Shelter in Place

Randall Mosman’s houses evoke local color and worldliness.

The Lynching House

It was a moment at which a work of art became eerily prescient. As Harvey hit, Heights Boulevard transformed into a turbulent river ready to swallow up any outdoor art nearby. But, near 19th Street, a small sculpture of a whitewashed house accessible only by a crooked ladder, raised six feet above the ground, remained standing, to the relief of the Houston artist who built it, Randall Mosman.


The sculpture, which was aptly titled “Above the Muddy Water” long before Harvey, had been selected for the Heights Boulevard Sculpture Project by Mosman’s mentor and friend Gus Kopriva, a revered Houston gallerist. An exhibit of Mosman’s paintings — some new, some old, some never shown before — will be up at Kopriva’s Redbud Gallery Feb. 3-26.

“It didn’t start until I was living in Vietnam,” says Mosman when asked about the houses in varying states of disrepair that recur in his work. “I saw these houses out in the rice fields which looked like swamps. I had this moment where it felt like being out in the bayous with my cousins. There was a connection to something I’d seen before, but in a completely different environment.”

Along with water, the history and iconography of the Deep South haunt the paintings and mixed-media works of Mosman, a New Orleans-born world traveler now based in Houston. Forests, those mysterious houses, dogs (Mosman and his wife, artist Tarina Frank, own two Peruvian Hairless dogs, Odin and Floki) and, most chillingly, dangling nooses, emerge from the layers of thickly applied oils, dirt, sticks, bits of wood, fabric and string, like memories that won’t stay buried. Though his work is provocative, Mosman is more at ease talking about his favorite Scandinavian jazz musicians than any specific “meaning” in his art.

“This is my language,” he says. “I can tell what I want to tell through that form.”

Art+Culture

AFTER A PARTICULARLY hot summer with plenty of time spent in the sun, our skin could use a refresh, and Solaya Spa & Salon knows the way to prep you for a cool fall glow.

Keep Reading Show less
Opinions

Coat and shirt, both by Gucci.

JUST IN TIME for CityBook's fifth anniversary and a fabulously full fall calendar, fashion's most glamorous houses are shaking off the austerity of darker days and serving up sensational seasonal style.

Keep Reading Show less
Style

From left: Jack's 'Constantin's Rapture,' Newsum's 'A Dark Day 19'

NICOLE LONGNECKER GALLERY'S highly anticipated fall exhibit Collected Stories, the first show at the gallery's new location in the Heights, opens on Saturday and runs through Jan. 15, 2022. It brings together recent works by two very different Houston artists: Floyd Newsum and Meredith "Butch" Jack.

Keep Reading Show less
Art + Entertainment