On View Now: ‘Sublime’ Art Show Doubles as a Cozy Holiday Hangout — Take a Seat!

On View Now: ‘Sublime’ Art Show Doubles as a Cozy Holiday Hangout — Take a Seat!

Aylsworth's interactive installation at Inman Gallery

ON VIEW THROUGH Jan. 13, 2024 at Inman Gallery is Houston artist David Aylsworth’s Something Nice With Swans. It’s a charming, sublime exhibit of Aylsworth’s instantly recognizable abstract oil on canvas paintings, complemented by an installation of domestic objects and tchotchkes pulled from his studio, including a rocking chair, art books, vinyl records, and a working record player with speakers. This cozy nook is filled with clues to the origins of Alysworth’s mysterious shapes and unique combinations of colors and allows visitors to relax, put on a record, and perhaps see his paintings with fresh eyes.

The title of the show comes from the lyrics to the opening song of Stephen Sondheim’s 1984 musical, Sunday in the Park with George, a groundbreaking piece of music theater inspired by the French pointillist painter Georges Seurat’s equally groundbreaking painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. While Aylsworth’s personality and contrarian sense of humor are about as far removed from Sondheim’s tortured Seurat as one can get (Spoiler alert: There are no swans in his painting “Something Nice With Swans.”), in many of his paintings, there is evidence of a struggle, or what Inman Gallery’s press release describes as “a candid history of its own making.” As Miles Davis said, “There are no mistakes,” and if in the process of painting Aylsworth is unhappy with a stroke, he’ll just paint over it, though maybe later, go back and repeat what he had put down in the first place. But these detours, when discernable, are never distracting to the eye. Like Sondheim, Aylsworth is a master of orchestration, of acknowledging the integrity of disparate parts and the art of “putting it together.”

'Something Nice with Swans'

'Gazing Down on the Jungfrau'

On Saturday, Dec. 9, Inman Gallery will host a Holiday Open House, with light bites, refreshments, and a special hanging of recent work from several artists, including new inventory from Charis Ammon, Angela Fraleigh, Robyn O'Neil, Tommy Fitzpatrick, and Jamal Cyrus.

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