The Last Best WEST List

Five West Austin Studio Tour reasons to ramble

This: The sort of thing David Lamplugh has on display.
This: The sort of thing David Lamplugh has on display.

Well, the list is “last” for this year, anyway.

And it’s “best” only as far as our evaluation of the artists we’ve checked out among the vast talented panoply of those involved in this final weekend (Sat.-Sun., May 16-17, 11am-6pm) of the West Austin Studio Tour.

But you know we wouldn’t steer you wrong, citizen, especially not in the middle of all this lovely rain, which is why we’ve already told you about what’s to be witnessed at Adreon Henry’s gallery – and so here are five more stops along the myriad WEST sites that we heartily recommend for your art-viewing pleasure:

1. David Lamplugh: Animuruprinto no Hitobito This guy’s nonpareil when it comes to producing images of wild animals outfitted as Japanese samurai or courtesans and so on, rendering his many portraits with a canny flair for design and a welcome complexity of color, the fierce creatures coming across in a kind of streetwise Malcolm Bucknall style. Lamplugh’s originals will knock you out, and the more-easily-affordable prints are giclee’d up all vivid and fine and ready for framing. Bonus: Don’t miss his old stuff, the various surreal urbanscape paintings of life in these here Magnited States.

2. Mark Johnson: APOLOGYTOTIME We’ve dabbed a bit of praise on this artist before, impressed as we were by his previous show at Co-Lab’s N Space outpost a few years ago. So Austinites are in luck during WEST, because Johnson’s back with new work at that same N Space venue downtown – which means you can check out the text-warping visual wonders he’s wrought, the jarring tableaux he’s created with splashes and splotches and lines of paint on paper… and then, oh hey, stop by the nearby Hideout Coffeehouse for some tasty coffee-based beverages while you talk about what you’ve just seen.

3. Mary Fischer: Little Clay Houses This is part of a three-women show at Diana Seidel’s studio (ceramicist Seidel and jeweler Claire Sommers Buck are the other two artists here), so there’s a trio of reasons to visit the exhibition. But, truth be told, we’d drive across the state just to see nothing but Fischer’s miracles of miniature architecture, the intriguing slab-built buildings all stained and glazed and (albeit rarely) embellished with printing techniques.

4. Colin McIntyre: Shrine of Inevitable Forces The tall man with the affinity for bending metal to his will, for working wood into structures that would fit your strangest dreams, has transplanted a warped and buckled floor from Michigan into a former church near South Congress Avenue. And that’s not all. Say what? Say, the Statesman’s Jeanne Claire Van Ryzin covers the installation right here, and we’re just going to add “Yes, yes, yes – go see this and learn what monumental industry a dedicated sculptor can wreak with brains and sweat and relentless determination.”

5. [UPDATE: POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER] Elisabet Ney Museum: Ney Day Anything’s a good excuse to visit the Ney Museum next to Shipe Park in the middle of Austin’s beloved Hyde Park neighborhood, but especially the debut of Jennifer Chenoweth’s new outdoor sculpture Dance of the Cosmos amid a full slate of live music, performances, and celebration from noon ’till 5pm on Saturday.

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