In the Cool of the Night This is billed as a minimalist show, but don't let that scare you: There's nothing cold or remote about any of the works by this group of eight artists. The paintings, sculptures and mixed-media works on display here are loosely connected by a certain spare quality and lack of razzle-dazzle; they're pieces you'll want to look at for a long time. Randall Shiroma's The Muse/Landscape (2002), of terrazzo and salt, is altar-like; Donald Damask's oil on canvas White Rose (2004) is a lovely study in surface and depth. Three small Japanese paper works by German artist Lore Bert are awkwardly hung in a small hallway -- and it's a shame, because they're probably the best pieces in the show. Through September 25 at Atrium Gallery, 7638 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-726-1066. Gallery hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
Local Women and Exotic Places Women have long been associated with nature, the exotic and even the "primitive" in Western civilization, and since the rise of feminism in the 1970s it has been fashionable to revisit, complicate and subvert those associations in the discipline of art. This latest attempt is an exhibition of art by six women whose work deals with nature and the exotic, either implicitly or explicitly. The show is too small to make much of a dent in this mighty topic, but there are some outstanding works nonetheless. Olivia Lahs-Gonzales once again proves to be one of the best photographers working here (or anywhere); her close-up digital prints of trees, bushes and flowers verge on the hallucinatory. Jeri Au brings in another of her ti-leaf wall compositions, which is lovely but light in the content department. Jane Birdsall-Lander's Divining Harp (2001) is visually poetic but a little lonely, perched on the wall outside the exhibition proper. Also exhibiting are Nanette Hegamin, Sandra Nickeson and Adelia Parker-Castro. Through October 2 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-863-5811. Gallery hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon- 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. -- Ivy Cooper
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