In the Galleries - Providential Journey: The Art of Brother Mel CLOSES May 27 at SLUMA

In the Galleries - Providential Journey: The Art of Brother Mel CLOSES May 27 at SLUMA
Work from artist Melvin Meyer
© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
© 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This ample survey of work by Florissant-born artist Melvin Meyer (he earned his nom de pinceau the old-fashioned way — he's a Marianist monk) traverses an array of media while staying true to a sense of the ebullient sublime. In bold primaries and other exuberant hues, large-scale abstract acrylic paintings move between diffuse swaths of gestural marks and crisp geometric profusions. Like puzzle pieces, the elements interlock in a way that suggests simple resolution while the parts themselves argue otherwise: They burst with expressive untidiness and unpredictable rules. Divided into two parts, the exhibit segregates these abstract pieces from more figural and subject-driven work. Self-portraits, paintings of colleagues and several series of religious works share an approach similar to the nonobjective pieces: Colors effervesce, and a kind of light, disjunctive Cubism prevails. A series of sculpted crucifixes, made of scrounged hardware and tools make it clear that no single material defines this oeuvre more than an eclectic, often giddy approach. Also showing: Warhol's Polaroids: A Method A scattering of the Pop master's Polaroids from the mid-'70s to the early '80s depicts the froth of society's glitterati, from Iranian princesses to anonymous heiresses to Jack Nicklaus and William Burroughs. Vamping with ghost-white faces and red lips, they pose in preparation for their entry into art-historical eternity via Warhol silkscreens. Like an irresistible dessert: impossible not to like. Through May 27 (Warhol Polaroids through June 10) at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, 3663 Lindell Boulevard; 314-977-2666 or www.slu.edu/x16374.xml. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed.-Sun.

 
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