Your Guide to Houston’s Best Visual Arts Events for the 2021-22 Season


A painting by Alexander Calder

Photo: Courtesy of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts

Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s famous portraits of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, coming to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in March, are perhaps the most spectacular of the new season, but s please don’t wait that long. Georgia O’Keeffe, Picasso, Monet and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg await you, not to mention a succession of fascinating exhibitions from Lawndale to Galveston.


Sept. 10-Jan. 23 — “Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s”: Shooting of female paintings and sculptures from the crucial decade of the Franco-American artist. Ménil main building.

Sept. 17-Dec. 19 — “Kapwani Kiwanga: The sand recalls the shadow of the moon”: Two immersive installations by a Paris-based artist examine the effects of trade and labor on the environment, society. Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University.

Sept. 17-Jan. 15 — “Emily Peacock: die of laughter”: A Houston-based artist explores how we use humor to deal with tragedy. Lawndale Center for the Arts.

Sept. 17-Jan. 15 – “Bria Lauren: Gold Was Made For Her”: Tribute to the women of Houston’s Third Ward. Lawndale Center for the Arts.

Ends September 19 — “Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Debut”: A Texas Southern University professor explores black identity and cultural hybrids. Blaffer Museum of Art.

Closing on September 19 — “Dream Monuments: Drawing in the 1960s and 1970s”: The exhibition planned by the founders of the museum subverts waking life. Menil Drawing Institute.

Closing September 19 — “Monet to Matisse: Impressions of Modernism from the Bemberg Foundation”: On loan from Toulouse; only American place. MFAH.

Closing September 19 — “Olga de Amaral: To Weave a Rock”: The radical fiber experiments of a Colombian artist. MFAH.

Closing September 26 — “Ernesto Neto: SunForceOceanLife”: Interactive trails suspended in the air. MFAH.


Oct. 2-Jan. 8 “Copy culture: created and shared zines”: Examining pre-internet (but still existing) lifelines for marginalized communities. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC).

Oct. 2-Jan. 8 — “Later, longer, less: the work of Jennifer Ling Datchuk”: Porcelain sculptures, large-scale installations and video question female stereotypes. HCCC.

Closing October 3 — “Cauleen Smith: We already have what we need”: The LA multimedia artist urges kindness and sustainability. Houston Museum of Contemporary Art.

Ends October 3 — “Nastassja Swift: Canaan: When I Read Your Letter, I Feel Your Voice”: The Virginia artist’s installation/performance evokes his incarcerated brother. Galveston Arts Center.

Ends October 9 — “In Residence: 14th Edition”: Works on paper, metal, clay, fiber and stone. HCCC.

Closing on October 17 — “Resisting: Latin Art in Times of Conflict”: Multimedia works by over 100 local artists. Houston Holocaust Museum.

Oct. 17-Jan. 23 — “Georgia O’Keeffe, Photographer”: Nearly 100 images from the archives of the modernist pioneer. MFAH.

Closing October 24 — “Jagdeep Raina: Bonds”: Stories and scenes from Kashmir, Punjabi diasporas. Blaffer.

Ends October 24. “Martine Gutirrez: Radiant Cut”: A non-binary Guatemalan-American artist explores the meanings of beauty and glamour. Blaffer.

October 29-March 13 — “Drawing Like a Machine: Pop Art, 1952-1975”: The cartoonists synthesize the mass media, major movement advertisements. Collection of drawings by Ménil.

October 29-March 13 — “Spatial Awareness: Drawings from the Permanent Collection”: imaginative ways of visualizing space, from the mid-1900s to today. Menil Drawing Institute.

Oct. 31-Jan. 30 — “Calder-Picasso”: The artists’ grandsons are organizing a retrospective of the giants of the 20th century. MFAH.


Ends November 14 — “Ryan Hawk: Twisting Intrusion”: Silicone sculptures and a film installation explode notions of power and privilege. Galveston Arts Center.

Ends November 14 — “Enchanted: Visual Stories from the Central Andes”: Textiles, ceramics and images from Peru after 1700. Ménil main building.

Closing on November 19 — “Modern and contemporary at the Ménil”: Calder and Mondrian lead a dizzying array of summaries. Ménil main building.


Dec. 10-May 29 — “Close-up on the collection”: Photographs of Bruce Davidson’: America’s sharp eye for ‘worlds in transition’. Ménil main building.

Closes on December 31 — “Contact currents”: Inaugural installations at the brand new Kinder Building. MFAH.

Closing December 31 — “Art of Islamic Lands: Selections from the el-Sabah Collection, Kuwait”: Around 250 pieces from the 8th to 18th centuries. MFAH.


Ends January 2. — “Van Gogh: the immersive experience”: Immerse yourself in the digitally recreated world of the Dutch Post-Impressionist. Mark’e Entertainment Center.


February 12-April 30 — “2021/22 Artist Studio Program Exhibition”: With Ryan Crowley, Jamire Williams and Loc Huynh. Lawndale Center for the Arts.


March 11-July 22 — “Notorious RBG”: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”: an interactive tribute to the Supreme Court’s late justice and civil rights hero. Houston Holocaust Museum.

March 25-Sept. 18 — “Méret Oppenheim: my exhibition”: First American retrospective of a unique Swiss artist in 25 years. Ménil main building.

March 27-May 30 — “The Obama Portrait Tour”: See iconic images of Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald up close. MFAH.


April 22-August. 7 — “Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw”: Fantastic landscapes by a self-taught American artist. Menil Drawing Institute.


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