Austin Figurative Gallery/Pump Project: Something old, something new

Two gallery events, one focused on past Texas masters and one featuring artists creating new work in real time, show us where we've been and where we're going

Some nights manage magically to encapsulate where we've been and where we're going. Such an evening is Saturday, June 2. In one Eastside arts space, the Austin Figurative Gallery, you have a showing of work by two Texas masters who helped bring contemporary art to Austin in the middle of the last century. Then, just blocks away, at the Pump Project Art Complex, you have a clutch of the city's current contemporary artists creating new work before your very eyes.

The former event focuses on drawings and paintings by Michael Frary and Ralph White, both pioneers of Lone Star modernism (even though neither was born in Texas), both teachers in the UT Art Department for more than three decades, both enormously influential, both deceased in the last few years. White was best known for intricate abstracts that reflected his interest in flight, an interest shaped by his Army Air Corps experiences in World War II. Frary was a master of the watercolor, using it to depict his adopted state in breathtaking style. Carl McQueary, a collector of Texas midcentury modernist paintings and family friend, curated this one-night-only showing, which includes numerous works that have never been seen by the public.

The latter event is a continuation of an experiment in art-making launched in 2005 by Ricardo Acevedo and William Hundley. Titled "Vision Riot," it featured painters creating new work in real time inspired by projected imagery and recorded music. This time, the "pigment manipulators" – among them Gerardo Arellano, Rene Z. Garza, Mason McFee, Russel Pryor, and Aldo Ramos – will be taking their cues from live musical improvisations by It Was Divine Justice and My Empty Phantom, as well as video by Jesse Beaman, Matt Iha, Nick Janowski, and others. You can turn out Saturday night and see the large-format paintings being made or wait until Sunday afternoon, when they'll be displayed in the gallery as the Pump Project artists open their studios to the public. (They'll also be collecting for Pump Project's Raise the Roof Fund, to repair their aging building's roof after the recent rains. A $5 donation gets you a ticket for their raffle basket with prizes from the Alamo Drafthouse, the Screamer Company, Ultimate Imaging, and more.)

Works by Michael Frary and Ralph White will be displayed Saturday, June 2, 7-11pm, at the Austin Figurative Gallery, 301 Chicon, Unit F.

"Vision Riot" will be held Saturday, June 2, 8-11pm, at the Pump Project Art Complex, 702 Shady Ln.

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Austin Figurative Gallery, Pump Project Art Complex, Ralph White, Michael Frary, Vision Riot, Ricardo Acevedo, William Hundley

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