Today in Texas History – August 22

From the Annals of Art Spaces – In 1971, the De Luxe Show opened in the remodeled De Luxe movie theater in Houston’s Fifth Ward. The show ran from August 22 to September 29.  The Menil Foundation sponsored the show in response to a brewing controversy over the lack of opportunities for black artists.  The exhibit was notable in that it was one of the first racially integrated exhibitions of contemporary art.

The De Luxe Theater was an important part of the Fifth Ward as it provided a family-oriented alternative to residents of the neighborhood.   However, as white theaters integrated it’s business declined and was closed in 1969.   The theatre was transformed into an exhibition space in a matter of weeks by the Jones and Bynam Construction Company.

The exhibition was curated by painter Peter Bradley.  Bradley chose 40 abstract works by 19 artists including Virginia Jaramillo, Ed Clark, Larry Poons, Jules Olitski, William T. Williams and Sam Gilliam along with constructions from Alvin Loving, Richard Hunt, Michael Stiener and Anthony Caro.

Photo from http://www.thedeluxetheater.com

 

 

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