Happy Fall from MKG! While 2020 has presented new challenges, we have been fortunate to continue our work with extraordinary private and corporate projects. While much of our work has “gone virtual,” we have several new installations to share with you.
Over the last year we initiated the development of an important private collection of works by modern masters and contemporary artists with the goal of punctuating an energetic interior formulated by Elizabeth Young of ESY Design. The balance of engaging interior design and fine art result in a home that reflects the client’s eclectic tastes and interests.
In the living room, Susan Rothenberg’s “Skull Rocks Bones” of 1994 sits above the fireplace. Rothenberg, who passed away this year, broke with the hegemony of minimalist abstraction of the 1970s through her iconic horse paintings. Internationally known for his haunting realism, Robert Longo‘s elephant drawing flanks the fireplace on the left. On the right is a “Physichromie” work by renowned Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz Diez, one of the key figures in the kinetic art movement.
A monoprint by Nigel Cooke rounds out the living room, while on the opposite side of the entry wall is an oil on canvas by Korean artist Kim Tschang-Yeul from 1968. Widely considered one of the most important living Korean artists, Kim Tschang-Yeul’s (born 1929) work combines influences of calligraphy, abstraction, and pop art, as well as Taoist wisdom and focus.
A large drawing by the iconic Louise Bourgeois occupies the opposite niche in the entry hall. Plumbing the depths of her personal history and experience, Bourgeois is perhaps best known for her surreal and suggestive sculptures. Her drawings, however, communicate intimacy and immediacy, hinting at her psychology and memories.
A 1990’s Beatriz Milhazes painting with mandala like patterns is the focal point of the family room. Inspired by the culture of her native Brazil, this painting predates the artist’s more geometric style, and instead presents an iterative biomorphism. Through an arduous process of layering painted sheets onto the canvas and peeling them away, Milhazes captures a sense of fragility and chance. The delicacy and detail of this work nevertheless utilizes the vibrant color for which the artist has become famous.
In the breakfast room, a playful Karl Homqvist neon quotes lyrics from George Michael‘s 80’s hit, “Careless Whisper.” A more serious painting by Chilean master, Roberto Matta (1911-2002) hangs in the formal dining room. With a career spanning the twentieth century, Matta was a seminal figure in surrealist and abstract expressionist art, uniquely blending the two styles. Matta’s painting serves as the centerpiece of the room, where the enamel blue walls key off the color of the painting.
While quarantine may have put a delay on some of our corporate projects, during the summer we were able to install two fantastic commissions in the newly renovated 910 Louisiana, well known as One Shell Plaza.
In the lobby, massive paintings by New York based artist Claire Sherman depict a different time of the day: Morning, Midday, Twilight and Night. Well known for her large-scale landscapes, the artist’s vivid hues and skewed composition captivate the viewer on entering the building.
Rebecca Rutstein’s four cloud-like stainless steel sculptures in darkening shades of blue seem to float above the banquette on the mall level. Inspired by microbiology and marine science, Rutstein has collaborated with scientists throughout her career, and has been an artist in residence on 6 sea expeditions. While her forms initially seem cloud like, they also relate to ocean currents and natural fractile patterns as well as data visualization techniques.
Virginia Jaramillo at the Menil Collection
This fall the Menil Collection is back open to the public. Make sure to check out the current exhibition “Virginia Jaramillo: The Curvilinear Paintings 1969-1974”. This is Virginia Jaramillo’s (B. 1939, El Paso) first solo museum exhibition and exhibits eight monochromatic abstract paintings.
MKG Watch List: Fiber Art
While well-known contemporary artists such as Ernesto Neto and Sheila Hicks have garnered attention for fiber and weaving for years, we are seeing more and more artists utilize textile as their primary medium in their work. In Houston, Inman Gallery is on the forefront of the trend and has recently exhibited work by Jana Vander Lee at the gallery as well as at the Armory Show in NYC in 2020. Vander Lee moved to Houston in 1967 and began her career as an artist, teacher, and curator. Self-taught in the American Fiber arts tradition and inspired by Navajo weaving, Vander Lee brought fiber art into the scene in Houston and she continues to produce densely woven textiles that exhibit underpinnings from modernism to minimalism.
- Based in New Orleans, Raine Bedsole makes mixed media sculptures incorporating fabrics, brass, copper, metallic leaf, historic maps, and crystals. In this particular work, entitled Beacon, she creates a unique spiraling composition our a exotic fabrics that float in the air. Raine Bedsole is represented by Callan Contemporary in New Orleans, LA and Hathaway Contemporary in Atlanta, GA.
- Melissa Leandro lives and works in Chicago. The artist uses a variety of methods including Jacquard weaving, embroidery, dip dyeing, stitching and cyanotype to create her richly layered works that evoke past memories as well as her current environments. Melissa Leandro is represented by Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago and has a current exhibition through October 31st.
- Based in Los Angeles, Channing Hansen (B. 1972) creates “paintings” out of hand knitted construction on wooden frames. The artist dyes and spins each fiber and then creates his abstract designs through a computer algorithm. Channing Hansen is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery in London and Susan Inglett Gallery in New York.
- Julia Bland (b. 1986) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. The artist disassembles and mends hand dyed or painted pieces of canvas and textiles to create her abstract compositions. Through using both a loom and scissors, Bland reinterprets traditional methods of fiber-based art. Julia Bland is represented by Derek Eller Gallery in New York.