Eye Candy À Gogo at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair

Nobody wanted to define “contemporaneity” during set-up for the fourth annual Texas Contemporary Art Fair at the George R. Brown Convention Center—it was hard enough trying to get people to pronounce the word. And maybe that makes sense. How can anyone define “now,” it’s so expansive.

Fair director Max Fishko says the fair is open to artists engaging in “the current dialog,” but you won’t see any performance, video, digital, or large-scale installation art (or even much photography), so it’s more fair to say that what you’ll find there are salable objects, mostly two dimensional (but some sculpture), made relatively recently. The fair, produced by Art Market Productions, features 55 galleries (mostly from Texas, but including a few from New York, LA, and San Francisco, and one from London) and offers Houstonians a chance to take in a wide swath of what’s selling in the commercial art world.

This is going to be an image-heavy post that is meant to whet your appetite for the eye candy, not an exhaustive guide. Here is my first slideshow.

It wasn’t up and running yet when I went in for my preview, but the Blaffer Gallery’s Book Machine promises to be the highlight of the fair. For that matter, FotoFest had not yet set up, either, and their Discoveries of the Meeting Place exhibit sounds like it might be pretty cool.

Mariette Pathy Allen, Malu at her parents’ house, Cienfuegos, 2013. From the series Transcuba. Used without permission.

Mariette Pathy Allen, Malu at her parents’ house, Cienfuegos, 2013. From the series Transcuba. Used without permission.

Madeleine Dietz’s piece at Gallery Sonja Roesch caused me to pause and think about weight and material and earth.

Wandkonsole by Madeleine Dietz at Gallery Sonja Roesch

Wandkonsole by Madeleine Dietz at Gallery Sonja Roesch

If I had to pick one favorite artist from the whole fair, I’d pick Nikki Rosato, represented by New Orleans’s Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. Only a few of these are showing in Houston this weekend, but here is a more exhaustive slideshow.

Not even Jenn Gardner and Jordan Dupuis of DiverseWorks wanted to take a stab at defining “contemporaneity.” The three of us agreed that “modernity” had previously been defined in terms similar to contemporary attempts at defining “contemporaneity,” but “modern” refers to a specific historical period which is now past, but then again it’s possible for a piece that is stylistically modern to be contemporary…All of which begs the question, is “post-contemporary” a possibility?

Here, watch this Swedish kid rap, southern-style, in Japan, then go look at some art.

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