houston

Robert Levers

Watson Gallery

In Austin, which is the privileged seat of power in Texas, Memorial Stadium on the University of Texas campus is the principal monument to spectacle. Legendary scene of many historic struggles in Southwestern football, this beloved colossus seems to have become the preferred site and subject of Robert Levers’ art ever since he painted The Destruction of Memorial Stadium, 1983, in which he imagined the effects of a catastrophic explosion. To his credit, Levers has concentrated his attention away from the game and its players, choosing instead to exploit with unrestrained imagination the satiric potential of spectators, cheerleaders, referees, concessionaires, and half-time performers in the apocalyptic atmosphere of the exploding, burning stadium.

A small gouache with the cheerfully bombastic title A Sudden Gust of Wind Causes Old Smokey, the Cannon, to Discharge Spontaneously, 1985, provides

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