February 3, 2023

The Line-up: A dozen museum shows in Texas to see this summer

From Marfa to Beaumont, Albany to San Antonio, exhibitions to see at Texas art museums large and small


Looking beyond Sightlines’ Austin homebase, we picked museum exhibitions around the Lone Star State to see this summer.


Colette Copelan
Colette Copeland, solar plate etchings, Chine Collé prints using a 4×5 solar plate of Jesse James’ iconic portrait featured on the cover of T.J. Styles biography of the outlaw. Courtesy the artist.

Colette Copeland: My Jesse James Adventure

June 4 – Aug. 20, Old Jail Art Center,
Colettte Copeland’s fascination with Jesse James hinges on her DNA kinship to the notorious outlaw. In a project spanning years, she examines fake news, gun violence, criminal celebrity, the fascination with DNA networks, and fact vs. fiction. Over the years, the project has taken the artist to sites across the US where Jesse James lived and outlawed, filming and leaving her DNA in the form of a lock of hair at each site. The resulting immersive 22-channel video installation feature a spaghetti western inspired musical score as well as an audio guide narration of original newspaper articles about the outlaw’s exploits.


Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley’s ‘Shelter in Place’ installed at SITE Houston. Image © Keliy Anderson-Staley

Keliy Anderson-Staley: Documents and Dwellings

July 2 – Sept. 18, Art Museum of Southeast Texas,
The work of Houston-based photographer Keliy Anderson-Staley, who recently won a Guggenheim Fellowship, is characterized by her interest in family, memories, and loss. She grew up in an off-the-grid cabin in Maine, learning at age 12 her father was not her biological father, resulting in a reevaluation of her life and memories that have lasted into present day. The exhibition will include the installation of “Shelter in Place,” a 10-foot by 10-foot house structured covered in over 560 tintype portraits.


Joseph Havel
image by alexandra hulsey

Joseph Havel: Parrot Architecture

Through Aug. 20, Dallas Contemporary,
Houston sculptor Joseph Havel has always focused on the quotidian. Now, he turns to his everyday lived experience of the pandemic, which he experienced side-by-side with his African gray parrot, Hannah. The works on view — large-scale wall assemblages and never-before-seen resin and bronze totem-like sculptures — evolved and strengthened throughout the course of the global health crisis with the help of the artist’s pet. 

Fort Worth

Amy Sherald
Installation view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth of Amy Sherald’s “A Midsummer Afternoon Dream,” 2020

Women Painting Women

Through Sept. 25, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth,
This much-anticipated thematic exhibition features 46 female artists who choose women as subject matter in their works. The 50 evocative portraits that span the late 1960s to the present, from path-breakers Alice Neel and Emma Amos to today’s stars like Amy Sherald and Tracie Emin.


Left: Artemisia Gentileschi (Rome, 1593–Naples, ca. 1653), ;Judith and Holofernes,’ c. 1612–17, oil on canvas. 159 x 126 cm. Inv. Q 378. Napoli, Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte. Right: Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977), ‘Judith and Holofernes,’ 2012, oil on linen. © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art and Sean Kelly, New York

SLAY: Artemisia Gentileschi & Kehinde Wiley

July 19 – Oct. 10, Kimbell Art Museum,
A brilliant mini-exhibition: Two paintings depicting different versions of the Old Testament story of Judith and Holofernes — one by Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi and the other by American contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley, know for his monumental portraits of young Black men and women placed in historical poses and settings appropriated from Old Master paintings.


Left to right: Amoako Boafo, Black and White, 2018. Oil on paper, 39 3/8 x 27 1/2 inches. Courtesy Private Collection and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Photo: Robert Wedemyer. / Amoako Boafo, Umber Brown Belt, 2020. Paper transfer and oil on canvas, 82 5/8 x 66 7/8 inches. Courtesy the Collection of Marilyn & Larry Fields

Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks

Through Oct. 2, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston,
debut museum solo exhibition for Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo (b. 1984), one of the most influential artistic voices of his generation. Working primarily in portraiture, Boafo is known for his vibrant use of color and thick, improvisational gestures created by his finger painting technique. His work is actively centered on Black subjectivity, Black joy, the Black gaze, and the complexities of Black life globally.

Leondro Erlich
Leandro Erlich, “Le cabinet du psy,” 2005. © Clara Bullen courtesy of Leandro Erlich Studio

Leandro Erlich: Seeing Is Not Believing

June 26–Sept. 5, Museum of Fine Arts-Houston,
“Seeing Is Not Believing” features two of the acclaimed Argentinean artist’s most iconic immersive room-size installations: “Bâtiment (Façade)” and “Le cabinet du psy (The Psychoanalyst’s Office).” Leandro Erlich’s psychological subversion of the everyday seems to defy the basic laws of physics while challenging your sense of balance, space, and the absolute.


Hugh Hayden

Hugh Hayden: Boogey Men

June 10-Sept. 4, Blaffer Art Museum,
Formally trained as an architect, Hugh Hayden deploys laborious processes — selecting, carving, fabricating — that result in dynamic, surreal, and critical responses to personal experience and social and cultural issues. Renowned for his use of wood — taking disparate natural species and manipulating them to reveal complex histories and meanings — Hayden crafts intricate metaphors and meditations on experience and memory that question social dynamics and the ever-shifting ecosystem. This show features a suite of monumental new works.


John Chamberlain Building, 106 North Highland Ave., Marfa. Photo by Alex Marks

John Chamberlain Building

Chinati Foundation,
In 1983, the John Chamberlain Building was the first permanent installation opened to the public by Donald Judd in Marfa. Judd transformed three separate warehouse structures into a massive, contiguous space for the display of Chamberlain’s large-scale sculptures. After two year renovation, the building re-opened in April. Admission is free through 2022.

Installation view of “The Teaching Hands,” a video by Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas. Photo: Sandy Carson.

The Blessings of the Mystery

If you didn’t catch this engaging exhibition by Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas last fall while it was at UT’s Visual Art Center, now you can see it at Ballroom Marfa, the organization that commissioned it. In a film and a series of installations, the artists probe issues relating to Indigenous people of West Texas, including environmental activism, land rights, and how information around these matters has migrated and been defined. Wrote Sightlines critic Erin Keever in her review: “Caycedo and de Rozas have helped open up the dialogue and reshape our understanding of Indigenous history in one Texas region.”

San Antonio

Donald Moffett
Donald Moffett, “Lot 020619 (nature cult, fertile blue),” 2019. Pigmented epoxy resin and acrylic on wood panel support, steel. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspe

Donald Moffett + Nature Cult + The McNay

Through Sept. 11, McNay Art Museum,
Celebrated painter and San Antonio native Donald Moffett returns to the hometown museum where his encounter with Georges Seurat drawing, “Silhouette de Femme,” profoundly influenced his decision to become an artist. Moffett conceived a presentation of his paintings interwoven with artworks from across the McNay’s modern and contemporary collection along with art, artifacts, and everyday objects from his home.

Also at the McNay, the exhibition “Georgia O’Keeffe and American Modernism” has been extended until Dec. 11. See “Georgia O’Keeffe: Rewarding Curiosity.” 

Ruby City
Isaac Julien’s video installation “True North” at Ruby City in San Antonio

Isaac Julien: True North

Through Jan. 2023, Ruby City,
Isaac Julien’s film installation “True North” is loosely based on the experiences of Matthew Henson (1866–1955), a Black explorer who assisted Robert Peary on his 1909 expedition to locate the northernmost point on the globe. Henson reached true north first, followed by Peary and four Inuit assistants. However upon their return, however, Peary claimed the honor for himself. Julien purposefully excludes Peary from the narrative so that viewers can experience the expedition anew with key figures who were previously erased.

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