Current Shows

Ivy Cooper encapsulates the St. Louis art scene

Junko Chodos: The Breath of Consciousness This California-based artist enjoys her first Midwest showing with this exhibition, curated by museum director Terrence Dempsey. It's a beautiful survey of three decades of work engaging heady questions of spirituality and the intersection between living beings and machines. Junko, who grew up in Japan during World War II, has plenty of visual and visceral experiences from which to draw inspiration for her wildly expressive prints, paintings and drawings. The "Concerning Art and Religion" series (2003) plots photographs of engines amid a roiling chaos of inky waves and drips -- it's nigh apocalyptic, and quite effective in the context of the museum's ecclesiastical design. "Compact Universe" features smaller versions of earlier abstract paintings and collages enclosed in CD jewel cases -- the ultimate in portable art. Most intriguing of all are the elegiac paintings in the "Requiem for an Executed Bird" series, and the collection of collages that layer minuscule cutout images into dense, frenzied fields. Through July 31 at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, Fusz Hall, Saint Louis University, 3700 West Pine Boulevard; 314-977-7170. Gallery hours 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tue.-Sun.

Soft Flight by Alison Slein (digital print, 39" x 
48", 2004), on view at the Philip Slein Gallery
Soft Flight by Alison Slein (digital print, 39" x 48", 2004), on view at the Philip Slein Gallery

Ray Charles White: Recent Work This New York artist possesses the prodigious technical prowess that comes from having worked with Ansel Adams, but his images offer an inviting warmth that will transport you beyond their cold precision. White photographs water and plants in reflecting pools, then prints the pictures on anodized aluminum panels. Illusion abounds: What is above the water? below it? reflected? refracted? He also captures a delicate sense of nostalgia by employing inks in colors associated with old photogravure processes -- mossy green, aubergine and cyanotype. This is White's first St. Louis show -- here's hoping it's not his last. Through June 18 at William Shearburn Gallery 4735 McPherson Avenue; 314-367-8020. Gallery hours 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat. -- Ivy Cooper

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