Bruno David Gallery | St. Louis Public Radio

Bruno David Gallery

This video still is from Yvonne Osei’s 2018 "She Wears Me As Her Armor. Watch Me Watch You. See Through Me." She is obscuring a painting called "Nymph at the Fountain" as an extension of her "Africa Clothe Me Bare" series.
Yvonne Osei

When performance and video artist Yvonne Osei arrived in St. Louis from Ghana in 2009, she noticed that everyone seemed concerned with physical appearance.

What seemed to matter was a person’s size, race and clothing, she observed, a focus unlike anything she’d experienced growing up in the Ashanti tribe. Osei, who was born in Germany, began thinking about how to use clothing to explore such issues in her work. Recently, an organization called Critical Mass for the Visual Arts gave her a Creative Stimulus award, and the Visionary Awards named her as its 2018 Emerging Artist.

Confetti hangs in an open window reminiscent of a snowglobe in Bunny Burson's sculpture
Bruno David Gallery

Early on election night last November, artist Bunny Burson looked to New York City’s Javits Center ceiling, expecting confetti to fall to celebrate Hillary Clinton becoming the nation's first woman president. But the confetti never fell.

Crushed by Clinton’s loss to President Donald Trump, Burson began an almost two-week journey to track down the confetti, which she thought would make great material for artwork.

Kahlil Irving, 24, hunches over a clay vessel as it spins on a wheel. He smooths the sides, with his face an inch or two away from the turning.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Kahlil Irving sits down to the potter’s wheel in his studio, picks up an unfinished pot, the muddled grey of unfinished clay, and begins to turn the wheel. He knows the smooth pot will be glazed, fired, and pulled from the kiln, a deep, lustrous black. 

Irving will add the pot to a growing collection of more than 700 other black vases and vessels, which he’ll arrange into a 20-foot-long table-like platform for the grand opening of Bruno David Gallery in Clayton.  Like a demonstration blocking traffic, Irving’s sculpture manifests dissatisfaction with the systemic racism he sees throughout the art world and greater United States.  

“This is like an act of protest. This is a protest, but I’m not standing outside with picket signs and yelling at you,” said Irving. “I’m yelling at you through the monument of the work, I’m yelling at you through the monument of obstructing your time and space.”

Bruno David in his empty Grand Center gallery
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

After Bruno David opened his gallery in Grand Center 11 years ago, he was a cheerleader for the area’s emergence as a major arts destination. Now Grand Center is so successful that David has to leave.

In late October, David is relocating his namesake gallery to Clayton, to a spot on Forsyth Boulevard near the St. Louis Artists' Guild. The move comes a month after inspectors deemed his Washington Boulevard location unsafe. A regularly scheduled assessment revealed that concrete walls in the back of the building were crumbling.

A previous exhibition by artist Joan Hall at Bruno David Gallery
Bruno David Gallery

Bruno David Gallery in Grand Center has closed its doors.

Bruno David said his namesake art gallery shut down because of structural concerns recently discovered in its Washington Boulevard building. The issues came to light during an engineering survey.

All upcoming exhibitions are canceled while David looks for a new location.

Review: Artists plumb their unconscious for Bruno David

Apr 20, 2016
Matisse's Window I Acrylic, oil on canvas 31 x 44 1/2 inches (framed)
Provided by the gallery

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Shakespeare’s Romeo finds hope in the candle-lit glow of Juliet at her window: “What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” Carl Sandburg used the window to symbolize hopeful waiting, while Emile Bronte used windows to suggest a limited vision, a separation between viewer and viewed.

(Courtesy of the artist)

This month, St. Louis-based video artist Zlatko Ćosić presents two simultaneous—but quite different—exhibits. In one, Ćosić closes a mournful and war-torn chapter of his life; in the other, he celebrates the mundane, lively, hidden world of a park.

William Morris
Durrie Bouscaren

When William Morris was growing up in St. Louis in the 1970s, his mother was close behind with her Super 8 camera.

Exhibit to feature paintings by Max Starkloff

Mar 20, 2015
A painting by disability rights activist Max Starkloff.
Starkloff Disability Institute

Max Starkloff was known for his work as a disability rights activist. But he also was a painter.

Later this month, several of Starkloff's paintings will be displayed at the Bruno David Gallery. Starkloff died in 2010.

Anniversary (B&D), 2012, 44“ x 57”, digital print on Somerset Velvet, edition # 1/3.   Bruno David
Courtesy of Bruno David Projects and the Artist

Heather Bennett’s photography often leads her on a quest for objects like classic cars, vintage dresses and snakeskin purses. Sometimes the props are a little stranger. During one shoot Bennett searched for a pair of brass knuckles, but had no luck.  Bennett's friend was a model for the shoot, and surprised Bennett. He offered to let her use his pair.

“I was like why do two of my friends have brass knuckles? I was a little shocked by that,” said the photographer.

Two looks of Raja
Provided by the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

As our city rocked from the upheavals of 2014, a series of quieter changes was taking place in the St. Louis art world.

Several arts organizations debuted, others expanded and a few folded. Some relocated and others featured uncharacteristic fare to appeal to wider audiences. Here’s a look at eight of this year’s evolutions in the local arts scene.

Artwork by Bill Kohn / (Courtesy Bruno David Gallery)

A new exhibit featuring the work of the late St. Louis artist Bill Kohn opens tonight at the Bruno David Gallery. The exhibition is small in number, but large in scale, featuring five of Kohn's signature colorful works painted on big stretches of canvas.

"Bill was an amazing painter," said gallery owner Bruno David. "He traveled around the world many times over and made a lot of paintings during his travel, drawings, coming back to St. Louis every time. And some of the paintings that he made, he felt that they needed to be extremely large."

Courtesy of the artist and Bruno David Gallery Yvette Drury Dubinsky. "Fig for Lunch". 2013. Mixed media on Japanese paper. 22 x 34-1/2 inches (diptych)
Provided by the artist and Bruno David gallery

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I was in the middle of writing about Yvette Drury Dubinsky’s extraordinary exhibition at the Bruno David Gallery when the gargantuan tornado of May 20 swept through Moore, Okla., reducing the town to splinters and changing forever the lives of all who lived in that place, and for anyone with a filament of empathy, changing them as well.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 24, 2012 -  Joan Hall’s “Marginal Waters” transforms the open space at the Bruno David Gallery with swooping forms and organic textures, creating sculptural water. Inspired by Hall’s passion for the ocean, the exhibit balances the artist’s task of capturing the ocean’s beauty while commenting on its contemporary man-made struggles, highlighting both its elegance and its deterioration.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 18, 2012 - We live in nasty, contentious times, but what else is new? The last time we had a non-contentious moment was in the mythological paradise of pre-apple Eden, but once the apple was tasted, contentment, peace, simplicity -- all were sacrificed in favor of knowledge, which apparently begets disorder and incivility and things entirely worse: the legacy of Cain, murder.

Review: Winter wondering at Bruno David

Dec 4, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 4, 2012 - The current exhibits at Bruno David Gallery provide enjoyable viewing for the Winter season.

In the Front Room, Shawn Burkard presents "Ye Ol Saint Nick," a large photograph of a ghastly Santa, garbage bag in hand, pouring milk gleefully onto a crumpled skeleton. The demented take on the icon of Christmas giving and joy makes sense given the current economic crisis, in which all the wrong people are rewarded while the majority of us (I believe it's around 99 percent) are burdened with the fallout.

Review: Bruno David shows connect well

Nov 21, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 21, 2011 - Charles Schwall's "Source Confluence" at Bruno David Gallery is a series of quiet, biomorphic abstractions focusing on themes of water and organic growth. Floating in matte fields of muted colors are Arp-like curving forms nesting within one another, suggesting seed pods or impregnated uteri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 31, 2011 - Bruno David Gallery rounds out its season with a fine collection of art and artists.

In the Project Room and Front Room, recent sculptures by Charles P. Reay are an absolute delight. The Front Room houses a reconstruction of Reay's studio, affording a glimpse into his working methods, influences, and a few finished works, all of which reflect the artist's playful curiosity and scintillating imagination. Shades of Charles and Ray Eames abound.

Review: 'Eyedeas' a plenty

Apr 13, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 13, 2011 - Carmon Colangelo's "Eyedeas" at Bruno David Gallery features two dozen of the prolific artist's recent prints that draw on a breathtaking array of sources, media and disciplines. They're startling to look at, full of color and multiple perspectives, written over by text and doodles, the forms exploding and imploding at once.

Review: Shmigel brings Shanghai to life

Feb 23, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 23, 2011 - Former St. Louis artist Christina Shmigel has been living in Shanghai since 2004, and since then the city has become the primary theme in her sculpture. "This City, Daily Rising," her current exhibition at Bruno David, is her first solo show here since 2005, and it's a knock-out.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 21, 2010 - There's still time to see Jill Downen's "(dis)Mantle," a temporary site-specific installation in a former chapel at the Luminary Center for the Arts.

This is one of the finest works on view in St. Louis this year.

Review: Johnson's work demands attention

Sep 13, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 13, 2010 - Kelley Johnson's show, "Recent Paintings," at Bruno David Gallery, offers a dizzying looking into spaces, both deep and shallow, punctuated by gnarled abstract structures that teeter on the brink of collapse. Johnson's forceful, confident handling of the paint demands your full attention, and rewards you with a serious case of vertigo.

The 10 canvases in this show come in two sizes, medium and large; but within those dimensional confines Johnson produces an astonishing array of formal effects.

Review: Bruno David's summer show refreshes

Aug 2, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 2, 2010 - "Recession Rejuvenations" at Bruno David Gallery is one of those breezy group shows that one sees in the summertime months: loads of works, all quite easy on the eyes, connected only by their recentness, their relatively small scale and, in some cases, affordable price tags (it is a recession, after all ...)

Review: Bruno David's summer show refreshes

Aug 1, 2010

"Recession Rejuvenations" at Bruno David Gallery is one of those breezy group shows that one sees in the summertime months: loads of works, all quite easy on the eyes, connected only by their recentness, their relatively small scale and, in some cases, affordable price tags (it is a recession, after all ...)

It's nice to see works by David's impressive roster of artists shown together; the result is eclectic and buoyant.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 25, 2010 - "Decadense," the exhibition of recent paintings by Cindy Tower at Bruno David Gallery, 3721 Washington Blvd., treats the decrepit, abandoned factory buildings around East St. Louis to even tighter gnarls and more breathless density than in her previous go-round with the subject.

Review: Downen takes a fresh direction

May 4, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 4, 2009 - Architecture and the body are mainstay themes for St. Louis artist Jill Downen. In past exhibitions, particularly the 2003 Great Rivers Biennial at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Downen seemed to infuse the existing architecture with a parasitic spirit, causing it to swell, crack and buckle like infected flesh.

Her new exhibition at Bruno David Gallery, "Hard Hat Optional," takes a different approach to the themes, one that's less site-specific, consisting of discrete structures that nonetheless cohere over issues of structure and physicality.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 16, 2009 - The Bruno David Gallery has an eclectic mix of appealing shows this month.

Missouri artist Damon Freed shows "Calm, Cool, Coherent," a collection of large canvases featuring luscious, abstract color fields bounded by notched, hard edges. They're informed by Chinese landscape painting and have the exquisite modulations of color field painters, such as Mark Rothko, or minimalists, such as Max Cole.

Review: Light and depth at Bruno David

Nov 11, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 11, 2008 - The new selection of shows at Bruno David is wonderfully cohesive, with equal parts expression and concept. In other words, there's something for everybody, and it all works well together.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 7, 2008 - In the years since its opening in 2001, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts has been a solid, if somewhat introverted, presence in Grand Center. Don’t misunderstand — the Pulitzer has reached out beyond its velvety concrete walls in some visible ways, gamely co-hosting events with the Contemporary, opening itself up in the evenings for film showings and musical concerts, and promoting contemporary art in St. Louis in coordination with other museums in town.

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.