

Image: Bria Lauren

Through intimate, 35mm film portraits, photographer and storyteller Bria Lauren pays homage to the overlooked and undervalued women of Houston’s South Side communities. Lauren’s solo exhibition will feature an ongoing body of work dedicated to Black women from the hood and those in the American South. On view at Lawndale Art Center opening September 17. 

Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock 


Over the course of her sixty-year career, Colombian artist Olga de Amaral has created textured spaces of meditation. Through four thematic sections that illustrate her radical approach to color and material, the MFAH’s retrospective exhibition charts Amaral’s architectural interventions. On view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston until September 19. 

Monet to Matisse: Impressionism to Modernism from the Bemberg Foundation


Take a trip to southern France through Monet to Matisse: Impressionism to Modernism from the Bemberg Foundation. The MFAH is the first and only U.S. venue to exhibit artworks from the renowned collection of writer and pianist Georges Bemberg. The exhibition features masterpieces by French Modernists Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and many more. On view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston until September 19. 

Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning 

Jamal Cyrus. Lights from the Garden, 2019. Bentwood chairs, stainless steel rods, oak flooring. Image courtesy of the artist and Inman Gallery, Houston.

Image: Inman Gallery

In partnership with Texas Southern University, the Blaffer Art Museum organized the first survey exhibition of work by Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus. Spanning fifteen years, multiple mediums, and featuring over 50 works, the exhibition is a deep dive into Cyrus’s investigations of Black progressive politics, cultural hybridity and the “Afro-Atlantic.” On view at the Blaffer Art Museum until September 26.

Cauleen Smith: We Already Have What We Need


This is the final month of Los-Angeles based filmmaker Cauleen Smith’s exhibition featuring her multi-media installations, two short films and a range of sculpture and text-based works. On view at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston until October 3.

In Residence: 14th Edition 

Michael Velliquette, The love that would soak down into the center of being, 2020. Paper sculpture. 20” x 20 x 8”. Photo by Jim Escalante.

Image: Jim Escalante 

Have a knack for craft? Stop by the HCCC and get inspired by its 2020-2021 resident artists, Chloe Darke, Abbie Preston Edmonson, Hong Hong, Hillerbrand + Magsamen, Stephanie Robison, Michael Velliquette, and Kirstin Willders. The exhibition opened in August ahead of the HCCC’s 20th anniversary and features works that range from metal to fiber, clay and paper. On view at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft until October 9.

Show Comments