Critics’ Picks

View of “Katrina Moorhead: seapinksea,” 2019.

View of “Katrina Moorhead: seapinksea,” 2019.

Houston

Katrina Moorhead

Inman Gallery
3901 Main Street
March 8–April 27, 2019

Katrina Moorhead’s latest body of work employs the wayward range of materials and sensibilities that one might expect of a group show. Pleated Japanese paper blushing with pink dye hangs from a mason’s line slung across the room. A 3-D printed reconstruction of the floral still life by Henri Fantin-Latour that graces the cover of New Order’s 1983 album Power, Corruption & Lies is a twenty-first-century centerpiece. Standing guard nearby is a Twombly-esque sculpture—part maternal totem, part children’s craft project—built up from gypsum cement and chicken wire and adorned with showy feathers. The works meld Carol Bove’s precision with Lynda Benglis’s glamorous funk.

Then one enters a small gallery encircled by hanter (all works 2019), a chest-high oak shelf that lines the perimeter, doorways included, and hosts several other works. Zills from a tambourine are embedded within the wood (daughterandson), and peat bricks and peat dust are piled under and on top of it (dark hearth [i] and dark hearth [ii]), alongside a curious tableau of ring display fingers, plastic crystals, and scavenged scraps of sparkly artificial pine branches (death at sea is sweet if all your life you love the sea). Hanter also holds the framed work Dark Botanical, a watercolor illustration of a sea pink plant that was translated into a digital print and then finished with textured swirls of black salt and glitter. Common in the marshlands of the artist’s native Ireland, this tufted flower is an emblem of both ruggedness and delicacy, and goes by many names: Armeria maritima, marsh daisy, and thrift. The last of these perfectly describes Moorhead’s talent for uniting sculptural and ready-made materials. The results are both witty and stunning.