Monday, November 24, 2008

New Works on Paper & Splatter Pattern

by Betsy Bolen

"New Works on Paper" and "Splatter Pattern"
Morton J. May Gallery, Maryville University St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
November 6-December 5, 2008

St. Louis artists Gina Alvarez and Nick Nihira are exhibiting new work at the Morton J. May Gallery at Maryville University St. Louis. Located in the University's library, the Gallery has recently been expanded from its former one room to two spacious rooms.

New Works on Paper,” a print, collage, and fiber based show by Gina Alvarez, occupies the front room. The two largest works in the show, Migrating Flora and Farell Blue, are composed of six elongated monoprints hung side by side. These works, which face each other on opposite walls, call to mind Japanese multi-panel screens. In them, groupings of quiet-hued, sausage-like shapes are strewn across the six prints. In Migrating Flora, the monoprints are spaced about an inch apart and the shapes flow in a continuous stream across the panels. Farell Blue on the other hand, has spacing about two feet apart. Here, the shapes coalesce within each print creating a visual pause between panels and an emphasis on the long, individual sheets of paper.

Gina Alvarez. Farrell Blue. 2008. Edition various 12.
Woodcut, Relief, Collage on Paper,
Printed at Pele Prints, St. Louis.

Alvarez also shows six rectangular collages that are pinned directly to the wall. These pieces employ various elements such as print, paper cut-outs, weaving, and stitching. As in the two larger works, significant areas of the white paper ground are left open. In this way, a “space” is achieved in which the viewer can focus on the individual process of each collage.

Nick Nihira.

Exercise in Patience, a series of six small, white framed mixed media pieces completes the show. Three of these use old, yellowed book pages as ground for painted images and cut-outs. The small pages of text offer a subtle contrast to the larger, white papers in the rest of the show.

Several of the works in Nick Nihira’s show, “Splatter Pattern,” have titles that refer to the economy such as Real Estate Bubble, Trickle Down, and Recession Sketch Series. Pencil on paper drawings in allover field patterns alternate on the walls with acrylic paintings on canvas, and mixed media works.


"New Works on Paper" & "Splatter Pattern" remain on view through December 5, 2008. The Morton J. May Foundation Gallery is located on the campus of Maryville University St. Louis in the Library Building, 650 Maryville University Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141. 314/529-9381. Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thanksgiving hours; Closed November 26-29; open November 30, 3-10 p.m.

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