A spin on the Austin art gallery carousel.
The Gallery Carousel
Round and round and round it spins, the wheel of art spaces in Austin. And as it goes round, new galleries come, old galleries go, and occasionally old galleries that have gone away even come back. This fall finds all of the above taking place, with more than the usual amount of activity on the gallery carousel. Climbing aboard are a couple of upscale newcomers, the Norwood Gallery and Gremillion & Co. The latter comes to us from Houston, where it's an established gallery handling numerous artists from across the state and country. It opened an Austin branch last year, but has established a formal gallery space in just the last few months. That space, an open, bright L-shaped venue at 35th & Jefferson, will celebrate its opening this coming week. Call 451-9310 for information. The former is rising up from local soil, with folks who have had a presence on the scene but not in the form of a gallery. Alfred Kren is a dealer and consultant of long standing whose name may be most familiar for his seizure of 15 works of art by Robert Rauschenberg while they were on display at Houston's prestigious Menil Collection. The matter has since been resolved, and now Kren is half of the curatorial team for the Norwood, located on the ground floor of the Norwood Tower at Seventh and Colorado. Along with Catherine Craft, Ph.D., Kren will present artworks in all media, with a special focus on works on paper. The Norwood debuted earlier this month and is still showing its premiere exhibitions, "Selected 20th-Century Master Drawings" and "Ancient Terracottas from Nigeria." Call 499-8848 for information.
Not quite new new, but new enough to make a fuss over is Flatbed World Headquarters, the expansive new facility for Flatbed Press. This warehouse space at 2832 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. is big enough to house not only the press and a gallery for exhibiting the many terrific prints produced by Flatbed, but offices for Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre and The Public Domain, studios for Alisa Marrow, Denny McCoy, and Colleen Cassady, room for Gallery 68, and a new performance home for New Texas Music Works (formerly New Texas Festival). Flatbed WHQ's big opening party is Saturday, 7-9pm, with performances by Rachel Martin-Hinshaw, Deborah Hay, and New Texas, an installation by Murray McMillan, and films by Cinemaker Co-op.
Among the galleries rumored to be leaving the old carousel are two of the anchors of the Uptown Arts District. Lyons Matrix Gallery, the gallery home to many members of Austin's visual arts elite, is said to be shutting down as owner Camille Lyons is in need of a rest from the dizzying whirl of the art world. The future of Galeria Sin Fronteras is also up in the air as owner Gil Cardenas has left Austin to work at Notre Dame and so has less and less reason to maintain the art space here. He may close it by the end of the year. I'll be pursuing further confirmation of these closings, but thanks to Rebecca Cohen for her reports on them.
Proving however that defunct galleries can return is Ravel Fine Art, a new art space by Dana Ravel, whose Galerie Ravel was a mainstay of the local art scene from the mid-Seventies through the Eighties. The official opening of the space in Davenport Village (3801 Capital of Texas Hwy N, Ste. D-120) isn't for six weeks, but you can visit Ravel's cyber gallery today at http://www.ravelfineart.com/. Call 338-1158 for more information.