The Menil spotlights Warhol portraits of three women who defined art in Houston.
By Victor Zorn
Anytime an Andy Warhol exhibition is in town, it’s worth a visit. Even 20 years after his death, the great gay artist still incites passionate feelings from admirers and detractors. The former camp asserts that Warhol changed the way we look at art through his use of pop-culture references and his own persona. The latter camp disdains Warhol as a marketer. We fall in the first group and have driven across Texas for Warhol exhibitions.
This summer, Warholians don’t need to travel. Here in Houston, The Menil Collection presents the small but significant show Andy Warhol: Three Houston Women through August 26.
Each of the women portrayed by Warhol in serial silkscreen portraits at The Menil had an impressive impact on the arts in Houston:
Jermayne MacAgy (1914-1964), the first director of the Contemporary Arts Association, who presented groundbreaking exhibitions at that Contemporary Arts Museum forerunner and later at the University of St. Thomas.
Dominique de Menil (1908-1997), the internationally renowned arts patron and Menil Collection founder.
Caroline Wiess Law (1918-2004), the collector and longtime Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, patron and Menil Collection founding benefactor. The original MFA building carries her name.
The Menil, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has impressive holdings of Warhol work and a history of presenting major Warhol exhibitions. Three Houston Women may not count as a major show, but for Houstonians it is both impressive and historic.
The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross, 713/525-9400, www.menil.org