Cultural imperatives

Meg Langhorne: Animal
Langhorne takes her work in a provocative new direction with this show, relaxing some of the elegant and delicate detail of her previous drawings and adding a note of disorienting eroticism and humor to these gouache works on paper, which replace one-half of Harlequin Romance-style clinches with attractive fauna.
Free. Through August 1, Cactus Bra, (210) 226-6688

Buddha Swings!
If Jesus Christ can be a superstar, why can’t Buddha be a hepcat? Putting a foot-tapping twist on the life of Siddhartha, this original Overtime Theater production fuses historical and religious accounts with 1940s big-band swing. Sharp, appropriately themed choreography and memorable tunes make time fly. Religion 101 was never this much fun. `See “Delightenment,” July 15.`
$9-$12. Through August 15, the Overtime Theater,, (210) 380-0326

<< Rew-shay Hood Project
Jonathan Monk unveils a wicked-good retouching of one-half of Ed Ruscha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations, in which the Nebraska-born artist’s black-and-white snapshots of small-town service stations, taken in 1962, are airbrushed onto fiberglass casts of hoods from the era’s highway-cruising gas guzzlers. What could easily be as dull as a drive through the old neighborhood with someone who never lived there instead has a visceral beauty that fundamentally alters the chemistry of Ruscha’s original work. `See “Fire in the hole,” May 13.`
Free. Through September 6, Artpace,, (210) 212-4900

Elegant Enigmas:
The Art of Edward Gorey

One of the great practitioners of “literary nonsense,” Edward Gorey wrote and illustrated more than 100 books before his death in 2000, all of them filled with cheery bromides along the lines of: “An innocent maiden named Herridge/ Was cruelly tricked into marriage;/ When she later found out/ What her spouse was about/ She threw herself under a carriage.” Think you’re having a bad day? Spend the afternoon with Gorey’s sorry moppets. `See “Bad things happen,” June 10.`
General admission waived Thursday evenings and the first Sunday of the month. Through September 13, The McNay,, (210) 824-5368

<< Tom Slick:
International Art Collector

Famed oil-fortune heir Tom Slick also collected art, and his assortment of modern works on display at the McNay, ranges from arresting Picasso ceramics to Barbara Hepworth’s remarkable 1950s sculptures and a suite of mesmerizing op-art paintings by Wojciech Fangor purchased just before Slick’s untimely death. `See “In search of Tom Slick, art collector,” June 17.`
General admission waived Thursday evenings and the first Sunday of the month. Through September 13, The McNay,, (210) 824-5368

International Artist in Residence New Works 09.2
Silke Otto-Knapp and Anne Collier’s entries didn’t inspire our critic, but home-team rep Charlie Morris effectively applied his ongoing fascination with freedom, authority, and oppression in a militarized republic to still photography, classical horticulture, and sculpture. `See “It’s not you, it’s me,” July 19.`
Free. Through September 13, Artpace,, (210) 212-4900

American Sabor
Despite a few historical weaknesses (lo siento, rockeros) and a shortage of actual music, this traveling exhibit engagingly celebrates the history of Latin popular music in five metropolitan hubs, including good ol’ San Antonio (SA’s conjunto tradition alone secures our spot on the roster). Fortunately, the exhibit boasts excellent samples of oral and visual storytelling and pop-culture memorabilia, including the musical instruments of Latino legends such as Santana. `See “Taste this,” July 1.`
Free (donations encouraged). Through September 25, the Museo Alameda,, (210) 299-4300

<< Leigh Anne Lester
Leigh Anne Lester’s lovely illustrations of unnatural monstrosities are the art equivalent of a Venus Flytrap. Delicate flowers grafted to wicked-looking cacti capture you in a sticky conundrum: Is human meddling with DNA our greatest scientific achievement or a Vonnegut-penned epitaph? Lester doesn’t pretend to know, either, but she worries. More importantly for the insidious appeal of her work, progress gone wrong possesses its own terrible beauty. `See “Growth spurt,” July 10.`
Free. Through October 25, the Institute of Texan Cultures,, (210) 458-2300

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