Rites of Spring (Outside the Lines series) at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2014. Photo by Paul Hester.

Installation view of Rites of Spring (Outside the Lines series) at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2014. Photo by Paul Hester.

Past Exhibition

Rites of Spring (Outside the Lines series)

January 11, 2014 - March 9, 2014
Nina and Michael Zilkha Gallery


In 1913, when Igor Stravinsky’s legendary ballet and orchestral work The Rite of Spring premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, its audience found it so avant-garde and unfamiliar that they nearly rioted. What they saw positioned familiar elements and tropes in an entirely new, and perhaps disconcerting, context. So close and yet so far. 

The bewildering sensation of recognizing the foreign in the familiar and the familiar in the foreign is at the heart of the exhibition Rites of Spring. Taking stock of the tension between abstraction and representation, Rites of Spring juxtaposes abstract paintings that make room for bodies with photographs that could be described as ‘painterly.’ To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut, the easiest way to bring a scene into focus is to put a figure in it. Anchoring abstract painting with figurative elements, and using the straightforwardly representational medium of photography to create abstract images, Rites of Spring makes the case that abstraction isn’t solely the territory of painting. 

Artists in Rites of Spring are Michele Abeles, Lucas Blalock, Chris Cascio, Abigail DeVille, Nicole Eisenman, Josh Faught, Robert Melee, Troy Michie, Ulrike Müller, Jennifer Packer, Joyce Pensato, David Reed, Mariah Robertson, Eileen Quinlan, Pinar Yolacan, and Brenna Youngblood.


Rites of Spring (Outside the Lines series) is organized by Dean Daderko, Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.


Outside the Lines has been made possible by the patrons, benefactors and donors to the Museum’s Major Exhibition Fund: Major Patron -Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Fayez Sarofim, and Michael Zilkha. Patrons – Carol C. Ballard, Mr. and Mrs. I. H. Kempner III, Ms. LouisaStude Sarofim and Mr. Wallace Wilson. Benefactors – George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, Louise D. Jamail, Anne and David Kirkland, KPMG, LLP, Beverly and Howard Robinson, Andrew Schirrmeister III and Leigh and Reggie Smith. Donors – A Fare Extraordinaire, Anonymous, Bank of Texas, Bergner and Johnson Design, Jereann Chaney, Elizabeth Howard Crowell, Dillon Kyle Architecture, Sara Paschall Dodd, Ruth Dreessen and Thomas Van Laan, Marita and J.B. Fairbanks, Jo and Jim Furr, Barbara and Michael Gamson, Brenda and William Goldberg, King & Spalding L.L.P., Marley Lott, Belinda Phelps and Randy Howard, Phillips, Lauren Rottet, Susan Vaughan Foundation, Inc., and Karen and Harry Susman.

Extended Media


Outside the Lines series