On the Wall

Malcolm Gay encapsulates the St. Louis art scene.

Poetic Constructions Katy Stone's work, clearly inspired by the robust glass-arts scene of her native Seattle, involves layered strips of transparent Dura-Lar (a clear, plastic-like sheet) painted in bright blues and greens. Shimmering at the slightest breeze, the wall-mounted works are evocative of the natural world; many bring to mind the rushing water of a stream or a spray of cattails. Using pins and plastic bolts, Stone constructs her pieces in several layers, giving them depth and allowing shadows to transform them. The work, highly fluid, skirts the line between painting and sculpture, further reminding viewers of the constant flux that is the natural world. Through March 8 at Atrium Gallery, 4729 McPherson Avenue; 314-367-1076 (www.atriumgallery.net). Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. (MG)

Protoplaces The Center of Creative Arts (COCA) opens 2008 with an exhibition of the work of Washington University architecture professor Iain Fraser. Working in the crosscurrent of architecture and sculpture, Fraser fashions structures of welded metal, wood and glass. Like the architectural model, Fraser's expressive constructions beg to be imagined on a grand scale (in Fraser's case, the size, say, of an airplane hangar). But unlike their more utilitarian cousins, Fraser's models — foreboding, sharp-angled and often adorned with or supported by precariously hung iron webbing — are free of function's dictates. Here a construction's potential use is only hinted at once it has been assembled, inviting the viewer to imagine a world in which such a structure might exist. Through February 24 in the Millstone Gallery at COCA, 524 Trinity Avenue, University City; 314-725-6555 (www.cocastl.org). Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri, noon-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. (MG)

re-construction St. Louis photographer Jamie Kreher's new works at the Ellen Curlee Gallery feature single, mass-produced elements found in car-based environments — a dismantled diner sign that has been abandoned, a gas station sign bare of prices — which Kreher reproduces across the span of the picture. The result is an asymmetrical patterning that from afar looks almost like fabric; closer up, the hundreds of identical images reveal themselves, now jostling for space in a crowded landscape. Running concurrently is the gallery's "next door: Video Series" installment, Wrestle Nebula, a work by Chicago video artist Travis LeRoy Southworth that depicts a dozen or so old-school WWF-ers smacking down in deep space. Through March 8 at Ellen Curlee Gallery, 1308A Washington Avenue; 314-241-1299 (www.ellencurleegallery.com). Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sat.; First Friday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (MG)

Resilience: The Sculpture of Philip Hitchcock and Revelation The Saint Louis University Museum of Art exhibits two local artists with wildly different takes on Biblical themes. Using a technique to cast gypsum, Philip Hitchcock has assembled a series of highly detailed (and highly idealized) nude figures, here recast in homoerotic Biblical roles — a strapping nude Jesus embracing the cross, a semi-recumbent Adam receiving the breath of life. The figures, remarkable in both their detail and frank sensuality, are often concentrated on one portion of the anatomy — the front of a muscled male torso, the front of a pregnant woman's torso — that ends abruptly, leaving the viewer to wonder if what's unseen hides an imperfection. Upstairs, Revelation is a collection of painstakingly rendered pen-and-ink drawings executed over a 30-year period by illustrator Russell Kraus, illustrating scenes from the hallucinogenic Book of Revelation. The drawings, highly mannered and quite beautiful, often blend long-limbed, graceful angels with a psychedelic background. Resilience runs through February 15, Revelation through March 30 at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, 3663 Lindell Boulevard; 314-977-2666 (www.slu.edu/x16374.xml). Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (MG)

Signs of Time Art Saint Louis offers more than 140 works by 86 area artists. Juried by artist Kim Mosley and open to almost any medium (sorry, no Web-based artwork), Signs of Time required artists to submit works that explore the passage of time. Approach, technique and quality vary wildly; standouts include Robert Treece's Glass Still Life, a disorienting self-portrait clearly inspired by M.C. Escher's reflecting-sphere lithographs; and The Maplewood Dust Collector: Dismantled 2007, an urban landscape by oil painter Steve Turner. Through February 28 at Art St. Louis, 9917 Locust Street, Suite 300; 314-241-4810 (www.artstlouis.org). Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. (MG)

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