Over the years MKG has had the privilege of developing many private collections in Houston. Today’s featured collection playfully explores current art movements with a focus on scale, text, juxtaposition, humor, and nontraditional media. The placement of these pieces throughout the home further underlines the variety of art practice today while suggesting common threads of thought. For example, in the foyer, a bold still life by David Bates surprisingly co-exists with a delicate ink drawing by renowned artist and sculptor, Ruth Asawa. A Jenny Holzer bench from her Selection from Living series sits underneath the Bates where the artist’s ironic use of text is engraved in the marble.
In the great room, Pae White’s massive marble popcorn sits on the floor. Marble is a classic and traditional sculptural medium, and White playfully subverts the “seriousness” of the material by carving it into a piece of popcorn. The viewer first perceives the sculpture as abstract, slowly recognizing the subject. In a related way, the installation of Penelope Umbrico’s photographs belie the viewer’s presumption. Umbrico photographs mirrors from mail-order furniture catalogues, enlarges them to the actual size they are being sold, and face-mounts the images to Plexiglas. They are then hung on the wall as a real mirror would, creating a seductive trapping where the viewer’s missing reflection is replaced by a sellable object. Both artists play games with our perception and expectation of art itself.
In a related way Rirkrit Tiravanija questions the preciousness of the art object in his use of ephemeral, everyday materials in his work. It’s Raining Men, a collage of Los Angeles Times newspapers, is playful yet thought provoking. Nearby, Beatriz Milhazes’ graphic painting speaks a similar artistic language and provides a colorful and uplifting counterpoint.
Nontraditional materials in Gabriel de La Mora’s diptych of discarded shoe soles and Jeffrey Gibson’s tapestry of recycled wool army blankets again bring art out of the gallery and into the daily and mundane reality of everyday lives.
In the stairwell, a Matthew Day Jackson mixed media piece reinvents the conventional still life through artificial and manufactured materials such as Formica, scorched wood, epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth. Adjacent are two thickly painted Friedrich Kunath depictions of the sunrise and sunset as a whimsical, surrealist, mash up of styles with references to art history and popular culture.
In the upstairs hallway, a salon style hanging of Giorgio Griffa’s exposed canvases and works on paper display the artist’s unique composition and unrefined style that supports his concept that ‘the painting is constant and never finished’.
To view more images of this unique collection, please visit our website by clicking here.
Menil Drawing Institute’s most recent drawing commission features Berlin-based artist Jorinde Voigt. Known primarily for her works on paper, Voigt creates gestural yet complex works that are influenced by musical scores, philosophical notions, and scientific diagrams. Voigt employs chalk, graphite and gold leaf to create her most monumental work to date that was inspired by the landscape and natural resources of Houston and the Gulf Coast region.
MKG Watch List
- Kathleen Ryan (B. 1984) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Ryan mainly works in sculpture through various materials ranging from poured concrete, cast iron, carved marble, and precious stones, to found objects such as granite machine-mount blocks or bowling balls. In her most recent series, the artist creates massive moldy fruits out of semi-precious stones that creates an uneasiness between the beautiful and the grotesque. Kathleen Ryan is represented by Francois Ghebaly in Los Angeles, CA.
- Aili Schmeltz lives and works in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, CA. Influenced by modernism, Schmeltz ongoing project Object/Window/Both/Neither explores how windows can create optical illusions. Through the use of line and color, her paintings and sculptures reduce architectural forms to a flat surface and become both objects and windows. Aili Schmeltz is represented by Edward Cella Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, CA.
- Will Boone (B. 1982) is a Houston born artist that currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Working in a variety of media, Boone is inspired by social contexts such as punk music, bar culture, the automotive industry, horror movies, and cattle ranching. For his large-scale Mask paintings, Boone converts images of emblematic objects and people mask-like forms by adding holes for the eyes that are graphic and humorous. Boone is represented by David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles, CA and has an upcoming exhibition, Will Boone: The Highway Hex, opening November 9th at the CAMH in Houston.
- Markus Brunetti was born in Germany in 1965, and currently lives and works across Europe. The artist’s ongoing project, FACADES, is dedicated to recording and conveying the artistic complexity of façades of historic cathedrals, churches and cloisters. To create a single image, the artist takes thousands of photographs of the facade from bottom to top which often takes years and then removes any contemporary elements to capture and highlight every minute architectural detail. Markus Brunetti is represented by Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, NY.