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projects + gallery

Stepping into “Fashioning the Black Body” at projects+gallery

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

Whenever I attend an opening at projects+gallery, I find myself as fascinated by what the crowd is wearing as much as by the art on the walls. Fashioning the Black Body, which opened Friday March 15, and the artists talk the following day, led me down the same delightful path.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

The exhibition is Dario Calmese’s, above right, curatorial debut. He is a multi-faceted artist who was the creative force behind last year’s wildly popular exhibition at projects + gallery titled Amongst Friends.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

In the curator’s statement on the gallery’s website, Calmese says: “Far from the reaches of frivolity–a domain to which fashion is usually relegated–Black people have continually engaged the fashion object beyond its utilitarian functions into a device of pride, protection, resistance and camouflage.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

Artist David Antonio Cruz’s painting, above, is titled thereturnofthedirtyboys/girls.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

Fahamu Pecou’s Black Boy Fly, 2014, acrylic & gold leaf on canvas. During Saturday’s conversation Calmese said that “none of my female friends are attracted to this look.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

Kenturah Davis’s wood frame structure with embroidered panel, right.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

projects + gallery’s Senior Director Bridget Melloy, standing far right, introduced the artists’ panel Saturday. Those include from left: moderator Rikki Byrd, who until recently was on the faculty of Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design, and is now a PhD student at Northwestern, Curator Dario Calmese (wearing projects + gallery SPACEWALKER), St. Louis-based artist Basil Kincaid, and Kenturah Davis, who earned her BFA from Yale and divides her time between L.A., New Haven, and Accra (Ghana).

When asked how he chose the art for Fashioning the Black Body Calmese explained that many of the artists are friends he’s worked with in the past. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

Left: Kehinde Wiley’s After Pontermo’s Two Men with a Passage.

Right, Rikki Byrd singled out St. Louis-based Basil Kincaid’s quilt and mannequin Special Spot, above right, to demonstrate that black people have historically found ways to make something out of nothing. Kincaid used various donated fabrics and waxed batik from his travels in fashioning his work.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  Rikki Byrd projects + gallery Kenturah Davis Kehinde Wiley Fahamu Pecou David antonio Cruz Dario Calmese Bisa Butler Basil Kincaid

Bisa Butler’s  85 x 79″ quilt, Black Star Family, first class tickets to Liberia, 2018, cotton, silk & denim.

Fashioning the Black Body will remain on view at projects + gallery, 4733 McPherson  Ave., until May 4.

Snapshots from February 15th’s gallery openings

As yet another band of snow and ice moved through the area last Friday afternoon, proprietors of the art galleries on McPherson were sending out plaintive messages on social media reminding followers that the evening’s openings were still happening, no matter the weather.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

The sidewalks were practically deserted as we walked over thinking there was probably going to be a light turnout.  But contrary to our assumptions, we were delighted to discover that the galleries were packed with people bundled up for the occasion in their down coats and knit caps, and the evening took on a surprisingly festive air. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

As Duane Reed, above left, said, “The neighborhood has really turned out in force tonight.” Though there were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, the mix included much more than just CWEnders.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

Duane Reed Gallery’s current exhibition, Constructs of Meaning, includes works by artists Belinda Lee, top photo left, Stefanie Kirkland, right, and bottom left, Benjamin Lowder.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

Also exhibiting is special guest artist Vicki Friedman, top photo left, whose Sharing the Process is based on classical pen-and-ink drawings, examples above. A percentage of Friedman’s sales will be donated to Sharsheret Supports.

Constructs of Meaning will remain on view until March 23.

Duane Reed Gallery, 4729 McPherson Ave.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

At Houska Gallery, an exhibition titled Temporal Contexts features the works of artists Kit Keith, above, and Christopher Reuss, below.

Keith, a former CWEnder, is aptly described on Houska’s website: Kit Keith’s paintings and collages are unmistakable – nostalgic portraits and handwritten sayings over thrift shop paintings, canvas tarps, and antique maps – allowing a glimpse into Kit’s unconventional, artistic life.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

Christopher Ruess is photographed with artist Belinda Lee (both former students of Arthur Osver, see below) who skipped out of her exhibition at Duane Reed Gallery to say a quick hello. Ruess’ paintings ” explore a visual language inspired by marine shapes and their contexts – particularly vernacular shapes indicative of water and terrestrial forms.”

Temporal Contexts is on view until March 3o.

Houska Gallery, 4728 McPherson Ave.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

Philip Slein, top photo right, needn’t have worried about the turnout to view Arthur Osver A Retrospective. His gallery was packed as well. The gallery presented Osver’s Retrospective in conjunction with the publication of  Arthur Osver: Urban Landscape, Abstraction, and the Mystique of Place, produced by the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

Paintings above left include Osver’s The John Hayes Building, 1941.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

Osver (1912 to 2006) was a professor of art at Washington University from 1960 to 1981. Learn more about Osver on the gallery’s website.

The exhibition runs through March 30.

Philip Slein Gallery, 4735 McPherson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

projects + gallery’s spare exhibition, sky every day, is aptly named after a 1968 poem by Aram Saroyan, known for his one word or minimal poems. The group exhibition was curated by Jessica Baran.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

The current exhibition includes Christine Corday’s Spacewalker, far right. In conjunction with Barrett Barrera Projects, projects + gallery’s founder Susan Barrett’s consulting company, the designer has created unisex Spacewalkers, —WE ARE THE HUMAN UNIFORM, which are now available in a variety of colors in the gallery’s shop. Learn more here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture  Vicki Friedman Stefanie Kirkland projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Kit Keith Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Christopher Reuss Benjamin Lowder Belinda Lee Arthur Osver

Reflecting on yet another rewarding outing in the neighborhood, I know I am not alone when I say that I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

A few days left to view September’s gallery offerings

Apologies for this last-minute notice, but if you’ve some time there are a few days left to dash to CWE galleries to view current exhibitions before they close.

Artists Luanne Rimel, Nancy Callan, and Mary Borgman’s works will remain on view at Duane Reed Gallery until this Saturday, October 13.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag   Artist Luanne Rimel, above right, is also a curator, instructor, and Director of Education Programs at Craft Alliance Art Center.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Rimel’s fascinating Scaffold Curtain 1, original photography printed on repurposed flour-sack cloth. From the website:”…detailed sections of the image are created and layered, collaged and hand stitched onto the cloth…”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

CWEnder Carol Kyser, above left, photographed in front of Nancy Callan’s blown and slumped glass pieces, and right, another hip observer, viewing Callan’s work titled Noodles & Confetti.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Above, artist Mary Borgman’s mesmerizing charcoal on mylar, Portrait of Chris Rubin: Standing. Among the many galleries where this St. Louis-based artist has exhibited is the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian Institute.

At Philip Slein Gallery, Andrea Belag’s Beachcomber series will close this Saturday as well.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

The New York-based artist is photographed alongside her oil on linen, Beachcomber 1. In an article in Whitehot Magazine, independent curator Paul Laster describes Belag’s process: “Using a variety of paints, tools and actions, she makes paintings that layer color in an energetic yet meditative way.” Read Laster’s Sixteen Questions in its entirety here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Belag’s 56 x 70″ oil on linen, Beachcomber #17.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

At Houska Gallery, John Marksbury’s My Life as an Atom:Recent Paintings is the artist’s first exhibition since moving to St. Louis from Boston in 2013.

From Houska Gallery’s website: “Markbury’s colorful paintings explore ideas of time and space, the fantastic and mystical, symbolism, and the tension between objective and subjective experience.”

A closing reception is scheduled on Saturday, October 13,  from 1 to 4 p.m.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Susan Barrett, above, founder of projects + gallery, clearly has her finger on the pulse of what is current in both the art world and popular culture. To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults by Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre, which sadly closes today (sorry!), is a great example.

“This interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between Jess T. Dugan, photographer, and Vanessa Fabbre, social worker and assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, whose research focuses on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and aging.”

To Survive on This Shore was released as a book at the end of August.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Above left: Each of Dugan’s photographs (this is the first time she has photographed older adults in the LGBTQ community) is accompanied by Fabbre’s texts which provide selections of full-length interviews “to enhance the viewer’s connection to each subject’s story.”

Right: It’s as much fun to view the art on the walls at projects + gallery openings as it is to observe the fashion worn by those who stop by.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

The New York Times published a piece on its Lens website by reporter Jake Naughton reviewing the current exhibition, which you can read here: A Visual Record of the Joys, Fears and Hopes of Older Transgender People.

Over on Washington Avenue at Atrium Gallery, artist Caroline Weld’s paintings and John Schwartzkoff’s sculptures will remain on view until November 10.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag

Former St. Louisan Caroline Weld, above, who lives on Nantucket, is exhibiting her abstract paintings in her hometown for the first time. The artist is photographed alongside Pebble Pile, acrylic on canvas.

From the website: “Weld paints using natural light from her solarium windows in her (Nantucket) studio and in addition to brushes, uses unconventional tools to create the texture often seen in her work.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater  Susan Barrett projects + gallery Philip Slein Gallery Nancy Callan Mary Borgman Luanne Rimmel John Scwartzkoff John Marksbury Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery Caroline Weld Atrium Gallery Andrea Belag   

In addition to Weld’s paintings, Perspective features sculpture by John Schwartzkoff.