STATE OF THE ARTS
With the summer behind us (on the calendar at least), the arts in Austin beckon with exhibits to entice all sensibilities and seduce the senses. Starting with major star power, the Harry Ransom Center reveals their Robert Di Niro collection encapsulating costumes, props, film, and video in the exhibit, “Stories to Tell.” Meanwhile 28,000 stemmed spheres subtly lit by solar powered fiber-optics will illuminate the Arboretum at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center with Bruce Munro’s “Field of Light.” From works by the first female industrial photographer of India on display at Link & Pin, to artist Jenn Hassin who transforms military uniforms and more into beautiful, raw memorials, there is much to sustain the soul artistically this September.
“Connie Arismendi: Everyone” — Now through October 15
“Everyone” is an exhibition of new monoprints and etchings by Connie Arismendi. In residence at Flatbed since 2021, she has created a series of large 42” x 55” monoprints and a suite of three chine collé varied edition etchings. Arismendi is a nationally recognized sculptor and installation artist living and working in Austin. Her artwork is shaped by the profound emotional and intellectual concepts of family, memory, and spirituality. She is known for innovative projects, from large-scale architectural installations to freestanding sculptures that combine a wide variety of materials.
“Jenn Hassin: Pulp Alchemy” — Now through October 15
Texas born artist, Jenn Hassin has spent her career collecting clothing and personal artifacts with embedded histories of trauma. The work in her latest exhibition features military uniforms from all six branches of service, medical uniforms, children’s clothing, blue jeans, carved bone, and porcelain. As a United States Air Force veteran and rape survivor, Hassin’s main intention is to transform the materials she uses from her own past and the materials donated to her by fellow vets and survivors of trauma into beautiful, raw memorials of these stories. Her work invites the viewer to visually sift through the pulped materials and contemplate the history of the people who wore each item.
Link & Pin Gallery
“Rama Tiru: Beyond” — September 8 through October 1
“Beyond” is comprised of Rama Tiru’s new work and features digital, mostly surreal paintings, both full color and black and white. As a photographer, painter and author, Tiru was the “first woman industrial photographer of India.” Her images evolve from her dreams, memories, and collective experiences from the past, “Beyond” the experiences of today. She starts with a blank canvas and without a plan, she creates an organic image. When she is satisfied with one of the iterations of the image, she completes the image, then adds Augmented Reality to provide “a technological sparkle.”
Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery
“A Sense of Place: Works by Debbie Carroll” — September 9 through September 30
Initially a jewelry designer, Debbie Carroll came to painting later in life after an abstract watercolor painting class in Taos. Inspired by the landscape, she paints scenes of her travels, but is equally inspired by what she sees in her own back yard of West Texas. In this exhibit, Carroll is painting places that resonate with her — “places that reach out and beg to be painted.” Inspired by places that hold memories, a particular light or color, she wants to instill a sense of place in her paintings and to transport the viewer there.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
“Bruce Munro: Field of Light” — September 9 through October 30
Illuminating 16 acres in the Arboretum at the Wildflower Center, “Field of Light” is a display of 28,000 stemmed spheres that are subtly lit by solar powered fiber-optics showcasing the intersection of art, technology, and nature. British artist Bruce Munro is best known for immersive large-scale light-based installations inspired largely by his interest in shared human experience. Recording ideas and images in sketchbooks has been his practice for over 30 years, noting his own response to stimuli such as music, literature, science, and the world around him for reference, reflection, and subject matter. The installation unites with the outdoors, celebrating the natural topography of the landscape and creating an immersive and emotional experience for guests.
Harry Ransom Center
“Stories to Tell” — September 10 through January 29
Since 2006, actor Robert De Niro has donated his archive documenting his cinematic career, adding to the Center’s vast collection of records and objects related to landmark films in American culture. Covering many aspects of filmmaking — from scripts and production records to costumes, props, film and video — the Robert De Niro Papers are unlike any other film archive. This exhibit examines the actor's early career, from his time at the Dramatic Workshop and Stella Adler's acting classes, to the plays and films that marked his initial successes and learning experiences, to collaborations and friendships that last to this day. The display highlights De Niro's work in films including Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), Mean Streets (1973), The Godfather, Part II (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), and Raging Bull (1980), among many others. What stands out is not only De Niro's talent but also his work ethic, his resourcefulness, and his devotion and dedication to his craft.
“In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy” — September 17 through February 12, 2023
This exhibit title comes from a work by the prominent feminist artist Jenny Holzer. With works by eight female artists — Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Adriana Corral, Ellie Ga, Juliana Huxtable, Tala Madani, Danielle Mckinney, Wendy Red Star, and Clare Rojas, along with engagements by Jenny Holzer — this exhibition grapples with a range of critical issues such as societal inequities and envision pathways toward a new and better future. Confronting identity and history in ways informed by feminism and other political thought, their works evaluate systems that suppress and exclude those whose lives are not privileged within the dominant patriarchal power structure.
Visual Arts Center
“Social Fabric: Art and Activism in Contemporary Brazil” — September 23 through March 10, 2023
“Social Fabric” brings together the work of ten artists who reflect upon the long-standing histories of oppressive power structures in the territory now known as Brazil. Blurring the line between art and activism, these artists contribute to both local and global conversations about the state of democracy, racial injustice, and the violence inflicted by the nation-state. In so doing, they ask us to consider how the agendas and policies of those in power are visually articulated in public spaces and inscribed in official narratives. Rosana Paulino’s Tecido Social (2010), from which the exhibition takes its title, provides a timely roadmap to approach these ideas while inviting us to imagine anew, stitch by stitch, a more equitable future. Spanning installation, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, and video, the exhibition unfolds over five galleries.