THE MISSION Opening a Houston Gallery

Jun 21, 2013

Houston’s art market is as hot as the temperature.

Most recent case in point: The Mission, a Chicago gallery known for its edgy eye, will open a Houston location at 4411 Montrose in October. Co-owner Natalia Ferreyra, a Houston native, said the Mission had such success at last year’s Houston Fine Art Fair it decided to establish a stronger presence here.

While the Mission is known for keeping a pulse on up-and-coming artists from Latin America, it focuses on “global platforms and universal themes of technology and process,” Ferreya said, regardless of where its artists are from. She believes her gallery will fill a niche, complimenting the work of Sicardi Gallery.

“They’ve been in the Latin American game so long; they paved the way. We’re the next chapter,” she said. “We spend a lot of time in Argentina, Peru and Colombia.”

The Mission’s stable includes Marcelo Grosman, whose large-scale, many-layered C-prints of criminal composite sketches were among the most memorable works of last year’s Houston fairs. The gallery also represents Chicago artists Adam Gondek, whose recent works obscure pornographic imagery into hazy abstractions; and Jeroen Nelemans, who makes video, sculpture and photography, sometimes riffing on Old World themes.

For the Houston opening, Ferreyra is excited to introduce the Colombian couple Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez, who carve miniature figurines in beeswax and animate them in large-scale installations. Their Houston work will feature about 250 of the figurines, each different, that will “run” across a bridge 6 feet long and 3 feet tall.

“To have a successful gallery now you have to be diverse, not only with your artists but in your programming,” Ferreyra said. “We’re very excited to be coming, and we think Houston’s ready for it.”

She won’t, however, return to the same fair (the Houston Fine Art Fair is Sept. 19-22 at the George R. Brown Convention Center), partly because the date conflicts with ExpoChicago, another event she considers a must-do, she said. Instead the Mission will be among the galleries showing at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair Oct. 10-13, also at the George R. Brown.