Main Street Galleries

The Midtown galleries offer a sense of cohesion in the sprawl of Houston and March is a good month on Main Street. Heimir Björgúlfsson’s exhibition The Classical at CTRL Gallery presents a series of collaged photographs, with images of birds serving to connect the viewer with the landscape.  Through his cross-continent travels, Björgúlfsson shoots photos of mundane landscapes and street side vendor carts and constructs a possible world through the imagined mind of a bird. By collaging parts from whole photographs, a fragmented account belies these spaces. Giant golden rocks mark preferred perching on telephone wires, torn sheets of cardboard levitate heavily in front of soft mountains, nests of melting ice hang from trees in an abandoned beachfront campsite. In Telling of how at the beginning a creation myth is revealed, though cryptic. A bird meets the eye of the viewer; it stands on a meteor surrounded by a coronet of points jeweled with miniature photographs of buildings.

Inman Gallery divulges a new body of work by Heyd Fontenot. It’s A Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World depicts local art scenesters, gallery directors, artists, writers, and collectors, all in the buff.  These works seem to beg the questions: What is the artist is looking for, and the obvious, why are the subjects of these portraits in the nude? Maybe his aim is to draw the viewer in, or possibly is it about his desire to feel close to the participants? Upon spending time with the work, their bodies become subtle hints at personality and expression, and the care and detail with which the artist has treated the faces of his models becomes apparent.

In Today is Tomorrow at Art Palace, Jim Nolan employs recognizable structures, cylindrical objects aligned like Saturn, a stick balanced on either side with mirrored objects like a scale, and stenciled letters that spell out a vacant and upside-down “THANK YOU’, a phrase repeated several times throughout the show. In Mono in Stereo we see the larger than life photos of speakers and long for something to hear. Everyday materials become hard to interpret by their unusual pairings and orientations, but when you see the work you want to believe that you are familiar with everything there. Walking through the works in the exhibition the viewer is confronted by a chipboard side table, meant to be covered by ruffle, shopping bags, empty, with THANK YOU’s, a thin strip of wood providing structure. In MaybePartyingWillHelp/Bucket, the familiar grey container with black and white silk flowers in tow shows us all is inert and all of the objects employed in Nolan’s sculptures will outlive us.


The Classical: Heimir Björgúlfsson at CTRL Gallery, It’s A Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World: Heyd Fontenot at Inman Gallery and Today is Tomorrow: Jim Nolan at Art Palace are all on view through April 2nd, 2011.

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