Art of the State '98

Art & Theatre to See Around Texas This Summer



Windows of Remembrance at Josef and Edith Mincberg Gallery, Houston

That road trip itch -- it creeps up on me every year about this time. Even though Texas between the days Memorial and Labor is a wretched place to be on the road, that nagging urge to put the pedal to the metal is so deep as to overwhelm the combination of broiling sun, baking asphalt, and blasted brown grass that passes for landscape in a Lone Star summer. Typically, the itch is strong enough only to get me to some other Texas city, but, hey, that's cool (in a manner of speaking, at least). Our neighbor communities have much to offer, not the least of which is culture. If you're unaware of the dynamic creative work being done in Dallas and San Antonio, of the world-class performing arts halls and museums in Houston and Fort Worth, you need to get up to date. The past decade has seen a tsunami of cultural activity all across Texas, enough to make any of the major cities a worthwhile destination for the arts lover. Just to put a dab of it on your tongue, to start that salivation reflex, we've checked in on some of the activity set for this summer. Rebecca Cohen paid a visit to former Austinite Becky Reese, who left UT's Huntington Gallery to help the El Paso Museum of Art build its new facility. And I dug into the Alley Theatre's latest world-shaking theatrical endeavor: the premiere of a "lost" script by Tennessee Williams. Intrigued yet? Then let your eye fall over the images and listings below, and see if you aren't suddenly feeling an itch to get out of Dodge. See you on the road.

-- Robert Faires

Art:

ARLINGTON MUSEUM OF ART features "Boys' Toys," an exhibition featuring artists dealing with the generally male interest in heavy materials, machinery, tools, toys, power, and war, through August 1; and "Big Sky: architectural models," an exhibit of models created as part of a class project for UT-Arlington graduate students in architecture (student designs had to adhere to architectural requirements for the Big Sky residential project near Denton), through August 1. 201 W. Main, Arlington. 817/275-4600.

KIMBELL ART MUSEUM OF FORT WORTH presents "Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thracians ó Treasures From the Republic of Bulgaria," an exhibition of more than 200 gold and silver vessels, rings, necklaces, ornaments, and weapons from 3000BC to 300AD, through July 19; "King of the World: A Mughal Manuscript From the Royal Library, Windsor Castle," an exhibition of all 46 illustrations from the Padshahnama ("Chronicle of the King of the World"), an extraordinary painted book from the reign of the 17th-century Indian emperor Shah-Jahan, May 31-August 23; "Modernism: The Art of Design, 1880-1940 ó The Norwest Collection," a showing of more than 200 visually stunning objects spanning the eras of the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus, and Art Deco, June 21-September 13. 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. 817/332-8451.



The Rest by a Fountain by Charles-Joseph Natoire at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston



BLAFFER GALLERY, THE ART MUSEUM OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON presents "Putt Modernism: 18 Hole Miniature Golf Course and Exhibition," a whimsical show from Artist's Space in New York featuring 18 sculptural installations designed as fully functional miniature golf course holes (which visitors may actually play), June 13-August 13. University of Houston campus, off Cullen Boulevard, Houston. 713/743-9528.

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON presents "A Photographic Journey: Three Houston Neighborhoods," portraits of the Third Ward, the East End, and the Near Northwest, taken over a five-year period by Houston photographers Geary Broadnax, Ray Carrington III, Ben DeSoto, Marie Theresa Hernandez, Earlie Hudnall, Diane Palm, Angela Perkins, Richard Ramirez, and F. Carter Smith, through August 2; "Intimate Encounters: Love and Domesticity in 18th-Century France," an exhibition of paintings and engravings capturing everyday life in the France of the 1700s, May 31-August 23; and "Modernism in a Century of Change: From Objects to Icon: The Art of Assemblage," an exhibition tracing the role of assemblage in the evolution of modern and postmodern aesthetics, from Cubism through Pop Art and into the present, June 21-August 30. 1001 Bissonnet, Houston. 713/639-7300.

HOLOCAUST MUSEUM HOUSTON presents "Windows of Remembrance: A Sculpture Series by Ed Lindlof," an exhibition of 21 mixed media sculptures by the Austin artist which explore the Holocaust through formal, emotionally removed tributes to the people, places, and events of that tragedy, through July 9. 5401 Caroline, Houston. 713/942-8000.



Clothesline and Skyline by Earlie Hudnall at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston



CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM is presenting "James Turrell: Spirit and Light," a survey of the artist's work from 1966-8, focusing on his exploration of the visual and metaphoric potential of light, both natural and man-made, June 6-July 26. 5216 Montrose, Houston. 713/284-8250.

Dance:

HOUSTON BALLET revives Manon, the full-length ballet adapted by Sir Kenneth MacMillan from the novel by Abbe de Provost. To music by Massenet, the ballet spins an erotic tale of an innocent young student's passion for the beautiful and enigmatic Manon and his willingness to sacrifice everything in pursuit of her. June 4-7, Thu & Sat, 7:30pm, Sun, 2pm, and June 12-14, Fri & Sat, 7:30pm, Sun, 2pm. $10-84. Brown Theater, Wortham Center, Texas & Smith, Houston. 800/828-2787.




Ancient Gold: The Wealth of the Thacians, Treasures from the Republic of Bulgaria at the Kimball Art Museum, Fort Worth.

Theatre:

TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A GO-GO GIRL, Jill Morley's wickedly funny look at the women whogyrate, the management who hire them, and themen (and women) who pay to see them in clubs all over the country. Part of the Houston Fringe Theatre Festival, produced by Theatre LaB Houston. June 24-27, Wed & Thu, 8pm, Fri & Sat, 7:30 & 9:30pm. 1706 Alamo, Houston. 713/868-7516.



Modernism: The Art of Design 1880-1940: The Norwest Collection

LOS OJOS DE ZAPATA (EYES OF ZAPATA), a stage version of a short story by San Antonio author Sandra Cisneros, adapted for the stage and directed by Felipe Santander. The play chronicles events in the life of the great Mexican hero Emiliano Zapata, as seen through the eyes of Ines, a woman whreo loved him. Produced by Jump-Start Performance Co. Through June 14, Fri & Sat, 8pm, Sun, 3pm. $10 ($8 seniors, students). Jump-Start Theatre, Blue Star Arts Complex, S. Alamo & Probandt, San Antonio. 210/227-JUMP.

THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA, Horton Foote's beautifully wrought and moving tale of a Houston family in 1950; it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995. Martha McLain directs this Steven Stoli's Playhouse production. Through June 6, Fri & Sat, 8pm, Sun, 2:30pm. Steven Stoli's Playhouse, 11838 Wurzbach, San Antonio. $10-13.50. 210/408-0116.

ALICE IN BED, Susan Sontag's fantasy drama focusing on the life of Alice James, brilliant sister to William and Henry James. Pat Myers Morgan directs. Produced by Wing Span Theatre Company, Dallas. May 28-June 20, Thu-Sat, 8pm, May 31 & June 7, Sat, 5pm, June 13 & 20, Sat, 2pm. $10 Thu/Fri/matinees; $12 Sat evening. Teatro Dallas, 2204 Commerce, Dallas. 972/504-6218.*

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