Top 10 Arts Events in 2003

Steinberg in the house: <i>The Vision of St. Francis</i>, by Federico Barocci
Steinberg in the house: The Vision of St. Francis, by Federico Barocci

1) Steinberg comes to town. Two Leo Steinberg Collection print exhibitions at UT's Blanton Museum of Art allowed us to begin to experience the wealth of images and ideas in this vast treasure. To top it off, Steinberg himself gave an awesome lecture that opened his collection for us to see from his eyes and mind.

2) Ransom reopens. With the Harry Ransom Center renovations complete, the HRC reopens "In a New Light" indeed, finally beginning to display its fabulous and eclectic treasures for all to see.

3) The big six. The six exhibitions that opened at the Blanton this fall show the muscle and the depth that the museum is developing as it moves toward its new home. Curator Annette Carlozzi's noon talk on her "Transgressive Women" exhibition was a highlight.

4) Walking will never be the same. By pairing the "Walk Ways" exhibition with William Pope.L's "SOME: Of Place and Desire," Arthouse displayed its range in contemporary art: an influential historical show, a new work created on the spot, and teenagers stretching their wings. Now that is great vision.

5) Painting panache. "Embracing the Present" was yet another great painting show brought to town by the Austin Museum of Art. It was fascinating for spotlighting the different approaches of European and American painting.

6) To sleep, perchance to dream. Virginia Fleck's first inflatable soared in "Dreaming My Dreams" at Gallery 106.

7) A handful. Arthouse's annual 5-by-7-inch sale -- I love it! I have enjoyed buying and living with the art I have gotten there since it started.

8) Book 'em! Regina Vater's Smile book takes us around the world visually, a welcome reminder in a war-torn world of better days to come.

9) Around the world. A night of video, beer, and pizza -- no, not at my house! At Arthouse. International art videos based on sound were introduced by curator Regine Basha and performance artist Mike Smith in the first "Picks 'n Clips," highlighting how flexible the medium is.

10) Everywhere you turn. Sydney Yeager's juicy paintings were hard to miss in a 10-year retrospective at Arthouse, and exuberant new works showed at D. Berman Gallery.

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More by Madeline Irvine
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