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Friday, January 18, 2013 / 12:55 PM

This Weekend: New Exhibits at Good Citizen, Fort Gondo, MOCRA

As is typical, there is so much going on in St. Louis it is hard to decide where to be and what to do. Here are three exhibits, opening Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively, that we can highly recommend:

Dark Star: Daniel McGrath
January 18 through February 16
Opening reception, Friday, January 18 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Good Citizen Gallery, 2247 Gravois, 314-348-4587, goodcitizenstl.com.

Artist and Webster art prof Daniel McGrath (who, along with Dana Turkovic, curates small and mind-bending shows for Isolation Room/Gallery Kit) examines the iconic hoodie in this exhibit, which includes a series of drawings, sculptures (and of course a mural for Good Citizen’s billboard. As a cultural object, the humble hoodie carries a weird and wide range of associations. McGrath explores a number of them in this show, with references to Knockout King, the London riots, and flash mobs—though the exhibit also touches on ancient Greek Kouros statuary. As the press release notes: “As an icon of anarchistic street style and conservative ‘bete noir,’ the hoodie has become something more than comfy apparel. It represents the seizing of anonymity and a self-exemption from identification…the work is about a broad historical shift in figuration, given the very anonymity of the hoodie, which resists socialization.”

All That Heaven Allows, Benjamin Edelberg & Brandon Anschultz
January 19 through February 23
Opening reception Saturday, January 19 from 7 to 10 p.m.
fort gondo compound for the arts, 3151 Cherokee
info@fortgondo.com, fortgondo.com.



Brandon Anschultz, Gold … Finger Itches (2012), mixed media. Courtesy of the artist.

The title of this exhbiit refers to a 1955 melodrama by Douglas Sirk, starring Jane Wyman as a wealthy lady of a certain age, and Rock Hudson as her gardener—they fall in love, despite gaps in age and class. Though soapy on the surface, the movie challenged the rigid social norms of the ’50s. The cinematic allusion is not surprising, considering that the out-of-town artist, Ontario-based Benjamin Edelberg, works heavily in film. You can preview some of his work (including the title piece) on his tumblr.  Joining Edelberg is St. Louis’ Brandon Anschultz, who will show pieces that explore "the intimate violence of assemblage as a sculptural and two-dimensional approach that radically deconstructs conventional materials.” Anschultz has a wonderful slideshow of Fall 2012 sculptures on his website (including the piece pictured above). Also note: Gondo's first poetry reading of the year happens a week from today! Readers are Nick Demske, Craig Morgan Teicher, and St. Louis poet Stephanie Schlaifer. More info at fortgondo.com/poetry.html.

Jordan Eagles, BLOOD / SPIRIT
January 20 through May 12
Opening reception Sunday, January 20 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Religious Art
Saint Louis University, 3700 West Pine
314-977-7170, mocra.slu.edu.


Jordan Eagles, FKTS4 (2011). Blood and copper presered on Plexiglass, UV resin. Courtesy of the artist.

In the 21st century, using organic materials in art (in this case, animal blood) has been done, and done, and done, but New York artist Jordan Eagles sill manages to make this practice shocking—and totally beautiful, totally compelling. Partly that’s due to his approach with the materials (i.e., using Plexiglas to prevent the blood from oxidizing, preserving its color and texture and reminding the viewer of exactly what they are looking at). But the philosophical undercurrent of the work is challenging and electrifying as well, touching on “the corporeal and the spiritual, on the scientific and the mystical, on mortality and regeneration.” This exhibit includes a 32-foot wide installation, BAR 1–9 (on view in MOCRA’s chapel space), as well as “blood illumination,” projections on the walls and ceilings of the balcony gallery. For more: here's a video of his working methods, and a writeup of the show in the Huffington Post.

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