9 new art exhibitions in Austin to blow your mind in December


This is the most wonderful time of the year… to soak up a little creativity, for pleasant outings in the galleries and wonderful exhibitions that are worth exploring. It’s the happiest season of all, and Austin’s art galleries and museums have adorned the walls with wonders such as those of Basquiat and Blek the Rat. From Terry Allen’s personal stories to exhibits exploring the art of peace and delving into mystery and benevolence, there is something to wow art lovers this month.

West Chelsea Contemporary
“From concrete to canvas: a celebration of graffiti + street art”
Until January 2, 2022.
“Concrete to Canvas” is West Chelsea Contemporary’s most comprehensive and large-scale graffiti and street art exhibition to date. To celebrate the movements’ contributions to the art world as a whole and their individual achievements, the gallery will present selections from its collection of more than 1,000 pieces in concurrent exhibitions in its flagship space in Austin and in its gallery. from New York. The exhibition presents works by Blek le Rat, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mr. Brainwash, RISK and Richard Hambleton.

Blanton Art Museum
“Terry Allen: MemWars”
From December 18 to July 10, 2022.
Renowned visual artist, singer-songwriter and Texan Terry Allen tells personal stories and stories, many of them about the American West, through multiple mediums including drawing, sculpture, video and performance. “MemWars” was inspired by the futuristic Italian one-act plays known as “sintesi”, which rejected stagnation and embraced innovation. The video installation features Allen, along with his wife and frequent collaborator, artist and actress Jo Harvey Allen, performing autobiographical dialogues to present related songs. Allen then performs the songs, accompanying himself on keyboards, in front of a changing landscape image.

Contemporary Artisan Assembly Gallery
“Retrospective show: Amado M. Peña”
Now until December 24.
In this collection of paintings spanning four decades, Amado Peña, of Mexican and Yaqui descent, celebrates the strength of a people who face the harsh realities of life in a land without compromise. His work is a tribute to Native Americans who survive by living in harmony with a hostile and wild environment and is inspired by places such as Canyon de Chelly, Spider Rock, Monument Valley, Enchanted Mesa, Acoma and Black Mesa. Peña’s work, defined by its bold color, form and dynamic composition, communicates her vision of a country, its people and their art. Peña is recognized as an artisan of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, and he is dedicated to promoting knowledge and public interest in the tribe, its art, history and culture.

GrayDUCK Gallery
“Katy Horan: Rooms”
From December 3 to January 9, 2022.
Katy Horan is a Texas-based artist and illustrator whose work often explores female archetypes and the role of the female in history and mythology. In 2018, Horan shifted his focus to exploring “some of the most difficult things we go through in life, such as violence, loss, mental illness, fear and trauma,” and turned to the cinema, music and his own life experience to draw inspiration from. . This show is the result of this journey and the archetypes that emerged from it: the madwoman, the trailblazer, the last daughter, the mother, the victim and the survivor. Horan’s goal is for viewers to find pieces of themselves in these stories and feel seen.

Wally Workman Gallery
“Will Klemm: The question of enchantment”
December 4-30.
Will Klemm is well known nationally for his ethereal, light-oriented landscapes and still lifes, many of which are influenced by his time in New Mexico. This show is organized into four seasons, representing the physical time of the year as well as the psychological seasons of human life. Klemm has a studio in Austin and one in Taos, New Mexico. His work can be found in private and public collections around the world.

ICOSA Collective Gallery
“Jonas Criscoe & Sarah Hirneisen: worn, torn, cut and callused”
From December 3 to January 8, 2022.
“Worn, Torn, Cut & Calloused” features new works by Jonas Criscoe and Sarah Hirneisen that explore the aesthetics of detritus and decay through the prism of surface, form, material and composition. Criscoe is inspired by rural Texas roads, the faded facades of old buildings, forgotten towns. Hirneisen is inspired by the natural cycles of growth, decay and renewal, using the process of molding to embed and preserve. Criscoe is an interdisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited across the United States, and Hirneisen is an Austin-based artist who uses 3D materials and processes to elevate familiar and everyday objects.

Dougherty Arts Center
“The art of peace”
From December 4 to January 8, 2022
“The Art of Peace” is a collective of five figurative artists from Austin, including JC Amorrortu, Lawrence Jolly, Meena Matocha, Rhea Pettit and Linda Wandt. Although artists may have different styles, they all have in common the desire to share a story through their art. They believe this style of visual storytelling can mend a broken society and serve as olive branches extended to each other in peace.

Beef Museum
“Mystery and benevolence”
Until March 27, 2022.
“Mystery and Benevolence” explores the fascinating symbolism and imagery associated with Masonic and Odd folk art that dates back to the European trade guilds of the 1100s and 1200s. In the early 1900s, Freemasonry and the Independent Order of Odd members had achieved such popularity that an estimated one in five men belonged to one of the secret societies. Both were formed as benevolent groups to improve their communities through the charitable support of orphans, the sick and the poor. Over the past 300 years, the symbolism and imagery of these secret societies have fascinated and influenced American culture. Their rich history stretches as far as Texas, with the first Masonic meeting in 1835, followed by the opening of an Odd Fellows Lodge in Houston in 1838. Lose yourself in the intricate carpentry, paintings, badges and designs. accessories of these benevolent societies.

Lydia Street Gallery
“Brooke Mackenzie and Jennifer Prichard: The Maximumists”
Until December 23.
The works of ceramic artist Jennifer Prichard and painter Brooke Mackenzie are both devoted to excess. For Prichard, this means intricate sculptures of a thousand pieces and clay slabs that maximize color in all its richness and depth. For Mackenzie, that means otherworldly canvases bursting with pattern, color and energy. By juxtaposing the work of these very different artists, “The Maximalists” questions the role played by the sensitivity of an individual artist, whatever the medium chosen, in the understanding of his work.


William E. Bennett