Catherine D. Anspon Papercity Magazine November 2016
Mathematician turned painter Sarah Sole places Clinton in an unexpected, albeit presidential setting. FYI: The artist is no lightweight; her impressive multi degrees come from Rice University (BA in Math and Fine Art), the University of Houston (PhD in Mathematics) and the School of Visual Arts in New York City (MFA in Fine Arts). Sole rewrites history in her ongoing series featuring Hillary, placing her in a context decades before women secured the right to vote (1920, via the 19th Amendment). Clinton appears in Sole’s work in the guise of a 19th-century president, complete with wardrobe ands hairstyle cues from another century. When first viewing the intimately scaled canvases at Devin Borden Gallery in Houston, this writer thought they were smart devices for looking at the past, canvases that were excuses to examine paint handling, and cheeky takes on history via a limited black, white, and gray palette. The figures in the 11 x 14 paintings were obviously historic, but finally I got the premise — then couldn’t look away. These were all Hillary. The capable, tenacious candidate was depicted as presidential statesmen from another era. -Catherine D. Anspon
Josh Bernstein Houston Press August 2016
When the critters in the ceiling above his studio wouldn’t stop their scratch, scratch, scratching, Josh Bernstein embraced the intrusion through art. Marking the site of the noise, Bernstein taped paper or vellum to the spot, creating both a starting point for a colored pencil drawing to be finished later, while also documenting the time. (The critters, most likely rodents, were decidedly nocturnal). The irony of this exercise, as pointed out by the artist, is that he already was working on a series of kites suspended from the ceiling, and now he was being forced to work even higher…As for those critter drawings, there’s a definite nod to the symmetry of the Art Deco movement, though with a darker color palette. The black and dark copper drawings have a futuristic, industrial feel, rendered in vellum with underlayers of simple geometric forms. – Susie Tommaney
Russell Prince Papercity Magazine May 2016
Russell Prince…solos at Devin Borden Gallery, presenting recent collages that could pass for works by a mid-century master. Formed from disassembled, repurposed book jackets and spines, they exude a post-cubist, geometric vibe and often bear subtle text fragments. Stoic and handsome, Prince’s timeless collages allude to the palpable presence of the past. – Catherine D. Anspon
Julia Brown Visual Arts Source April 2016
While reading about the civil rights movement of 1963-1964, Julia Brown became interested in an attempt to integrate the “whites only” beaches in St. Augustine, Florida. This was part of a much larger movement in St. Augustine that prompted a brutal response. When black children swam in a motel pool in June 1964, for example, the owner poured acid in the water to drive them out. Brown’s research into the beach protest led her to investigate the nature of boundaries — between races, species and more. A small gouache on paper, “The Fold (Miss March 1965),” references, albeit somewhat abstractly, the first African-American centerfold in Playboy. There is clearly a fold running down the middle of the painting, but the figure is suggested only by part of an arm and three fingers with red fingernail polish. An expanse of mottled pink suggests a woman’s body…Brown also explores human-animal relationships. Several paintings reference Lucy (1964-1987), the chimpanzee raised like a human child. In “Lucy and the Skyhawks,“ the primate holds an Australian magazine from the same period with a centerspread of the members of a boy band sitting in a large tree, bare-chested and wearing animal skins. Several nearby paintings document Brown’s partner’s dog with the artist’s underwear. After Brown moved in with her boyfriend, his dog not only hoarded her underwear but chewed the crotches….Brown handles difficult subject matter with a light touch due in part to her inclination toward abstraction. Some may find her images of bestiality, voyeurism and people engaging in illicit activities disturbing. She does not hesitate to tackle controversial issues, and seems to take pleasure in evoking visceral responses from her audience. – Donna Tennant, Visual Arts Source, April 2016
Nick Vaughan & Jake Margolin A+C Texas March 2016
Where the Ranch Actually Was is but a small peek into their larger project, titled 50 States, for which the artists have taken it upon themselves to research queer histories of each state and present their findings through a series of installations and performances. Hopefully, you were able to see their investigation of Wyoming while it was on view at Art League Houston earlier this year.
For this particular exhibition, the artists present the fruits of their labor, at least thus far, in Texas. A part of their research is gaining the colloquial knowledge of the local community, seeking out folkloric and actual tales of the sites deemed historic for the LGBT communities that are otherwise buried – sometimes literally as these spaces are shut down, torn down, gentrified. The artists visited these sites, photographing what currently stands, at times witnessing the destruction in real time. – Michael McFadden, A+C Texas, March 2016.
Paul Kittelson Houston Chronicle February 2016
Hilary Wilder Houston Magazine November 2015
Although she’s originally from New Hampshire and currently lives in Virginia, artist Hilary Wilder’s heart is in Texas. “I’ve been trying to get back ever since I left,” she says. Wilder’s Lone Star State love started in 2003 when she began a three-year tenure as a lecturer at the MFA’s Glassell School. Last year, she returned as an artist-in-residence for a Galveston arts program, and the paintings in her new show are a response to her year on the Island…”The pieces are talking about water, space and land in a way that’s not a literal seascape. There is an uncertain sense of space, almost like something is floating in the shallow water. There’s definitely a sense of menacing.” – Ray Dennison, Houston Magazine
Laura Lark A+C Texas October 2015
Lark seems desirous of, or at least intrigued by, the concept of fairytale as a means of communication. In her parallel creative life she has written fiction, a form of art that poignantly and accurately distills the human condition while remaining, by definition, untrue. But as far as writing about her own work, Lark doesn’t see a need. “I’ve already made the work, can somebody else talk about it?” –Casey Gregory, A+C Texas
Christopher Cascio Art in America September 2015
On the less-to-more scale of art-making, Christopher Cascio scores at the far end of the “more” side. Like Arman, Allen Ruppersberg and Barton Lidice Beneš, he is an incessant accumulator who builds his works and exhibitions from various ongoing collections. In this show the dominant collectibles were wristbands, those colorful, throwaway paper strips widely used to identify paying patrons at clubs, concerts and all manner of events (including art fairs). Over the past year, Cascio, a young, Houston-based artist, has been collaging wristbands into intricate geometric compositions often based on traditional quilting patterns. Cascio’s conflation of two vernacular idioms—quilting and wristbands—exudes that sense of inevitability that is often the mark of a classic body of work. Making the most of the modularity, artificial colors and imperfections of his materials (which include bands he has worn himself alongside those scavenged from sidewalks outside dance clubs or purchased in bulk online), he creates abstract compositions that are at once rigorous, hypnotic and giddy. – Raphael Rubinstein
Jillian Conrad Lower Manhattan Cultural Council September 2015
Jillian Conrad is a resident at LMCC Process Space, Governor’s Island, New York through December 2015. Join her for an open studio September 26 and 27 from 12:00 to 5:00 pm. For more information and directions the link is here.
Christopher Cascio Houston Chronicle April 2015
The “wristband quilts” of Christopher Cascio’s “Current Obsessions II” at Borden fastidiously utilize relics of pop culture – wristbands from concerts, art fairs and so on – as if they’re strips of fabric on a bedcover your great-grandmother might have sewn. Cascio describes himself as a “functional hoarder,” and he shows more evidence of it in the show’s second room, where meticulous paintings containing hundreds of different gun models over camouflage-inspired fields of color are mounted along with other objects on top of “quilts” of padded envelopes saved for many years. – Molly Glentzer
Ted Kincaid Arts + Culture Texas January 2015
Don’t let Ted Kincaid’s work fool you: his current show at Devin Borden Gallery is not about grizzled explorers bobbing around the Antarctic in gloriously impractical sailing ships. Not Another Hour, But This Hour isn’t about heroics in the turn-of-the-century tough guy sense of the word, but rather “heroics” as an aesthetic concept, as in: what makes an image “heroic?” Sure, there are plenty of building-high icebergs and tempestuous Turner-esque seas, but the primary question these works pose is a very formal one…. – Casey Gregory
David Lackey Visual Arts Source January 2015
David Lackey may be best known for his appearances on Antiques Roadshow, the popular PBS series that travels around the country giving locals access to expert appraisers from auction houses and antique stores. Lackey, who owns David Lackey Antiques & Art in Houston, has been part of the show since its inaugural season 18 years ago.
In addition to art and antiques, Lackey also seeks out vintage frames, 19th-century photographs, old books, and other found objects, which he uses to create surrealist-inspired assemblages. In fact, Lackey’s “Voyeur,” a photograph of an eye in a circular frame, pays homage to a surreal object in Houston’s Menil Collection — Joseph Sacco’s “Oeil de Jeune Femme,” a tiny painting of an eye in an oval brass frame.
Like the surrealists, Lackey uses unexpected juxtapositions to produce startling narratives. “Rule of Three” combines sections of three portraits in a frame with three openings. The way he crops and frames the photographs creates a four-eyed creature that is part man, part woman. In “Gifted,” he replaces the young man’s ears with butterfly wings to intriguing effect.
The frames are as integral to the work as the photographs. It often takes months for Lackey to achieve the perfect marriage of photograph and frame. For “Parallel” he combines a delicately hand-tinted photograph of a young man with a unique handmade frame. Several pieces incorporate not just photographs but small objects as well. “Playing with Prodigal Sons” has a grid of 12 openings that contain portraits and partial images of male torsos, as well as a small penknife and compass mounted on book endpapers.
Much of the work is somber due to the sitters’ expressions. Nineteenth-century photography was an expensive undertaking requiring extensive preparation. Consequently, the subjects wore their Sunday best and went to a photography studio, where the photographer arranged props, pose and lighting. For the most part, a formal portrait was not an occasion to smile.
Although Lackey has been making these assemblages for years, this is his inaugural gallery exhibition. He has just the right touch with his materials, and the results are both captivating and disconcerting. More than likely, the surrealists would have welcomed him into their fold.- Donna Tennant
David Lackey Houston Chronicle January 2015
They gaze at you, disembodied, suggesting a mysterious narrative even when they are reduced to nothing more than a pair of eyes. They can look a little sinister or a little humorous, or a little of both…Molly Glentzer
David Lackey Papercity Magazine December 2014
One of America’s most discerning antiquarians – well-known across the country thanks to his distinguished appearances on the Antiques Roadshow – David Lackey is steeped in the delicious perfume of the past. Now the authority on all things beautiful and arcane steps in the contemporary art ring…Marking a gallery debut with Borden, the show charmingly – and oddly – combines 19th-century photographic images, lovingly assembled, with found objects. A little Cornell, part Proust yet utterly original, they manifest Lackey’s unmistakable wit.
Catherine D. Anspon (see page 3 through the link above)