Deep in the Art of Texas by Paul Laster
The fifth edition of the Texas Biennial—TX★13—is bigger and better than ever!
Spread out among 80 museums, art centers, galleries, project spaces, and schools in 24 cities and towns across the state, this year’s biennial features exhibitions, performances, and talks by more than 100 artists chosen by 14 arts professionals—including Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick, CAMH director Bill Arning, McNay Art Museum chief curator René Paul Barilleaux, Los Angeles art critic David Pagel, Galveston Arts Center curator Clint Willour, and several artists, including Fort Worth-born K8 Hardy and Austin-based art duo Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler.
“The Texas Biennial was originally created by artists to provide an exhibition opportunity open to all artists based in the state,” said curator-at-large Virginia Rutledge. “But we're not interested in making any claim for a ‘Texan’ subject matter or regionalist style. This biennial explores what it means to be located in a particular place—and not just as an artist, but as an audience for contemporary art. So we've tried to highlight the infrastructure for contemporary art in Texas."
The main exhibition is a survey of 70 artists living and working in Texas at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio that was selected by the team of curators from an open call. Two special exhibitions curated by Rutledge and 2009 Texas Biennial curator Michael Duncan—New and Greatest Hits: Texas Biennial 2005-2011 at Big Medium in Austin and Texas Biennial Invitational: Christie Blizard, Marcelyn McNeil, Tom Orr and Brad Tucker at Lawndale Art Center in Houston—look back at work by previous participants.
CentralTrak, an artist residency and gallery at the University of Texas at Dallas, hosts programming by selected TX★13 artists throughout September, while Ballroom Marfa presents the TX★13 Commissioned Artist Project, consisting of a series of tote bags that were digitally produced from a visual archive assembled by 17 Texas artists known as the Dallas Collective, organized by SMU professor Michael Corris. Additionally, museums in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas, as well as other cultural capitals statewide, are highlighting Texas artists in their collection during the run of the biennial, which endsNovember 9th.
Whitehot Magazine tracked TX★13 from Austin to San Antonio and Houston—catching exhibitions, performances, and celebratory kick-offs along the way. Scroll through the images below to see some of the people that make the Texas art scene a vital place.
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.
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