Great Rivers Biennial 2014, the sixth edition of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis' awards program, recognizes emerging and mid-career artists with a cash prize and a solo show. Brandon Anschultz, Carlie Trosclair and Cayce Zavaglia are the selected artists this year, and they've responded with art that challenges both the medium and the viewer. Anschultz digs into the physical properties of paint in Suddenly Last Summer, making three-dimensional geodes of layered paint that are installed in architectural settings inspired by the Tennessee Williams' play Suddenly Last Summer. Trosclair also works with layered architectural forms, but her interest is in peeling back those layers in the appropriately titled Exfoliation. She peels a wall, rolling back the wallpaper, scraping through paint underneath and breaking through plaster to reveal the studs; behind that is another papered wall. Zavaglia reimagines portraits from back to front for her Recto | Verso. Zavaglia made hand-embroidered portraits of people with a corresponding series of gouache and acrylic paintings. These paintings depict the backside of those embroidery pieces, each a mirror image of the face emerging from a thicket of knotted threads and loose ends. Great Rivers Biennial 2014 opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 9, at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660 or www.camstl.org). The work remains up through Sunday, August 10, and the gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, thanks to the support of the Gateway Foundation.
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: May 10. Continues through Aug. 10, 2014