UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

 

Art League Houston is excited to announce that the 2015-2016 season will include exhibitions and art projects by the following artists:  

{exurb}, Lavar Munroe, Letitia Huckaby, Amy Blakemore, Forrest Prince, Lauren Van Haaften-Schick, Iva Kinnaird, Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin, Margaret Meehan, Shannon Duncan and Delaney Smith, Jorge Galvan, Jennifer Datchuk, Ying Zhu, Giovanni Valderas, Jessica Kreutter, Trey Duvall, Alex Trimino, Ayanna McCloud, and Autumn Knight.


Zoo at the Edge of the World: A Continuum of the Exotic  
Lavar Munroe

ALH Main Gallery

Exhibition Dates: July 31 – September 12, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 – 9 PM

 

Art League Houston is excited to present Zoo at the Edge of the World:  A Continuum of the Exotic, an exhibition by US-based Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe. The exhibition features a selection of mixed-media paintings that explore the nineteenth century phenomena of the “human zoo”. The work in this exhibition investigate how this phenomenon, which is arguably the origin of racist stereotypes today, fits into the wider discourse of history.

Through the manipulation of imagery sourced from ethnologic illustrations, human zoo advertisements, and sideshow banners, Munroe’s work creates an “elsewhere” that examines narratives, exhibits and fascinations that resulted from Human Zoo displays. In much of his work, the ‘exotic human other’ is often paired alongside a wild animal and beast, which was true to many of the human zoo exhibits of the time.

“I simultaneously reference the systematic representation of human difference that occurred during the phenomena of the “human zoo”,” says the artist. “The work introduces an alternate history that readdresses the then popular craze for monstrosity through displays and commercialization of human difference in order to justify superiority of Western exhibitors during the Colonial era.”

The artist’s process of destruction and rebuilding onto the artworks surface is meant to further charge the narrative in these works. Through cutting, tearing, stitching, stapling and ‘nursing’ the surfaces, the work points to the history of exploitation and cruelty that was, and still is faced by the underrepresented body within the larger framework of society.

ABOUT LAVAR MUNROE

Munroe was born in Nassau, Bahamas where he resided in the community of Grants Town until 2004. He grew up challenged with a lot of stigmas and stereotypes that were associated with the community that he lived in. Much of Munroe's understanding of such societal disparities was informed by his upbringing. This is evident in the disturbing, yet gorgeous and powerful works he creates. He relocated to the United States of America in 2004 to pursue tertiary level education. He has resided in the United States of America ever since.

In 2007 he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design and a Masters of Fine Art degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. In April 2015, Lavar Munroe was invited to participate in the 56th Venice biennale’s international exhibition, All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor, and in 2010, represented The Bahamas at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial. In 2014, he was selected as a finalist for the Chairo Painting Prize at Headlands Center for the Arts, and in 2013, he was selected as Editor’s Choice in issue no.105 of New American Painting. Munroe is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting and Sculpture Grant in 2013. Most recently Munroe was awarded residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center and the MacDowell Colony. He is currently pursuing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Other awards and recognition's include: The Kraus Family Foundation Fellowship, Beach Institute’s: Yes We Can Grant, The Mildred Suliburk Dennis Memorial Scholarship, Sam Fox Dean's Initiative Fund Grant, Mary Beth Hassan Fund Grant, The Central Bank of The Bahamas Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts Grant: Nassau Bahamas among others. Munroe has exhibited in institutions such as The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (St. Louis MO), the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (Nassau Bahamas) and the Nasher Museum of Art (Durham North Carolina), and the Contemporary Art Museum (Raleigh NC). His work is represented by Jack Bell Gallery based in London and NOMAD Gallery Brussel/Miami.

Munroe lives and works between Washington, DC, Chapel Hill North Carolina, and Nassau Bahamas.

Bayou Baroque

Letitia Huckaby

ALH Front Gallery

Exhibition Dates: July 31 – September 12, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 – 9 PM

 

Art League Houston is pleased to announce a new exhibition by Letitia Huckaby entitled Bayou Baroque, a site specific installation of her documentary project honoring the nuns at the Sisters of the Holy Family Mother House in New Orleans, Louisiana: an African-American congregation, founded in 1842 as servants to the youth, the poor and the elderly. Their foundress Henrietta Delille broke with the traditional placage system of colored women being placed as concubines to wealthy white men in New Orleans and established the order. Huckaby, deeply touched and affected by the spirit of sacrifice and faith of these women is using her visual vocabulary evoking old master portraiture with parallel compositional weight.

Bayou Baroque features seven portraits of varying sizes, nine botanical prints on vintage bath salt sacks, and a sugar can instillation. The portraits are printed onto fabric, and each one is uniquely quilted together.

“I have always been drawn to old master religious paintings, and I wanted to give these pieces the same compositional weight” says the artist. “The women were photographed either in front of or silhouetted by bed sheets with intricate floral patterns. Kehinde Wiley’s heroic portraits of the urban male were a huge inspiration for me and I studied his use of pattern, color and pose. Bayou Baroque is my way of honoring these women, their courage, their sacrifice and their faith with my own unique visual vocabulary.”

ABOUT LETITIA HUCKABY

Letitia Huckaby holds an MFA in Photography from the University of North Texas, a BFA in Photography from the University of Boston at Lesley and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma at Norman, Oklahoma. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the City of Fort Worth at Ella Mae Shamblee Branch Library and the City of Dallas at the Highland Hills Branch Library.


Luminous, Yet Devoid of Chroma

Michael Menchaca

ALH Hallway Gallery

Exhibition Dates: July 31 – September 12, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday July 31, 2015 I 6 – 9 PM

 

Art League Houston is excited to present Luminous, Yet Devoid of Chroma, a video installation by San Antonio artist Michael Menchaca, which reflects on recent events regarding racial tension in the U.S.

Index of figural archetypes and recurring pattern ornamentation is Menchaca’s own allegory that re-imagines the history of the Americas. The artist presents metaphors of contemporary social issues with a uniquely pre-Hispanic visual vocabulary. His symbols and motifs harken to those of ancient South American culture specifically; however, his imagery speaks widely to human communication and history.

ABOUT MICHAEL MENCHACA

Menchaca was born and raised in San Antonio, TX as a first-generation Mexican-American. His work investigates issues of race, class, identity and cultural hybridity as they relate to the distinctive history of the American continent. Menchaca recalls the history and iconography of Pre-Columbian civilizations using a similar visual vocabulary interspersed with contemporary digital information. His identity as a Neo-Chicano Artist sustains his desire to bring his cultural roots in the direction of innovative 21st-century technology in an effort to expand the representation of Chicanos in the digital age.

He received his BFA in Printmaking from TX State University in 2011 and that same year attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In 2012, he had a solo-show at the Austin Museum of Art and in 2013 he was included in State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Menchaca is a recipient of numerous awards and residencies including Artist Foundation of San Antonio (2011), Serie Project at Coronado Studios (2012), Vermont Studio Center (2013), and the Peter St. Onge Memorial Travel Grant, Sri Lanka (2013). He recently completed his MFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015 and is an incoming Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA for 2015-2016.