PAST EXHIBITIONS


2018

MUSCLE PANIC OBJECTS

Hazel Meyer

 

Opening Reception: 6–9PM Friday, January 26, 2018

Exhibition Dates: January 26–March 10, 2018

Front Gallery

 

Art League Houston is excited to present Muscle Panic objects, a site-specific installation by Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist Hazel Meyer. The exhibition is part of the artist's ongoing, multifaceted project Muscle Panic, which explores the relationship between artistic and athletic practices. The exhibition features an immersive installation comprising of archival research, textile, sculpture, and performance conceived by the artist to recover the queer aesthetics, politics, and bodies often effaced within histories of sports and recreation.

Leading the viewer through the space, the works offer an extended consideration regarding the performative nature of the athletic as it intersects with queerness. The exhibition instigates an arena of sweat and queer desire, evoking the imagery of momentous sports history, the bodily gestures and actions of a drill or warm-up and the aesthetics of the gymnasium. Simultaneously an installation and a performance, the exhibition transforms the banal and austere white cube into a hot physically charged site for emotional and physical exchange.

Additionally, the exhibition features a performance at the opening reception led by the artist in collaboration with local women, trans and/or non-binary artists, athletes and activists. The performance begins for the performers with a 5 km run through Houston, and begins for the audience as they arrive at the Art League Main Gallery. Drawing on the gestures and routines of sports practice as a way to explore the emotive dimensions of sport, the performance is semi-improvised and based on athletic drills, pregame rituals, teammate dynamics and workouts. Remnants of the performance, including the performer's sweaty uniforms will be left on view in the installation, tying action with environment, and leaving a trace of the warm bodies that were there.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Hazel Meyer is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, performance, and text to investigate the relationships between sport, sexuality, feminism, and material culture. Recent exhibitions and projects include Propped at Oakville Galleries, Tape Condition: degraded with Cait McKinney at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto, a screening of Muscle Panic at neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst in Berlin, a commission to produce the installation and performance Where Once Stood a Bandstand for Cruising & Shelter for Nuit Blanche Toronto and her text PONE BONE published in Art Criticism and Other Short Stories.  Her collaborative work with McKinney has been featured in No More Potlucks (CA), Little Joe: Queers and Cinema Magazine 5th issue (UK), PHILE (DE), INCITE Journal of Experimental Media (US), and the upcoming exhibition Deep Down Body Thirst, curated by the collective Radclyffe Hall in Glasgow (SCT) 2018. She holds degrees from OCAD University (Toronto) and Concordia University (Montréal) and volunteers as the textile-banner custodian at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

The artist acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.


PERCEPTUAL PERPETUAL

Sherman Finch

 

Opening Reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, January 26, 2018

Exhibition Dates: January 26 – March 10, 2018

Front Gallery

League Houston is excited to present Perceptual Perpetual, an exhibition by Houston-based artist Sherman Finch. The exhibition features a new body of work that explores visualization, interaction, physics, and conceptual art. The show includes sonic sculptures, wall assemblages, and a mechanized drawing performance. The work relies on audience participation to activate a visual system, which allow variations of order and chaos to influence how the work is perceived. The artist describes the work as a kind of “physics machine,” similar to the anatomy of a pachinko game or a children’s handheld spinner toy, where gravity, kinetics, and a variety of other forces, cause surfaces to spin and set objects in motion. Each piece offers a unique interactive framework that creates random fluctuations in movement and audio mechanics. As the work is activated, a conversation emerges between visual aesthetics and embodied interaction. This results in a playful approach to the art experience.

The exhibition presents a nexus between art and science that recalls such sources as Galileo’s astronomical instruments, Leonardo da Vinci’s diagrams on perpetual motion, John Cage’s artistic philosophy of chance, and Jean Tinguely’s concept of meta-mechanics. Ultimately, this work celebrates creativity and human ingenuity.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Sherman Finch is a hybrid artist who works in traditional, digital, and multi-media forms, with a special emphasis in the area of creative interaction, kinetic assemblage, sonification, and conceptual art. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and two Master’s degrees from the Maryland Institute, College of Art: a multidisciplinary MFA at Mount Royal and an MA in Digital Arts.

His work has been exhibited, performed, and screened at venues such as Roswell Museum and Art Center, Amarillo Museum of Art, Artscape in Baltimore, Site:Brooklyn, Govenor’s Island Art Fair, Alexandria Museum of Art, Art Interactive Gallery Boston, Sarai Media Lab in New Delhi, New Museum of Art Detroit, York Art Gallery UK, among other places. He is included in the publication Future Now: 100 Contemporary Artists, produced by Aesthetica, a British art and culture magazine. Recently, Finch’s work was featured on a billboard in Los Angeles as part of the 2016 Billboard Creative Public Art Project and was an official selection of the 2017 London Experimental Film Festival.  He is an Assistant Professor in the Visualization Department at Texas A&M and a founding member of the collaborative group, The AKA Collective.

This exhibition sponsored in part by Ariel Camacho and Valspar. 


GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES, GIVE ME SOME OF THAT

Gao Hang

 

Opening Reception: 6 – 9 PM Friday, January 26, 2018

Exhibition Dates: January 26 – March 10, 2018

Hallway Space                         

Art League Houston is excited to present Good Times, Bad Times, Give Me Some of That, an exhibition by Chinese born and Houston based artist, Gao Hang. The exhibition features an installation of small scale watercolors from the artists’ diary highlighting his moments of culture shock upon arrival to the United States. The works in the exhibition mirror the humor, surprise, strangeness and optimism of his experience as a foreigner from China experiencing daily life in the United States. Drawing on the people, places and things around him as subject matter, the artist collects every interesting moment of daily life, and culls from this “database” to extract and distill interesting external phenomena and internal experiences through painting, drawing and sculpture. Hang’s work is a reconstitution of a new visual form using invented color and pattern, to mirror his physical and mental states from moment to moment. Furthermore, each artwork features a clever and sincere caption describing his early observations and impressions of day to day life in the U.S. 

 

A LETTER FROM THE ARTIST

"To my dear friends in America:

Time flies really fast. After six months, all the exciting experience and confusing culture differences were gradually becoming not that surprising to me. I can even calmly say "What's up" to a giant cockroach now. Luckily, I recorded this whole experience in stories via my watercolor diary which becomes immortal.

I consider life in the US as another new beginning of my life, so literally I am about to have my one year birthday in few months. Thanks to all my new friends I met here. You helped me a lot and you are all the "first group of friends" in my new life.

Hope you enjoy this diary.

Best wishes

Gao"

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Gao Hang (高航), is a Chinese painter and graduate of the School of Fine Art of Capital Normal University (Beijing, China). He is currently enrolled in the University of Houston’s painting MFA program. His work has been exhibited in Houston at Anya Tish Gallery, Lawndale Art Center, and Second Bedroom Gallery, and in Beijing and Guangzhou at various locations.   

Hang is influenced by eastern philosophy, particularly the doctrine of Zhongyoung, a practice of balance and harmony. He uses this as both a conceptual and structural armature, and as a result his works offer a sense of rational and stable readability in their often repetitive or dualistic nature. The artist’s recent move to the United States offers him a new lens of a more free and open society. This new terrain and vantage point unwraps endless possibilities, with much to explore.  


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