Painting, Perception and Possibility 

Beauty, memory, friendship, time: These concepts, somehow, are both steadfast and ever-evolving. There are few better ways to explore such notions than through the lens of a great artist. In Manon de Boer: Between Perception and Sensation, Dutch filmmaker de Boer conveys as much through sounds as she does through images. Her films (including 2006's Presto, Perfect Sound, an aurally pristine violin performance juxtaposed with jarringly glitchy visuals) emphasize the power of swapping sight for sound. This installation at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660 or is de Boer's first major exhibition in the United States. Between Perception and Sensation opens with a free public reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, January 21, with free valet parking and a cash bar. Opening concurrently is Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting, an ambitious installation that invites viewers to reconsider how a painting is created, how it is seen and how it is perceived. Aldrich, an up-and-coming New York artist, possesses a keen eye for the interconnection of various art forms. His works range from abstraction to object-painting, all with a strong sense of what has come before and what might come next. As part of a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Contemporary and the Saint Louis Art Museum, Aldrich is showing his pieces alongside four masterworks from the SLAM permanent collection. The effect is beautiful and profound. Manon de Boer: Between Perception and Sensation and Richard Aldrich and the 19th Century French Painting both remain on display through Sunday, May 1. The CAM is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is $3 to $5 (but free opening night, Wednesday and Saturday).
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 21. Continues through May 1, 2011

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