Thursday, February 6, 2020

This Spring, Blue Star Contemporary's Exhibitions Will Highlight the Written Word

Posted By on Thu, Feb 6, 2020 at 4:15 PM

click to enlarge Sarah Welch, Total Monsoon installation at Alabama Song, 2018. - COURTESY OF SARAH WELCH
  • Courtesy of Sarah Welch
  • Sarah Welch, Total Monsoon installation at Alabama Song, 2018.
This spring, Blue Star Contemporary is transforming into a dreamland for bibliophiles with five exhibitions that celebrate the written word, encompassing everything from a deep dive into independent publishing to an abstracted vernacular.

Three Texan artists present solo exhibitions as part of the spring's programming: Sarah Welch (Houston), Candace Hicks (Nacogdoches) and Rand Renfrow (San Marcos).
click to enlarge Sarah Welch, Detail of Holdouts comic, 2017. - COURTESY OF SARAH WELCH
  • Courtesy of Sarah Welch
  • Sarah Welch, Detail of Holdouts comic, 2017.
In "Giveth and Taketh," Welch transforms the gallery space into a verdant reading room themed around her two zines Holdouts and Holdouts Giveth and Taketh. Visitors can read the two zines in the space, which is decorated with prints, a mural and a recreation of the interior of Holdouts' character Rosie's trailer.

Hicks' puzzling exhibition "Secret Passage" uses the duality of meaning of its title as a jumping off point. A secret passage can be a hidden route in the 
click to enlarge Candace Hicks, Common Threads: Volume 100, 2019, embroidery on canvas, 6”x9"x1". - CANDACE HICKS
  • Candace Hicks
  • Candace Hicks, Common Threads: Volume 100, 2019, embroidery on canvas, 6”x9"x1".
physical world, or a coded message hidden within text. Hicks presents a series   of 24 volumes of Common Threads, a series of "unique hand-embroidered collections of coincidences gleaned from the artist’s reading," as well as an unspooled narrative The Case of the Endless Yarn, a whodunnit that dangles from the ceiling of the gallery.

For "More Findings," Renfrow breaks language down to its most basic pieces. He creates his own language through sculpture, painting, prints and display that serves as a "
vernacular representation of the array of human emotion." Viewers must decipher the artist's icons and signifiers to learn this new language on the fly.
click to enlarge Hye-Ryoung Min, Re-membrance of the Remembrance (all individual photographs untitled), 2015-2018, Archival pigment prints, various sizes. - JACQUELINE SARAGOZA MCGILVRAY
  • Jacqueline Saragoza McGilvray
  • Hye-Ryoung Min, Re-membrance of the Remembrance (all individual photographs untitled), 2015-2018, Archival pigment prints, various sizes.
Two group shows round out the rest of the spring's offerings.



"Novel Ideas" presents work by five artists whose practices are indelibly intertwined with books: Emilia Azcárate, Ann Clarke, Arturo Herrera, Hye-Ryoung Min and Benedikt Terwiel. The artists explore the importance of books from multiple perspectives and in a variety of media, from fibre art to photography.
click to enlarge Emilia Azcárate, Alpaca Book (Mexican School), 2015, embossed alpaca wool, 20 plates, 9 7/16 x 16 9/16 each. - CUAUHTLI GUTIÉRREZ LOPEZ
  • Cuauhtli Gutiérrez Lopez
  • Emilia Azcárate, Alpaca Book (Mexican School), 2015, embossed alpaca wool, 20 plates, 9 7/16 x 16 9/16 each.
Initiated by the Independent Curators International (ICI)’s Alaina Claire Feldman,Becky Nahom and Sanna Almajedi, the traveling exhibition "Publishing Against the Grain" makes a stop at Blue Star Contemporary to showcase a selection of renowned independent publications from around the world in a presentation organized by curator and exhibition manager Jacqueline Saragoza McGilvray.

As part of each new iteration of "Publishing Against the Grain," the hosting institution adds a publication of its choice. For the show at Blue Star Contemporary, Austin-based Pastelegram and San Antonio artist and designer Molly Sherman will join the fold.


"Giveth and Taketh," "Novel Ideas," "More Findings," "Publishing Against the Grain" and "Secret Passage" will remain on view through Sunday, May 3.

Free, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Blue Star Contemporary, 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960, bluestarcontemporary.org.
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