Houston’s rich visual arts scene is booming. The ever-evolving arts community and landscape show a strong focus on supporting local talents as well as bringing big names to the city. With a quirky, fresh approach to exhibitions and projects, these ten galleries encourage community education and engagement with the arts whilst maintaining a commitment to high-quality contemporary art.
Anya Tish Gallery
Part of a sextet of big name galleries in the area, the Anya Tish Gallery was established in 1996 and is dedicated to the promotion of international emerging and mid-career artists from diverse cultural backgrounds, particularly Russia and Eastern Europe but also including artists hailing from Texas and Morocco. The gallery has a fresh, modern and global approach, with an emphasis on works that address pertinent social and environmental issues. Works on display at Anya Tish feature a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography and video, all linked by their strong correlation between concept and material. Featured artists include one of Russia’s most important conceptual photographers, Andrey Chezhin, and leading Hungarian artist Jozsef Bullas
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Barbara Davis Gallery
Barbara Davis Gallery has been bringing groundbreaking contemporary art to Houston for 30 years. The gallery boasts an extensive roster of significant contemporary artists including Joseph Beuys, Kiki Smith, Jonathan Borofsky, Allan McCollum, and Gilbert & George among others and has been instrumental in launching the careers of international artists such as Julie Mehretu and Mie Olise. Showcasing an inspiring range of works across numerous mediums, owner Barbara Davis’s success has been driven by her own intuition and fresh vision coupled with a passion for innovative contemporary art. The gallery’s extensive exhibition program is accompanied by a series of educational panel discussions with prominent museum curators and artists encouraging public engagement within the community. Barbara Davis Gallery was also one of the first galleries in Texas to exhibit at the prestigious Art Basel Miami Beach art fair.
G Gallery is known for their display of eclectic, provocative work by outsider, emerging and established artists such as painter Jerry Cabrera and self-taught photographer Otis Ike. The gallery, with their decidedly grassroots approach to creativity, community, collaboration and cultural exchange is unafraid to challenge conventions. Committed to facilitating creativity, promoting and presenting contemporary art and exchanging ideas, G Gallery forges strong relationships with artists and art presenters both from the local area and further afield in order to broaden audiences and appreciation for contemporary art. The gallery has a rapidly changing exhibition program enabling them to present a wide range of innovative artworks through solo and group thematic shows.
McClain Gallery is the go-to destination for museum-quality, collectible contemporary and 20th century art. With its global outlook, the gallery exhibits work by artists from Texas, New York, Europe and Asia across a broad range of media including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography and conceptual installations. Key artists include established figures Julian Schnabel, Peter Halley, Donald Baechler, and Louise Nevelson alongside a younger generation of emerging Texas-based artists such as William Betts, Aaron Parazette, Christian Eckart and duo Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher. McClain Gallery supplement their core exhibition program of solo shows with a number survey and thematic shows investigating current themes in contemporary art and create dialogue about art and its relationship to social, cultural and political issues.
Works of all media can be found at Moody Gallery showcasing a range of artistic ideas. Established in 1975 by Betty Moody, the Gallery is dedicated to presenting the best contemporary art from the region and exhibits work only by contemporary American artists, particularly those living and working in Texas or those who have a strong connection to the region. Moody Gallery also works to put these artists in context with established artists from other parts of the country. Many of the gallery’s represented artists including Debra Barrera, Michael Bise, Lamar Briggs and Dave Carpender are recognized on a national, sometimes international level although Moody gallery also represents a number of mid-career and emerging artists.
McMurtrey Gallery is one of Houston’s top destinations for contemporary paintings by early and mid-career artists. Established in 1983, the gallery represents a number of contemporary artists from Texas, many of whom are now nationally recognized and appear in prominent museum collections. Featured artists include Robert Jessup, Troy Dugas, Michael Guidry, Lance Letscher and Katie Maratta. Alongside established painters, McMurtrey gallery also represents a select group of internationally recognized photographers and several first-time exhibiting artists. McMurtrey Gallery was the debut venue for internationally acclaimed photographer Keith Carter. Their shows are always original, showing a broad range of fresh, contemporary artworks.
Works by first-time exhibitors and master artists come together at Redbud Gallery. The gallery opened in 1999 and has a global outlook, showing art that promotes the rich culture of the USA. Featured artists include the well known Lucas Johnson, Anglebert Metoyer and Al Souza. Works on display at Redbud encompass all media including prints, sculpture, ceramics, photos, drawings, glass, paintings, and installations on a local, national and international basis. Alongside their in-house exhibition program, Redbud promote Texan art abroad through their group exchange shows in Germany, China, Peru, Cuba, Mexico, and Greece, among others. In addition to contemporary works, the gallery also specializes in works on paper by old and modern masters. The gallery holds well-attended regular openings, usually coinciding with Houston’s First Saturday event, where visitors can enjoy contemporary art and engage with represented artists.
The artist-owned Archway Gallery is a remarkable destination for contemporary art in Houston. Established in 1976 by an original group of 11 artists who took complete responsibility for its operation, the gallery provided talented artists with an exhibition space for their artworks and enabled them to take control of the presentation and sale of their work, thus ensuring their artistic freedom and individual control over quality and content. Now run by their current group of 30 member artists, the gallery makes sure that there is always a wide variety of high-quality works on show across a range of medium and styles including sculpture, pottery and mixed media painting. Archway Gallery and its members are also fully committed to promoting contemporary art throughout the community and sharing their ideals on aesthetics and purposes.
Wade Wilson Art
Established in 2006 by gallerist, art space director and art critic Wade Wilson, this gallery brings work of the highest calibre to Houston’s contemporary art scene. Representing over 20 nationally and internationally recognized talents, Wade Wilson displays consistently relevant, museum-quality works including paintings, photography and sculptures. The success of the gallery comes from Wilson’s extensive experience as a curator, critic and commercial art dealer. Wade Wilson’s dedication to the visual arts and arts education is shown through their cutting-edge exhibition program and interaction with non-profit arts communities. The Houston gallery also has a sister venue in Santa Fe which opened on 2013.
Located in Houston’s up-and-coming Midtown district, Inman Gallery emphasizes the use of visual explorations and conceptual thinking in its choice of artworks. Established by Kerry Inman in 1990 as a project space dedicate to showcasing works by emerging young artists, the gallery has since grown into a nationally recognized venue. Inman Gallery nurtures talented artists and presents innovative, thoughtful works through series of exhibitions including solo shows for represented artists. Their shows are designed to provoke discussion and educate visitors on current trends and ideas in contemporary art. Inman Gallery is not only a top-class venue for contemporary art in Houston, but also an educational venue supporting the exchange of new ideas.
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