On Sept. 7, celebrate contemporary art in the Central West End with six gallery openings.
Spend an evening exploring all that McPherson Avenue has to offer — each of the nationally recognized galleries are within walking distance of some great CWE dining establishments — while enjoying live music by the Albert Patiño Jazz Trio.
Featuring “All the Blues,” with work from artists Lore Bert, Leila Daw, Willem de Looper, Fredrick Nelson, Doug Salveson, Steven Sorman and Katy Stone.
From the gallery: “This theme based exhibition focuses on the color blue. Used extensively by many modern and contemporary artists, this hue denotes many things from mood to environmental influences, to musical references. This exhibition explores these themes from several perspectives.”
Featuring “CeramATTACK II,” with works by Crystal Morey, Arny Nadler, Peter Olson, Kyungmin Park, Zemer Peled, Chris Ricardo and Cheryl Ann Thomas.
From the gallery: “With motivations beyond pure form and function, the selected artists fuse contemporary aesthetics with a traditional art form. The clay bodies act more as canvases for further creative exploration through a multidisciplinary approach. Included in this exhibition is a diverse and eclectic group of top tier talent, with each artist offering their unique voice and vision to the collective history of ceramics. The manifestations of this creative vision expresses itself in many ways; whether it is the photographic ceramic hybrid masterpieces of Peter Olson, or the sensual and stoic figures of Crystal Morey whose level of technical mastery is unparalleled.
“Challenging the traditional and established view of ceramics, the second installment of CeramATTACK offers a collection of works that allow the viewer to explore both narrative and form in a myriad of imaginative and unconventional approaches that both provoke and inspire.”
Featuring “Layers,” with artwork by Mark Pack, plus new work from Metra Mitchell, Eric Wieringa and Larry Torno.
From Mark Pack: “‘Growing’ is the word that best describes my primary concern while painting. Growth happens in all living things. If something grows, it is not made. To ‘make’ a painting is to not make art, but if one lets that painting grow, then art is made. The difference being that the former is only made by the maker and reflects only the maker’s mind. The latter allows for its own making and thus develops a mind of its own … After starting a ‘growing’ painting, I go back into it and add more calculated elements that harmonize with the other layers of paint, while still concentrating on not rupturing the pattern of growth that was started. It is important that every mark that I make follows the ‘mind’ of the mark made before it so that the train of thought is not broken. I do this to show a connection between the more controlled and the uncontrolled. Most people would interpret this process to be about the act of painting. I paint to give life to what I feel to be the truths about life.”
Featuring the work of photographer Ken Konchel.
From the gallery: “Ken Konchel is an acclaimed photographer who captures images of buildings in an abstract, graphic way. He creates compositions that do not immediately reveal themselves as architecture. Join us for the opening reception of an exhibit of Ken’s photography at the Parish Gallery, located in Trinity Church in the CWE at the corner of Euclid and Washington.”
Featuring artwork from New York artist Douglas Melini.
From the gallery: “Since obtaining his MFA at Cal Arts in 1997, Douglas Melini has exhibited his paintings in London, Munich, Tubingen, and New York at noted galleries such as 11R, Feature, Minus Space, and White Columns. This is his first solo show in St. Louis.
“The work has, until recently, been described as an unlikely fusion of Minimalism and P & D (Pattern and Decoration). Melini fills in a hard-edge, minimalist grid with what looks like painted patterns of plaids, stripes, and tattersalls. The precisionist effect is then overlaid by a less-perceptible layer of drips and drops of paint.
“As that body of work progressed, Melini simultaneously was working on a closely related group of paintings in which gestural elements were painted over a lattice-like structure. The work retained the formality of a grid that nearly disappeared under the lushness of brushwork almost spiritual in quality. The effect projected, by both bodies of work, is one of optimism — something badly needed in trying times.”
Featuring works by Moroccan artist, Hassan Hajjaj.
From the gallery, “Known as the ‘Andy Warhol of Marrakesh,’ Hassan Hajjaj thrives in a space between cultures, traditions, mediums, and artistic movements. His images vibrate with an energy unique to the contemporary clashes that emerge from a world inundated with global consumption and ever-changing shifts in style… Currently traveling between Morocco and the United Kingdom, Hajjaj endeavors to document the hybrid music, fashion and artistic spirit of both places. Remixing traditional Moroccan floor mat textiles with flashy neo-dandy street fashion, the artist mashes up patterns and colors that overwhelm the eye and recall the organized chaos of the urban Moroccan marketplace. Beyond the use of the bright Moroccan floor mats in the photograph, the artist furthers his exploration of materials, channeling Andy Warhol and other Pop artists in his weaving of mundane mass-produced consumables, like soda cans and food seasoning packages, directly into the custom made frame itself.
The work of Saint Louis artist Basil Kincaid also creates a conversation with contemporary and traditional craft. In his new series of work, Portraits, which consists of quilted pieces that the artist constructs on a wooden frame, Kincaid connects with his personal heritage and a larger cultural history. His family has practiced the art of quilting for the last 100 years, and the artist cites his paternal grandmother Eugenia Kincaid, with whom he collaborates on his work at a spiritual level, as his most immediate influence… Stylistically, Kincaid draws from Black American and West African folk and fine art, poetry and music, patching together small pieces of fabric with disparate patterns and colors, to create a unity and rhythm between the past and the present, the craft and commercial, and the personal and universal.”
Each of the above shows opens with an artist reception from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7 (Atrium Gallery’s reception will be from 6-8 p.m.). Openings are free and open to the public. For more information about specific artists, please contact the galleries directly.