The winners of the 2011 Critical Mass Creative Stimulus Award — local artists Sarrita Hunn, Elysia Mann and B.J. Vogt — exhibit their recent work in a group show curated by Emily Hemeyer. Giddy and infectious, Hunn's dual-projection video installation, 99 x 9.CPH>STL, features several hundred Crayola-palette marker drawings the artist has transformed into a blithely frenetic animation of swirling Pop abstractions. The simple geometric imagery of dots, spirals and contagions of squares blooms, morphs and effervesces to the muted sounds of recorded dance music dimly pumping in from the gallery walls. Mann displays two trenchant suites of work: a series of large-scale drawings titled The Song of the Spark (inspired by Willa Cather's novel, The Song of the Lark) and a series of text-based works that operate like enlarged and deconstructed books. Both projects are expertly rendered, eerily Gothic and rawly emotional; in one drawing, for example, two pale and nearly identical black-dressed women stand before two nearly identical black dogs, while pointing cryptically toward an unscrolled text that reads: "Fortune turns kind to such solid people." B.J. Vogt's contribution ranges from photographs to videos to a sculptural object, with a unifying theme: Each finds natural forms in constructed environments. In Foundation Caverns, the photo series, the shadowy recesses of a building's boiler-room underbelly are composed as if they're part of a cave. In the video works, I-55S Interstate Astronomy, the experience of driving at night is made to call to mind astral bodies by way of windshield distortions and the fugitive auras of passing car lights. Headphones allow the viewer to tune in to manipulated radio static — making strange and ethereal what are otherwise automotive banalities. Through September 15 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.
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