Houston, Part 3

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in Houston in September. Auntie Julie and I went for a swim at her local outdoor pool (which stays open year-round! New Yorkers take note). After a shower and lunch I was off to the musum district again, this time to go to Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, or CAMH, where a longtime acquaintance now works. The show was Texas Design Now, timed, I suspect, with Design Week. It was a great show, full of wonderful stuff in nearly every media by people I’d never heard of. The Houston Chronicle did a nice review (though unfortunately they have a subscriber paywall).

I first encountered Dean Daderko, now a curator at CAMH,  when he was helping friend & colleague Tara Mateik install an exhibition at Art in General and I was Tara’s intern, around 2006. Dean has been at CAMH for 4 years and loves Houston. Another mark in the “pro Houston” camp! I was very impressed with the exhibition in the basement, Whispering Bayou, a collaboration between  Carroll Parrott Blue, Jean-Baptiste Barrière, and George Lewis. An interactive video installation, when you walk up to a screen it begins to play interwoven clips of people talking about growing up around the bayou, a phenomenon I’m familiar with.
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We bumped into another curator friend of Dean’s, coming over from MFAH because of the excellence of CAMH’s packed shop. Networking!

Though I was set to head off to Waco again that afternoon, I could not resist popping in to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (aforementioned MFAH) to see their recently opened Mark Rothko show (open through Jan. 24!). With a stop in the James Turrell tunnel installation it made for the second Turrell I experienced in as many days.

Houston and Mark Rothko, of course! It was great, I’d never seen his early, more figurative work. It was a lovely show and a good visit to the museum. The last time I was there was while MoMA was renovating and sent parts of their collection on a tour. The first time I ever saw Starry Night was there.

A semi quick stop in the museum shop and 3 Christmas presents later, I was on my way to my old neighborhood of Sharpstown for a cruise. On the way out of town I stopped for a Vietnamese iced coffee and a Doughssaint (aka Cronut, my first!) in Chinatown, which I’d forgotten was so close to my childhood home. Another mark in the pro column for Houston.

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