Terry Suprean Paints a Colorful Commentary on the Apocalypse

Terry Suprean Paints a Colorful Commentary on the Apocalypse

HOUSTON PAINTER TERRY Suprean, the founder and visual arts curator of H-Town's pioneering but now defunct nomadic art space Civic TV, which had its last major exhibition at the 2020 FotoFest Biennial before closing up shop amidst the pandemic, has a new solo exhibition up at Bill Arning Exhibitions that captures the zeitgeist of the human-induced environmental degradation of the Anthropocene. But in cheery colors.


The exhibition, titled Our Secret Sadness, runs through April 18 and is composed of a monumental tryptic along with 14 other paintings and a dual-channel video installation that seek to rethink landscape paintings in what the artists considers a moment of climate destruction.

Suprean used experimental, artist-made paints for each of the colorful pieces in this exhibition, often deploying natural pigments like mica, which gives the paintings their reflective, almost holographic effect. The end result of this painstaking and experimental artistic process are paintings that are equal part sunny and dystopic.

"When I started making these paintings, I thought of the connection between the ways a sedimentary landscape builds and the way these paintings build, and I began to see these paintings as a new way to make landscape paintings for this kind of moment that we live in —this Anthropocene, this moment of climate change," he says. "As they develop, they begin to develop these kind of horizon lines in them."

Although the pieces are carefully planned, some of what's been happening weatherwise has gotten embedded into the pieces as well. While resting in Suprean's garage-turn-studio during the snowpocalypse of a few weeks ago, the still-wet paint on one of the tryptic panels succumbed to the freezing temperatures and cracked in a similar way to the way mud cracks and splinters as it dehydrates.

Also included in the show is a dual-channel video installation, titled Category Five Reflection Pool, that builds further upon the idea of climate calamity. One of the videos is composed of grainy footage of the moon that Suprean captured with his cellphone through a telescope, and the other is a digital collage of extravagant floral paintings from the Dutch Golden Age of painting. The floral video collage is projected on a screen behind the footage of the moon, which is shown on a screen affixed to the top of a pedestal. Below both, on the floor, is a print of the floral video. One gets the idea of a reflection pool with the moon rising from its midst.

"This show is really about trying to create a space for collective mourning over what we've already lost to climate change and what we will continue to lose," says Suprean. "And hopefully through that collective mourning we reach some kind of healing and find a way forward."

Art + Entertainment
Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

Keep ReadingShow less

Ben Berg (photo by Douglas Burns)

THE NEW YEAR has already yielded its fair share of tastebud-tingling headlines — and here's a few more! From a prolific restaurateur's big announcement to a Houston institution's ambitious expansion, catch up on all the latest below.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

Wiley's 'Judith and Holofernes'

THE ENERGY IN the foyer of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Caroline Wiess Law Building is quite lively, thanks to the installation of two provocative paintings, painted 400 years apart — one by Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian 17th-century female artist, the other by Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary, Nigerian-born queer Black artist. Each depicts the grisly climax in the Old Testament Book of Judith, in which the widow Judith decapitates the Assyrian general Holofernes, thus saving her besieged Jewish city of Betulia.

Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment