Solution at Diverseworks

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Currently on view at DiverseWorks in Houston, TX is a group show entitled Solution. Often, but not always, group exhibitions are classified within the hierarchy of the contemporary art world as, well, much less important/prestigious/notable– you pick the adjective– than solo shows, but sometimes a group show is actually an explosive culmination of nearly everything and everyone that keeps us interested in art. Such is the case with Solution. In its last week (on view until April 18th), Solution features the work of Nina Katchadourian, Jeffrey Gibson, Christopher K. Ho, the performance collective My Barbarian, Jeanine Oleson, Joseph Smolinski and Michael Waugh. Curated by Janet Phelps, whose resume includes conceiving the NADA Art Fair, the exhibition is a manifestation of work made by artists whom Phelps saw as investigators of progress throughout their varied bodies of work created over the years. This somewhat loose curatorial theme gave way for these artists to create or display work that is made in every medium imaginable and which speaks precisely and broadly to all manner of social, political, geographical, anthropologic and art historical ideas.

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Christopher K. Ho is showing three works, including the split-screen projection Lesbian Mountains in Love, wherein he deals with “a closer look at temporality” creating a playful, yet heart-wrenching love affair between between Mount Rainier and El Popo (an active volcano in Mexico City). Ho gives voices to the two great natural wonders through texts borrowed from novels of Nicholas Sparks.

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Jeanine Olsen’s work includes documentation from her recent public art project The Great New York Smudge, in which she attempts to “smudge”, or cleanse, the city of negative energy, by burning sage in historic proportion and waving it about.

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Joseph Smolinski shows a new animated video and drawing entitled Taking Back the Jetty, based on pressure by oil companies who want to drill near Robert Smithson’s 1970 work Spiral Jetty in Utah’s Great Salt Lake.