Current Shows

Ivy Cooper encapsulates the St. Louis art scene

Inside Out Loud: Visualizing Women's Health in Contemporary Art Now that the hoopla is over -- the opening forum with its cast of art-world luminaries, the Todd Haynes Superstar screening that wasn't -- we can settle in and appreciate Inside Out Loud for what it is: the first exhibition devoted to images dealing with women's health. Smartly curated by Janine Mileaf of Swarthmore College, this broad (ha!) survey offers something of everything, from personal narratives about living with cancer (Hannah Wilke) to Orlan's cosmetic-surgery performances to cautionary agitprop by Gran Fury, Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger and beyond. This being the first exhibition of its kind, it tries to cover a lot of ground, and it largely succeeds. A watershed show that ought to engender plenty of interesting, perhaps more tightly focused exhibitions elsewhere. Through April 24 at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (in Steinberg Hall on the campus of Washington University), Forsyth & Skinker boulevards; 314-935-4523. Gallery hours 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tue.-Thu., noon- 4:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

Perret and Le Corbusier: A Dialogue in Reinforced Concrete Who knew concrete could make for fascinating viewing? In the hands of architects Auguste Perret (1874-1954) and Le Corbusier (1887-1965), this most mundane of building materials is transformed into expressive, space-shaping form. The exhibition itself isn't particularly pretty or inviting, consisting primarily of a bunch of photographs, dense text panels, placards and even samples of the varieties of concrete these progressive architects employed (yes, there's more than one kind of concrete). But the photographs capture the marvelous forms and textures that Perret and his onetime apprentice, Le Corbusier, achieved in public and private buildings throughout the world. Perret's wonderful apartment building at 25 Bis Rue Franklin (1903-04) in Paris uses concrete to make the building's structural frame visually explicit, while in Le Corbusier's later works, such as the church at Ronchamp, France (1950-54), the concrete takes on a muscular malleability. These images will spark a new appreciation for the Sheldon's concrete neighbors, the Pulitzer and the Contemporary. Through April 16 at the Bernoudy Gallery of Architecture, Sheldon Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900. Gallery hours noon-8 p.m. Tue. and Thu., noon-5 p.m. Wed. and Fri. and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.

The Wall Ball Preview Show Here are works by twenty artists who participated in March 12's Wall Ball, the South City Open Studio and Gallery's annual art-making and -buying extravaganza. In spite of the loose logic behind the roster, the works hang beautifully together, as if the entire affair had been years in the planning. Standouts include Kim Humphries' digital prints on ceiling tiles; three small encounter paintings by William LaChance; and a trio of heartbreakingly fragile maplike drawings by Sarah Giannobile. Also included are works by Alicia LaChance, Craig Downs, William Christman, Nate Abner, Lyndsey Scott, Janice Wallace, Chris Moreland, Charles Houska, Keith Buchholz, Christopher Gustave, Alan Brunettin, Terrell Carter, Solomon Thurman, Michael Paradise, Jenna Bauer, SAResa (the team of Theresa Disney and Sara Hale) and Michael Hoffman. Above all, a spirit of experimentation, fascination with the everyday and sheer joy in picturemaking connects these works -- and perhaps explains the artists' generous contributions to SCOSAG's mission. Through March 26 at Gallery Urbis Orbis, 419 North Tenth Street; 314-406-5778. Gallery hours 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tue.-Thu., noon-7 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. and by appointment. -- Ivy Cooper

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