Exhibition Catalogs

Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?
Co-published by Blaffer Art Museum and Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
116 pages, hardcover | $40
Call 713.743.9521 to purchase

This publication accompanies the first solo museum exhibition for British-Nigerian artist Zina Saro-Wiwa. It features essays by writer Taiye Selasi, Niger Delta historian Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa, environmental cultural studies scholar Stephanie LeMenager, exhibition curator Amy L. Powell, an interview with the artist by Princeton art historian Chika Okeke-Agulu. The book also features recipes created by Saro-Wiwa.

Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes
Edited by Anthony Downey
Published with NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery | $30.00
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This publication brings together the writing of preeminent scholars and commentators using the genre of medieval advice literature as a starting point to discuss fate and fortune versus governance, advice for female nobility, and an Indian television drama as a form of translation of statecraft. The illustrated essays are accompanied by an interview with Slavs and Tatars.

Time / Image
Organized by Blaffer Art Museum | Curated by Amy L. Powell
144 pages, softcover | $45
Text by Kara Keeling, Amy L. Powell, Raqs Media Collective, and Jeannine Tang | Call 713.743.9521 to purchase

Time / Image is organized around the work of 11 international artists and filmmakers–-Siemon Allen, Matthew Buckingham, Allan deSouza, Andrea Geyer, Leslie Hewitt, Isaac Julien, Lorraine O’Grady, Trevor Paglen, Raqs Media Collective, Ruth Robbins, and Gary Simmons–-who understand time expansively rather than quantitatively. Along with illuminating the works in the exhibition, the publication surveys critical temporal interventions in film and video by John Akomfrah, Black Audio Film Collective, Robert Bresson, Cecilia Dougherty, Andrea Geyer, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Chris Marker, The Otolith Group, Raoul Peck, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt), Hito Steyerl, Clarissa Tossin, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler: Sound Speed Marker
Edited by Andrea Codrington Lippke
Co-published by Ballroom Marfa, Blaffer Art Museum and the Irish Museum of Modern Art $45.00 | Purchase

In Sound Speed Marker, the Texas towns and landscapes of Paris, Sierra Blanca and Ryan—each cinematically defined by their fleeting experiences as actual or ostensible film locations—take center stage as Hubbard / Birchler and their crew pay close attention to these places and the people who live there. The site, subject and mystique of Texas and its associated cinematic imagery serve as a platform for reflection on filmmaking itself.

Janet Biggs: Echo of the Unknown
Curated by Janet Phelps | 84 pages, hardcover
Edited by Lucy Flint
Published by Blaffer Art Museum $35.00 | Call 713.743.9521 to purchase
With essays by Janet Phelps, Barbara Polla and Jean-Philippe Rossignol

Janet Biggs: Echo of the Unknown is a multidimensional exhibition combining video, sound, and objects that explore the role of memory in the construction of identity. Drawing from her personal memories of the effects of Alzheimer’s on family members, heroic stories of public figures coping with the disease, and research conducted with neurologists and geoscientists, Biggs raises fundamental questions about how we become–and how we lose our sense of–who we are.

Anton Ginzburg: Walking the Sea
Published by Hatje Cantz | 200 pages, cloth
Text by Melanie Marino, Claudia Schmuckli, Olesya Turkina. Interview by Dan Graham. $75.00 | Purchase

In Walking the Sea, Anton Ginzburg (born 1974) charts a 26,000-square-mile area between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan known as the Aral Sea. Looking to American Land art of the late 1960s and early 70s, and using film, photographs and sculptures, Ginzburg approaches the waterless sea as a readymade earthwork to make visible a territory and history that remains largely inaccessible.

Andy Coolquitt
Organized by Rachel Hooper | 185 pages, hardcover
With contributions by Dan Fox, Matthew Higgs, and Jan Tumlir. $50.00 | Purchase

Andy Coolquitt is the first comprehensive monograph on the artist’s work. Published in conjunction with a solo museum exhibition at Blaffer Art Museum, this volume displays the full range of Coolquitt’s work over the past twenty-five years, including images of site-specific installations that no longer exist. Accompanying the color plates are an introduction and chronology of the artist’s work by exhibition curator Rachel Hooper, an essay tracing Coolquitt’s connections to other contemporary artists and designers by Frieze magazine senior editor Dan Fox, an in-depth exploration of Coolquitt’s concepts and process by art writer Jan Tumlir, an interview with Coolquitt by director and chief curator of White Columns Matthew Higgs, and Coolquitt’s biography and bibliography.

Tony Feher
Text by Claudia Schmuckli, Russell Ferguson | 264 pages, cloth
Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co./Blaffer Art Museum $60.00 | Purchase

Published in conjunction with a major retrospective exhibition organized by the Blaffer Art Museum, this is the first publication to explore work from throughout the artist’s significant and influential career. This comprehensive book reproduces his many sculptures, site-specific installations and two-dimensional works and includes major new texts on Feher’s practice from Blaffer Director Claudia Schmuckli and curator and writer Russell Ferguson. Superbly realized by renowned New York design studio Matsumoto Incorporated, this publication is the definitive book on the work of a vanguard American artist.

“It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards”: On the Works of Johan Grimonprez
Organized by Johan Grimonprez | 352 pages, hardcover
Design by Inge Ketelers

The publication is a production of Blaffer Art Museum, S.M.A.K. (Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent), and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, with additional support from ARTIST ROOMS, Tate, National Galleries of Scotland, Beeldende Kunst Strombeek/Mechelen, Faculty of Fine Arts, University College of Ghent, kamel mennour Gallery, and Sean Kelly Gallery.$30.00 | Call 713.743.9521 to order

Gabriel Kuri: Nobody needs to know the price of your Saab
Organized by Claudia Schmuckli | 144 pages, softcover
Design by Chad Kloepfer
Published by Blaffer Art Museum $30.00 | Purchase

Over the past decade, Gabriel Kuri (born 1970) has been ransacking the paradoxes of material consumption, extracting both visual and linguistic value from the tracking systems and trivial marketing mechanisms that fill our daily lives. Kuri’s sculptures and collages are often fashioned from the residue of monetary exchanges and consumed goods that the artist collects on a daily basis, but their richness lies in their unusual calibration of manual and conceptual properties: his works reward eye and mind equally. “Model for a Victory Parade,” for example, consists of a conveyor belt with a crumpled energy-drink can trapped and perpetually tumbling at one end. The visual appeal of this work quickly opens out into speculations on the ironies of humankind’s energy consumption. Nobody Needs to Know the Price of Your Saab is presented in conjunction with Kuri’s survey at Blaffer Art Museum.

Jon Pylypchuk
Organized by Claudia Schmuckli
with essays by Claudia Schmuckli and Gail B. Kirkpatrick and an interview with Robert Enright | 96 pages, hardcover
Design by Miko McGinty
Published by Blaffer Gallery $20.00 | Purchase

Canadian artist Jon Pylypchuk (born 1972) has a unique talent for marrying the abject and the sublime. In his work, desperation and exhilaration, ugliness and beauty, tragedy and comedy are joined in images and words that declare that that life is a messy affair and we are the ones making it so. Like many before him who playfully expose the darker side of existence, Pylypchuk delves into the world of children’s books and characters, where inanimate objects come to life or animals live the lives of people. Endowed with human attributes, the creatures populating his paintings, drawings and sculpture speak powerfully of the pathetic banality and stubborn optimism that define our path through life as a tragicomedy of epic proportion. Copublished with the Austellungskunsthalle zeitgenossiche Kunst Munster on the occasion of a ten-year survey of Pylypchuk’s work, this book provides a comprehensive look at an artist who movingly summons the frailty of human existence.

Josephine Meckseper
Edited by Rachel Hooper, Gail Kirkpatrick, and Heike Munder
with text by Sylvère Lotringer | 114 pages, hardcover
Published by JRP|Ringier $20.00 | Purchase

In her photography, videos and installations, Josephine Meckseper (born 1964) sets images of political activism-photographs of demonstrations, newspaper cuttings-against twinkling consumer goods and advertising motifs. This publication concentrates on a new series of works, such as the installation “Ten High” (2007) in which silver mannequins bear anti-war slogans.

Existed: Leonardo Drew
Organized by Claudia Schmuckli
with essays by Claudia Schmuckli and Allen S. Weiss | 208 pages, hardcover
Design by Takaaki Matsumoto Inc., New York
Published by D Giles Limited and Blaffer Gallery $30.00 | Purchase
Electric Mud
Organized by David Pagel
with essays by David Pagel and Sara Cochran | 94 pages, softcover
Design by Rita Jules
Published by Blaffer Gallery $10.00 | Purchase

“The sizzling, scintillating juice that flows between viewers and the works in this show may seem to be magic because none of them has to be plugged in,” writes Los Angeles Times critic David Pagel, extolling the media featured in Electric Mud, which is published concurrently with an exhibition that Pagel organized at Houston’s Blaffer Gallery. Pagel’s “juice” and the “electric mud” of this volume’s title refer to paint and clay, which are examined here for their physical similarities and fluid boundaries. Six full-color illustrations are given to each artist included: Brian Calvin, Anna Sew Hoy, Ron Nagle, Michael Reafsnyder, James Richards and Patrick Wilson–all of whom collapse the fictitious distinctions between art and craft, painting and ceramics, form and function, leisure and labor, still life and real life, confounding the boundaries between each. The edition includes essays by Pagel and Sara Cochran, Phoenix Art Museum curator.

On the Banks of Bayou City: The Center for Land Use Interpretation in Houston
Organized by Rachel Hooper
with an essay by Rachel Hooper and interviews with Matthew Coolidge, Erik Knutzen, Mat Johnson, Patrick Peters, John Reed, and Steve Rowell | 128 pages, softcover
Design by Design des Troy, San Francisco
Published by Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Center for the Arts
and Blaffer Gallery $10.00 | Purchase

Since 1994, The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI)–a research organization based in Culver City, California–has studied the U.S. landscape, using multidisciplinary research, information processing and interpretive tools to stimulate thought and discussion around contemporary land-use issues. During a residency at the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, the CLUI established a field station on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, revealing aspects of the relationship between oil and the landscape in Houston that are often overlooked–even by the city’s residents. The CLUI’s findings are presented in this volume and a concurrent exhibition at the Blaffer Gallery, titled Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry. The book documents the CLUI’s methodology in a series of interviews and includes a photographic essay on land use in Houston featuring a panoramic, foldout section and a comprehensive chronology of the CLUI’s projects and publications over the past 14 years.

Celebutants, Groupies, and Friends: A Photographic Legacy from the Andy Warhol Foundation
Organized by Rachel Hooper
with an introduction by Rachel Hooper and text by Elspeth Patient | 13 pages, softcover
Design by Don Suttajit
Published by Blaffer Gallery $5.00 | Call 713.743.9521 to order

Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion
Organized by Terrie Sultan with essays by Terrie Sultan, David Pagel, Colin Gardner, and Claudia Schmuckli, and a short story by Nick Flynn | 136 pages, softcover
Design by Miscano Design, London
Published by D Giles Limited and Blaffer Gallery $20.00 | Purchase

Damaged Romanticism features 15 internationally recognized contemporary artists whose work is linked by visual representations of a refusal to be resigned to daily adversity. Terrie Sultan, Director and Chief Curator of Blaffer Gallery; David Pagel, Assistant Professor of art theory and history at Claremont Graduate University, Los Angeles, CA and Adjunct Curator, Blaffer Gallery; Colin Gardner, Associate Professor in critical theory and interdisciplinary media at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Nick Flynn, Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston and author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City; Claudia Schmuckli, Adjunct Curator, Blaffer Gallery.

2008 Houston Area Exhibition
Organized by Claudia Schmuckli | 43 pages, softcover
Design by TEBO Design, Houston
Published by Blaffer Gallery $15.00 | Purchase

The 2008 Houston Area Exhibition marks the tenth installment of what has become an important tradition at Blaffer Gallery. Held every four years, this survey exhibition provides a critical overview of artistic activity in Houston and thus reflects changing issues and concerns in the cultural community. Featuring the work of Seth Alverson, William Betts, Sasha Dela, Jonathan Durham, Hana Hillerova, Hedwige Jacobs, Andres Janacua, Nicholas Kersulis, Mindy Kober, Jonathan Leach, Lynne McCabe, Ariane Roesch, Julie Spielman, Gabriela Trzebinski, Jeff Williams, and Audry Worster.

Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space
Organized by Terrie Sultan
with essays by Bill Arning, Rina Carvajal, Klaus Ottmann, Claudia Schmuckli, and Terrie Sultan71 pages, hardcover
Design by Zach Hooker
Published by Blaffer Gallery $10.00 | Purchase

Since 1968, Brussels-born, Paris-based Chantal Akerman has produced over 50 film and video works, in the genres of documentary and French New Wave-inspired fictional narrative. She is one of the foremost auteur-directors working today, yet she has never had a solo museum exhibition in the United States, nor has there been significant scholarly inquiry into her body of work. Her early experiments with Structuralist, Marxist and Feminist filmmaking have expanded what is possible in film today. Asserting Akerman’s contribution to the genre, this volume introduces her work to those who have not had a chance to see it firsthand. With interpretive and anecdotal commentary on Akerman’s oeuvre, the documentary films covered here have not been explored elsewhere.

Katrina Moorhead: A Thing Called Early Blur
Organized by Claudia Schmuckli | 44 pages, softcover
Design by Miko McGinty, Brooklyn, NY
Published by Blaffer Gallery $15.00 | Purchase

Katrina Moorhead’s first solo museum exhibition presents a body of work created in response to her month-long residency in Reykjavik, Iceland. Her drawings, objects, and installations conflate references to nature and culture, each work embodying a single instance of their collision, taking inspiration from the artist’s personal experience, cultural memory, or historical events. Employing a broad range of conceptual and material strategies with an emphasis on meticulous craftsmanship and poetic titling, Moorhead ponders and probes notions of authenticity, truth, and beauty in our experience of the world.

Amy Sillman: Suitors and Strangers
Organized by Claudia Schmuckli
with essays by Claudia Schmuckli and David Lichtenstein 47 pages, softcover
Design by Miko McGinty and Rita Jules
Published by Blaffer Gallery $40.00 | Purchase

Working in the gap between representation and abstraction, Amy Sillman’s canvases openly and proudly invoke myriad forms of painting, ranging from historic to contemporary, western to eastern, and high to low art, only to freely and confidently blend them into a painterly language that is decidedly contemporary and personal. With a deep regard for, and intellectual engagement with, the very act applying paint to canvas, Sillman’s work combines a seductive use of color with an almost palpable physicality.

Urs Fischer: Mary Poppins
Organized by Claudia Schmuckli
with an introduction by Terrie Sultan | 48 pages, softcover
Design by BoxerDesign, Brooklyn, NY
Published by Blaffer Gallery $20.00 | Purchase

During a two-week period in May 2006, the peripatetic Swiss artist Urs Fischer worked on-site in Houston to create a site-specific installation for Blaffer Gallery. The artist again redefined the white cube, transforming space and offering viewer’s a vastness sparsely inhabited by sculptures abstract, whimsical, concrete, and abject, but ultimately revolving around the body and, by extension, the human condition. Fischer reminds us that any notion of reality is relative and that the extraordinary – the surreal as well as the uncanny – is all around us.

Tam Van Tran: Psychonaut
Organized by Terrie Sultan
with an interview between Tam Van Tran and Terrie Sultan | 32 pages, softcover
Design by Begoña Lopez, Houston
Published by Blaffer Gallery $15.00 | Call 713.743.9521 to order

POPulence
Organized by David Pagel | 83 pages, softcover
Design by Origin Design, Houston
Published by Blaffer Gallery $25.00 | Purchase

Taking the premise that Pop Art is not what it used to be, the artists featured in POPulence demonstrate that contemporary Pop is no stranger to refinement, sumptuousness, or elegance, and that subtlety, delicacy, and sophistication are now as much a part of its vocabulary as brashness, immediacy, and vulgarity. Featuring works by Chiho Aoshima, Polly Apfelbaum, Philip Argent, L.C. Armstrong, Tony Berlant, Sharon Ellis, Gajin Jujita, Christian Garnett, Rachel Hecker, Mary Heilmann, Jeff Koons, Beatriz Milhazes, Takashi Murakami, Jorge Pardo, Lari Pittman, Marcelo Pombo, Davis Reed, Kim Squaglia, and Fred Tomaselli.

Alain Bublex: Plug-In City/Houston
Organized by Terrie Sultan
with a correspondence between Alain Bublex and Terrie Sultan | 32 pages, softcover
Design by Minor Design, Houston
Published by Blaffer Gallery $20.00 | Purchase

Alain Bublex’s explorations of contemporary urban reality are inspired by late 20th century visionary utopian architecture. Plug-In City, conceived in 1964 by the iconoclastic British architect and urban planner Peter Cook and the avant-garde group Archigram, was as provocative as it was unbuildable. However, Bublex sees the now ever-present mini-cities of prefab bungalows used on construction sites as an extension of the original Plug-In City, and from this he imagines his own evolution of urban utopian possibilities. With Plug-In City/Houston, Bublex explored remarkable design and function challenges of the United States’ fourth largest city.

Erewhon: Jane and Louise Wilson
Organized by Terrie Sultan
with an essay by Cynthia Freeland | 31 pages, softcover
Design by Patricia Fabricant, New York
Published by Blaffer Gallery$15.00 | Purchase

Jessica Stockholder: Kissing the Wall: Works 1988-2003
Organized by Nancy Doll and Terrie Sultan
with essays by Elspeth Carruthers and Miwon Kwon | 95 pages, hardcover
Design by Susan E. Kelly, Luminant Studio
Published by Blaffer Gallery $10.00 | Purchase

Through her use of color and assemblage, Jessica Stockholder challenges familiar generic boundaries between painting and sculpture, while de-familiarizing the experience of the exhibition space–not to mention giving the impression of a K-Mart store that’s been bulldozed by a group of feminist abstract expressionists. In 1988, Stockholder created the self-contained assemblage Kissing the Wall No. 2 an old-fashion projector screen wrapped in newspaper and plaster that stands like a bad child facing a florescent lamp secured to the wall. This seminal work, from which this exhibition and catalogue take their name, uses the gallery wall as a screen kissed by various objects in what the artist calls “an emotionally charged event.” This work, in which found objects become actors in the drama of space and color, is exemplary of the many objects gathered together for this retrospective look at Stockholder’s self-contained assemblages since 1988. Includes an interview with the artist, scholarly essays, an annotated chronology, and a detailed exhibition and publication history.

Seeing and Believing: The Art of Nancy Burson
Organized by Terrie Sultan
with an essay by Michael Sand and an interview with
Nancy Burson by Lynn Gumpert and Terrie Sultan | 172 pages, hardcover
Design by Jack Woody and Arlyn Eve Nathan
Published by Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe | $15.00 | Purchase

First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Photographically illustrated laminated paper-covered boards, with vellum-like translucent dust jacket. Photographs by Nancy Burson. Edited by Christopher French. Foreword and interview with Nancy Burson by Lynn Gumpert and Terrie Sultan. Essay by Michael L. Sand. Includes an exhibition history and bibliography. 112 pp. with 95 four-color plates, and 7 additional color and black and white reference illustrations, beautifully printed on heavy fine matt paper by Trifolio S.R.L., Verona, Italy, from separations by Robert J. Hennessey. 12 1/4 X 9 1/4 inches. This first edition was limited to 2000 hardbound copies. CONDITION: New in publisher’s shrink-wrap. Published on the occasion of the 2002 exhibition Seeing and Believing: The Art of Nancy Burson, organized by the Grey Art Gallery, New York, and the Blaffer Gallery, Houston. From the essay by Michael L. Sand: “Burson’s catalogued work can be divided into three distinct phases. Between 1979 and 1991 she created computer-generated images of fantastical faces: composites, aged portraits, and digitally manipulated facial anomalies. From 1991 to 1995 she made photographic portraits of what she calls “special faces,” children and adults whose appearances have been altered by disease, nature, or circumstance. From 1996 to the present, she has been engaged in a range of projects that interlace her natural penchant for the fantastical, her paradoxical relationship with science, and an awareness of the spiritual connections between all living things. In each of these bodies of work, Burson has gone against the grain of technological change. Her early work with computers preceded her later “straight” photography, whereas many photographers have in recent years integrated the computer into their image-making process. Her current production combines these two strategies, with a twist.”

Contact

Phone: 713-743-9521
Mailing Address: Blaffer Art Museum
University of Houston
120 Fine Arts Building Houston, TX 77204