5 Must-See Art Exhibitions to Visit This Month

Paper, portraits, and women take center stage in these shows at galleries and museums around the city.

By Amarie Gipson

Maria A. Guzmán Capron. Te Llevo Dentro, 2021.  Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.

Fall is in session and Houston’s visual arts community is making big statements with a slew of important exhibitions. Softness and vulnerability are key themes in Maria A. Guzman and Chelsea Clarke’s solo shows. Both using soft sculpture and installation, Guzman’s eccentric textile work made its homecoming to the Blaffer Art Museum on the University of Houston’s campus, while Clarke reflects on bodily and creative resilience. A few group exhibitions take on a wide range of issues, from contemporary approaches to geometric abstraction at Reeves Arts and Design to expressionist methods at Laura Rathe Fine Art. 

Elsewhere this month, Houston’s Bill Arning Gallery celebrated the opening of Preetika Rajgaria’s solo show at its Husdon Valley location. Also in the big apple, Houston’s own Rick Lowe (the founder of Project Row Houses) celebrated the opening of his solo exhibition Meditations on Social Sculpture on view at Gagosian in Manhattan. But don’t worry if you can’t catch it before the later October closing; Lowe joins 11 other artists in Urban Impressions, a group exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts opening Friday, September 16. If you make your way to Moody, head North toward Lawndale Art Center to see two exciting exhibitions of emerging artists on both gallery floors, each focused on love and family archives. The Menil Collection produced a stellar presentation of fourteen works by premiere African photographer Samuel Fosso. Also, the 2022 Fotofest Biennial promises an exciting, full-fledged return featuring a focus on photography of the African diaspora and social movements. 

We’ve mapped out more stops on your September rounds; finish the month strong and stay tuned for the full guide to fall arts in Houston:

Maria A. Guzmán Capron: Forma Seductora

On view through September 18 at the Blaffer Art Museum

For her first solo museum exhibition in the US, Latinx textile artist Maria A. Guzmán Capron brought her soft, sculptural portraits to the University of Houston’s campus. She is a UH alumna who was born in Italy and spent her teenage years in Texas. Her work reflects her community and her multiple geographic identities using a range of layered fabrics and paints.  

If I Had A Hammer: Fotofest Biennial

Opening September 24 at Silver Street Studios and Winter Street Studios

Fotofest is celebrating a new beginning with the return of its biennial exhibition. The 2022 edition, entitled If I Had A Hammer, looks closely at issues surrounding global social movements through a multigenerational lineup of image-based artists. Programs kick off on Friday, September 23 and take place almost every day through November 11, including a two-day symposium at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, a public portfolio review, and a handful of satellite exhibitions. 

5 Artists 5 Rooms

On view through September 24 at Reeves Art + Design 

This group exhibition features works by five Texas-based artists Emmanuel Araujo, Christopher Cascio, David Hardaker, Max Kremer and Terry Suprean. Each individual gallery explores the artist’s approach to geometry and color. The show exemplifies the gallery’s passion for 20th-century modernism and the movements thereof. 

Chelsea Clarke: Self-Soothe

On view through October 1 at Box13 Art Space

The intrapersonal effects of disability weigh on the mind of Houston native and visual artist Chelsea Clarke. Nestled in the window gallery of Box13, her solo exhibition greets visitors with pink, soft sculptures, a collection of experimental prints all resourcefully mostly made in her home before and during the pandemic. Clarke is a recent MFA graduate of the University of Kentucky in Lexington. 

Fourth Ward, Motherward: Photographs by Elbert Howze

On view through October 8 at the African American Library at the Gregory School 

A historical look at Houston’s Fourth Ward is the focus of this exhibition of work by late photographer Elbert Howze (1951-2015). Howze was a Detroit native who moved to Texas in the early 1970s to study at the University of Houston. He began photographing the people and culture of the Motherward as it suffered from redlining and neglect. A selection of these works was shown at the Houston Center for Photography in 2019. 

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