8 Austin Art Exhibits That Will Touch You This February

Warm up and invigorate your artistic ambitions this month with a host of stellar exhibitions and installations to choose from. The works of Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz are shown for the first time in the United States with his “Invisibilia” exhibition of photography collaged with drawings, paintings, videos and sculptures at Blanton. A print fair like no other takes place at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, and the reopening of a much-loved Austin installation, James Turrell’s celestial space, returns to earth at the University of Texas. It’s definitely a good time to fall in love with Austin’s art scene all over again.

Camiba Gallery
“Zoe Shulman: Neuroplastic”
Now until February 26
“Neuroplastic” includes a series of paintings, drawings, metal prints and animations by Austin-based artist Zoe Shulman that use geometric abstraction “to explore the intersections between psychotherapy, psychedelic medicine and art therapy”. While undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy and clinical ketamine treatments, the artist created these idiosyncratic works of art as transformational stepping stones in her personal healing journey through PTSD and depression. All in all, the artist’s unique language reveals the deepest existential affirmations of his spirit, his self-evident truths and his spiritual transcendences.

Dougherty Arts Center
“Amar Gupta: Isolate”
Now until March 5
Amar Gupta’s contemporary abstract series ‘Isolate’ challenges the limits of the photographic medium by distorting images through precise manipulation of color gradients, breaking the boundaries of normalcy. The desired outcome is for the viewer to discover a seamless connection between the essential mediums of painting and photography to unearth the impressions caused by the prevalence of creativity over media constraint.

The visual arts center
“Sleep Spaces / Sleep Spaces”
Now until March 12
Confronting the legacies of painting through a reconsideration of conventional modes of presentation, “Sleep Spaces / Les Espaces du Sommeil” is a collective exhibition featuring works by Corentin Canesson alongside contributions from 37 other artists. “Sleep Spaces” takes its name from a poem written between 1919 and 1929 by the influential French surrealist poet Robert Desnos. Canesson’s paintings are often witty and ironic, evident in his playful and ironic choices of subject matter, such as anthropomorphized animals and passages of text taken from canonical works of art and popular culture. Music is also at the heart of his practice and present throughout his collective work.

Wally Workman Gallery
“Molly Smith: solo exhibition”
From February 5 to 27
Molly Smith is an American post-war and contemporary artist born in 1976. She has exhibited her works in New York, Stockholm, Tokyo and London. This is her first show with Wally Workman. His intricate and realistic pencil drawings inspire admiration for his technique as well as the complexity of nature itself. Smith currently lives and works in Austin.

PrintEXPO at Blue Genie Art Bazaar
“PrintAustin’s Annual Art Fair”
From February 11 to 13
Discover over 60 participating artists and galleries, live demonstrations and steamroller printing. The event kicks off on Friday, February 11 with the Printmaker’s Ball, a fundraising event and VIP experience that gives guests a chance to meet the artists and get a first look – and dibs – at the works on display. It’s an impressive lineup of print studios, from ICOSA to Flatbed and UT Austin Print to Texas A&M. If you love printmaking, this is the Super Bowl of print shows.

Landmarks at the University of Texas at Austin
“James Turrell Skyspace, the color within”
Reopening February 14
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, cultural gem and popular installation “The Color Inside” reopens to the public. Closed since March 2020 in response to the pandemic and for necessary conservation and maintenance, this self-contained naked-eye observatory in the heart of UT’s campus reveals a pre-programmed sequence of light that fills the space with brilliant washes of colors at every sunrise and sunset. Thanks to the masterful manipulation of light by James Turrell, the sequences make the sky appear in unimaginable hues. Songs in the Skyspace, Landmarks’ monthly music series, will also resume on February 20 with a performance by the classical guitarist Judge Phillips.

Georgetown Art Center
“Madeline Irvine: Hold Fast”
From February 18 to March 20
“Holdfast” is an elegy and homage to giant kelp forests, or “cathedrals of the sea”. These kelp forests — which can grow up to 175 feet tall — are one of three ecosystems that support much of the world’s young marine life. Madeline Irvine is a multidisciplinary artist who focuses on the natural world, past, present and future. Using an open range of media, she works on abstract installations that focus on the beauty and individuality of the world’s ecosystems, especially those impacted by the global climate crisis.

Blanton Art Museum
“Oscar Muñoz: Invisibility”
From February 20 to June 5
“Invisibilia” is the first retrospective of the work of Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz in the United States. Since the late 1980s, Muñoz has sought to reinvent the medium of photography, creating hybrid works that combine photographic processes with pieces of drawing, painting, printmaking, installation, video, and sculpture, as well as as interactive works. He diverts photographic processes to underline the intrinsic fragility and transitory nature of the image. He points out how opening the aperture to light instantly transforms the present into the past, life into memory, and an unstable image becomes indelible in our imagination.

Julia P. Cluff