This year September explodes with a vigorous line-up of exhibitions at Austin’s galleries and museums — the busiest fall arts season launch since before the pandemic.
We picked 13 exhibitions up and opening this month to kickstart your explorations.
Yo trabajo con la tierra / I work with the earth
Through Sept. 24, Big Medium, 916 Springdale Road, bigmedium.org/tierra
Five women artists who share ecofeminist sensibilities — Melissa Aguirre, Alexa Capareda, Paloma Mayorga, VLM (Virginia Luna Montgomery, Alejandra Regalado — explore movement and place in relation to landscape, geological bodies, and other nonhuman intelligences, often using their own body as a medium.
Just Us Chickens: Dana Robinson
Through Oct. 28 Texas State Galleries, Mitte Building, W. Sessoms Dr. & N. Comanche St., San Marcos, txstgalleries.org
In her ‘Ebony Reprinted” series, Brooklyn-based Robinson mines vintage images from Ebony magazine, and dissects commercial representations of Blackness with her own ironic and subversive visual language.
Ellsworth Kelly: Postcards
Through Nov. 27, Blanton Museum of Art, blantonmuseum.org
A lesser-known part of Ellsworth Kelly’s artistic practice were the collaged postcards he made, which served as exploratory musings or as preparation for larger works in other media. This charming exhibition from the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College offers another view of Kelly whose monumental building “Austin” is on the Blanton Museum’s grounds.
The Writers: Portraits by Laura Wilson
Through Jan. 1, 2023, Ransom Center, UT campus, hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/2022/writers-portraits-laura-wilson/
Laura Wilson has photographed some of the most influential writers of our time. Drawn from her forthcoming book, The Writers: Portraits (Yale University Press, 2022), this show features striking photographic portraits of J. M. Coetzee, Jim Crace, Rachel Cusk, Edwidge Danticat, Louise Erdrich, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Tim O’Brien, Zadie Smith, and Tom Stoppard, among others whose papers portrayed are collected at the Ransom Center.
Pulp Alchemy: Jenn Hassin
Sept. 3 – Oct. 15 Opening: 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 3. Ivester Contemporary, 916 Springdale Road, ivestercontemporary.com
It’s been a while since Austin’s been treated to a new show by Jenn Hassin. An Air Force veteran, Hassin uses pulp and paper made from military uniforms or medical uniforms, creating intricate pattern-based sculptures that invite contemplation on the people behind the uniforms.
Sept. 10- 17, Opening 6-9 p.m. Sept. 10, Collection Rert, 2608 Rogers Ave., collectionrert.org
House gallery Collection Rert stages a show of painting by self-taught San Marcos artist-musician Furly Travis.
Yoonmi Nam: Delivered and Discarded
Sept. 10-Oct. 16, Artist’s meet-and-great 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 10, Grayduck Gallery, 2213 E. Cesar Chavez St. grayduckgallery.com
Like many, Yoonmi Nam spent the pandemic having food delivered, in the process acquiring stacks of leftover containers of various shapes and sizes Applying her delicate and precise printmaking process, Sumi ink, and alcohol-based sanitizer, she created shadow objects of the original forms. She also fashioned ceramic objects, castings of the negative spaces of various plastic packages.
Melvin Edwards: Wire(d) and Chain(ed)
Sept. 15-Dec. 10, Art Galleries at Black Studies, UT campus, galleriesatut.org
Over the course of a nearly 50-year career, Melvin Edwards has explored materiality and its resonances, using abstraction to confront social injustice. “Wire(d) and Chain(ed),” alludes to two of Edwards’ signature industrial media, which he values for their evocation of energy, movement, and connection to the African Diaspora. Wall reliefs, freestanding steel sculpture, and works on paper, reveal Edwards’ sociopolitical and personal narratives.
IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY
Sept. 17, 2022 – Feb. 12, 2023, Contemporary Austin, thecontemporaryaustin.org
Named for a text by Jenny Holzer this show brings together the work of eight female contemporary artists who explore how narratives and storytelling shape our senses of self, community, history, and identity. Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Adriana Corral, Ellie Ga, Juliana Huxtable, Tala Madani, Danielle Mckinney, Wendy Red Star, and Clare Rojas. Complementing the exhibition at the Contemporary’s downtown museum, Rojas’ “Swan Mother,” a newly commissioned site-responsive work, will debut the museum’s sculpture park at Laguna Gloria.
How Soon Is Now??
Sept. 17-Oct. 29, Co-Lab Projects, 5419 Glissman Road, co-labprojects.org
Adrian Aguillar uses personal and found videos documenting the year he turned 16 — 1997 —and projects them on a large cone-shaped screen. With a soundtrack from 1997, the video collage is an quirky look back at youth looking to the future and the turn of the millennium.
Pinnacles: New Paintings By John Mulvany
Sept. 17 – Oct. 9, Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery, 3411 E. 5th St., cloudtreestudiosandgallery.com
This series of paintings by John Mulvany weaves together events — remembered, recounted, or directly experienced — into an allegorical narrative documenting a singular imagined event set over a 24-hour period in the desert and mountains along the border of Texas and Mexico.
Social Fabric: Art and Activism in Contemporary Brazil
Sept. 23, 2022 – March 10, 2023, Visual Art Center, Art Building, UT campus,
Spanning installation, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, and video, this exhibition unfolds over five galleries within the Visual Arts Center. Ten artists who blur the line between art and activism, probed the long-standing histories of oppressive power structures in the territory now known as Brazil.
Valerie Fowler: Sum of the Parts
Sept. 23 — Oct. 30, Lydia Street Gallery, 1200 E. Eleventh St.
Though this summer left Valerie Fowler feeling “walloped by unrelenting heat, the worst in my memory, and I’m a lifelong Texan,” she nevertheless produced a body of her vivid and beguiling paintings, that capture her “scattered consciousness.”