9 Stimulating and Inspiring Austin Art Exhibits to Explore in April

Plant the seeds of art this month and decorate the soul with inspiring and thought-provoking exhibits to see in Austin. There are Texas landscapes to explore at Wally Workman, a humorous and critical look at our culture of consumerism and convenience with the “Plastic Bag Store” at Blue Genie Bazaar. Discover a Mexican-American-Jewish artist who questions identities through Morse code and flags at Women & Their Work. The Umlauf reveals “Rebuffed”, a selection of rejected pieces by Charles Umlauf, examining failed or returned orders. Get inspired and understand the challenges of Chicano Austin artists at the Mexic-Arte museum, and instagram yourself in front of the new sculptural ambigram LOVE-HATE on the Long Center lawn. Austin’s art scene is thriving this month and you’ve got a front row seat.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden
“Rebuffed: Recognizing Failures” – April 12 to August 14

This exhibition focuses on the “rejected” or “rejected” works of Charles Umlauf and examines failed or returned commissions and works that have never been presented to the public and explores how an artist must rework and return to a work that it had formerly presented as complete. . Over the course of her career, Umlauf has managed to turn professional rejection into success, while working through the failure that accompanies experimentation in her personal practice. Featuring never-before-seen sculptures and designs drawn from the Umlauf’s extensive archive and collection, viewers can see first-hand how failure can be a crucial part of success.

women and their work
“Alexandra Robinson: boundaries, or words to live by” – from April 9 to June 2

Alexandra Robinson is deeply connected to the complex story of what it is to be Mexican-American and Jewish, which has cultivated a complexity in the way she sees and experiences the world. A visual artist who uses language and symbols in her work, she grew up in the military and has lived all over the world. Due to the semi-transitional nature of moving every two years, she yearns for place and identity and explores these themes in her work. Through the use of Morse code, the flag semaphore, and the shape of the flag, Robinson appropriates the symbols of American exceptionalism, which are informed by his upbringing. The work evokes ideas of nation, of place and becomes representative of identity… and the drawing of borders.

Wally Worker
“Gordon Fowler: Texas: An Abstract Landscape” – April 2 to May 1

In “Abstract Landscape”, Gordon Fowler looks back on the landscape of his youth in the hills of Austin, Texas. He revisits the “Whiskey Tree” which was his pirate ship and adventure base as well as the place where moonshiners hid whiskey for his grandfather during prohibition. He explores Little Bee Creek which flows below towards Lake Austin. Fowler describes the Texas landscape as “a harsh, challenging landscape with a myriad of abstract possibilities for painting”. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Texas state park system, Fowler was chosen to paint Honey Creek in Mason County for their upcoming Art of Texas Parks 2023 traveling exhibition. This tributary of the Llano River has inspired several additional paintings that are included in this exhibit.

Mexico-Arte Museum
“Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s” — from April 8 to June 19

This exhibition serves as an introduction to Austin’s rich and understudied Chicano art movement and highlights the challenges these artists faced as they learned their history, dealt with systemic injustice, sought a Chicano/Artistic voice. has unique and found or created a place for themselves. The work of prolific artists from the region coupled with ephemera provide context for these turbulent times. The show highlights the breadth of creativity that these artists achieved during this time in various forms, including visual arts, music by Conjunto Aztlán and others, photography, dance, music, poetry , literature, cinema and other forms.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar
“The Plastic Bag Store” – April 2-17

Award-winning puppeteer, director and filmmaker Robin Frohardt reveals “The Plastic Bag Store,” a humorous and critical look at our culture of consumerism and convenience. The art installation and immersive cinematic experience is presented by Texas Performing Arts as part of its 40th anniversary season. One-hour performances will take place several times a day. Designed, crafted, written and directed by Brooklyn-based Frohardt, her installation shines a light on the lasting effects of single-use plastics. Inside the “plastic bag store facility”, deli meats, fresh produce, multi-layered cakes, sushi rolls, frozen food, canned cereal, etc. have been meticulously hand sculpted, made from discarded plastics. The performers transform the store into a micro-cinema where hidden worlds and inventive puppets explore the notion of artifact, misplaced nostalgia and how what we value least can become our most enduring cultural heritage.

Gallery of links and pins
“Robyn Jamison: Woman as Object” – April 7-30

Visual artist and author Robyn Jamison’s work evokes “a mythology of the transformation of woman from marginalization to personality.” Jamison’s work is a multimedia paper doll installation that stands just under seven feet tall and stems from his lifelong conscious investigation into the nature of human beings. Her doll comes with an interchangeable wardrobe measured and designed just for her. “My works engage the viewer’s own relationship to the world at individual, community and global levels,” Jamison said.

Camiba Gallery
“Lorena Morales: im/perfect home” – April 14 to May 21

Lorena Morales’ artistic practice focuses on the idea of ​​home, specifically our memory of home. So far, the majority of his explorations of this theme have considered “Home” as a place and have often been filled with a sense of longing and nostalgia, sometimes addressing memory loss or homelessness. Now, with “im/perfect home”, Morales expands his idea of ​​home not just to a physical location, but to a concept and condition – and the realization that home isn’t always perfect. Morales is a multidisciplinary visual artist currently based in Houston with roots in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Long Center Hartman Concert Lawn
LOVE-HATE: Mia Florentine Weiss” – now until September

Monumental in scope and ambition, the “poem in one word” consists of oversized letters, which spell out LOVE on the front and HATE on the back. This larger than life work of art is made by German artist Mia Florentine Weiss. Since May 2019, LOVE-HATE, traveled across Europe as a symbol of peace aimed at promoting social discourse. The sculpture first arrived in the United States in November 2021 where it was temporarily exhibited in Washington, D.C. Weiss juxtaposes the extremes of human emotions and seeks to transcend borders, always seeking unity and contradiction, which she symbolizes through the collapse of opposites, which can be seen in the sculptural ambigram LOVE-HATE. It not only represents the Faustian nature that exists in us as humans, but takes on new meaning, 100 years after the end of World War I, as an international symbol of peace striving to transform the current hatred of world in love.

Contemporary Austin – Jones Center
“Tarek Atoui: The Whisperers & The Wave” – ​​April 9 to August 14

Tarek Atoui is a Lebanese artist and composer based in Paris whose work explores the medium of sound. Sound requires transmission through physical materials, in particular spatial and social environments, and in relation to our individual bodies. Atoui is mainly interested in the questions: what happens to sound when it travels through materials such as metal, wood and water? How can we perceive sound by listening not only with our ears but also with our eyes, our fingers, our bones – our whole body? Atoui works with other musicians, composers, and instrument makers around the world to develop custom materials he calls “listening tools,” which conduct and amplify sound in a multisensory way. The exhibition includes two installations, each occupying one floor of the Jones Center. On the first floor, Atoui presents “The Whisperers,” which began with a series of workshops he conducted with his son’s kindergarten class in Paris. On the second floor, Atoui presents “The Wave”, an accumulation of projects he has developed over the past decade. Atoui’s dynamic installations are both sound environments and spaces for activation through occasional live performances. Visitors are invited to explore the environments and adapt their bodies to how sounds develop and interact in spaces over time.

William E. Bennett