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Saint Louis, MO
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Saint Louis Art Museum
One Fine Arts Drive,
Forest Park, St. Louis, MO 63110-1380
Telephone 314.721.0072
e-mail:
publicrelations@slam.org

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Exhibitions:

Printing Abstraction
November 30–March 31, 2019
Galleries 234 & 235, Main Building

Abstract art flourished in the United States and Europe during the second half of the 20th century, and in recent decades, it continues to be a fundamental catalyst in the development of contemporary art. For the past 60 years, artists have worked to expand what it means to create images without direct reference to the natural, visible world, focusing on line, color, and shape alone. To test the possibilities, some gravitated toward the reductive extremes of minimal, monochromatic compositions, while others achieved intense perceptual effects with complex patterns and bold hues. Printmaking, which offers an expansive range of outcomes—from the crisp, mechanical contours of screenprint to aquatint’s atmospheric shifts of tone—have served these artists’ goals with exceptional results.

Drawing on the Museum’s collection of abstract prints and multiples, Printing Abstraction considers various strategies, from Op art to hard-edge abstraction and beyond, that have emerged over the past six decades. The exhibition presents works from more than 20 artists, including figures who defined the field, such as Anni Albers, Marcel Duchamp, and Ad Reinhardt. Works by artists from more recent generations, like McArthur Binion and James Turrell, speak to the continuing relevance of abstraction today.

Printing Abstraction is curated by Gretchen L. Wagner, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, and complements the main exhibition Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now, which is open from November 11 through February 3, 2019.

Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now
November 11–February 3, 2019
Main Exhibition Galleries, East Building

Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now examines the transformational decade of the 1960s through the early 21st century, and the emergence of the creative synergies between the artists, publishers, printers, dealers, and collectors who have been critical to the development of American art during that time.

The explosion of printmaking activity that began in the United States in the 1960s stands out for the radical spirit of exploration and experimentation that amplified the possibilities of contemporary art. Often in collaboration with technically proficient and market-savvy printers and publishers, artists have long been reimagining what a print can be and using printmaking to push the boundaries of historical and popular imagery by engaging with contemporary issues and new technologies. The inventive options an artist has to choose from today range from the hand-made to the digital, from two-dimensional prints to books and multi-media objects.

Drawing from the Saint Louis Art Museum’s notable collection of post–World War II American prints and the holdings of private collections in St. Louis, the exhibition features more than 110 works by a diverse group of artists whose visual imagery helped define the spirit of their time. Notable highlights include works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, Bruce Conner, Barbara Kruger, Luis Jimenez, Edgar Heap of Birds, Julie Mehretu, and many more. Together, these individuals established a fertile setting for artists of diverse perspectives to make new work, examples of which are put into dialogue with each other throughout the exhibition.
EXPLORE LAB

Don’t miss the Graphic Revolution hands-on gallery midway through the exhibition. Browse popular magazines from the 1960s-2000s, explore a decade-by-decade timeline featuring key artworks and notable world events, and add your own personal event to the timeline.

Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis
October 19–February 10, 2019
Galleries 249 & 250, East Building

Free

The celebrated artist re-envisions Museum masterworks featuring Saint Louisans

Kehinde Wiley creates large-scale oil paintings of contemporary African American subjects in poses that recall grand traditions of European and American portraiture. His models—real people dressed in their own clothing—assume poses adapted from historic paintings. Wiley’s portraits often feature ornate and decorative backgrounds, elements of which surround and sometimes weave around his subjects. His works address the politics of race and power in art, drawing attention to the pervasive lack of representation of people of color in the art world.

The Saint Louis Art Museum is proud to present Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis, an exhibition that is deeply connected to this city and informed by visits Wiley made in 2017. Through a process of street casting, he invited strangers he met in neighborhoods in north St. Louis and Ferguson to pose for his paintings. Wiley then created eleven original portraits that are inspired by carefully chosen artworks in the Museum’s collection.

In 2018 Wiley became the first African-American artist to paint an official U.S. Presidential portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Former U.S. President Barack Obama selected Wiley for this honor. Wiley has held solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. His works are included in the collections of numerous public institutions.

Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis 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. This exhibition and related programs are supported with a grant from the Trio Foundation of St. Louis. Additional support is provided by Mary Ann and Andy Srenco.
Catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays from Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art of the Saint Louis Art Museum. Published by Roberts Projects with distribution by D.A.P.

Flora and Fauna in Japanese Art
Through March 24, 2019
Gallery 225, Main Building

Free

Japan encompasses a wide range of habitats, from the icy north to the subtropical south, populated by diverse flora and fauna. The Japanese have celebrated the natural beauty of their island nation in all seasons for millennia and the depiction of plants, animals, flowers, and insects has developed into a popular subject for the fine and decorative arts.

This exhibition explores how the Japanese have portrayed flora and fauna through paintings and ceramics from the mid-17th to the early-20th century. Artists and artisans alike experimented with stylization and realism, common and unusual combinations of floral and fauna subjects, and compositional strategies. Seasonality was conveyed through the selection of particular plants and animals; pheasants and flowering cherry blossoms illustrate spring while geese and wilting river reeds denote autumn. Another common practice was to combine subjects to create auspicious symbolism or to generate visual puns.

Flora and Fauna in Japanese Art features 9 works from the Museum collection, including a significant recent acquisition, Komuro Suiun’s Summer Scene with Solitary Duck amidst Rose Mallow and River Reeds, a scroll that was first shown as one of Japan’s fine-art submissions to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. After more than a century, it has returned to join the permanent collection of Japanese art at the Museum.

Gallery 225 is devoted to the periodic rotation of East Asian works on silk and paper and related objects. Flora and Fauna in Japanese Art is curated by Philip Hu, curator of Asian art.

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