THE CONTEMPORARY ART Museum, Houston has a basketball jones.
(Courtesy of Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston)
CAMH COURT, a fully playable basketball court conformed to the dimensions of the CAMH’s Brown Foundation Gallery, designed by internationally renowned Houston artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, opens to the public this Saturday, March 18, at 11am. The day includes a Spring Community Celebration from 1-6pm and a reception following the CAMH’s Teen Council’s Fashion Show from 4-6pm.
Born in Paris, Texas, and a Houstonian since 2000, Hancock has said he believes artists possess superpowers. The pantheon of complexly rendered mystical creatures who populate his paintings, drawings and three-dimensional works — a population as varied as that of the Marvel universe — certainly attests to that statement.
Combining his fascination with action figures, board games and other children’s toys with the tropes and dogma of abstraction, Doyle’s art is intensely autobiographical and even brutal in its depiction and critique of racism, war and anti-intellectualism. It’s colorful and often very funny but pulls no punches.
In contrast, CAMH COURT is all about joy, a celebration of physicality and community, where visitors, including those under the age of 18 accompanied by a parent or guardian, are invited to check out an Adidas basketball from the museum’s front desk and dribble, pass and hook shot as Doyle’s wide-eyed, black-and-white-striped “Brickback” characters observe all of the action from baseline to baseline.
Throughout the exhibition’s run, which is timed to coincide when the NCAA Men’s Final Four lands in Houston this spring, the CAMH, Adidas and community partners will activate the court with special programming and events, including the CAMH BALL on April 29, the museum’s annual gala and art auction. (The dress code this year requires sneakers. No, we’re not kidding.)
CAMH COURT will be on view, and playable March 18-April 27.