Review: Bruno David, Philip Slein offer interesting shows | St. Louis Public Radio

Review: Bruno David, Philip Slein offer interesting shows

May 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 29, 2008 - 

At Bruno David

The three shows on view at Bruno David are definitely worth a look.

Elaine Blatt: Natural Phenomena are medium format photographs of stunning rock formations in Antelope Canyon, Arizona and Bryce Canyon, Utah, plus images of the aurora borealis in Iceland, which are truly otherworldly. It's the Antelope Canyon pictures (an example of which is below) that will stay with you though. The red ribbons of rock that soar and double back unexpectedly look positively liquid.

They segue nicely into Jill Downen's Hybrida Drawings on view in the Project Room. These are small works made by pouring liquid plaster onto paper. The dried white forms sag and swell and pool up in response to invisible forms and undergirding. Anyone familiar with Downen's larger sculptural work will recognize her interests in these drawings, particularly her fascination with the intersections of built and organic structure.

In the front room, Canadian multimedia artist Wyn Geleynse shows off some delightful -- and affordable! -- paper pieces under the title Kit 1: Collected Books (Some Assembly Required). Each piece is a small accordion-style fold-out showing the covers of books the artist has read. It's easy to get caught up in the individual book covers, especially the classic cover of Susan Sontag's "On Photography," the dynamic graphics on Henry Miller's "Tropic of Capricorn," and the nostalgic arrangement of Washington Irving's "The Sketch Book," complete with its $1.50 price scrawled across the cover. But taken together, the book covers form a wonderful miniature sculpture that would look great on a bookshelf.

  • Through July 5
  • Bruno David Gallery
  • 3721 Washington Blvd. 314-531-3030
  • www.brunodavidgallery.com

At Philip Slein

Phil Slein calls his current Landscape Show "light summer fare." He's not kidding; this breezy show even includes -- gasp! -- watercolors! But the exhibition contains more complex and conceptually loaded paintings as well, including six stunning Jeff Aeling luminist works, two large-scale 2008 oils by Yingxue Zuo, and Helene Slavin's wonderful "View of Delft (Homage to Vermeer)."

Also among the must-sees are Michael Noland's weird "Blue Glory," which might represent a flower, or might be a lake -- decide for yourself; the luminous blues of Bill Kreplin's paint-by-numbers style "Winter Scene" (2008); and Amy Enkelmann-Reed's pastoral river scenes, with Shop-n-Saves and strip malls lovingly rendered in the far background.

  • Through July 5
  • Philip Slein Gallery
  • 1319 Washington Ave.
  • 314-621-4634
  • www.philipsleingallery.com