Embark on an Artistic Odyssey this Fall: Unveiling Fall Exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)

August 12, 2023

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building for modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Photograph: Richard Barnes.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is excited to announce groundbreaking exhibitions and installations this fall at the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building. From the unveiling of Simone Leigh’s monumental "Satellite" sculpture to thematic exhibitions exploring contemporary issues, the Kinder Building will become a hub of artistic exploration and engagement.

Simone Leigh, Satellite, 2022© Simone Leigh, courtesy the artist and Matthew
Marks Gallery. Photo by Timothy Schenck.
Simone Leigh, Satellite, 2022© Simone Leigh, courtesy the artist and Matthew
Marks Gallery. Photo by Timothy Schenck.

Simone Leigh’s "Satellite"

Prepare to be entranced by the monumental artistry of Simone Leigh's "Satellite." This extraordinary masterpiece, originally showcased at the 59th Venice Biennale, American Pavilion, is making its Houston debut as an integral part of the MFAH collection. As October dawns, the 24-foot-high sculpture will take its rightful place at the entrance of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building. A breathtaking embodiment of Leigh's exploration of the Black female figure, "Satellite" pays homage to Black women through symbolic vessels. Adjacent to Cristina Iglesias' water sculpture, "Inner Landscape," the setting promises to be a feast for the eyes, an artistic dance between bronze and water that will captivate all who pass by.

Teresita Fernández, Caribbean Cosmos, 2022, glazed ceramic mosaic tiles on three panels, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © Teresita Fernández Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London; Photography: Eva Herzog.

Thematic Exhibitions Unveiled: "Contested Landscapes," "Hidden Histories," and "Love Languages"

A trio of thematic exhibitions will be on display starting September 2, marking the second suite of thematic exhibitions for the Kinder Building's third floor. These exhibitions delve into the realms of painting, sculpture, photography, prints, drawings, decorative arts, craft, and design to address critical environmental, social, and political themes.

DRIFT, Fragile Future 3.14, designed 2015, made 2018, dandelion seed, phosphorus bronze, LED, and Perspex, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the Design Council, 2018. © 2015 DRIFT
    • Contested Landscapes: Discover a realm where landscapes become more than just scenery. With innovative techniques and diverse materials, artists like Teresita Fernández and Richard Long redefine landscapes through an ecological lens. Their works explore humanity's intricate dance with the natural world, confronting issues like climate change and environmental justice.
Glexis Novoa, Hidden History (Constantin Brancusi, MQ-1 Predator & Mamayev), 2010, graphite on marble, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the Latin Maecenas. © Glexis Novoa
    • Hidden Histories: Step into a world of anti-monuments where history is reimagined. Artists like Gilbert and George and Julie Mehretu use unconventional means to memorialize forgotten narratives. These works invite viewers to rethink the past and its enduring impact on the present and future.
Louis Fratino, 9 pm, 2019, oil on canvas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by Carl Niendorff. © 2019 Louis Fratino
    • Love Languages: Dive into the language of art as a conduit for love. Beyond romantic attachments, artists like Francesco Clemente and Nicole Eisenman use their craft to explore tenderness and intimacy in the face of societal challenges.

Galleries Highlights & Recent Acquisitions

The Kinder Building's second-floor galleries are undergoing a transformation to present recent acquisitions and thematic collections:

Designed by Karl Emmanuel Martin (Kem) Weber; manufactured by Airline Chair Co., Airline Chair, designed 1934; manufactured c.1939, birch, ash, and oil cloth, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by J. Brian and Varina Eby, by exchange.
    • Decorative Arts, Craft and Design: Focusing on American Design of the 1920s and 1930s, this installation encapsulates the creative era influenced by urban architecture, transportation, speed, and aesthetics. Objects by renowned designers like Norman Bel Geddes and Donald Deskey, along with acquisitions by Helen Dryden and E. McKnight Kauffer, will offer visitors a glimpse into this transformative period.
Ron Nagle, The Puddle of Love from the series Snuff Bottles, 2003, porcelain, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection, museum purchase funded by the Schissler Foundation. © Ron Nagle
    • Love Languages: This section examines how artmaking functions as a love language, moving beyond a narrow focus on eros. Through the works of various artists, including Dawoud Bey and Anna Park, the exhibition delves into the necessity of tenderness amid challenging social conditions.
Caroline Valenta, July 4, Shamrock Hotel. July 4, 1949, gelatin silver print, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Caroline Valenta's children. © Estate of Caroline Valenta
    • Photography: The revamped photography section boasts a chronological selection, featuring historically significant daguerreotypes by Alphonse Eugène Hubert and works by contemporary artists like Cindy Sherman and Gabriel Orozco. With a focus on capturing diverse eras, the exhibition showcases the evolution of the photographic medium.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Le Jockey (The Jockey), 1899. lithograph in colors on wove paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by “One Great Night in November, 1992.”
    • Prints and Drawings: This segment offers a comprehensive view of the museum's collection through various sections. "Spectacle" explores modern artists' responses to commercial entertainment in the late 1800s and early 1900s, while "Screen, Ink, Pressure" highlights the flourishing of fine-art screen printing during the 1960s and '70s, addressing its connection to social and political movements. "Paulson Fontaine Press" shines a spotlight on Isca Greenfield-Sanders' works, bridging traditional techniques with modern technology.
William N. Copley, printed by Chiron Press, published by Artists and Writers Protest, Inc., Untitled, from the portfolio, Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Vietnam, 1967, screenprint in colors on wove paper, edition 23/100, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Mr. Alvin S. Romansky. © 2023 Estate of William N. Copley / Copley LLC / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

About the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building

Dedicated to modern and contemporary art, the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building is a culmination of the MFAH's expansion efforts, offering three floors of galleries and additional exhibition spaces. Designed by Steven Holl Architects, the building is home to site-specific commissioned works by international artists like El Anatsui, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Ai Weiwei.

About the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Spanning 14 acres, the MFAH's Sarofim Campus encompasses multiple buildings, showcasing a diverse range of American and European decorative arts, photography, and modern and contemporary art. The Glassell School of Art and the International Center for the Arts of the Americas further enrich the institution's offerings. Visit to learn more.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
1001 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005
United States