It’s January and that means it’s time to pass those New Year’s Resolutions to better feed your curious and creative side with more artistic releases in 2022. Embark on a stimulating journey and discover new acquisitions of black artists on display at the Blanton, meditate on intimate sculptures, surreal prints and historic places, and immerse yourself in cinematic exhibits and the power and symbolism of flowers. Everything is there to be taken in Austin this month.
“Mix ‘n’ Mash Las Flores – La Vida”
Now until February 6.
This group exhibition features works of art by over 200 local and regional artists created on panels donated by Ampersand Art Supply. This year’s theme is Flowers and Life, a symbol of ancient Mesoamerican thought and practice. Flowers can represent anything from beauty and creation to death and destruction. Offerings of flowers were placed on the statues of the deities. Flowers were an important element in many ceremonies. Much of the ancient symbolism and some of the actual practices of arranging and using flowers have continued to the present day in Mexico.
Blanton Art Museum
“Assembly: New acquisitions of contemporary black artists”
Now until May 8.
“Assembly” includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, textiles and a monumental print, all produced between 1980 and 2019. Although diverse in style and subject matter, many works have links to history of the South and reveal what scholar Saidiya Hartman is referring to. as “the long life after the death of slavery”. The title of the exhibition, “Assembly”, embraces the heterogeneity of the work of black artists. The compilation includes works of representation, resilience, recovery and resistance.
Wally Workman Gallery
“PrintAustin: Jihye Lim and Laura Post”
In collaboration with the city-wide printmaking festival, PrintAustin, Wally Workman exhibits works by Korean artist Jihye Lim and Texan artist Laura Post. While Lim and Post both employ a surrealistic use of the figure, Post’s sculptures combine various printmaking techniques with hand-made cast paper to push the boundaries of the printing medium and redefine ideas of portraiture. Lim’s black prints explore ideas of rest, depicting the figure physically at one with leisure objects. Post uses his Chinese language and East Asian studies training to integrate traditional Chinese, Japanese and Western printmaking and papermaking techniques. This is Lim’s first exhibition in the United States.
“The earth as a character: my journey as an artist”
January 12-May 15.
“Land as Persona: My Journey as an Artist” focuses on the Wallace House, once a plantation and today owned and programmed by Klein Arts & Culture. In the uniqueness of this place, visitors can visualize the arc of the American South, from the conquest of the Muskogee Creek Nation to slavery and the rise of the cotton economy, including emancipation, reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow, to the present day time, in which the black and white descendants of the place have come together to create a new narrative.
Lydia Street Gallery
“Ric Nelson, Persona”
January 14-February 24.
Ric Nelson is a self-taught artist who explores the use of multiple mediums and styles to tell his own story. His career as an artist began with music and guitar, then he turned to the visual arts as another source of inspiration, “a way to visualize my thoughts and moods”. Nelson works glass, acrylic, gun enamel, wood, wire and even candle soot “to produce the physical interpretations of my thoughts, which also highlight my creative process.”
“Laura Berman: Temporalities”
January 15-February 26.
Laura Crehuet Berman creates images that superimpose time, space, form and color. The natural world inspires him and his work emphasizes play, improvisation and relational dynamics. Berman has created site-specific exhibits and has exhibited his print work in over 125 exhibits in galleries and museums across the country and beyond. With her husband, she runs Prairieside Cottage and Outpost, a family-run artist retreat in the Flint Hills area of Matfield Green, Kansas.
Women and their workk
“A welcoming place by Ariel René Jackson “
January 15-March 3.
This cinematographic exhibition is the result of a “temperature measurement”, that is to say of the collection of individual testimonies on a territory. The exhibition weaves interviews, research, images, videos, animations and sculptures to offer a poetic visualization of shared knowledge about East Austin. The artist Ariel René Jackson uses a weather balloon as a metaphor for the testimonies collected, a cultural technology to feel and detect the climate of a situation or a space. The art of Jackson’s exhibit lies in generations of skilled observers within black and brown communities, warning each other when sociological danger is near, especially when it is not fully visible.
“Bethany Johnson: Findings”
January 22-March 6.
Reminiscent of geological formations, the intimate sculptures of “Findings” offer a multi-level meditation on deep time, material metamorphosis, and man-made landscaping of landfills, quarries and cut roads. These works take the form of plinths laminated with contrasting materials reminiscent of geological core samples, landfill strata, archive piles and material storage. The satin-finished surfaces of the works evoke the hand-worn patina of worry stones, and the modest scale suggests the intimacy of a beloved memory or archived natural specimen. Johnson, an artist from Austin, creates mysterious and haunting heavy sculptures that slowly reveal themselves, demanding careful examination and a gradual discovery of their origins.
Visual arts center
“Bill Morrison: Cycles and Loops”
January 28-March 12.
Bill Morrison is an accomplished filmmaker who saves lesser-known and forgotten stories while investigating the fragile existence of celluloid materials. His comprehensive filmography provides rare archival footage, as well as 35mm nitrate film in various states of decomposition. In “Cycles & Loops”, his first solo exhibition in Texas, Morrison deconstructs his films to create essential abstractions for the gallery space. The repetitive loops presented have neither beginning nor end; instead, they allow the viewer to engage intellectually and emotionally with flickering, free relics of history. With these fragments sewn together, Morrison demonstrates the possibilities of rebirth from the chaos of decay.