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Printing Abstraction

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through March 31

Abstract art is a term that includes a wide variety of media: monochromatic color fields, hard-edged abstraction and its flat colors, and the sharply defined edges and optical illusions inherent in op-art's geometric forms. What links all of these styles together is that they are divorced from the traditional representation of physical objects. For its new exhibition Printing Abstraction, the Saint Louis Art Museum draws from its own holdings of abstract art created by printmakers. The show is something of an expansion of the museum's ongoing main exhibition, Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now, in that it offers more examples of the printmakers' art and the key role it's played in the promulgation of abstract art. Printing Abstraction is on display from Tuesday through Sunday (November 30 to March 31) in galleries 234 and 235 of the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). 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

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

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

The Play That Goes Wrong

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 7

The Conley Polytechnic Drama Society, one of England's lesser-known community theater groups, has been bequeathed a large sum of money to produce a new play. The company decides on the 1920s murder-mystery The Murder at Haversack Manor mostly because it has parts enough for all the actors.

That's the fictitious background for The Play That Goes Wrong, which is actually a physically demanding comedy created by the Mischief Theatre Company, a very real performance troupe. As its title implies, the play within the play is a spectacular catastrophe before the curtain goes up. Props break, cues are missed and at least one actor is knocked unconscious, which starts a very public row about which cast member gets to play the part to the finale.

As you might imagine, making the play go wrong requires strenuous rehearsal and split-second timing from both the cast on stage and the cast back stage, the latter of whom are actors playing techs. Every role is demanding, because a mistake can result in very real injury — but when everybody hits their marks, you see a flawless, outrageously funny actor's nightmare unfold in real time. The Play that Goes Wrong closes out the Repertory Theatre St. Louis' current season. Performances take place Tuesday through Sunday (March 15 to April 7) at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; www.repstl.org). Tickets are $19 to $92.

$19-$92

Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage

Through June 2

The Muny is just about to open its landmark 100th season, and its neighbor, the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBalivere Avenue; www.mohistory.org), celebrates the occasion with an exhibit dedicated to the history of America's largest outdoor theater. Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage features exhibits that explain the founding of the theater, display favorite memories from stars and staff, and give a look back stage to see how the dedicated technical crew creates and rigs all those sets and lights. You can also take a look at programs from the Muny's long, storied past. Muny Memories opens on Saturday, June 9, and remains on display daily through June 2, 2019. Admission is free. free admission

Missouri History Museum (map)
Lindell Blvd. & DeBaliviere Ave.
St. Louis - Forest Park
phone 314-746-4599
Muny Memories: 100 Years on Stage

Waitress

Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m., Sun., March 31, 1 & 6:30 p.m. and Sun., April 7, 1 p.m. Continues through April 7

Jenna has a gift for piemaking and a horrible marriage to the loutish Earl. Her friends at the diner all have their own problems, and so she does what she can — dream of a better life away from Earl and take solace in her baking. Things get worse when she discovers she's pregnant, but then improve slightly when she meets her dreamy OB/GYN, Dr. Pomatter. Jenna and the doctor have a lot in common, and before you know it they're embroiled in a steamy affair. But is an affair any way out of a marriage? Jenna pins her hopes on winning the grand prize in a baking contest and using the money to escape her small town and start over somewhere else, but life doesn't always give you what you want. The new fan-favorite musical Waitress is a feel-good story based on the Keri Russell film of the same name and features songs by Sara Bareilles. Waitress is performed Tuesday through Sunday (March 26 to April 7) at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; www.fabulousfox.com). Tickets are $29 to $104. $29-$104

Buy Tickets
The Fox Theatre (map)
527 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis - Grand Center
phone 314-534-1111
Waitress

Fashioning the Black Body

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 4

For black Americans, dressing well was not merely a matter of fashion — it was necessary for survival. In the era of sundown towns and the Green Book, when black families took the highways of America they dressed to the nines to show white America that they were people of substance, respectable and decent and not going to start any trouble. As they did with many of the rules enforced upon them, these early Americans took what little was allowed to them and made it their own source of pride. Hats were cocked at rakish angles, colors were vibrant and cuts were cleaner and sharper than what white America wore. In time, black styles were appropriated by the mainstream. Again and again the cycle has repeated itself, moving from black subcultures to the malls and schoolyards of middle America. The art show Fashioning the Black Body explores the ways in which fashion defines and projects the black identity in a variety of media. Mickalene Thomas' silkscreen I've Been Good to Me shows a black woman adorned and surrounded by color and pattern in her home. Mario Moore's oil painting One Day in the Land of Milk and Honey depicts a black figure laying flat on the ground, beneath it a subway platform upon which mills a group of faceless people in identical hoodies. Fashioning the Black Body opens with a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Projects+Gallery (4733 McPherson Avenue; www.projects-gallery.com). The show continues through May 4. free admission

Projects + Gallery (map)
4733 McPherson Ave
St. Louis - Central West End
phone 314-696-8678
Fashioning the Black Body

Freedom in a Platform

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

The Luminary (2701 Cherokee Street; www.theluminaryarts.com) reopens after its winter break with a new group show that explores both the reconfigured gallery space and the idea of an exhibition itself. Freedom in a Platform is inspired by the Diggers, a seventeenth-century movement that advocated for economic equality by farming on common land rather than privately owned acreage. The artists showing work in Freedom in a Platform will repurpose the gallery and how it's used, with performances, a rotating end date that sees pieces move throughout the gallery, and pieces that will disappear from the exhibition and perhaps later return. Sage Dawson, Ohad Meromi, Marina Peng and OOIEE all have work in the show, which opens with a free reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 8. free admission

The Luminary (map)
2701 Cherokee St
St. Louis - South City
phone 314-773-1533
Freedom in a Platform

Christine Corday: Relative Points

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 21

Space is deep, to quote Hawkwind, and yet scientists believe all living creatures on Earth contain stellar elements within their genetic makeup. Artist Christine Corday explores this union of humans and the stars in her new exhibition Relative Points, which was commissioned by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Eleven of Corday's large sculptural forms, which are each made of more than 10,000 pounds of elemental metals and metalloid grit, will be arranged within the museum in a pattern of Corday's choosing. The sculptures, which resemble slightly squashed black marshmallows more than four feet high, are intended to be touched; they're essentially the same base elements as humans, after all. During the course of the exhibit, the shapes will change gradually from repeated contact and the inexorable force of universal gravitational attraction. You'll have your first opportunity to get close and personal with Corday's work at the opening reception, which takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, January 18, at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). Christine Corday: Relative Points remains fixed in space through April 21. 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
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