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Currents 116: Oliver Laric

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 27

Austrian-born artist Oliver Laric creates work that explores image creation and repetition, which he displays on both the museum and gallery circuit and the online realm. For his new exhibition, Currents 116: Oliver Laric, he presents his video animation Betweenness, which features repurposed mushrooms, people, anime characters and some snippets of the CT scan of the Saint Louis Art Museum's mummy, Amen-Nestawy-Nakht, all morphing into animals. The cycle of looped video blurs all of these borrowed images together, which reveals their shared shapes and forms. Laric also sculpted his own version of Reclining Pan (long on display in the museum's gallery 236) using 3D scans of the original. He used the digital files to "print" sections of the sculpture in various materials on a 3D printer, which he then assembled. Currents 116: Oliver Laric is on display in galleries 249 and 250 from February 22 to May 27 at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. free admission

Rachel Whiteread

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through June 9

Rachel Whiteread emerged on the London art scene in the "cool Britannia" era of the late '80s and early '90s. The country was doing well financially and culturally, and people were ready to buy contemporary art made by contemporary British artists. Whiteread established herself as a leading light with her casts of everyday objects, which solidified the negative space in, under and/or around them in materials such as wax, plaster, concrete and resin. House, Whiteread's massive, freestanding concrete cast of the interior of an entire three-story Victorian house, earned her the prestigious Turner Prize in 1993, making her the first woman to win. Rachel Whiteread, the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum, is a retrospective of the artist's career that showcases 96 objects. They range from the small Untitled (Pink Torso), a voluptuous form of the inside of a hot water bottle cast in pink dental plaster, to the expansive Untitled (Twenty-Five Spaces), translucent resin casts of the underside of various chairs and stools arrayed on a game-board-like grid. The exhibit is on display Tuesday through Sunday (March 17 to June 9) at the Saint Louis Arts Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), and tickets are $6 to $12 (but free on Friday). $6-$12

Counterpublic

Fridays, Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through July 13

St. Louis is a city of neighborhoods. Everyone in St. Louis has said that at some point; if there is a truth universally acknowledged in this town, it's that our many neighborhoods are our strength and civic identity. And yet, how many people in your neighborhood eat the same food, share the same values and dream the same dreams?

For James McAnally, who with his wife Brea is the cofounder of the Luminary, the neighborhood theory may be true, but it's not a unifying principal.

"William Gass wrote that 'the Midwest is a dissonance of parts and people,'" says McAnally, referencing the late St. Louis-based writer.

That idea is the inspiration for the Luminary's ambitious new project, Counterpublic. The three-month long artistic exploration of the many dissonances that inhabit a shared geographic area incorporates public art, installations, discussions and performances. The McAnallys and curator Katherine Simóne Reynolds chose their own home turf for this experiment: Cherokee Street, with all the many cultures and people who inhabit it.

"It's a complicated project and something that hasn't been done yet," McAnally says with just a hint of understatement. "This idea of the 'counterpublic,' it speaks to the idea [that] there are people who don't feel included in this community. A counterpublic is analogous to subculture. It comes out of queer culture and feminist writing. The framing that's most helpful for Counterpublic is that it's a public art festival, or a platform that is meant to activate the neighborhood."

McAnally is quick to note that Cherokee isn't simply one neighborhood. The street crosses through four different ones on official city maps — Tower Grove East, Benton Park West, Marine Villa and Gravois Park — as well as two different aldermanic wards.

"Cherokee is the Latinx community, it's majority African American, it's eclectic and diverse," explains McAnally. "What do all of these groups have to say to each other? How can we keep the neighborhood together? Counterpublic is meant to activate the neighborhood — all of it, every group."

To do so successfully, the McAnallys began by talking to representatives of each division and explaining the plan and seeking partnerships.

"It was important to us early on to involve the business community, the Latinx community, all of these groups," McAnally says. "We have twenty permanent exhibitions throughout the project, from both local and national artists who come from the cultures found in Cherokee. We invited several Indigenous artists — we call it 'Cherokee' casually, but what does that really mean?"

Counterpublic encompasses many parts, people and ideas, all coming together to facilitate a free exchange of ideas. The plan is for Counterpublic to be a triennial festival that moves to a new neighborhood with each new iteration, but it's not at all an attempt to pigeonhole or homogenize any community. The dissonance is vital, and in the case of the inaugural production, deeply personal for the McAnallys.

"Counterpublic is a chance to ask ourselves, 'How do these many different voices come together, and how do we maintain an equitable development?'" James asks, not all rhetorically. "'How do we account for difference, and dissent? And how do we continue to live alongside each other while disagreeing?'"

Counterpublic opens Saturday, April 13, with tours, talks and performances from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Luminary (2701 Cherokee Street; www.theluminaryarts.org). An opening-night party takes place from 8 to 11 p.m., with complimentary food from neighborhood restaurants, artist-designed galletas by Rodolfo Marron III and Diana's Bakery and live video and DJ performances. New installations, processions, performances and public programs will continue through July 13. The full schedule is available at www.counterpublic.us. free admission

The Luminary (map)
2701 Cherokee St
St. Louis - South City
phone 314-773-1533
Counterpublic

How We See: Materiality and Color

Through June 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Humans can perceive a wide palette of colors, but we don't see as many hues as nature contains. The limitations of human vision are stretched in the Laumeier Sculpture Park's new exhibition How We See: Materiality and Color. Six artists who combine modern art practices with a keen observation of the natural world explore the possibilities of color manipulation and perception. Claire Ashley's specially commissioned, large-scale inflatable Ruddy Udder Dance is painted in neon colors. Volunteers will get inside it and perform a series of choreographed routines that allow you to see how its various shades change with movement and daylight. Ann Lindberg's graphite-and-colored-pencil piece as though air could turn to honey features a closely packed array of thin lines of pure pigment that become subtly darker toward the bottom. From a distance those tints blend and fade, and the piece appears to have a more uniform golden hue. How We See opens with a free reception at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at Laumeier's Aronson Fine Arts Center (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hill; www.laumeier.org). The exhibit continues through June 29, and admission is free. free admission

Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt

Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 11

In his sonnet "Ozymandias," Percy Bysshe Shelley describes the legs of an epic statue in the desert wastelands, its ruined face lying "half sunk" in the sand. The inscription on the pedestal reads, "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!" The poem is a meditation on time wearing away the memory of even the mightiest, and a reminder that death means forgetfulness. In truth, it may have been Ozymandias' successor who destroyed the statue upon assuming the title of pharaoh. Statues and memorial inscriptions held ritual power for the Egyptians, and it behooved the new ruler to sweep away all remnant of his or her predecessor. In the Pulitzer Arts Foundation's (3716 Washington Boulevard; www.pulitzerarts.org) new exhibition, Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt, the legacies of the pharaohs Hatshepsut and Akhenaten are examined through almost 40 historical objects that are both defaced and whole. Memory and visual culture are intertwined, and the destruction of the latter can easily erase the former. Striking Power opens with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 22. The work remains on display through August 11. free admission

Pulitzer Arts Foundation (map)
3716 Washington Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-754-1850
Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt

Ceramic Centric and Accompanying Exhibitions

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through May 24
phone 636-255-0270
exhibitions@foundryartcentre.org
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The Foundry Art Centre is excited to present “Ceramic Centric”, a juried exhibition of thirty-three ceramic artists from twelve states, to the community this April 12, 2019. Local Artist and owner of The Reese Gallery, Ruth Reese, curated this exhibition that explores modern interpretations of the ceramic medium. Sculptural and utilitarian pieces alike will both amuse and awe viewers. Going Solo Award Winner from 2017 exhibition “Context II”, Elizabeth Conn, will be exhibiting her papier-mache sculptures in Gallery III. In the Ameristar Gallery, the Foundry Art Centre Studio Artists will have an exhibition of their artwork. Free

http://www.foundryartcentre.org/ceramic-centric
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Foundry Art Centre (map)
520 N. Main Center
St. Charles
phone 636-255-0270

Counterpublic

Wednesdays, Thursdays, 12-5 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 13
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The Luminary presents Counterpublic, a major new public art platform set to animate the everyday spaces of Cherokee Street with expansive artist commissions, performances, processions, and public programs from April 13th to July 13th, 2019. Counterpublic 2019 will bring groundbreaking contemporary art to the barbershops, bakeries, parks, and taquerias that anchor the Cherokee Street neighborhoods of South St. Louis. The project centers on a series of twenty-plus site-responsive commissions in venues as divergent as a tea shop, punk club, former sanctuary, Buddhist temple, Mexican panaderia, and community-organized park. Free and open to the public. Free

http://counterpublic.us
The Luminary (map)
2701 Cherokee St
St. Louis - South City
phone 314-773-1533
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