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Saint Louis Art Museum to Present New Works by "Kehinde Wiley"
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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), May 21, 2018 - The Saint Louis Art Museum will present "Kehinde Wiley," a free exhibition of 11 commissioned portraits of people the artist met during a 2017 visit to St. Louis. The exhibition will be on view in galleries 249 and 250 from Oct. 19 through Feb. 10, 2019.
Kehinde Wiley creates large-scale oil paintings of contemporary African-American subjects that address the politics of race and power in art. Recalling the grand traditions of European and American portraiture, Wiley depicts his models in poses adapted from historic paintings.
Wiley studied the Saint Louis Art Museum collection to identify works he would reference in the exhibition. During a 2017 visit to St. Louis, he invited people he encountered in neighborhoods in north St. Louis and Ferguson to pose for the paintings.
"Kehinde uses works in the Saint Louis Art Museum's collection as a starting point for observations about race and representation throughout the history of art," said Brent R. Benjamin, the Barbara B. Taylor Director of the Saint Louis Art Museum. "We are extraordinarily honored to collaborate with Kehinde on this exhibition."
Wiley is the first African-American artist to paint an official portrait of a U.S. President for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The portrait of Barack Obama was unveiled in February. (The National Portrait Gallery simultaneously unveiled a portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama painted by Amy Sherald, whose exhibition is on view at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.)
Wiley has held solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum (2015), the Jewish Museum in New York (2012), the Columbus Museum of Art (2006), and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2008), among others. His works are included in such public collections as the Denver Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Wiley will discuss the exhibition and his practice in the museum's Farrell Auditorium during the opening weekend of the exhibition. Details, including ticket information, will be available this summer.
"Kehinde Wiley" is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, and Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art, with Molly Moog, research assistant. The exhibition is supported by a grant from the Trio Foundation of St. Louis.
Duane Reed Gallery to Michael Eastman and Ethan Meyer Exhibit
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), May 21, 2018 - Reed Gallery, located at 4729 McPherson in the Central West End, will host an exhibit of new works by Michael Eastman: Southern light - photographs from Buenos Aires and Ethan Meyer: Descending Into Matter, May 25 - July 7. Opening Reception Friday, May 25, 5-8 pm.
Michael Eastman has established himself as one of the world's leading contemporary photographic artists. The self-taught photographer is most recognized for his explorations of architectural form and the textures of decay, producing large-scale photographs unified by their visual precision, monumentality, and painterly use of color. Most recently, Eastman traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to capture some of the city's most iconic interiors; the result of ambitious and extravagant architectural projects to boast its wealth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "[His] photographs present a complex tableaux of Buenos Aires' vibrant history, juxtaposing the splendor of a bygone golden age with present-day realities."
Ethan Meyer's work is an obsession with densely intricate patterns that map the inner landscapes of consciousness. As the viewer attempts to chart the patterns, the overall effect is of a space that is both rhythmic and organic. Using markings that are frenetic and spatially dense, Meyer is able to create a web of color that is both transient and hypnotic. Exploring these "landscapes" becomes a visionary and thought provoking experience that plays with surface and organic overtones.
Contemporary Art Museum Hosts Amy Sherald Exhibit
Amy Sherald, the artist behind the official Michelle Obama portrait and "What's precious inside of him does not care to be known by the mind in ways that diminish its presence (All American)." Image courtesy of the artist.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - The Contemporary Art Museum is hosting new and recent paintings by Amy Sherald in a solo exhibit, through August 19, 2018. The exhibit was organized by executive curator Lisa Melandri.
Sherald, the artist behind the official Michelle Obama portrait, paints staged narratives and constructed identities, creating portraits of African Americans - most of whom she meets during the course of her day. She deftly represents the features of each sitter with the masterful draughtsmanship of American realism.
But she decorates her subjects with fantastical props and costumes: brightly colored pin-striped suits, multi-scooped ice-cream cones, rabbits in hats, giant coffee cups, and cotton candy. A lush, color-field backdrop serves as setting.
An obvious care is taken with each portrait: how a prop is chosen, how it is held, the style and fit of clothing, the contrast or complement of colors, the choice of backdrop, or void, with the color intensity of a candied fantasy, and the expression and gesture of the figure.
The artist has talked about her artmaking as an act to "image the versions of ourselves that thrive when extricated from the dominant historical narrative." Her work lends truth and reality to history. "My paintings hold up a mirror to the present and reflect real experiences of blackness today and historically," she says, "in everyday life and within the historical art canon."
Amy Sherald, who was born in Columbus, GA 1973, and lives in Baltimore, received her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004) and BA in Painting from Clark-Atlanta University (1997), and was a Spelman College International Artist-in-Residence in Portobelo, Panama (1997). In 2016, Sherald was the first woman to win the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition grand prize; an accompanying exhibition, The Outwin 2016, has been on tour since 2016 and opened at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO in October 2017.
The Contemporary Art Museum is located at 3750 Washington Blvd. in the Grand Center Entertainment District. For more information, call 314-535-4660.
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