It always follows a kind of formula. An August off plus one week of classes followed by a holiday weekend adds up to the inevitable shadow line where all cultural events coincide for a few nights of artspeak, chartered buses between institutions and enough blockbusters for Roland Emmerich to retire on. Plenty of fall arts previews are floating around in print, so here is a temperamental (and geographical) look at a few St. Louis openings and events to catch over the weekend.
Grand Center + Central West End
Bruno David Gallery: Opens September 9th from 5-9pm
Bruno David Gallery will open its sixth season with work from four artists from its significant roster. The exhibition plays to the gallery’s strengths with a kind of conceptual abstraction and playful engagement with material. In particular, Leslie Laskey’s S.E.N.T. (Security Envelopes Now Tampered) shares a nice harmonic balance with the retrospective of the Museum of Pocket Art, which organizes exhibitions to be shown in a standard wallet on a scale comparable to a business card. Also opening is Kelley Johnson’s Works on Paper and William Morris’s video Atraxia.
Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis: Opens September 9th from 7-9pm
World Chess Hall of Fame: Opens September 9th at 10am
One of the most intriguing additions to the St. Louis gallery community is the World Chess Hall of Fame, whose name belies the challenging contemporary art exhibitions it has commissioned for its Central West End gallery. The Hall of Fame, which recently moved from its previous home in Miami, will present its first exhibition Out of the Box: Artists Play Chess featuring work from Barbara Kruger, Tom Friedman, Yoko Ono and a number of other artists using chess as medium or metaphor. The surprisingly broad range of approaches to the subject yields a complex view of how chess has entered the imagination of contemporary artists since Duchamp’s abdication of his art practice to become a chess master.
Aisle One Gallery: Opens September 9th from 7-11pm
Aisle One Gallery on Cherokee Street opens a Bumble & Bramble with illustrators Ben Pierce and Joy Tiyasirichokchai. Both artists employ a surrealist approach to illustration, emphasizing enigmatic characters within muted landscapes. The show will remain open through October 1st.
Los Caminos: Opens September 10th from 7-10pm
Los Caminos will present Doing Easy, a group exhibition responding to William S. Burroughs’s maxim for The Discipline of Doing Easy. The exhibition, curated by Cole Root, features the work of Glen Fogel, Dani Kantrowitz, Gregg Louis, Mike Schuh, and Matthew Strauss. Doing Easy is the latest in a run of provocative, intelligent exhibitions in the Cherokee apartment gallery. Most of the other exhibitions in this guide will be easily accessible during the next several months, so be sure to make it out for the opening for this one.
White Flag Projects: Opens September 8th from 6-8pm
Forest Park/University City
Kemper Art Museum: Opens September 9th from 7-9pm
The Kemper Art Museum on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis opens two ambitious exhibitions this weekend in their newly renovated gallery space. The Kemper plays to its strengths with Precarious Worlds, which highlights the institution’s emphasis on contemporary German art. Precarious Worlds features significant pieces in their collection from Wolfgang Tillmans, Cosima von Bonin, Isa Genzken and more, as well as a large installation by Hans-Peter Feldmann. The show has a focus on post-Cold War notions of place and political transformation. Also opening is Tomas Saraceno’s Cloud-Specific, spotlighting the artist’s ongoing investigation of an imagined sustainable sky city composed. Cloud-Specific features prototypes and models of the airborne metropolis along with recent inflatable sculptures and video work.
James McAnally is the executive editor and co-founder of Temporary Art Review. A graduate of Washington University, James McAnally is a founder, Co-Director, and Curator of The Luminary Center for the Arts, a nonprofit artist resourcing organization based in St. Louis. In his personal practice, he works as part of the artistic collaborative US English.