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Featured Review: Jon Cournoyer: Not Coming Home 

Featured Review: Not Coming Home Playing the role of the trickster — or, in this case, summoning his memory of being (briefly) a child runaway — local artist Jon Cournoyer crafts an exhibit that unfolds like an illustrated fable of youthful self-exploration. In expertly composed collages, prints and mixed-media assemblages, Cournoyer presents a chronicle of revelatory bewilderment in psychedelic-patterned paper swatches, faded flour sacks, bingo pieces and cross-country commuter train schedules — the collision of chance and planning. The artist statement that accompanies the exhibit informs that the summer of '69 was one of leaving the Midwestern nest for the wilds of the West Coast, where anarchic theatrical troupes and other fringe collectives briefly brought Cournoyer under their wing. He depicts this bohemian epoch as a starry heaven full of whirligig astronomy unfettered by the familiar star patterns. A delicate gold stitch follows these swirling lines, as a kind of honorific nod to the artist's enthrallment with nostalgia; significant keepsakes — an arrowhead, a velvet-lined glasses case, a bell jar in which turned cabinet knobs form a tiny fantastical skyline — affixed to the pieces serve as similar memorials. While an illustrative finesse keeps everything in storybook order, the frayed edges of the found materials fondly anchor the work in marginality and what would be conventionally perceived as trash. Through October 30 at Hoffman Lachance Contemporary, 2713 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-960-5322 or Hours: noon-3 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and by appointment.

Click here for a complete list of St. Louis art capsules.

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January 12, 2022

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