Art League Houston is excited to announce that the 2016-2017 season will include exhibitions and art projects by the following artists:  

Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Erin Stafford, Trey Duvall, Lyle Carbajal, Chickie Brown, Iva Kinnaird, Prince Varughese Thomas, Ann Johnson, Benjamin Terry, Shane Allbritton and Peter Bernick-Allbritton, Edward Kelley and Hazel Meyer.

Lyle Carbajal, Libertad (detail), 2016, 40 x 48 inches

Lyle Carbajal, Libertad (detail), 2016, 40 x 48 inches

Romancing Banality
Lyle Carbajal
Exhibition dates: January 27 - March 11, 2017
Opening reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, January 27, 2017
Main Gallery I Artist talk: 6:30 PM

Art League Houston (ALH) is excited to present Romancing Banality, an installation-based exhibition by nomadic artist Lyle Carbajal. The exhibition features a mash-up of anti-artistry, folk, and contemporary themes, which pull from art history, cultural, economic, geographic and personal references, creating an immersive installation of densely layered mixed-media paintings, and sculptural compositions that combines everyday materials and aesthetic traditions. Carbajal, who was born in Los Angeles, and has lived in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, draws on imagery and narratives from his nomadic perspective, creating work that acknowledges the deep-rooted anthropological connections and patterns that traverse across history and place.

Carbajal addresses race, disparity, and identity politics because he himself is of Hispanic descent living in a predominantly white culture. Many of his works feature unique human figures created by combining mass-produced materials such as paint, wood, metal, balloons, and printed paper to make intricate surfaces that elicit connotations of the commodification of culture and of individuals. His art is not overtly confrontational, rather the artist simply invites the viewer to see what he sees, which in and of itself can be quite a stretch depending on the viewer’s experience with the artist’s cultural references. Using free form and primitive style allows the artist to evoke the immediacy of everyday life while also presenting the complex perspective of an “other.” (Burd, 2015)

When talking about his work, Carbajal states:

"Childhood memories and my Latin American background helped me search for a primitive expression of the world. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as the unintentional. For this reason I’ve attempted through the use of color, reference, placement and most importantly line, to capture, if just a fraction of the naiveté I see in my daily surroundings. My bright colors and dark, brisk lines reflect moods of small children, brush-in-hand, being told to concentrate and stay within the lines, by those well intentioned grade school teachers who encouraged us all to produce masterpieces. Tucked into my own pictures are images associated with childhood: comics, monsters, machines, animals and faces. My interest in the face is evident in each painting, where the primary visages are wild-eyed and gripped with anger, terror, confusion or pain. Both the innocent associations of youth and the horror of maturation are bluntly juxtaposed and seek not so much to find unity in the passage of life, but to expose its division."


Lyle Carbajal is a nomadic artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, whose work exists somewhere between the vernacular and contemporary avant-garde. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows at national and international venues including Tinney Contemporary, Nashville TN (2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2004, 2002), Art Chicago; Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), Seattle WA (2013); Cartwheel Street & Outsider Art Show, Hollywood CA (2013), The London Art Fair; Mark Rothko museum, Dünaburg, Latvia (2012), The National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago IL (2007), Museu de Estremoz, Portugal (2007), The Raw Arts Festival, London (2004), La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles and The Mark Rothko Museum in Latvia (2012) while participating in an artist residency in Daugavpils, the country’s second largest city. Romancing Banality began in Seattle in 2013, and has since traveled to New Orleans (2014), Tennessee (2015), and is currently in its fourth iteration at Art League Houston. 

In 2010, Carbajal published his first book, Urban+Primitive: The Art of Lyle Carbajal. Lyle is currently represented by CG2 Gallery in Nashville TN; The Frederick Holmes Gallery in Seattle, WA; Gallery Orange in New Orleans LA; Edgar Modern in The United Kingdom; Galerie du Temple and Galerie Gabel in France. 

He currently lives and works in Houston and New Orleans.