Exposure 15: Re-Domestic The 2012 installment of this annual, locally focused group show features three artists who variously revise, redefine and redress the notion of "domesticity." Like its equally freighted counterpart, "craft" (cf. the current exhibit at Craft Alliance), the domestic is too often femininely gendered and limited to a lower platform on the high-art scaffold. And while Gina Alvarez, Deb Douglas and Heather Coerly are indeed women who engage (occasionally) in meticulous handicraft, there's nothing tame or ladylike in their art. Drawing from the covers of mid-twentieth-century German romance novels, Douglas situates femme fatale Fräulein amid patterns, floral renderings and swatches of bold text. "Wolfish," proclaims one, looking predatory and coquettish; "tart," asserts another, whose red-lipped visage is counterpointed with line drawings of tree-ripe cherries and a cherry pie. Corley's world is a game of luminous chance: She engraves the word "love" into dozens of tickets from a lottery game called "Money," arranges the identical scratch-off cards into a grid and then fills in the carved-out space with a dense gilding of glitter. In an adjacent triptych, three cloudlike plaster forms protrude from the wall, raining long white threads with paper labels affixed to their ends: The first cloud's threads are labeled "yes," the second's "no," the third's "maybe." Alvarez, meanwhile, has lined the walls of one room with cast-iron braces that support a series of hand-blown glass orbs containing various marvelous forms. One features fire-engine-red felt balls that cluster on top of the globe and tumble into its interior like a small crimson atom bomb; the felt globules then sprout fine strings from which dangle tiny bundles of printed pages. You can never look closely enough. It's an apt metaphor for the show, which requests that you go beyond labels and assumptions to levels of being and seeing far outside (or deep within) the seemingly ordinary. Through September 29 at Gallery 210, TeleCommunity Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1 University Drive (at Natural Bridge Road); 314-516-5976 or http://gallery210.umsl.edu. Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
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