St. Louis Art Capsules

Jessica Baran encapsulates the St. Louis art scene

Larry Fink: Attraction and Desire — 50 Years in Photography This generous survey of the notable Brooklyn-born artist reaffirms the durable pleasures of black-and-white figural photography. A nimble chronicler of society's more extreme coteries, Fink moved among New York beatniks, Vegas gamblers, mid-century jazz musicians, the young Mike Tyson and other boxing strivers, rural Pennsylvanians and the lacquered elite of fashion, art and Hollywood. His preference for Caravaggio-esque high contrast dramatizes what is essentially an obsession with fugitive detail: the long, alabaster, manicured hands of a man clutching the back of a black-dressed blonde; a silver radiator in an angled swath of daylight; the heavy-lidded eyes of a lone woman in a crowd at the Cedar Bar; drops of rain on the black sedan bearing Coretta Scott King to the 1968 Poor People's Campaign. It would be easy to marvel at the fabled personalities and events chronicled here, but Fink's most anonymous subjects serve as the firmest testament to his peculiar eye — a complex gaze that is at once empathetic, excoriating and salacious. Intimate and disarmingly wearied self-portraits of himself, his wife, his child and dogs reframe a narrative that might otherwise tip completely into an obsession with cultural novelty. In the end, the show functions much like that other beleaguered medium — the novel — telling stories about living, loving and other less conclusive failures. Through August 20 at the Sheldon Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900 or www.sheldonconcerthall.org. Hours: noon-8 p.m. Tue., noon-5 p.m.

Poems by Bobby Thiel In this elegant suite of collaborative works on paper by local artists Gina Alvarez and Jana Harper, a too-often-lost sense of innocent wonderment is harnessed and safe-kept in line, color and texture. Inspired by a child's notebook made in the 1940s by one of Alvarez's distant relatives, the artists used the titles of Thiel's poems to generate new imagery, combining their own photographs with found images, along with shapes and hues drawn from Japanese prints and Indian miniatures. Beginning with digital prints, they applied printmaking techniques and handwork to each unique piece, drawing, stitching and collaging elements into to the imagery. An aerial image of plotted land, as one would see from an airplane window, is punctuated by inset rhinestones, washing those squares of fields in emerald and yellow. The blurred impression of a figure behind a shower curtain turns spectral, with the dappled mist punched through with multicolored dots. A rain cloud hovering over a cityscape swirls with minute circular gestures, emitting a dotted-line rainfall, as a child would render it. Memory, here, is embodied in the impressionistic mark, amassing a gestural journal of days defined by changes of light, shifts in weather and all-but-ephemeral glimpses of the modestly sublime. Through June 4 at the Sheldon Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900 or www.sheldonconcerthall.org. Hours: noon-8 p.m. Tue., noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sat.

Portion Control Close-up photographs of elemental food items comprise this first solo exhibit by local artist Tiffany Sutton. A tablespoon-size slice of butter from a stick; a peeled half of an orange; a pile of almonds; the viscous contents of a cracked egg — each appears dramatically enlarged in otherwise black space, taking on disproportionate meaning owing to their scale while simultaneously evoking a sense of portraiture. Accompanying the spare series is a food journal in which the artist has recorded her daily consumption for the month prior to the exhibit. Noted alongside the details of her food intake and exercise regimen are short reflections on the success or failure of her attempts at dietary control. Spirits wither and deflate in daily tides, not always corresponding with caloric deviation. While addressing an issue that's nearly become a national sport — weight loss and its many aliases — the exhibit imbues it with new life via its sheer restraint, suggesting that aesthetics suffer as much from the sin of gluttony as anything else. Through May 7 at PSTL Gallery at Pace Framing, 3842 Washington Boulevard; 314-531-4304 or www.paceframing.com. Hours: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.

Wandering Thomas Titled after Caravaggio's The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, this exhibit by Chicago-based artist Jose Ferreira explores doubt and other liminal states of being. Composed of several suites of work in different mediums — from contact photographs to ink-on-paper drawings to silkscreen prints — each portion of the exhibit explores a variation on the theme of unknowing, using the body as a measure for experiencing place and emotion. In Locating, black-and white-photographs of the artist's vacant bed, recorded first thing every morning, create a journal of previous nights. In Complex, blots of black ink soak into white paper, leaving amorphous shapes, which in turn are annotated with handwritten suppositions about the artist's mind. A series of almost entirely gray photographs trace the route of the artist's daily commute in fog, the high-rises and narrow corridors between barely taking shape beneath the humidity. While the parts appear disparate and widely varied, a spirit of nonverbal sense-making pervades the exhibit — as if what we see are pieces of evidence that, when assembled, would communicate something deeply felt. Through May 28 at Good Citizen Gallery, 2247 Gravois Avenue; 314-348-4587 or www.goodcitizenstl.com. Hours: noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and by appointment.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...