previews

  • Trenton Doyle Hancock

    Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
    5216 Montrose Boulevard
    April 26 - July 20

    Curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver

    Trenton Doyle Hancock’s paintings and installations are almost exclusively based on a narrative of his own invention, in which characters such as the peace-loving Mounds and the skeletal, bellicose Vegans are locked in a Manichaean struggle. His work’s psychedelic, allover imagery sits nearest to the work of Pop descendants such as Kerig Pope and the Chicago Imagists. At CAMH, Cassel Oliver gathers more than 150 of Hancock’s drawings and collages. Reaching back as far as 1985, this show and its catalogue (featuring essays by the curator, artists Stanley Whitney and Gary Panter, and poet and novelist Paul Beatty, among others) will foreground technique over narrative, so that Hancock is sure to be revealed as a highly skilled draftsman who engages fiction primarily as a conceptual tool, to put pressure on the academic legacy of drawing. Travels to the Akron Art Museum, OH, Sept. 13, 2014–Jan. 4, 2015.

  • Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 2011, graphite on paper, 23 x 30 1/8".

    “Lee Bontecou: Drawn Worlds”

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    January 31 - May 11

    Curated by Michelle White

    “The little pencil is a magic box,” Lee Bontecou has said. For proof, just consult the Menil Collection’s retrospective of more than seventy of the artist’s works on paper from the past five and a half decades. Bontecou’s drawings (made not just with pencil but with soot and pastel, too) conjure all manner of super- and subnatural forms. Some are preparatory, detailing the fine seams, eerie contours, or affecting shadows with which her sculptures in metal and muslin cast their spells; other works stand on their own as pure vehicles of imagination, through which the artist divines hidden connections between gas mask and gardenia. In the catalogue, Menil curator Michelle White fits the drawings within Bontecou’s social context and larger oeuvre, while Joan Banach pores over the artist’s ledger sketches and critic Dore Ashton meditates on Bontecou’s enduring importance. Travels to the Princeton University Art Museum, NJ, June 28–Sept. 21.