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The Academy in Peril 

In the old days, an artist proved his worth by submitting paintings to the Academy, thereby showing his mastery of the four traditional artistic idioms: history, landscape, portrait and still life. Modern painters Christopher Paquet and Seth Coston revisit this now-quaint idea with their new exhibition, In Plain Air: A Salon of Paintings by Christopher Paquet and Seth Coston. The formats are the same, but the artists use the rigidity of the structure to comment on modern society. So Paquet, for example, uses the death of scumrock legend GG Allin as his portrait (it's maybe also history, and a bit of still life), with Allin rising from the floor of a crapped-out NYC apartment in his moment of apotheosis; this is celebrity culture in its most base -- and honest -- representation. Coston paints landscapes of golf courses, our country's most treasured and well-tended natural resources. The show opens with a free public reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 4, at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary (2713 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-960-5322 or In Plain Air remains on display through Saturday, November 26, and the gallery is open from noon to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: Nov. 4. Continues through Nov. 26, 2011

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