Just in time to begin warming you up for Valentine’s Day, the Linda Pace Foundation, in collaboration with local literary organization Gemini Ink, presents “Love Lettering.” The multi-faceted event gets its name from the primary focus of the evening, which is the premiere of a video installation by internationally recognized artist Rivane Neuenschwander and her brother Sergio. In “Love Lettering,” goldfish, adorned with “tiny banners attached to their tails bearing isolated words that express love, loss and longing,” swim back and forth within a bright blue oceanic scene. As we watch, grammatical structures form between the words, and we get the impression that we are sifting through scattered fragments of a love letter. This premiere will also feature readings that ruminate on themes of love from Alexandra van de Kamp and Diamond Mason, as well as some sultry sounds provided classical/jazz guitarist Miguel Garza. Free, 6-8pm Thu, SPACE, 111 Camp St., (210) 227-8400, lindapacefoundation.org.
Thu 2/2 - Fri 2/3
“Homage,” “The Blue Hour (A Clock Stopped),” “M*dres” & “Turning Memory”
The Blue Star Exhibition artists, June 1986
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Blue Star Contemporary welcomes 2017 with a quartet of exhibitions that look to the future with a keen eye on the past. Standing out as a likely crowd pleaser, “Homage”
promises an intriguing tribute to “Blue Star I,” a show that rose from the flames of SAMA’s canceled 1986 show “San Antonio Contemporary” and effectively inaugurated the Blue Star Arts Complex as a hub for contemporary art. Taking cues exclusively from titles and descriptions of pieces included in the show the started it all, participating artists David Almaguer, Joe Harjo, Jennifer Khoshbin, Michele Monseau, Andrei Renteria, Rainey Rabbit, Anthony Rundblade and Ed Saavedra created “new work inspired by these details,” without ever having seen the originals. One of the more mystical elements represented in Artpace’s Tex-centric 2016 exhibition “Objectives,” Jessica Halonen’s fascination with the history of Prussian Blue comes back into focus via “The Blue Hour (A Clock Stopped)”
— a solo show that sees the Austin/San Antonio-based Michigan native employing sculpture and oil on linen to “tap into the cultural and social associations the color blue evokes.” A multidisciplinary artist and recent Blue Star Contemporary Berlin Residency alum, Julia Barbosa Landois fuses semantics and serigraphy in “M*dres,”
a series of silkscreen prints examining “how gendered language reflects and structures our political and cultural attitudes towards women.” In
addition to two-dimensional works that deconstruct concepts surrounding often-loaded words like “mom” and “madre
,” Barbosa Landois’ Blue Star project encompasses video captured from a January 13 performance that satirically contrasted “the banalities of parental life with the performance artist persona, using a smartphone as mediator and monkey wrench.” A Chicago-based artist with an extensive exhibition history, John Steck Jr. evokes themes of “ephemerality, physicality, materiality, fragility and mortality” in “Turning Memory,”
which comprises images from his series Lament (Disappearing Photographs)
but also entails “two exposure boxes where the images are created during the span of the exhibition, punctuating our need to permanently document and hold a moment longer.” Free, 6-9pm Thu-Fri, Blue Star Contemporary, 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960, bluestarart.org.
Thu 2/2 - Fri 2/3
“The Full Monty/ El Mero Chile” & “Nueva York — San Antonio”
On Thursday, FL!GHT Gallery opens two exhibitions of rediscovered early works by artist Ángel Rodríguez-Díaz. In its Salon gallery will be “The Full Monty/ El Mero Chile,” an exhibition of paintings that celebrate the male figure and were created in New York between 1983 and 1992. It features Rodríguez-Díaz’s famous nude Adam, a portrait of a Caribbean man that was censored when it was exhibited in 1992. Titled “Nueva York — San Antonio,” the main gallery exhibition will shed light on the development of the artist’s technique before his arrival in San Antonio. Rodríguez-Díaz, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has called San Antonio home since relocating here in 1995 to live with his partner artist Rolando Briseño. The exhibitions at Flight Gallery precede the largest ever Rodríguez-Díaz retrospective, opening February 9 at Centro the Artes. “If I were to characterize him as an artist, the really unique, singular and astonishing thing about his work is how he used his self-portraiture as a vehicle for social commentary,” curator and art historian Ruben C. Cordova said. “He makes a critique of pollution, or fossil fuels, greed, corruption and war in the genre of self-portraiture.” Free, 6-10pm Thu-Fri, FL!GHT Gallery, 134 Blue Star, (210) 872-2586. facebook.com/flightsa.
Thu 2/2 - Fri 2/3
With “Pillow Talk,” UTSA’s Terminal 136 gallery presents a lighthearted (maybe even heart-warming) joint exhibition from artists Kimberly Aubuchon and Patty Ortiz. Each artist has prepared a unique installation that is inspired by “the famous split-screen scene premise from the 1959 Doris Day/Rock Hudson screwball comedy” Pillow Talk. Titled “Do You Feel?,” Aubuchon’s contribution uses emojis to ruminate on the way in which we experience and express emotions in the 21st century. Meanwhile, Ortiz’s installation is a continuation of her “Work Won’t Kill You” series, which investigates a host of topics related to labor, love, and the means by which we personally relate to each. In this particular piece, Ortiz employs “the ubiquitous touchscreen smartphone as a device to question the nature of language and interpersonal relationships.” Free, 6-9pm Thu-Fri, Terminal 136, 136 Blue Star, (210) 458-4391, art.utsa.edu.
Saralene Tapley's new series of self portraits addresses gender roles, sexuality, identity, mental illness, life as an artist, the absurd and the mundane. Free, 7-10pm Sat, Mantle Art Space, 714 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 971-4740, mantleartspace.com.