(Jan. 14) — This weekend is full of new gallery exhibitions and performance openings in St. Louis. Here are a few: (Click here to visit our events page.)
“Lisa Yuskavage: The Brood” presents twenty-five years of the New York-based artist’s work, espousing her bold vision for contemporary figurative painting and works of the female body. (Jan. 15–April 3 at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Main Galleries, 3750 Washington Boulevard; free; 314-535-4660; camstl.org)
“Arcangelo Sassolino: Not Human” is the Italian sculptor’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, featuring his kinetic sculptures that breathe, explode, punch, and crush. Elegantly fabricated with the help of experts and engineers, each work mimics a human experience: taking a breath, biting down. (Jan. 15–April 3 at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Main Galleries, 3750 Washington Boulevard; free; 314-535-4660; camstl.org)
“Forests and Fires” is Michigan-born, New York-based artist Peter Sutherland’s first solo museum exhibition, featuring new site-specific work for CAM. Sutherland uses a variety of landscape imagery, from mountain ranges to deciduous forests, to evoke incongruous sensations of awe, danger, and the sublime. (Jan. 15–April 3 at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Main Galleries, 3750 Washington Boulevard; free; 314-535-4660; camstl.org)
Across plaster, porcelain, and paper, New York-based artist Arlene Shechet’s intensive, playful practice consistently pushes the boundaries of what sculpture can be with “Urgent Matter.” (Jan. 15–April 3 at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Main Galleries, 3750 Washington Boulevard; free; 314-535-4660; camstl.org)
“Paintings without Borders 2” is New York-based artist Ned Vena’s first solo museum exhibition, featuring new work made expressly for the artist’s presentation at CAM. Vena’s austere monochrome paintings and abstract compositions evoke a myriad of 20th-century influences from Kazimir Malevich to Frank Stella. (Jan. 15–April 3 at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Main Galleries, 3750 Washington Boulevard; free; 314-535-4660; camstl.org)
A multidisciplinary collective made up of the artists Phunam Thuc Ha, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Matt Lucero, The Propeller Group uses sophisticated digital tools to explore cultural and political phenomena in “Fusion (After a Universe of Collisions)” for CAM’s Street Views.
Ali Cavanaugh’s paintings have been the subject of numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions. Cavanaugh’s paintings have been featured on book covers, countless internet features such as the Huffington Post, Fine Art Connoisseur, Hi-Fructose and in numerous print publications including The New York Times Magazine, American Art Collector, American Artist Watercolor. She has painted portraits for TIME magazine and The New York Times. Her work is featured in more than 400 private and corporate collections throughout the North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Starts Jan. 15. Mondays-Saturdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Feb. 12.
This multimedia group exhibition features work that depicts creatures both real and imagined. Many artists took the theme as a challenge, reimagining organic forms in surprising ways. The rodent in Brent Becker’s Gestalt Mouse is hardly recognizable first, its hairless body lumpen and knurled and apparently held together by stray buckles and rivets. Closer examination reveals other animal faces hidden in the figure, a blobfish sitting atop a deer – or is that a dog? Justin Miller’s Steed is a biomechanical construct of World War II fighter plane scraps and organic materials. Starts Jan. 16. Sat., Jan. 16, 6 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Feb. 18.
Married life is not the bliss and contentment Lottie Wilton was promised. Her husband treats her like a child, and London is a smoggy, dreary place in the aftermath of World War I. Who can blame her for spending her savings to rent an Italian castle for a month-long vacation? But to get there she’ll need partners, and so she recruits three strangers to help manage the cost. One is another unhappy housewife, one is a demanding older woman of certain means, and the final partner is a young flapper. Together the quartet embarks on the great adventure of abundant sun, handsome property managers and four blissful weeks without domineering husbands. Matthew Barber’s play Enchanted April is based on Elizabeth von Arnim’s 1922 novel, but modified slightly for stage and modern times. Kirkwood Theatre Guild presents Enchanted April at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (January 15 to 24) at the Robert G. Reim Theatre. Tickets are $20.
Kenyatta is a revered member of the Black Power movement who has sacrificed any sort of real relationship with his family in his pursuit of social justice. His estranged wife Ashanti has recently died, and Kenyatta heads home at last to collect the letters she wrote to him, but never sent, while he was imprisoned. The only obstacle in his path is his adult daughter Nina, who resents him for abandoning her and ruining her mother’s life. In short order Kenyatta learns that his reputation and street cred mean nothing to a woman who wanted a father, not a figurehead. Dominic Morisseau’s Sunset Baby is about fatherhood, personal politics and the value of family — even when you don’t want one. The Black Rep presents Sunset Baby at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday (January 15 to 31) at Washington University’s Edison Theatre. Tickets are $30.
Other productions this weekend:
The Other Side: Two impecunious psychology students, in need of inspiration, and rent money, set up shop as fake psychic mediums for “research.” Things are going well, until they attract the attention of a local crime lord’s daughter inquiring after the fate of her father. Between the girl’s psychotic brother breathing down their necks and the local police taking a strong interest in their work, our heroes must think fast before they too get sent to The Other Side. Click for more information.
The Lion in Winter: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ season continues with a production of James Goldman’s regal dramedy, The Lion in Winter. Edward Stern directs this duplicitous tale of twelfth-century political warfare, which revolves around the royal scheming of the members of the Plantagenet dynasty during the not-so-great Christmas of 1183. King Henry II of England is on the cusp of naming his successor while fending off threats from within his inner circle. Schemers include his estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who has only recently been released from prison (Henry gave the order to jail her), and his three quarrelsome sons. The Lion in Winter is performed Tuesday through Sunday (January 8 through 31) at the Loretto-Hilton Center. Tickets are $17.50 to $79.50. Click for more information.
From the Canyon to the Stars: Most listeners, casual or committed, are familiar with Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, its grandeur and aural capaciousness as richly American as the mountain range that inspired it. Copland’s ode to the land and its animating spirit is rightly a permanent resident of the symphonic canon, but there’s another work, newer, less established in the public’s consciousness, that one day may be just as famous. Olivier Messiaen’s From the Canyon to the Stars has also never before been performed in St. Louis— until now. The French composer was inspired to write this work after visiting Bryce Canyon in 1972; the piece was designed to recreate in musical language Messiaen’s sense of awe before the presence of the canyon and other national parks in the American West. Complementing the music are video and still images of the West by visual artist Deborah O’Grady. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra performs From the Canyon to the Stars at 8 p.m. tonight at Powell Symphony Hall. Tickets are $25 to $86.50. Click for more information.
Other gallery exhibits for the rest of the year:
The Saint Louis Art Museum has acquired more than 700 prints, drawings, and photographs in the last 10 years; few of them have been displayed. More than 60 of them, from the 15th century to the present, will be on view in “A Decade of Collecting Prints, Drawings and Photographs.” (Jan. 29-July 17 at the Saint Louis Art Museum Galleries 234 ad 235, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park; free; 314-721-0072; slam.org)
Thanks to St. Louis businessman James F. Ballard and his daughter, Nellie Ballard White, the St. Louis Art Museum has one of the world’s great collections of Oriental rugs. In “The Carpet and the Connoisseur,” 51 of them will be on display. (March 6-May 8 at the Saint Louis Art Museum Main Exhibition Galleries, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park; 314-721-0072; slam.org)
The “Currents 112” exhibition will showcase new work by Andréa Stanislav, who is known for creating ambitious, monumentally scaled multimedia installations that explore the relationship between site and communist, and between artist and audience. (March 24-June 19 at the Saint Louis Art Museum, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park; free; 314-721-0072; slam.org)
“Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art” proposes a reframing of the conversation to consider the continuum of American folk art through the concept of “self-taught genius” as an elastic and enduring notion whose meaning has evolved over time. (June 19-Sept. 11 at the Saint Louis Art Museum Main Exhibition Gallereis, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park; 314-721-0072; slam.org)
“Goya: The Disasters of War” will highlight an important 2015 acquisition by the Saint Louis Art Museum, Los Desastres de la Guerra series by Francisco Goya (1746-1828). While not depicting any specific historical events, the series of 80 etchings and aquatints respond to the Peninsular War and the harrowing effects of famine in Madrid. (summer and fall at the Saint Louis Art Museum Galleries 234 and 235, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park; 314-721-0072; slam.org)
The Saint Louis Art Museum continues its journey of global art by introducing “Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan.” This exhibit will showcase extraordinary visual material documenting Japan’s rise as a military power in East Asia, focusing on art produced during a period marked by the Sino-Japanese War andy he Russo-Japanese War. (Oct. 16 – Jan. 8, 2017 at the Saint Louis Art Museum Main Exhibition Galleries, One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park; 314-721-0072; slam.org)
Experience the science and technology behind exploring the red planet by visiting the Science Museum’s “Mission: Mars exhibit.” Developed by the Saint Louis Science Center in partnership with Washington University in St. Louis and NASA, this unique exhibit has two interactive parts that you won’t want to miss. (Open now, permanent exhibit, St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400; slsc.org)
“Above and Beyond” features simulations that allow visitors to design and test-fly a supersonic jet, experience flight as a bird, and ride in a space elevator. This special exhibition will immerse you in flight and space travel. (Opens Jan. 29 at the St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400; slsc.org)
“GROW,” the St. Louis Science Center’s new one-acre permanent exhibit on agriculture, opens this summer. It will teach about “food from farm to fork” with more that 40 exhibits incorporating chemistry, economics, life sciences, culture and technology. Along with an introduction to farming, there will be facts about water, weather and how plants work, and a greenhouse with a working aquaponic farm. (Opens in summer at the St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400; slsc.org)
From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism, “Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America” provides an unprecedented perspective on terror and espionage on American soil. Created by the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, the exhibition uncovers the forgotten stories of domestic terrorists, foreign agents, militant radicals, and saboteurs who have threatened America’s sense of security over the past 200 years. (Feb. 6-May 8 at the Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park; free; 314-746-4599; mohistory.org)
“Where did you go to high school?” is the quintessential St. Louis question, one greeted with bewilderment by those who didn’t grow up here. It serves two primary purposes: making connections — and pigeonholing people. Soon, “Where Did You Go to High School?” will be an exhibition at the Missouri History Museum, developed by the Teens Make History Exhibitors, a group of high school apprentices employed by the museum. (March 12-July 17 at the Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park; free; 314-746-4599; mohistory.org)
The Little Black Dress—a simple, short cocktail dress—is a sartorial staple for most contemporary women. Prior to the early 20th century, simple, unadorned black garments were limited to mourning, and strict social rules regarding mourning dress were rigidly observed. Featuring more than 60 dresses from the Missouri History Museum’s world-renowned textile collection, “Little Black Dress: From Mourning to Night” will explore the subject of mourning, as well as the transition of black from a symbol of grief to a symbol of high fashion. (April 2-Sept. 5 at the Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park; free; 314-746-4599; mohistory.org)
Known as the “Mother Road” and the “Main Street of America,” Route 66 plays an important role in American history and myth. But the famous road also has a story to tell about the St. Louis area and how it has changed. Find out with “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis.” (June 25-July 16, 2017 at the Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park; free; 314-746-4599; mohistory.org)
The names of popular toys from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory and history. Experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life in “TOYS of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.” (Oct. 29-Jan. 22, 2017 at the Missouri History Museum, Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park; free; 314-746-4599; mohistory.org)
“New Territories” at Laumeier Sculpture Park takes a broad look the world’s cultural zones as they have directly and indirectly impacted life in St. Louis. Projects and activities will twist the economic acronym BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] beyond the market forces driving the global economy. (2016-2019 at Laumeier Sculpture Park, 12580 Rott Road; free; 314-615-5278; laumeiersculpturepark.org)
Laumeier will present new work by New Delhi-based artist Gigi Scaria, whose work is focused on “social mapping”—be it as territorial, cultural, environmental or of the hierarchies and systems of our global communities. Scaria’s exhibition “Time” will include recent photographs, films and sculpture inside the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center and a new outdoor commission. (April 16–Aug. 14 at Laumeier Sculpture Park, 12580 Rott Road; free; 314-615-5278; laumeiersculpturepark.org)
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum looks at the intersection of surveillance, technology and power in “To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare.” (Jan. 29-April 24 at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, One Brookings Drive; free; 314-935-4523; kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu)
Whether it’s jazz or folk, country or pop, rock or rap, the Blues has exerted a deep, profound influence that resonates to this day. Part of the reason is that it has always expressed emotional, heartfelt truths about life that continue to speak to generations of listeners, from all corners and walks of society. Throughout its existence, the essence of the Blues has remained constant, reinforcing basic elements that connect artists from different eras, geographies, and stylistic approaches. That’s because, above all, the Blues is a feeling as much as a form – and as universal as life itself. Be there for the only Blues Museum in the country’s opening, right here in St. Louis, April 2, 2016!
Copyright, HEC-TV 2016.