As Deborah Colton Gallery reaches twenty years of being incorporated in the art business, the gallery reflects on select exhibitions and highlights.
In the United States, Deborah Colton started with exhibitions in public spaces, like in Two Allen Center in downtown Houston, Texas, sponsoring major contemporary Asian art exhibitions from Thailand, China and Japan in October of 2000, 2001 and 2002 to create awareness of contemporary Asian Art for the Asia Society to help start their efforts to fund a new building in Houston. Then Colton started to support FotoFest in 2002 by bringing the film Downtown 81 featuring Jean Michel Basquiat to the Angelika Film Center and an accompanying exhibition to a Pop Up Space. Shortly thereafter Colton opened a permanent space at 2500 Summer Street, which started the revitalization of that area in the arts in the early 2000's. Deborah Colton Gallery remained in that location until Colton help successfully secure that area as a First Ward Arts District, which is now one of the largest artist studio areas in the United States today. Since 2008 Deborah Colton Gallery has been at 2445 North Boulevard in the Upper Kirby - Museum District. Since the gallery's earliest exhibitions Deborah Colton Gallery has always paved the way to help positive things happen for Houston in the future.
In the 2500 Summer Street, Deborah Colton Gallery brought video and futuristic Sci-Artists like Suzanne Anker and Michael Rees to Houston in 2004, at a time when the city was not showing much video or digital interactive works yet. Examples of this in 2004 were Deborah Colton Gallery exhibitions like Integrating Digital Consciousness and Touch & Temperature: Art in the Cybernetic Totalism that included pioneers in digital art and top artists like Manfred Mohr from Germany and Yael Kanarek and such futuristic artists like Matthew Barney from New York. In 2005 Deborah Colton Gallery debuted in Houston The Godfather of American avant-garde cinema, Jonas Mekas, in the solo exhibition Film Framed, and at the same time started the movement to revere Houston art history through representing the Estate of Suzanne Paul. In 2005 also, the gallery introduced the Warhol Factory’s Ultra Violet to Houston in the New Cartoon exhibition and then gave Ultra Violet a solo exhibition in 2006.
In September of 2006, Deborah Colton Gallery organized and sponsored the historical WORD exhibition which was a fusion of the original conceptual and fluxus artists, including Jenny Holzer, Jospeh Kosuth, John Baldessari, Lawrence Weiner, Ben Vautier, Douglas Huebler, Martin Creed and 22 others. As part of this exhibition, Colton sponsored the public space texted-base art installation of Yoko Ono's IMAGINE PEACE billboard that she displayed on I-45 South going into downtown, which made the statement worldwide that not all of Texas was for war. Shortly thereafter, Colton helped organized Michael Somoroff's Illuminations sculpture to be placed on the Rothko Chapel grounds for several months, to further support international peace. Bringing Somoroff's works and many Sci-Artists to the first Abu Dhabi Art Fair as the only United States gallery who exhibited that year, this messages of promoting international peace prevailed in 2007 and still continues through many of the artists that Colton shows at the gallery.
By 2007 China was expanding rapidly and was in the forefront of international contemporary art. Deborah Colton Gallery debuted exhibitions and performances from Chinese internationally acclaimed artists like Han Bing, the Gao Brothers, XU Yong & YU Na in China Under Construction and various solo exhibitions in the heat of the Chinese contemporary art movement. When the Middle East contemporary art scene broke open, Deborah Colton Gallery brought exhibitions from this region to Houston, like Qatar Narratives in 2008 and many exhibitions of provocative art from the Middle East and Arab world in the last decade since then. Russia’s strong presence in the art scene has been a focus of Deborah Colton Gallery also, with the gallery representing top artists Oleg Dou, Olga Tobreluts and Ivan Plusch.
Touching on universal spirituality with exhibitions like Visions in the spring of 2017 brought artists like Satish Gupta and Amita Bhatt from India to the gallery. Revering the past, yet reaching far beyond all of us is exemplified by artist like Lowell Boyers, Angelbert Metoyer and Susan Plum. Exhibiting early feminist artists like Mary Beth Edelson and then art that addresses social, human rights and humanitarian issues like Jay Rusovich, Frank Rodick and Molly Gochman has been part of the gallery programming also. A focus on Pop Art and the cartoonist work that was coming out of Williamsburg and DUMBO, Brooklyn scene has been a focus since 2003, including artists more recently like Noriko & Ushio Shinohara (“Cutie & the Boxer”).
Since 2013 especially, Deborah Colton Gallery has had a strong focus on establishing HOUSTON FOUNDATIONS which reveres Houston’s artistic roots to help the city build on this to become a strong destination city of the arts in the future. The Gallery’s Foundations I which was Suzanne Paul’s PROOF exhibition and Foundations II, Focus on the 70’s & 80’s, including the Foundations Symposium Series in 2017 Series and Identifiably Houston: Foundations III in 2018 exemplify this. Many of these artists which Deborah Colton Gallery represents are featured in these exhibition, including Ann Harithas, Forrest Prince, Dick Wray, Jesse Lott, Sharon Kopriva, Earl Staley, Don Redman, Virgil Grotfeldt and Bert L. Long Jr. Deborah Colton Gallery has the permanent HOUSTON FOUNDATIONS ROOM which highlights Suzanne Paul’s photography of the Houston art scene plus excerpts of the video Lee Benner created from our Houston Foundations Symposium Series.
Additionally, Deborah Colton Gallery has hosted hundreds of visual and performing art and humanitarian non-profit benefits over the years and has helped raise millions of dollars for these worthy organizations. Making a positive contribution to society has always been an important part of Colton's long-term dedication and commitment.
Respecting our past, being aware of our current environment and looking far beyond into the future has always been part of the vision of Deborah Colton Gallery… The mission statement has been the same since our first exhibitions. Deborah Colton Gallery is founded on being an innovative showcase for ongoing presentation and promotion of strong historical and visionary contemporary artists world-wide, whose diverse practices include painting, works on paper, sculpture, video, photography, performance and conceptual future media and public space installations. The gallery aspires to provide a forum through connecting Texas, national and international artists to make positive change.
2009 expansion included the identification of OUTPOST NYC DCG.
www.outpostnycdcg.com More projects are being planned for 2019 and 2020.