The best plays, musical performances, and exhibits in Texas are enjoyed by record number crowds again, in person and virtually, according to our cultural adventurer Leanne Raesener, who shares our favorite recommendations from across the state.
Expanding Abstraction, Pushing the Boundaries of Painting in the Americas, 1958–1983, from the Blanton’s extensive collection of abstract painting from the 1960s and 70s, explores how painting was transformed during these decades. Many of the works are large scale and have rarely been shown before.
Through January 10, 2021. At BlantonMuseum.org.
ON IMAGE: Alice Baber, Lavender High, 1968, oil on canvas, Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Michener Acquisition Fund, 1969.
LET IT SHINE, LET IT SHINE
This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement tells a visual story of the struggle against segregation, race-based disenfranchisement, and Jim Crow laws in the 1960s. The Bullock Museum is pleased to include more than a dozen additional images representing activism and protest in Austin’s own local history.
On view through December 6. At TheStoryofTexas.com.
ON IMAGE: MFDP delegates demonstrate as President Lyndon Johnson was nominated. Victoria Gray, from Hattiesburg, the woman at the center, is a prominent MFDP leader. Atlantic City, New Jersey. ©1964 George Ballis, Courtesy CDEA.
THE GREAT WHITE WAY GOES LOCAL
The Texas Performing Arts announced that it is presenting Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway featuring Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (11/14) and critically acclaimed actress and singer Vanessa Williams (12/5). Each virtual show will feature a mix of Broadway show tunes, pop songs, and personal stories from each artist’s life.
November 14 and December 5. At TexasPerformingArts.org.
ON IMAGE: Vanessa Williams: Photo courtesy of Rod Spicer
DALLAS / FORT WORTH
WORLDWIDE AND TIMELESS
To Be Determined, juxtaposes works from many centuries, geographies, and cultures to trace how art’s significance can shift when presented in new contexts. Drawn from the DMA’s global collection, from the 13th century to the present, it affirms individuals’ and communities’ resilience that resonates with both current and historical struggles.
Through December 27. At DMA.org.
ON IMAGE: Perro Aullando, 1960, Art©Tamayo Heirs/Mexico/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.
CREATING COMMON GROUND
Contemporary artist Marina Adams highlights seven of her energetic abstract paintings that are immersive in scale, as well as recent small gouache, works on paper in her exhibition Focus: Marina Adams. Adams’ paintings are rooted in textile design and architecture, with literature and history also playing important roles.
Through January 10, 2021. At TheModern.org.
ON IMAGE: Marina Adams, Cheops, 2018
TIMES ARE A CHANGIN’
The Nasher Sculpture Center presents Resist/Release, a dialogue between forms of resistance and release in sculptures by several artists, including newly-acquired works by Magdalena Abakanowicz and John Chamberlain. Recently resistance has been embraced by artists who have struggled for acceptance due to their gender or race.
Through January 7, 2021. At NasherSculptureCenter.org.
ON IMAGE: Dorothy Dehner, Resist/Release, 2020, Courtesy Nasher Sculpture Center, Photo courtesy of Kevin Todora
SHINE YOUR LIGHT
Discover themes of light and radiance in the exhibition Art of Islamic Lands: Selections from the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait from one of the most significant privately-held collections of Islamic art in the world. The Museum’s landmark partnership with the Kuwait-based al-Sabah Collection and the cultural institution Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah continues with this expanded installation that more than triples the original display to now over 250 works.
Through December 27. At MFAH.org.
ON IMAGE: Egypt, Mosque Lamp, c. 1320, enamel and gilded glass, The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait.
CLICK, CLICK, CLICK
Photography and the Surreal Imagination presents the broad reach in modern and contemporary photography that questions the very nature of representation. Groundbreaking photographers in the show include Eugène Atget, Allison Janae Hamilton, Hans Bellmer, Cindy Sherman, Man Ray, and Lorna Simpson.
Through November 29. At Menil.org.
ON IMAGE: Max Ernst, German, 1891 – 1976 Health through Sport (La santé par le sport), ca. 1920. Photograph, 1981-044 DJ.
LET FREEDOM RING
The U.S. premiere of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom is a rich sensory experience of imagery, soundscape, digital media, and objects that explore the earthshaking fight for justice and human dignity in South Africa–and its relevance to issues of today. Visitors can experience the tiny cell where Nobel Peace Prize-winning and first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was held.
Through January 3, 2021. At HMH.org.
ON IMAGE: Mandela with a raised fist, moments
after his release from prison (after 27 years) on
February 11, 1990. Photograph by Graeme
MODERN TIMES, MODERN DRAWINGS
The McNay has been known for its collection of drawings and watercolors by American modernists. The Hockney to Warhol: Contemporary Drawings from the Collection exhibition is visitors’ first opportunity to view an exclusive selection in a single show. Drawings by Leonardo Drew, David Hockney, Beth van Hoesen, Yvonne Jacquette, Donald Judd, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol are presented.
Through January 2, 2021. At McNayArt.org.
ON IMAGE: David Hockney, Looking at Pictures on a Screen, 1977. Colored pencil on paper. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Bequest of Robert H. Halff. © David Hockney.
BE TRANSPORTED TO MAGICAL TIME
Enjoy Vadim Gluzman with the Olmos Ensemble and Timothy Jones in an exclusive socially distanced concert, The Soldier’s Tale, that brings to life the glorious violinistic tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries to one of Texas’s premier chamber music organizations make for a magical evening.
Special performance on November 7. At TobinCenter.org.
ON IMAGE: Photo courtesy of Marco Borggreve
FORTY FOR FORTY
The museum’s Elizabeth and Robert Lende collection has promised the Museum their outstanding collection of silver adornments, assembled over the past forty years. The exhibition, Exquisite Adornment: Turkmen and Miao Jewelry from the Elizabeth and Robert Lende Collection showcases their gift and features a broad range of exquisitely crafted silver.
Through January 3, 2021. At SAMuseum.org.
ON IMAGE: Headdress or Bridal Diadem, Turkmenistan (Yomud, Teke, Nochuoli), late 19th to early 20th century, Silver inlaid with carnelian, Promised gift from Elizabeth and Robert Lende, L.2020.23.7. Photo courtesy of Seale Studios.