Army Propagandist Turned Climate Champ HJ Bott, a Math-Minded Texas Legend, to Be Featured at Tish

'Late Current,' 2017

NEXT MONTH THE Anya Tish Gallery will present a retrospective work dating back to the 1970s of Houston-based arts legend HJ Bott, known for his interesting background — he created propaganda on behalf of the U.S. Army in Europe in the '50s — and for his colorful geometric abstracts, grown out of mathematical exploration of techniques and meant as political commentary.


"He has always been ahead of his time, sketching and melding formulas, challenging the aesthetic foundations of art, and influencing future generations," said a rep for the gallery.

The show, HJ Bott: a Baroque Minimalist, will be Tish's fifth solo exhibition of the Texas artist, who's been making art for more than 60 years. The exhibit will run Oct. 23-Nov. 27.

"Methodical yet intuitive, this body of work, stemming from a self-created system, displays the artist's signature geometrically abstract shapes of rich and textured surfaces," notes the gallery. "Making his own polymer vinyl paints, Bott's use of this industrial material gives the work an arduous layer, while color and movement give a sense of playfulness that speaks to the inventive nature of the work.

'Candy's Dandy, But…,' 2010

"Throughout his prolific career, Bott has engineered countless combinations of shapes and patterns," the gallery rep adds. "But there has always been an underlying visual system that is based in quadrants, grids, and circles.

"Bott has shown his work in hundreds of exhibitions, ranging from a bus station in Utah in 1952, to major galleries, art centers and museums in New York, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Dusseldorf and Mexico City."

In comments last year, Bott, now in his late 80s, explained that calling himself a baroque minimalist "is not a contradiction of terms." The artists noted that the concept goes back to his early days as a young artist "exploring techniques, materials, color, light, textures, and themes, always steeped in political rants."

He said the work ultimately about "making marks, most specifically about our disregard of environmental damages to air, water and the planet."

Art + Entertainment
Kids’ Meals’ Beth Braniff Harp Leans into Bold Goals for 2022: ‘Imagine the Difference We Can Make’

Beth Braniff Harp, CEO, Kids’ Meals, Inc.

WHAT IS THE secret to running a successful business in times such as these? The secret is flexibility and a positive attitude, and as a leader modeling both of those attributes. A business has to accept the challenge at hand, and enlist the support and guidance of their leadership and staff, while creating a strategic plan to pivot to meet immediate needs. For Kids’ Meals, during the pandemic, the need for our services for food-secure children and their families tripled almost overnight. The challenge before us looked like climbing Mount Everest! We made a decision as an organization not to turn anyone away who applied for services. This meant adapting our model to be “Covid safe,” mobilizing more volunteers to assist when there was not enough staff, strengthening relationships with our social service partners, and literally changing all aspects of food delivery for food-insecure families.

Keep ReadingShow less

Carl Hahn, Leisa Holland Nelson Bowman and, Bob Bowman

TWO CAUSES OF utmost importance to Houston were celebrated at a single event: At its annual gala, Virtuosi of Houston, an orchestra comprised of young musicians, honored the city’s healthcare heroes.
Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment

Lisa Malosky, Kaye Lani Rae Rafko-Wilson and Aida Matic

THE 21ST BUTTERFLY Luncheon, benefiting Houston Hospice and its pediatric Butterfly Program, featured a moving testimony by Kaye Lani Rae Rafko-Wilson, a former Miss America and a hospice nurse.

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places