From a crude metal hook tenuously anchored by a thin brass tube, a mass of chartreuse paint dangles above a jagged, clay-colored paint form, from which protrude hairlike strands of wire. A sheet of tempered glass leans against the opposite wall of the gallery, adorned by only an array of pale-toned dabs in an upper corner. A painting on canvas hangs on that same wall, its surface dappled by a near-mirror of the same pale marks. In this exquisitely spare and saliently articulated solo show, St. Louis-based painter Brandon Anschultz continues his effort to dismantle the painterly medium into its constituent elements. Ensnaring the viewer in the crossfire of reverberant correspondences, the installation invites the eye to track back and forth in potentially ceaseless volleys, like a human metronome or those YouTube videos of kittens watching tennis on TV. The spatial dimension presents the deconstructive impulse from within but maintains its frenetic buzz — an improbable wedding of poetry and punk that echoes in the artist's predilection for borrowing song or album titles for his works. Appropriately, the last piece the viewer encounters, Peepshow
, takes its name from a 1988 Souixsie and the Banshees disc: a large, rough square of packing foam Anschultz found and permeated with black ink, imbuing the material with every conceivable shade of gray. Mounted on the gallery wall all mottled and glittering, it's austere yet ecstatic — a seemingly effortless gesture that summarizes the whole, wide arc of the anxious mind. Through April 22 at CAM (Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis), 3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660 or www.camstl.org
. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. (open till 8 on Thu.), 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun.