Featured Review: Constellate

May 13, 2009 at 4:00 am

Constellate Sarah Paulsen and Eric Repice populate this small gallery space with riotous, inclusive paintings that commemorate and replicate everything from street parades to the constellated stars. Paulsen's bright celebratory crowds migrate beyond the canvas in swatches of cut fabric, braided yarn and piles of glitter; Repice's unstretched, grommet-framed pieces are dark, gridded, sign-riddled and somewhere between guiding banners and grimly illustrated statistical charts. But the work on the walls is only half of the project; the St. Louis-based artists created this show as a backdrop for larger actions — communal and discursive — that, with their direction, literally manifested in a parade (the recent People's Joy Parade on Cherokee Street) and a series of educational sessions held in the space that, like their work, covered everything from community-art practices to space, time and history. For all of its sprawling ambition, the project highlights the activist aspect of artists and artist-run spaces, and their capacity for boundaryless and brazen frontiering. Through May 23 at Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, 3151 Cherokee Street; 314-772-3628 or www.fortgondo.com. Hours: by appointment.

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