The ArtsZipper Blog

Saint Louis Contemporary Arts Museum a True Treat for Patrons

If you're at all interested in art, hot social and ethical topics of the day, or just having your mind wracked with powerful questions then you'll want to check out three exhibits currently featured at the Saint Louis CAM (Contemporary Arts Museum). These extraordinarily intriguing artists address everything from perceptions of African American life, universal themes of violence and lust, and the advancement of technology. A day here will leave you both slightly confounded and truly inspired.

In the Front Room of CAM is found an installation piece by Kerry James Marshall entitled "Garden of Delights" which explores the history of race through a mock garden style spread. Chicago native, Marshall is primarily known for his paintings, but this 3D immersion takes a look at the realities versus perceptions of African American life. The garden displays images running the gambit of a typical day in Chicago. A photo of Marshall's kindergarten teacher sprouts from one flower bloom while the graven image of murdered Black Panther member, Fred Hampton, protrudes from another stem. Flaming Cheeto bags scatter the tiled walk way done in the colors of the Pan-African flag suggesting the complexity and nuanced life of Black America. If this concept intrigues you, then be sure to also see Marshall's "Watts 1963" on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum when the new Modern and Contemporary Wing opens June 29, 2013.

Lari Pittman's "A Decorated Chronology" graces the main gallery with a focus on sexuality, desire, and violence in the human experience. Pittman uses his work to make social commentary at political touchstones. Life as a gay American in Los Angeles at the onset of the AIDS outbreak in the late 80s and early 90s is especially depicted through Pittman's paintings. Earlier sign work in his career birthed a certain style in his works that is eye-catching, bold, and altogether wonderful.

Strangely interesting are his series of paintings created post 9/11. Mostly conceptual, these paintings are disturbing and starkly contrast earlier works. Regardless of topic, hybridity of high and low culture is seamless in his output. Pittman really produces mystifying works that require you to slow down and absorb them entirely.

Mika Taanila's "Tomorrow's New Dream" is an unusual exhibit focusing on the underlying question of what happens when humans push themselves too far technologically. Taanila follows the advent of the digital and the outdating of other media through history. The installations Six Day Run, Twilight, and The Most Electrified Town in Finland are all video projections on one, two, and three channels at a time depicting various events and how they contribute to the answer of this exhibit's overarching question. The sounds and sights of Taanila's work are truly unique.

Look for other upcoming events surrounding Taanila's exhibit at CAM in Grand Center. A performance by St. Louis musicians in response to the film The Most Electrified Town in Finland, a panel discussion, and two other short films by Mika will be shown at the gallery in the coming weeks.

Hours: 11-6 Wed / 11-9 Thu & Fri / 10-5 Sat & Sun

3750 Washington Blvd St. Louis, MO 63108

(314) 535-4660


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Strangely exciting are his sequence of artwork designed publish 9/11. Mostly conceptual, these artwork are distressing and starkly comparison previously performs. Regardless of subject, hybridity of high and low lifestyle is smooth in his outcome. Pittman really generates bewildering performs that need you to slowly down and process them entirely.
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# Posted By panie | 1/6/14 8:32 PM
This 1 time I was at this museum with some friends at an occasion. We were standing in a area that was being redesigned and had torn up rugs and the surfaces half ripped down. We spent about 35-40 minutes hiding out back there, drinking, wondering why they did not clean up this incomplete corner of the museum for our super classy event.

if you do not like this place, it is your fault. You are either really stupid. Or else really smart.

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