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Arts picks, June 22-28: ‘Cats and Dogs’ at the Blanton, more this week

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Sandy Skoglund, “Radioactive Cats,” 1980, cibachrome print. From the exhibit “In the Company of Cats and Dogs” at the Blanton Museum of Art through Sept. 21.

“In the Company of Cats and Dogs.” Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Opens today and continues through Sept. 21. Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. $5-$9 (Free on Thursdays). 512-471-7324, www.blantonmuseum.org

Throughout history, humans have had a complex and ever-changing relationship with cats and dogs, to say the least.

At times, cats and dogs are our companions, alternately they are work animals. Sometimes they are as precious as family members, other times disregarded as strays. They are symbols, too, with images of dogs and cats ricocheting throughout mythology, religion, literature and even politics.

Organized by the Blanton Museum of Art with loans from museums around the country, “In the Company of Cats and Dogs” probes the various characterizations of felines and canines through numerous lenses, including anthrozoology — a new discipline that studies the interactions between humans and other animals. Also considered is the history of social movements concerned with animal welfare, child development, and hunting and land rights.

Featured are more than 160 works by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, William Blake, Francisco Goya, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Hopper, Louise Bourgeois and others. In addition to paintings and photographs, the exhibit includes Egyptian sculpture, Chinese and Pre- Columbian ceramics, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday, the exhibit’s curator, Francesca Consagra, will give a free tour of the show.

(Note: Sorry, but service dogs with their official badges are the only animals permitted in the Blanton.)

Theater

“Cosmicomics.” Sky Candy aerial dance theater presents its circus-inspired family-friendly show adapted from Italo Calvino’s beloved collection of short stories with tales about climbing ladders to the moon, the love-life of the last living dinosaur, and why the ultimate answer to the question “Why are we here?” might just be “pasta.” Dazzling costumes and live original music add to the visual spectacle of aerial acrobats. 8 p.m. Sunday-Monday; Thursday- Saturday; 2 p.m. June 28-29;. Rollins Studio Theatre, Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. $12-$22. 512-474-5664, www.thelongcenter.org.

“Punk Play.” Capital T Theatre presents Gregory Moss’ dark comedy that’s a tribute to punk rock culture and American suburban life of the 1980s. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Hyde Park Theatre, 512 W. 43rd St. $20-$30. capitalt.org.