Ruptures at hoffman lachance contemporary[uds-billboard name=”ruptures”]Like the greater international art web, St. Louis is made up of many different art worlds. However, after two years living here it still surprises me how separate these worlds can be. The nexus of one such community is the artist-run space hoffman lachance contemporary in Maplewood. With a solid mix of gallery regulars and occasional out-of-towners, this somewhat isolated venue certainly deserves more visits than this South City dweller manages to make.
While Ruptures benefits from the presentation of one or two propositions from each artist at a relatively consistent scale and form, some of the individual paintings falter as inferior examples of the artist’s work. John Kissick’s 2 Studies for a painting of an abstract painting (No. 1) and (No. 2) are just that, flat stand-ins for his normal roster of larger works that have much more depth and energy. Melissa Oresky’s Hedge and Yellow Cluster also read as studies for her larger paintings, which have recently benefited from the unusual colors she paints the walls she hangs them on. What is most notably missing, however, is Thomas Vance’s self-described “sculptural” work. These plant, rock and geometric paper forms with wooden support structures have as much, if not more, to do with the possibilities of painting, as his architecturally inspired “drawings” (such as Draft: Elevation). This much-needed addition would have broadened the range of approaches to abstraction in the exhibition and acknowledged a history that includes important painters like Franz Ackerman and Matthew Ritchie.
While many artists may ask valuable questions of Ruptures, this exhibition is worth the gas money for any young painter exploring the medium’s ‘expanded field’ and looking for a inspirational shot of Vitamin P.
Ruptures is on view at hoffman lachance contemporary, in St. Louis, MO through May 28, 2011.
Images courtesy of hoffman lachance contemporary.