St. Louis Art Capsules

Jessica Baran encapsulates the St. Louis art scene

Mario Trejo Presenting the trials and errors of a self-imposed quest to execute "at least one million hand-drawn and counted idiosyncratic circles" with pen on enameled panel, local artist Trejo distills this supreme act of enervation into a series of paintings recalling the placid semblance of the night sky. The rendering of the circles varies from piece to piece, per the "idiosyncratic" dictate: Some works appear like a glossy expanse of solid black, while others depict the drawn equivalent of a tangle of gray and black rubber bands. As the artist's statement admits, this is not work with Zen-like ambitions; rather, a calculator was in one hand, noting marks, while the other was at work drawing circles. What seems to be the more likely "moral" of this elected Sisyphean task has something to do with art's love of novelty and heroic expertise: How does one acquire the miracle of creative genius? Given a question that large, an attempt to approximate the cosmos seems as good a place to start as any. Through January 7 at Metropolitan Gallery, 2936 Locust Street; 314-535-6500 or Hours: 11 a.m.-5p.m. Wed.-Fri., Saturday by appointment.

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