2020 exhibition program

2020 exhibition program

Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston

(1) Mariam Ghani, What We Left Unfinished (still), 2019. (2) Stephanie Syjuco, The Visible Invisible, 2018. (3) Simon Fujiwara, Likeness, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper Gallery. (4) Phillip Pyle II, This is Houston (detail), 2015. (5) Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Notley, 2013. (6) Martine Gutierrez, Neo-Indeo, Chuj Mini Gag, PG 26 & Neo-Indeo, Legendary Cakchiquel, PG 32 from Indigenous Woman, 2018. (7) Mika Rottenberg, Cosmic Generator (still), 2017.*

February 6, 2020
2020 exhibition program
Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston
120 Fine Arts Building
Houston, Texas 77204
United States
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The Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston is pleased to announce its 2020 exhibition program, which will span a broad spectrum of voices, disciplines, interests and aspirations. Striving to reflect the diversity of both the UH campus and the city of Houston as a whole, this program marries poignant political concerns with heightened expansions of reality. It is grounded in the roots of a city and place that are perpetually becoming—employing history as a sculptural material in the re-invention of an organization that begins its next chapter.

Mariam Ghani: What We Left Unfinished
January 21—March 14, 2020
Blaffer presents Mariam Ghani’s most extensive work to date: a research, film, exhibition, and book project exploring the complicated legacy of five unfinished Afghan feature films shot, but never completed, between 1978 and 1991. In UH’s MD Anderson Library, Ghani also presents Index of the Disappeared—a physical archive of post-9/11 disappearances and a mobile platform for public dialogue conceived with artist Chitra Ganesh.

UH School of Art 42nd MFA Thesis Exhibition
March 28—April 11, 2020

UH School of Art Annual Student Exhibition
April 25—May 9, 2020

Stephanie Syjuco: The Visible Invisible
June 13—October 10, 2020
As ideas of “color” become an increasingly fallible, if no less politicized measures of assigning identity, this exhibition highlights Stephanie Syjuco’s examination of supposedly “neutral” colors and patterns. Blaffer will present multiple installations and participatory workshops orchestrated by Syjuco across the UH campus, bringing a series of fictional flags representing shadow nations to UH’s MD Anderson Library and a Speculative Dissent Laboratory to the Student Center. 

Simon Fujiwara: Everything Anne
June 13—September 19, 2020
For the Blaffer, Simon Fujiwara will present the culmination of four years of research around the phenomenon of Anne Frank. Peering into the popular mythology that has been constructed around a humble girl whose secrecy underpinned her story, he examines what Frank’s legacy and formation as a celebrity and cultural icon reveals to us about contemporary society. In addition to new works, the exhibition condenses his major work Hope House, which involved a full-scale reconstruction of the Anne Frank House, with Likeness, an uncanny life-size wax figure of Frank mediated by mechanized camera arms and 4K screens.

Phillip Pyle II
August 2020
As the fall semester begins, Houston-based artist/designer Phillip Pyle II will orchestrate a satirical marketing campaign that mines the quirks and curiosities of the university’s history. Repurposing imagery from consumer culture and contemporary advertising to historical imagery and hip-hop, Pyle builds a complex vision that derives from a comedic foundation and incisive wit. His guerilla campaign at UH will circulate across posters, billboards, lawn signs, YouTube, Instagram, and other PR vehicles—embedding quizzical moments into otherwise familiar media. 

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Comic Relief
October 10, 2020—March 13, 2021
The first major museum exhibition to survey the work of Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, tracing nearly 20 years of practice across media. After emerging in the 1990s as a member of the feminist punk Riot Grrrl movement, Zuckerman-Hartung has become a central figure in shaping current debates about painting and multidisciplinary practices. Through her layered, overwrought objects, Zuckerman-Hartung interrogates the very nature of abstract painting and its modernist origins via a roaming, queered lens. With humor and radical self-awareness, Zuckerman-Hartung creates an alternative, contemporary lexicon for articulating our interconnectedness within the world and ourselves. This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue featuring newly commissioned essays by Kate Nesin, Lisa Darms, Annie Bielski, and exhibition curator Tyler Blackwell. 

Martine Gutierrez: Indigenous Woman
November 2020—March 2021
Blaffer presents an installation of Martine Gutierrez’s most ambitious project to date. In Indigenous Woman, Gutierrez collects multiple fashion shoots into a glossy, 146-page publication that mirrors Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. Gutierrez assumes the role of editor, writer, model, designer, ad executive, and photographer, with fictional advertising and high-fashion spreads where the artist continually reinvents herself across its pages. “Indigenous Woman,” in her words, “marries the traditional to the contemporary, the native to the post-colonial, and the marginalized to the mainstream in the pursuit of genuine selfhood, revealing cultural inequities along the way. This is a quest for identity.” 

Mika Rottenberg: Cosmic Generator
November 2020—March 2021
Blaffer will present Rottenberg’s fantastical installation for the first time in Texas—connecting Houston to an unlikely tunnel system between the sister cities of Mexicali, Mexico and Calexico, the Californian town on the opposite side of the border. The tunnels lead from the Golden Dragon Restaurant in Mexicali’s Chinatown to a 99 Cents Only Store in Calexico, where, in this imaginary network, each are linked to an enormous plastic commodities market in Yiwu, China. In so doing, Rottenberg weaves documentary elements with fiction into colorful allegories about human conditions and global systems.

About Blaffer
Blaffer Art Museum is the contemporary art museum of the University of Houston. Its exhibitions and programs are always free and open to the public, striving to create community through dialogue, engagement, and participation. The Blaffer is a catalyst for creative innovation, experimentation, and scholarship, fostering collaborative opportunities across disciplines.

Lead support for exhibitions and programming at Blaffer Art Museum is provided by Olivia & Peter Farrell and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Major funding is provided by Leslie & Brad Bucher, the John P. McGovern Foundation, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Generous support is provided by Ingrid Arneberg, Cullen Geiselman, Cecily Horton, Beverly McPhail & Kevin Kulish, Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology, Bridget & Patrick Wade, and Blaffer Art Museum Advisory Board members.

For more information, please e-mail infoblaffer [​at​] uh.edu or visit blafferartmuseum.org.


*Images above: (1) Mariam Ghani, What We Left Unfinished (still), 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery. (2) Stephanie Syjuco, The Visible Invisible, 2018. Courtesy of the artist, Catharine Clark Gallery and Ryan Lee Gallery. (3) Simon Fujiwara, Likeness, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper Gallery. (4) Phillip Pyle II, This is Houston (detail), 2015. Courtesy of the artist. (5) Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Notley, 2013. Latex, housepaint, enamel, and spray paint on drop cloth. Courtesy of the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey. (6) Martine Gutierrez, Neo-Indeo, Chuj Mini Gag, PG 26 & Neo-Indeo, Legendary Cakchiquel, PG 32 from Indigenous Woman, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery. (7) Mika Rottenberg, Cosmic Generator (still), 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

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Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston
February 6, 2020

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