Beyond the Bio: Cindy Lisica Gallery

Beyond the Bio is a series that takes you past the canvas and into the minds of the artists and curators who build the contemporary arts community.

Houston-based Cindy Lisica Gallery will be featured at Art City Austin: Art Alliance Austin’s 3-day art fair from March 31st – April 2nd at the Palmer Events Center.

Gallery Name: Cindy Lisica Gallery

LocationHouston Museum District

What prompted the start of Cindy Lisica Gallery?

Art has been ever-present in my life as a means of expression and connection to the past, present and future. After many years of moving about the planet, working as an independent curator and in museums including The Andy Warhol Museum, MOCA Los Angeles, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Menil Collection, I had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of brilliant artists, academics and curators. About four years ago, I found a great spot for my first gallery in Pittsburgh. Revision Space worked with talented emerging and mid-career artists to create meaningful and experiential exhibitions and participated in art fairs from coast to coast. A couple of years later I relocated to Houston and opened Cindy Lisica Gallery at 4411 Montrose in January 2016. The rich cultural fabric in this city allows the gallery to introduce and nourish fresh visions, and to grow (and grow with) the arts in the region. It’s always both challenging and rewarding to be constantly engulfed in my passion and sharing it with others. TX has been beyond welcoming, and we’re excited to be here.

What services and products do you offer?  

We exhibit local, regional and international contemporary art in various media, including painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media or installation.

What guides you in selecting artist to represent? What qualities do you look for?

We represent and look for artists with depth and dedication to their studio practice, and they bring this knowledge and experience to their work. The artists have the confidence to dive into experimentation and new methods, yet also have a solid understanding of their practice and chosen medium. We also have a particular interest in hybrid processes and layered work, whether that is through physical texture or more conceptual concerns.

What new artists are you excited about today?

We are excited about all of our artists including those we have yet to show. For Art City Austin, along with big name internationals like PURE EVIL, we are highlighting a select few of our current artists who’ve had wonderfully successful solo exhibitions in the last year. University of Houston MFA graduate Jennifer McClish uses everyday materials combined with archival varnish and glow-in-the-dark paint on her oil and acrylic paintings and sculptures to create intense and playful works that propel the mind into outer space. Catherine Colangelo, a TX native with a BFA in Painting from The Cooper Union in NYC, gives nod to traditions that existed long before our time. Her vibrant and unusual works currently explore the idea of shields, or protective objects, seen to act as talismans or charms which ward off evil. They also encompass the values of motherhood and evoke the role of protector that one must assume over her children. Sculptor Ron Ulicny, previously based in Portland and Los Angeles for the last twenty years before settling in Austin, creates sculptural compositions that are carefully selected, finely crafted, altered, polished, and then constructed (and, in some cases, reconstructed) using all sorts of interesting materials. Jamie Earnest is an incredibly talented young artist. A recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she was selected for a prestigious painting fellowship at Yale Norfolk in 2015. Her collage-based paintings depict actual interiors, and those of the mind, by referencing imaginary spaces and real places from her travels, dreams and childhood memories.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about buying their first piece of serious original art?  

Buy what you love, and you can’t go wrong. Art brings you something that nothing else does — it communicates and gives back to you everyday as you live with it. Artwork can surprise you later when you notice a visual element for the first time, and it can bring  new ideas and conversation to your life and home. Buying art also allows you to connect to artists and the art world on the long-term as you develop relationships with and follow the careers of artists and galleries.

Cindy Lisica Gallery opened at 4411 Montrose in Houston’s Museum District in January 2016. The gallery is Lisica’s second location after the successful run of Revision Space, an innovative storefront gallery in Pittsburgh’s Art & Design Zone. Over the last 15 years, Cindy Lisica, who is also a PhD art historian, has taken her curatorial work and research to cities such as Paris, New York, Miami, London, Marseille, Berlin, Helsinki, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo. In addition to championing artists’ careers through gallery shows, she has worked in museums including The Warhol, MOCA Los Angeles, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, and the Menil Collection. The gallery is interested in exposing emerging and mid-career artists who are about to make their mark in the future of art history.

Keep up with Cindy Lisica Gallery on her website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Beyond the Bio is curated by Art Alliance Austin, with the assistance of Scott Nyerges.