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What happens on canvas may not be what was intended to happen. The artist is a conduit channeling the creative impulse, sure, but mistakes happen. And many artists will tell you that a key element of making something is recognizing when an accident yields better results than the initial concept ever would. So the question becomes: Can you make an accident happen? Chance Aesthetics, the new exhibition at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (1 Brookings Drive; 314-935-4523 or kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu), features more than 60 works by artists who sought to capture the accidental and utilize happenstance as easily as they wield a brush or pen. Featuring major avant-garde pieces such as Jean Tinguely's painting machines, which did the painting for the artist, Daniel Spoerri's snare pictures (assemblages made from objects scattered on a tabletop, then fixed into place and hung in situ) and Ellsworth Kelly's paintings created with the aid of coin flips, Chance Aestheticssoffers an excellent opportunity to revisit the course of twentieth-century art — some of which was never meant to happen. Chance Aesthetics opens with a free public reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 18, and the show remains up through Monday, January 4. The museum is open daily except for Tuesday.
Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 18. Continues through Jan. 4, 2009

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