Center of the Worlds 

The metaphysical world is a daunting one; heady, cerebral concepts such as existentialism can sometimes deter people from engaging with literature or art that is perceived as being too abstract to comprehend. Rebecca Niederlander, a St. Louis native turned Los Angeles artist, understands this dilemma all too well. Her latest project, Axis Mundi, is a site-specific installation created to tackle these scary and bewildering ideas. A mix of ethereal sculpture and abstract print media, Axis Mundi puts the viewer at the center of the universe, essentially -- where everything begins and where everything ends. It is the epicenter of heaven and earth, of what lies above and what lies below. Niederlander's manipulation of the space allows for the viewer to move through the exhibition and experience these different portals. Axis Mundi opens with an artist's reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 14, at Saint Louis University's Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (3700 West Pine Mall Boulevard, 314-977-7170 or The installation remains in place through Sunday, December 14, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

IMAGE CREDIT: Rebecca Niederlander, There's a Nova in the Bed Next to Mine (detail), 2009. Installation at Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA. Vellum paper, staples, polycarbonate, galvanized steel wire, zip ties. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Starts: Sept. 16. Continues through Dec. 14, 2014

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