New at the MFAH Kinder building this Fall + Advanced Schedule for Fall 2023
By In Town Staff
On View this Fall at the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building: Simone Leigh’s Iconic Satellite, newly completed for the MF AH; New Modern and Contemporary Exhibitions
A Houston edition of Leigh’s 2022 signature work from the 59th Venice Biennale, “Satellite” enters the MFAH collection and will be sited in front of the Kinder building “Contested Landscapes,” “Hidden Histories” and “Love Languages” are the second suite of thematic exhibitions for the Kinder Building; Galleries devoted to Decorative Arts, Craft and Design; Photography; and Prints and Drawings present new displays, as well.
Simone Leigh’s towering, 24-foot-high Satellite (2022), an edition for Houston of the artist’s signature work from the 59th Venice Biennale, will be installed in front of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for modern and contemporary art in October.
Satellite was the centerpiece of the artist’s project for the American Pavilion in Venice, epitomizing her exploration of the Black female figure through bronze and aligning closely to her vessels, which symbolize and honor Black women. The piece will be sited adjacent to Cristina Iglesias’ water sculpture Inner Landscape (2020), at the entrance to the Kinder Building.
In addition, a suite of three thematic exhibitions drawn from the MFAH collections of modern and contemporary art will be on view, beginning September 2. This the second series curated for the third floor of the Kinder Building, which opened in November 2020.
Encompassing painting, sculpture, and photography; prints and drawings; and decorative arts, craft and design, the three exhibitions delve into these exceptional collections to address environmental, social and political themes.
Gary Tinterow, Director and Margaret Alkek Williams Chair of the MFAH, commented, “When, at the opening of last year’s Venice Biennale, I inquired about the availability of Simone Leigh’s Satellite, I was thrilled to learn that the artist would have a cast made specifically for Houston. Now that the bronze has been released by the foundry, I am delighted to announce the installation of this powerful work, which I am certain will become an iconic presence in front of the Kinder Building. It is an honor to have Simone Leigh represented at the Sarofim Campus, where her work will be in the company of recent monumental works by Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Byung Hoon Choi, Ólafur Elíasson and Cristina Iglesias.”
He added, “When the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building opened in November 2020, we considered it a triumph – not only for completing the Fayez S. Sarofim campus during the pandemic but for allowing us to showcase for our public, for the first time, the incredible depth of our modern and contemporary collections. With just over one million visits to our campuses this past fiscal year, our community appears to agree. The installation of Satellite, and this next series of installations in the Kinder Building, will highlight for our public the strength of our modern and contemporary holdings, the fastest-growing segment of our collection.”
Nancy and Rich Kinder Building Reinstallations: Three shows curated from the MFAH modern and contemporary collections comprise this exhibition series for the third-floor galleries in the Kinder Building, which opened in November 2020.
Contested Landscapes, September 2, 2023 – September 8, 2023, brings together a selection of contemporary artworks that reexamine the traditional genre of landscape through an ecological lens. By using diverse materials and innovative techniques, the featured artists, including Teresita Fernández, Richard Long, Radcliffe Bailey, Johanna Calle, Edward Burtynsky, Kent Dorn, Harry Geffert, Soledad Salamé, Jennifer Trask, Zana Briski, Studio DRIFT, and Dawoud Bey, reshape representations of geography, topography, and the environment to critically examine humans’ interaction with the natural world. In their works, landscapes become contested sites of power, acting as indices of larger cultural concerns, movements, and residual traumas, specifically as issues such as climate change and environmental justice stem from the social, political, and economic motivations of establishing control over geographic territories.Hidden Histories,
September 2, 2023 – September 27, 2025, explores the notion of anti-monuments through the work of several generations of artists from Europe, the United States, Asia, Africa, and Latin America who use innovative artistic practices memorialize aspects of the lives of ordinary citizens or places that have been ignored, sidelined, or deliberately obscured by official accounts. Unlike traditional monuments, they do not rely on fixed narratives, celebratory gestures, or grandiose materials. Instead, they employ a variety of unconventional means and strategies aimed at encouraging viewers to think critically about the past and its relevance for the present and future. Featured artists include Allora & Calzadilla, Michael Armitage, Paul Briggs, Jamal Cyrus, Gilbert and George, Zhang Huan, Tom Huck, Kahlil Joseph, Anselm Kiefer, Julie Mehretu, Camilo Ontiveros, Vincent Valdez and Adriana Corral, Kukuli Velarde, and Marie Watt. Love Languages,
September 2, 2023 – July 27, 2025, considers how artmaking itself is a type of love language, exploring conceptual concerns and narratives beyond reductive perspectives that center eros as the ultimate form of attachment. Works by artists including Dawoud Bey, Francesco Clemente, Nicole Eisenman, Louis Fratino, Ron Nagle, Anna Park, Joyce J. Scott, and Billie Zangewa are brought together to engage the question, “How do we prioritize tenderness against debilitating social conditions?”
Robert Frank and Todd Webb: Across America, 1955
October 8, 2023 – January 7, 2024
In 1955, two photographers were awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, both for U.S. survey projects. One was Robert Frank, whose cross-country trip by car would result in the celebrated book The Americans. The second was Todd Webb, who at the age of 49, was awarded the grant to walk across the United States in order to depict “vanishing Americana, and the way of life that is taking its place.” Though neither had knowledge of the other during the application process, both men secured a recommendation from famed photographer Walker Evans, and both completed their cross-country surveys, though in radically different ways. While Frank’s resulting work became a landmark text in the history of photography, Webb’s project remains almost entirely unknown. For the first time, this exhibition brings together both 1955 projects. This exhibition is organized by the MFAH, where it will debut before traveling to the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, and the Brandywine Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Rembrandt to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the Armand Hammer Collection
October 15, 2023 – January 21, 2024
Nearly 50 paintings and works on paper from the collection of the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles will tour to the MFAH. The Armand Hammer Collection encompasses the major movements of 19th-century French art, along with exceptional 17th- and 18th-century European and 19th-century American painting, as well as focused holdings of the work of Honoré Daumier. Presented in Houston will be significant examples of Realism, Orientalism, the Barbizon School, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Pointillism and Symbolism by artists including Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Gustave Moreau, Camille Pissarro and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. In addition, the selection from the
Hammer will include singular portraits by Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Thomas Eakins, and a selection of Daumier paintings. The MFAH is the only venue for this exhibition.
Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence
November 19, 2023 – June 19, 2024
Inaugurated at the 59th Venice Biennale, in 2022, Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence, now on view at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, will tour to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. For this new body of work, Wiley sheds light on systemic violence enacted against Black subjects using the language of the fallen hero while simultaneously critiquing the concept of martyrdom and the spectacularization of Black death. The exhibition features more than 20 works, including monumental paintings and sculptures that expand upon his series DOWN (2008). Initially inspired by Holbein’s painting The Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521), as well as historical paintings and sculptures of fallen warriors and figures in states of repose, in An Archaeology of Silence Wiley creates an unsettling series of prone Black figures, which re-conceptualizes classical pictorial forms to create a contemporary version of monumental portraiture. This exhibition and the U.S. tour are organized by the Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco.
The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Gallery for Judaica
December 3, 2023 – ongoing
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will open a new gallery for the presentation of Judaica on December 3, 2023. The new space, which has been endowed by the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Foundation, allows for a permanent presence at the MFAH for the cultural and artistic history of Judaism. About two dozen objects will be displayed in the inaugural installation of the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Gallery, including recent acquisitions that have established the foundation for this new collecting initiative.