2013 On-site Installations
Texas Contemporary 2013 included over a dozen commissioned installations.
Sports Car on Earth, in Space, 2012-2013
Presented by Moody Gallery
Sports Car on Earth, in Space taps into American ideals of heroism and conquest. In 1986, the Firebird was the fastest and most desired vehicle on the American market, combining the gritty independent spirit of the pony car with the last vestiges of 1960s space-centric automobile design. But 1986 was also the year of the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Disintegrating seconds after take-off and costing seven astronauts their lives, the event halted America’s ambitions in space and dampened the belief in its infallibility. Barrera re-imagines the 1986 Firebird as a kinetic, temporal, and performative sculpture. The car’s blinking headlights and turn signals rehearse an actual drive the artist made on September 9, 2012 from the Saturn V holding shed to Challenger Memorial Park. Upon her arrival, Barrera launched a model rocket into the sky, offering an animate replacement for the idle Saturn V and severed Firebird. Combining failure with seduction, the installation, in Barrera’s words, “reinforces the concept of the automobile as the culmination of a dream set; an intangible desire to reach the future.” Barrera first exhibited this installation at the Blaffer Art Museum's downtown Houston location. She has revisited the piece for the Texas Contemporary Art Fair.
Presented by Margaret Thatcher Projects
Rosebud is a site-specifc installation consisting of a three-sided mural of collaged and digitally manipulated images of roses. With nods to both the grand narrative paintings of Nicolas Poussin and the Romantic still life tradition of Henri Fantin-Latour, Brown presents these flowers as displaced, over-sized, altered and radically removed from their original context, causing a sense of rediscovery of this very ubiquitous image. The experience is alien yet satisfying as the viewer is ultimately faced with the idea of “rose-ness” and all it’s attendant metaphorical possibilities, and not merely a straightforward representation of roses.
Living Room, 2013
Presented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
In the ebb and flow of cities, when human spaces are abandoned, they get overtaken by nature; eventually most are torn down. After a house is razed all that may be left are the front steps, a concrete slab, and sometimes remnants of tiles or linoleum, which are the only vestige of what was once a family’s living room or kitchen. These slabs exist like gravestones in otherwise populated neighborhoods, marking the absence of the former inhabitants.
Living Room is an imagined intervention to reactivate these palpable voids by juxtaposing the inanimateness of the concrete slab with the tenacity of nature. It is comprised of discarded furniture that has been gutted and repurposed as planters for the plant life that is taking over abandoned homes all around New Orleans, yet it still exists as functional furniture. “Living Room” is a memorial to all the homes and domestic spaces that are no more. A record of these lost spaces, it speaks to the beauty and power of nature in the struggle between humans and nature as urban spaces move between chaos and order
Wishy Washy, 2006
Presented by Mark Moore Gallery
Previously exhibited at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (WI), Pasadena Art Museum (CA), and Art Basel Miami Beach (FL), Wishy Washy (2006) is the ultimate culmination of sociopolitical pastiche and folkloric narrative that multidisciplinary artist duo Clayton Brothers are most heralded for. Named for a quirky laundromat near the artists' Los Angeles studio, the installation is rife with the brothers' trademark elaborate, garish, dynamic visualizations that animate the eccentricities of urban daily life.
Fence (JFK version), 2013
Presented by Lora Reynolds Gallery
With Fence (JFK version), Dolphin has created a life-size replica of the fence near the site of JFK's assassination. He spent months aging and inscribing the messages and graffiti left by visitors to the site. The result appears to be lifted directly from Dallas and set in the gallery space. A vital component of the work is that it directly quotes and is truthful to the messages left by JFK admirers - as such the piece becomes a shrine, a place for those devotees to worship.
Presented by Devin Broden Gallery
Artist Statement: Several years ago, I downloaded a free version of a 3D modeling program and found an ideal design process. I began to focus on what I love most--the invention and interplay of bubbly, growing, wandering forms. I have long been trying to achieve a synthesis of organic and mechanical form--a merging of nature and technology. I found this to be an intrinsic quality of computer aided design and manufacturing. With this discovery, and the mysterious language of coded geometry I was able to expand upon my earliest artistic interest--pure biomorphic abstraction. It was not long before I began searching for ways to output these forms from computer into real space. From 3D prints, to inflated sculptures—my work grows out of this process of research and discovery. Many of the designs that emerged out of this exploration became blueprints for immense, freestanding sculptures. These are the large inflated pieces fabricated in collaboration with an industrial blimp company.
Horizontal CN Tower, 2013
Presented by THE MISSION
Horizontal CN Tower is one of a series of four large sculptures representing the world’s tallest towers, ranging in scale from 20 to 25 feet in length. Each sculpture consists of a wooden armature covered in birch plywood with red oak veneer at the seams. Horizontal CN Tower rests on blocks that position it level with the floor, denying its aggressive verticality in space. Cities promote their towers as a way of comprehensively seeing and, therefore, knowing a place, yet the extreme height also serves to emphasize one’s disconnection from that place. In this work, its new position brings the towering structure back down to the viewer’s level. The immediacy of Horizontal CN Tower as a sculpture and physical presence of materials allows me to make intangible ideas like memory of place tangible for the viewer.
Presented by Art League Houston
Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present an exciting installation by San Antonio-based artist Buster Graybill at the 2013 TX Contemporary Art Fair. The Renegade Modernist Utility Travel Trailer (R.MUTT) is an interactive sculpture/installation “Readymade for Survival”. Part urban escape vehicle, part Modernist sculpture, the project explores the public’s wide-spread anxiety of “Dooms Day Prepping” for scenarios such as economic collapse, pandemics, peak oil, a collapse in food production, extreme natural catastrophes, nuclear fallout, biological warfare, and electric magnetic pulse attacks. Poised to tackle a variety of scenarios, this postmodern “covered wagon” has a rugged aluminum diamond-plated armor, off-road tires, and an extensive storage system designed for survival gear and supplies.
Imploded Column (2:1), 2008
Presented by Kopeikin Gallery
Ewerdt Hilgemann is often referred to as the 'air smith' because he is using the air that surrounds us as a sculpting force. From stainless steel plates, he welds geometrical shapes and then uses a pump to evacuate the inside air, allowing the outside pressure to distort the final shape... seemingly at random. However the artist decides the thickness of the material and the overall sizes of the piece, taking into account the resistance of the total structure will decide the final shape. Having invented the procedure, Hilgemann knows what to expect.
Presented by Sicardi Gallery
Built in 2013 in Houston, 1308—a large-scale sculpture by Argentine artist Pablo Siquier—continues the artist's career-long investigation into abstraction and structure. Since the mid-1980s, Siquier has created intricate paintings, drawings, and sculptures, often using architectural tools and computer software to design the complex structures he creates in charcoal, paint, or steel. Titled by the year and order of their creation—1308 was the eighth work the artist made in 2013—Siquier’s structures are silent yet evocative objects, eliciting comparisons to urban architectural plans and motifs.
Presented by Barbara Davis Gallery
Zephyr by definition: “the western wind; a gentle breeze or something that is airy, insubstantial, or passing.”
Standing next to the piece one can see thousands of wooden strips being moved by some force. Ones mind can see a breeze, but not feel it upon their skin. One can hear the sounds emanating from its movement, but see no creatures hiding in the thicket. It's merely an object in its geometry, its system, its material 5 times removed; it stands to serve as bridge to somewhere we already are. This installation fills a space not in its presence, but to to fill a space with non-existent. Its the proverbial square peg in our round hole. We know, “In this space I am safe, in this place I am lost.”
Architecture of Altruism: Bobby Ewing, 2013
Presented by Mixed Greens
For nearly a decade, Stoetzel has reworked memorable icons—like the VW bus and the “Captain America” chopper from Easy Rider—out of Pecky cypress, a naturally degraded wood from his home state of Florida. As the viewer investigated the craftsmanship, the familiar object was transformed and rediscovered. In this piece, Stoetzel recreates Bobby Ewing's 1970s Mercedes 450SL on a 1/4 scale.
Bigfoot Loves Minicorn, 2013
Presented by Rena Bransten Gallery
Bigfoot and unicorns are iconic fantasy creatures. This hand painted soft sculpture was made to draw people in and create a desire to touch and hold dialogue with the unreal. Taking the form of a rag doll, this larger than life sculpture becomes an intimate experience with an inanimate object. A humorously safe invitation for the viewer to commune with fantasy and desire.