Last Call: Don't Miss the Final Days of These Major Exhibitions

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Sat 9/3 - Sun 9/4 
“Highest Heaven: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art of the Roberta and Richard Huber Collection”

CHRIST DESCENDING INTO HELL, PERUVIAN, 18TH CENTURY
  • Christ Descending into Hell, Peruvian, 18th century

In colonial South America, as in other colonized regions around the world, art was a powerful means of propaganda, a devious device employing pathos and the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) appropriation of indigenous culture to win over the hearts and minds of occupied populations. In the San Antonio Museum of Art’s new exhibition “Highest Heaven: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art from the Collection of Roberta and Richard Huber,” on view through September 4, viewers can experience more than 100 18th-century colonial paintings, sculpture, furniture, ivories and silverworks. $15-$20, 10am-5pm Sat-Sun, San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100, samuseum.org. — James Courtney

Check out our slideshow “13 Highlights from SAMA’s ‘Highest Heaven’ Exhibition” here.

SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, PERUVIAN, CUZCO, 18TH CENTURY
  • Saint Michael the Archangel, Peruvian, Cuzco, 18th century

Sat 9/3 - Mon 9/5
“Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed”

DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The Witte debuts its sprawling new Mays Family Center with the Texas premiere of “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.” Suitable for archaeology buffs of all ages, the immersive exhibition combines interactive displays with a plethora of artifacts (more than 200) to educate visitors on the civilization’s major cultural accomplishments (including its famous calendar system) and provide a glimpse into the lives of ancient Mayans via authentic examples of both everyday objects and finely crafted works of art. $8-$20, 10am-5pm Sat, noon-5pm Sun, 10am-5pm Mon, Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, (210) 357-1900, mayasa.wittemuseum.org. — Kelly Merka Nelson

DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Sat 9/3 - Sun 9/11
“Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008”

STROBRIDGE LITHOGRAPHING COMPANY, THE BARNUM & BAILEY GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH / THE GREAT CONEY ISLAND WATER CARNIVAL / REMARKABLE HEAD-FOREMOST DIVES FROM ENORMOUS HEIGHTS INTO SHALLOW DEPTHS OF WATER, C. 1898
  • Strobridge Lithographing Company, The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth / The Great Coney Island Water Carnival / Remarkable Head-Foremost Dives from Enormous Heights into Shallow Depths of Water, c. 1898

Fitting for the locale that introduced the nation to roller coasters, Coney Island has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Possibly named by the Dutch in honor of the resident rabbits (or “coneys”) that once hopped its shores, the Brooklyn attraction evolved in tandem with the advent of three key amusement parks — Steeplechase Park, Luna Park and Dreamland — that lured guests with bathhouses, ballrooms, sideshow acts and spectacles ranging from elephant rides to a “Human Roulette Wheel.” Marked by devastating fires, ambitious reinventions and hefty doses of crime and prostitution, the beachfront destination earned a reputation as both “America’s Playground” and “Sodom by the Sea.”

GAMBLING WHEEL, 1900–20
  • Gambling Wheel, 1900–20

Home to the weathered wooden roller coaster the Coney Island Cyclone (opened in 1927), Charles Hermann’s iconic Wonder Wheel (opened in 1920) and the Coney Island History Project Exhibition Center (opened in 2004), the legendary landmark comes to light locally via “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008,” a touring show making the McNay its sole Southwestern stop. Organized by Connecticut’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and on view through September 11, the exhibition explores Coney Island not just as a place but as “an idea” that courses through more than 140 objects — from circus posters and sideshow banners to carousel animals and photographs by the likes of Diane Arbus and Walker Evans. $15-$20, 10am-5pm Sat, noon-5pm Sun, 10am-4pm Tue-Wed, 10am-9pm Thu, 10am-4pm Fri, 10am-5pm Sat, noon-5pm Sun, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org. — Bryan Rindfuss

Check out our slideshow 23 Reasons to Visit the McNay’s Coney Island Exhibition here.

HENRY KOERNER, THE BARKER’S BOOTH, 1948–49
  • Henry Koerner, The Barker’s Booth, 1948–49

Sat 9/3 - Sun 9/11
International Artists-in-Residence Exhibitions

JUAN WILLIAM CHÁVEZ
  • Juan William Chávez

For the summer 2016 installment of its International Artist-in-Residence cycle, Artpace turned curatorial duties over to Dominic Molon, the Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art. With a wide-ranging eye that’s informed the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s “Production Site: The Artist’s Studio Inside-Out” (an exhibition addressing the pivotal role of the studio in artists’ practice) and the touring “Situation Comedy” (an exploration of humor’s increasingly present role in the realm of contemporary art), Molon selected Andy Coolquitt (Austin), Juan William Chávez (St. Louis) and Rachel Maclean (Glasgow), who have been living and working together at Artpace since May 16.

A creative scavenger of the highest order, Coolquitt crafts impractical magic from salvage and debris (metal tubing, plastic bottles, straws, you name it) and famously turned an Austin farmhouse into a collaborative compound informed by artists, friends and strangers.

ANDY COOLQUITT
  • Andy Coolquitt

With fabric scraps strewn on the floor, shelving units and a display case filled with seemingly random findings, tables scattered with tools and hardware, Coolquitt’s Artpace exhibition “Studio Art…………………Period Room” may recall your fondest memories of thrift shopping on acid. Simultaneously disorienting and intriguing, the obstacle course-like installation draws from his previous projects and experiments as well as an admittedly odd relationship with consumer culture that involves daily trips to Home Depot. 

Employing drawing, film, photography and architectural interventions, Peruvian-born Chávez is a self-described artist and cultural activist who’s arguably best known as the creator of St. Louis’ Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary — an urban farm that cultivates community through beekeeping and agriculture on the site of a razed public housing development.

JUAN WILLIAM CHÁVEZ
  • Juan William Chávez

Upon entering Chávez's Artpace exhibition "They Didn't Know We Were Seeds," visitors are greeted with a cheery yellow camping trailer they can step inside to find grow lights, seedlings, a beekeeper's uniform and a display case filled with honey. Furthering his artistic investigations into beekeeping, the two back corners of the studio space are outfitted with a hypnotic video (depicting a beekeeper performing a hive inspection), an assemblage combining tools of the trade, and a series of drawings. Close inspection reveals a curious nod to the 1982 arthouse classic Koyaanisqatsi, which takes its name from a Hopi word meaning "life out of balance." 

As for Maclean, her artistic investigations into identity and politics play out in films, prints and photographs, in which she employs green-screen techniques, costumes and makeup to transform herself into peculiar characters.

RACHEL MACLEAN
  • Rachel Maclean

Humorous and absurd, Maclean's Artpace exhibition "We Want Data!" stars herself as emoji-inspired creatures — including a Kim Kardashian-esque cyborg with a tablet installed in her belly — navigating a bizarre, video game landscape riddled with menacing rats. Presented in a format the artist likened to billboards and tapestries, the large-scale series grows increasingly dystopian as one walks though the space.

Free, noon-5pm Sat-Sun, noon-5pm Wed-Sun, Artpace, 445 N. Main Ave., (210) 212-4900, artpace.org.


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