Jesse Lott


Jesse Lott (b. 1943)


Jesse Lott is an African-American Houston-based artist who is known for his visionary wire sculpture, paper figures, and works on paper made using found materials. Lott is one of Texas’ most respected artists and has exhibited in major museums and universities in Texas and throughout the South. His art has also been shown at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Alternative Museum in New York. His primary goal however has not been recognition and financial success, but simply to communicate true realism (Harithas, 1999). For the past forty years, his work has been grounded in an approach to art that he calls “Urban Frontier Art,” which involves the recycling of discarded urban material into art. His work expresses deep feeling and a magical sense of the mysterious other. In the words of the artist, “creativity is that part of awareness that goes beyond knowledge.” His signature sculptural aesthetic reflects a sophisticated grasp of folk art and often depicts a cast of characters including mythological beings, heroes, and ordinary people, as a way to explore the many complex dimensions of being human (Harithas, 1999). Through the lens of urban archeology, his art is inspired by the everyday, and becomes a vehicle of exchange through which viewers can re-examine their own sense of humanity and spirituality.


Born 1943, Simmesport, Louisiana



1967-1969, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA

1965, California State University, Los Angeles, CA

1963-1964, Hampton Institute, Hampton, VA


Solo Exhibitions:

2007, A Lott is a Lot, G Gallery, Houston, TX

2004, Jesse Lott Retrospective, New Braunfels Museum of Art & Music, New Braunfels, TX

1999-2000, Artscan Gallery, Houston, TX

1999, Jesse Lott: Urban Frontier Artist, Art Car Museum, Houston, TX

1998, Jesse Lott: Urban Frontier Artist, Museum of Contemporary Art, Washington D.C.

1997, Hello Again, Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA

1996, Jesse Lott: Recent Work, O’Kane Gallery, University of Houston Downtown, Houston, TX

1995, Project Row Houses, Houston, TX

1991, Lone Star Visions: Jesse Lott, Art Museum of Southwest Texas, Beaumont, TX

1991, Relics of the Future, Part Four: Evolution of Imagery, Midtown Art Center, Houston, TX

1989, O’Kane Gallery, University of Houston Downtown, Houston, TX

1989, Jesse Lott: The Pinatero Method, Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Houston, TX

1987, Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX

1982, Tower of Light, Houston Festival, Houston, TX

1977-1978, Relics of the Future, Parts One and Two, Robinson Galleries, Houston, TX


Selected Group Exhibitions 

2008, Collage – More and Less, Williams Tower Gallery, Houston, TX

2008, Houston Collects: African American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston TX

2007, Amistad: Texas Art in Peru, Museo de la Nación, Lima, Peru

2001, Contemporary Outdoor Sculpture in Meditation Park & Indoor Exhibition, Beeville Art Museum, Beeville, TX

2000, Sculpture 2000, City-wide outdoor sculpture event, Houston, TX

1999, Ex Patria, Art Car Museum, Houston, TX

1998-2000, Stop Asking, We Exist: 25 African American Crafts Artists, The Society of Contemporary Crafts, Pittsburgh, PA; also visited American Craft Museum, New York, NY; New Bedford Museum of Art, New Bedford, MA; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL

1992, Re-Creation (Art From Found Objects), Laguna Gloria Arts Museum, Austin, TX

1991-1992, The Perfect World in Contemporary Texas Art, San Antonio, TX

1991, Black Creativity in Texas, The Lubbock Fine Arts Center and the Lubbock Black Cultural and Heritage Center, Lubbock, TX

1991, Forerunners and Newcomers Revisited, Houston’s African American Artists in the Lead, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX

1990-1992, Next Generation: Southern Black Aesthetics, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC. Also visited Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA; Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL.

1990, Day of the Dead, Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Houston, TX

1989, Four Artists working in Texas, Plano TX

1989, Forerunners and Newcomers, Houston’s Leading African American Artists, University of Houston – Clear Lake, Houston, TX

1988, Texas Artists, Staten Island Art Center, New York, NY

1987, The First Texas Triennial, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX

1986, Emerging Artists of the Southwest, Studio Museum, New York, NY

1986, Saludo to the Mexican Independence, Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, TX

1984, Collision, Lawndale Art and Performance Center, Houston, TX

1982, Showdown, Alternative Museum, New York, NY

1982, Recreating the World: An Exhibition for Children, University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX

1982, Sense of Spirit, Lawndale Annex, University of Houston, Houston, TX

1981, Gun Show, Pomona Fairgrounds, Pomona, CA

1979, Impressions of Houston, University of Houston – Downtown, O’Kane Gallery, Houston, TX

1979, Fire, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX

1978, Houston/Philadelphia Exchange, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphie, PA

1976, Sculpture Exhibition, Houston Festival, Houston, TX



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