Joseph Havel- Mend

March 1, 2018 -- Talley Dunn Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Houston-based artist Joseph Havel. Joseph Havel: Mend will open with an artist talk and  reception for the artist on Saturday, March 10th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and will be on view in the Main Gallery through April 21, 2018.

The exhibition features new works from the artist from two distinct bodies of work: The Hannah Variations and an unnamed series that is created from found objects found within a 6-block radius in San Francisco. The constituent parts of the pieces in the latter series were gathered from a place that sits at the intersection of diverse communities and socioeconomic strata. The artist describes the space as “part blend, part collision,” and this is reflected in the objects’ making.  While Havel makes the action of creation very conspicuous and each part remains identifiable, the objects become more than the sum of their parts. This juxtaposition of the disparate and, at times, irrational is a touchstone in Havel’s work.  Much of his career has been dedicated to the juxtaposition of fluidity and rigidity, of the supple and the solid. The pieces in this series seem to play more with the relationship between intimate and monumental. One of the “street sculptures” in Mend (to remember to forget), 2016-17 includes two 35mm color transparency slides. Each is supported by a piece of paper that seems to defy gravity. As one bends one’s knees and tilts one’s head to see one of the images, the scale of the image seems to oscillate. In one moment, the image is so small you must crouch to see it. The next moment, the image - through your own focus - achieves the monumentality of a drive in movie screen.

The other series represented in this exhibition is The Hannah Variations. In this series, the largest elements are either wood or bronze that has been cast from wood. Missing Daisy, 2017-18 rises gracefully in the distance, recalling a Giacometti in both silhouette and surface texture. Upon approach, however, figural qualities begin to disappear and overall form seems to dissolve into pure surface. The unique surface texture is accomplished by an unusual collaboration. The carving itself is done by Havel’s 18-year-old African Grey parrot, Hannah. Assemblage has been practiced by many sculptors including Havel, but this degree of partnership with an animal adds a level of intimacy and domesticity to the practice that can be, at times, detached from the histories of the objects it incorporates. With this series, Havel continues to push the boundaries of his own practice and sculptural vocabulary.

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1975, Havel received a M.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 1979. The artist is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2013 Texas Visual Artist as recognized by The Texas Commission for the Arts and Texas State Legislature; the 2010 Texas Artist of the Year as recognized by Art League Houston; the 2008 Dallas Contemporary Legends Award; recipient of  the 2004 Artadia Fellowship; the 1999 Cultural Arts Council of Houston Artist's Award; the 1998 American Institute of Architects, Houston, Artist's Award; the 1995 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award; and recipient of the 1987 National Endowment for the Arts, Artist's Fellowship. Havel’s sculptures and drawings are included in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis; The Menil Collection, Houston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Contemporary Arts Museum, Honolulu; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Musée Arte, Roubaix, France; S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  The artist lives and works in Houston, Texas, and currently serves as the Director of the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Talley Dunn Gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. For more information about the exhibition, please contact Meredith Leyendecker at the gallery ( or 214/521-9898) for visuals and a checklist. Concurrently with this exhibition, Kana Harada: SANCTUARY will be on view in the Project Gallery at Talley Dunn Gallery.