Visual Art | St. Louis Public Radio

Visual Art

Review: Marshall's 'Garden of Delights' blooms at CAM

Jun 6, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 6, 2013 - The front room at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) is designed for experimental projects, the artist’s new, new thing. Curator Dominic Molon encourages the kind of transformation of a confined space that we have seen in the last several CAM front room exhibitions. Artist Kerry James Marshall has turned the front room into a portal leading to his Chicago neighborhood.

Review: Lari Pittman at CAM is eye candy and much more

May 31, 2013
Lari Pittman, Seance, 2011. Acrylic, Cel-Vinyl, and aerosol lacquer on gessoed canvas over panel, 88 x 102 inches. Courtesy the artist; Gladstone Gallery, New York; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Provided by CAM

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 31, 2013: A Decorated Chronology is the accurate but meager title given to Lari Pittman’s exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum. It is a survey of Pittman’s work, yes, but it is also a survey of a half century of visual culture and to call it “decorated’ seems a massive understatement. Pittman’s paintings are the very essence of decoration.

Review: Cecilia Andre brings sunshine into Belas Artes

May 27, 2013
Art by Cecilia Andre
Provided by the artist

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 27, 2013: Brazilian artist Cecilia Andre found herself drawn to the beautiful tile that she encountered everywhere while traveling through Portugal. Her research into the Portuguese tradition of decorative tile is on display in her glimmering painted canvases, now showing for an extended period at the Belas Artes Gallery.

Review: Burn 353 slaps childhood with irony at Hoffman-LaChance

May 23, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 23, 2013 - The artist known as Burn 353 adheres clean, black and white, stencil paintings to collaged canvases. His stencil paintings feature characters that come from vintage pop culture. Classic features from Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny are scrambled to create something recognizable from childhood, but off. The most off part of these little cartoon demons is their missing, dripping, bottom jaws.

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, May 22, 2013: 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, May 8, 2013 - As industrial artist Donald Judd neared 60, his work took a new spin -- along the color wheel.

A seminal figure in contemporary art, the Excelsior, Mo., native often paired two colors. But from 1984 through 1992, two years before he died, Judd explored the rainbow. In a first-ever exhibit, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts will display two dozen objects and 30 collages and drawings from this period, in “The Multicolored Works,” opening May 10.

Review: You can help see the 'Whole City'

May 3, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 3, 2013 - Colin Kloecker and Shanai Matteson are the co-directors of Works Progress, a public design studio in Minneapolis. But for the next couple of weeks they are in St. Louis as guests of The Luminary Center for the Arts as a part of The Luminary’s ongoing How to Make a World That Won’t Fall Apart series. The collaborative month-long project, Whole City, puts St. Louis under the microscope as these two Minnesota artists take a fresh, outsider look in, that allows them to ask (as they put it) “naïve” questions.

Review: COCA show investigates local geography

Apr 11, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 11, 2013 - Meredith Foster is a local artist whose subject is local ecosystems. Her Mississippi Delta exploration bounces from wall to wall to floor in the Millstone Gallery at the Center of Creative Arts.

Review: Dramatic science meets experimental art at RAC

Apr 4, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 4, 2013 - Environmental science and studio art teachers should all take their classes to see Shifting Ground at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. Artists Ron Fondaw and Michele Ryker-Owens have filled the gallery space with wondrous things while referencing environmental events and offering “for further information…” suggestions.

Review: Dramatic science meets experimental art at RAC

Apr 4, 2013
Genius Loci by Michele Ryker-Owens
Provided by RAC | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Environmental science and studio art teachers should all take their classes to see Shifting Ground at the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. Artists Ron Fondaw and Michele Ryker-Owens have filled the gallery space with wondrous things while referencing environmental events and offering “for further information…” suggestions.

Ryker-Owen’s Misi-Ziibi is a large-scale wall hanging constructed from moss and other creeping plants. A Klimt-colored metallic river divides a bright, light and dark green topography. The silver river runs like tendrils, the mosses literally fall off the board base. It is lush and lovely.

Review: Art lighter than air at White Flag

Mar 25, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 25, 2013 - The Tony Matelli exhibit that opened recently at the White Flag Projects gallery is undeniably fun.

The installation is very unfussy. There are only five objects. But all are perpetually active, so giving them space seems advisable.

Artists at work in neighborhoods around the Loop

Mar 19, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 19, 2013 - Sami Bentil and Annetta Bentil-Vickers live on Enright in the West End neighborhood, in the former laundry facilities of ConnectCare. A large complex, the building also serves as headquarters for her office supply company and his art studio.

Sami Bentil was a budding artist when he moved from Ghana to the United States in the early ’70s. His pointillist work has been shown in Europe, the U.S. and Ghana, including a piece commissioned by the Ghanaian government for its 50th jubilee. “My American experience has been heightened by the fact that in my early years I devoted my time to [elementary] teaching,” Bentil said.

Review: Sheldon show features early works of Edward Boccia

Mar 15, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 15, 2013 - If you visited the Saint Louis University Museum of Art and caught the Edward Boccia exhibition before it came down on March 3, you owe it to yourself to stop by the Sheldon to view the artist’s earlier works found there. If you did not have a chance to see Boccia’s powerful, overflowing triptychs and large-scale paintings when they were at SLUMA, you have even more reason to take advantage of this second opportunity to explore the artist’s work.

Review: V-3 Gallery brims with life

Mar 12, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 12, 2013 - Brandon Barnes only opened Cherokee’s newest dedicated gallery space, V-3, last December and already the small space is brimming with life. The collaborative work of artists Sam Davis and Kate King make up the current His/Her’s exhibit.

The sculptural artwork on display is created through lifecasting. The technique results in three-dimensional copies of the subjects’ heads and sometimes hands. Lifecasts are remarkably realistic due to the high level of textural detail that is captured. Fine wrinkles and pores bring the sculpture such a lifelike quality that the eyes appear ready to blink.

Preview: What do we want? Spring!

Mar 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 8, 2013 - What do we want? Spring! ... When do we want it? ... Now!

Please?

The birds are on their way. The daffodils and hyacinths are waiting just below the slush. But spring is apt to take you unawares. At the Tavern of Fine Arts Spring Art Opening Celebration, spring is happening right now.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2013 - Two St. Louis institutions are teaming up to revitalize a vacant lot in the Grand Center arts district and encourage new thinking about community development. The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts have announced a competition for ideas for a temporary art installation at 3713 and 3719 Washington Blvd.

Review: Visual effects at Bruno David - delight for eyes and mind

Feb 18, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 18, 2013 - Kelley Johnson’s corpus of New Paintings at Bruno David Gallery in the Grand Center arts district will make you look twice. But if you do not spend some time up close, examining what you see, you will not actually see what is there.

In places the canvas appears to ripple. There are tears, gashes, bulges and depressions; all completely convincing when seen from a few feet of distance. To find the underlying processes is to uncover a portmanteau of precisely constructed visual effects.

Review: Let them eat cupcakes at Duane Reed

Feb 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 8, 2013 - The Misty Gamble exhibit, Abject Reverie, up now at the Duane Reed Gallery, is a treat for the eyes. The storefront installation whets the appetite with individual ceramic cupcakes, titled Succulence, hanging above and around a fete of ceramic strangeness, titled Indulgence.

Review: Multiple interpretations in McGrath's 'Dark Star'

Feb 4, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 4, 2013 - The hoodie makes repeated appearances in Daniel McGrath’s new exhibit, Dark Star, at the Good Citizen Gallery. McGrath connects this ubiquitous apparel staple with the assumption of criminal intent that many associate with a look that is appealing for comfort and low-key style.

McGrath’s masterful use of very disparate forms of artistic expression allows room for multiple interpretations of each individual artwork. Yet, the combined effect of his drawings, sculptures and mixed media works communicates a coherent message.

Review: Private and public reversed in Rachel Heim's quilted art

Jan 31, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 31, 2013 - Rachel Heim’s art quilt exhibit, Odyssey, showing now at Gallery Visio of the University of Missouri-St. Louis  reaches back through an American tradition of visual expression to make her very personal mark on the collective fiber art movement.

The word quilt often brings to mind colonial bed coverings that humbly display fine needlework. The quilting tradition also includes American 18th century broderie perse work created by appliqué of cut out motifs from printed chintz fabrics imported from India.

Review: Burton's work at Slein envelop the viewer

Jan 29, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 29, 2013 - To enter the beloved Nymphéas rooms at the Musée de l’Orangerie is to sit smack in the center of Monet’s water-lily strewn pond at Giverny. The experience is abruptly transporting, as intended by the artist. Visitors to the St. Louis Art Museum notice this powerful effect when they view the single Water Lilies panel in SLAM’s gallery 218.

Review: White Flag goes beyond 'Nothing'

Jan 25, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 25, 2013 - Curators arranging artworks in an exhibition space consider the ways art objects converse with one another: a sculpture of an axe leaning against an apple tree shifts its meaning when displayed in proximity to George Washington’s portrait.

White Flag Projects director Matthew Strauss uses the reflective properties within the eight artists’ work now on his Grove gallery walls to explain the concept of his new show Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out.

Review: All That Fort Gondo Allows

Jan 24, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 24, 2013 - Galen Gondolfi’s Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts -- Cherokee Gallery Ground Zero -- drew a delightfully diverse crowd to Benjamin Edelberg and Brandon Anshultz’s exhibit, All That Heaven Allows. Men in suits less often seen in St. Louis’ southeasterly galleries were observed. Perhaps the creative winds will draw ever-larger crowds in future.

Review: Atrium shows off new space with 'Latin Beat'

Jan 22, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 22, 2013 - Atrium Gallery’s new address offers parking in a side lot, all the CWE restaurants and bars and a great deal of wall space.

The first exhibit in the new space is titled, “Latin Beat” in recognition of an origins theme that traces all the 10 featured artists to the Mediterranean area and Central and South America. Outside of this lingual bond, there is no clear connection among the artists or their work, which includes painting, sculpture, photography, prints and mixed media work.

Review: Conceptual Art in a Conceptual Art Space

Jan 21, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 21, 2013 - Bringing to mind Churchill’s description of the Russian national interest in 1939 as “ a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” (did you know where that was from?), Christopher Chiappa’s 54-minute video Hermit Crab viewed from within the 7’ x 7’ x 9’ Isolation Room/Gallery Kit is a complex experience that raises intriguing questions about the nature of art participation.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 11, 2013 - Inside the renovated Central Library are 4 million books, CDs, maps and other items surrounded by a blend of old and new design. But the downtown jewel also boasts another kind of treasure: original art.

Local designer/illustrator Julie Heller Rosenfeld created 14 seven-and-a-half-foot-long tapestries and 17 winged images that hang and fly above shelves and hallways. The cotton tapestries, printed with eco-friendly ink, are digital collages of images pulled from the library’s collection.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 8, 2013 - The combination show featuring three local photographers and a watercolorist now at the University City Library is titled, Solitude. This title works. No humans (or animals) are depicted in the exhibition. And, therefore, the viewer is, like someone alone on a hike in a forest or meadow, provided a sense of solitude.

Review: Celebrate the Winter Art Opening at Tavern of Fine Arts

Dec 13, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 13, 2012 - This coming Friday, Dec. 14, The Tavern of Fine Arts will welcome all comers to their “Winter Art Show Opening Celebration.” The event runs from 6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. The photographic images, line drawings and mixed media canvases lining the walls are just part of delicacies lying in wait.

Review: Small gallery holds vast universe

Dec 10, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 10, 2012 - The Good Citizen Gallery is a modest art venue that is worth finding. It is just east of Jefferson on Gravios, close enough to the South Grand, Lafayette Square, Benton Park, Soulard and Cherokee neighborhoods to be a good follow-up destination after a dinner out or pre-event before drink and dance.

Review: Mad about 'Famous Fiction: Places and Things'

Nov 16, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2012 - The Mad Art Gallery is calling you. Why? Because it is, by its very nature, one of the coolest places around. Housed in a 1930s Art Deco police station, positioned just north of the historic Anheuser-Busch brewery in Soulard, the gallery is better designed than any set for theater or film noir.

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