Austin’s best and freshest exhibitions to see in February.
Drawing the Motion Picture
Through July 16. Harry Ransom Center, UT campus, hrc.utexas.edu
Rare concept paintings, set designs, storyboards, scripts, film stills, correspondence, and more tell a visual story of the production of your favorite films, bringing a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the creative process of filmmaking. See production art associated with iconic movies like Rebel Without a Cause, Raging Bull, Top Gun, Apollo 13, and Lawrence of Arabia, many connected with innovative directors like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, Mike Nichols, Michael Powell, Nicholas Ray, Martin Scorsese, Stephen Spielberg, King Vidor, and more.
Signs and Symbols: The Trees are Talking
Through Aug. 13. Neill–Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St., nchmuseum.org
A one-woman show featuring the work of longtime Austin artist Rejina Thomas will feature more than 40 works of glass and oil on canvas that explore Thomas’ understanding of the way signs and symbols constantly surround us in both the natural and built environments. Thomas established a graphic glass studio as well as Pine Street Station, open 2007-2015, which was the one of the first East Austin hubs for Austin creatives.
To Have and to Hold: Virginia Colwell
Through March 4. Co-Lab Projects, 5419 Glissman Road,co-labprojects.org
New work by Mexico City-based Virginia Colwell, whose work operates in the ambiguity of truth and fiction in history and archives. By looking at the similarities of the landscape, and particularly that of the Southern United States and its similarities with the state of Veracruz, Mexico, Colwell uses the romanization of the South to examine the deliberate obfuscation of the deep history of enslavement and racism.
Will Klemm: Seance
Opening: 6 to p.m. Feb. 4. Exhibition continues through Feb. 26. Wally Workman Gallery, 1202. W. Sixth St.
Klemm, one of Austin’s favorite painters, explores how the art of the past continues to communicate, influencing the art of today.“Séance” is organized into two contrasting sections: the monochromatic and the brightly colorful. His works are either filled with allusions and quotations from 19th-century painters, or are subjects taken from the artist’s daily life.
Old Wounds, Dark Dreams
Opening: 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 9. Exhibition continues through May 19. Christian-Green Gallery, Jester Bldg., UT campus, 201 E. 21st St., galleriesatut.org/art
The video works in this exhibition meditate on anti-Black racism and the wounds it inflicts on the American body politic. Contemporary artists Charles Gaines, Rodney McMillian, Cauleen Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems engage in appropriation or sampling—quoting other artists’ motifs, methods, and works—to represent troubling events. By adapting other cultural forms and putting them into new contexts, these four artists variously comment on, critique, or amplify the appropriated works’ meanings and create new ones.
I C U: Works by Heyd Fontenot
Opening 7-10 Feb 10. Exhibition continues through Feb. 26. Cloud Tree Gallery 3411 E. 5th St. cloudtreestudiosandgallery.com
Fontenot’s stylized nude portraits are prized for their beautiful draftsmanship and unexpected humor and his artwork focusing on the human figure has been widely exhibited for more than 20 years. Based in Austin for years, Fontenot has recently returned to Texas after years living out-of-state.
Raul Rene Gonzalez: Doing Werk | Artist Parents
Feb.11 – March 4, Spellerberg Projects, 103 S. Main St, Lockhart, spellerbergprojects.com
Largely autobiographical in nature, Raul Rene Gonzalez’s work explores topics such as fatherhood, gender roles, labor, identity, pop culture, science and abstraction. In this show, he considers the situation of artists who are parents.
Feb. 19-July 23, Blanton Museum of Art, UT campus, blantonmuseum.org
Dishwasher, furniture maker, graphic designer, hairstylist, ICU nurse, lawyer, and nanny — just some of the “day jobs” artists have to hold to supplement their art careers. The exhibition examines the overlooked impact of day jobs on the visual arts. Featuring emerging and established artists such as Emma Amos, Genesis Belanger, Larry Bell, Mark Bradford, Lenka Clayton, Jeffrey Gibson, Jay Lynn Gomez, Tishan Hsu, VLM (Virginia Lee Montgomery), Ragen Moss, Howardena Pindell, Chuck Ramirez, Robert Ryman, and Fred Wilson, among many others.