Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Communication in translation

by Christy Wahl

Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis, MO
July 9, 2010-January 22, 2011

Ann Hamilton’s stylus is less an installation than a visual and aural experience. Hamilton has animated the Pulitzer space and created an inversion of the senses. The various stations within the space act as tools or producers of communication.

The touch pad, where one is asked to “sign-in,” triggers the pianos in the Cube and the Lower Gallery to sound in response. In the Main Gallery, a microphone and a rolling table sit on a steel table and when one speaks into the microphone the “talking pianos” answer the call with a flurry of notes; the movement of the piano keys makes the voice palpable. Within the environment there is the sound of materiality.

stylus - a project by Ann Hamilton, 2010. The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.

Visitors are encouraged to try on the paper hands that sit paired in the cubbies in the Main Gallery. Even the hands have their own sound emission. Hamilton is asking us to see things differently and to pay attention, but she is also inviting us to have fun.

stylus - a project by Ann Hamilton, 2010. The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.

Unlike most installations, this one is interactive (jumping beans excluded) and has built into it a wonderful element of play. Visitors can don paper hands, play a piano, pick out records, and peruse books. The rolling table in the Main Gallery evokes memories of the old Labyrinth game and the image projected on the wall when one first enters the space is either clapping or boxing your ears. The input of the viewer is paramount to the installation; however one may choose how to interpret the experience.

stylus remains on view through January 22, 2011. Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is located at 3716 Washington Blvd. St. Louis, MO. 314/754-1850. Admission is free. Gallery hours: W 12-5 p.m., Th 6-9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Christy Wahl holds degrees in art history and liberal arts. She enjoys making, writing about, and looking at art. As a Wisconsin native, she also enjoys beer and cheese.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Scenes from Europe—Summer 2010"

by Michelle Kimberlin, Art Saint Louis Summer 2010 Intern

"Scenes from Europe—Summer 2010"
Grafica Fine Art Gallery, Webster Groves, MO
July 30-August 27, 2010

Every year, students from Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves, Missouri venture abroad with a few faculty in order to experience the language, culture, and last but not least, the fine art of Europe. For the past few summers, these students have been accompanied by Tom Hunt, an art & humanities teacher at Nerinx Hall.

Each time he returns to St. Louis, Mr. Hunt brings back several of his own landscape paintings, capturing some of the most beautiful areas and architecture Europe has to offer. These paintings currently reside in the Grafica Fine Art Gallery in Webster Groves.

Tom Hunt. Florence Red Morning. Oil on Panel.

The subject matter of Mr. Hunt’s recent landscape paintings includes popular scenes such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Arch of Constantine in Rome, as well as scenes along the Seine River. Each work consists of oil paint on a wooden panel. These materials allow the artist to manipulate how the light plays on the surfaces and gives a unique texture to each painting.

Tom Hunt. Coliseum, Rome. Oil on Panel.

The manner in which Hunt paints resembles the techniques used by impressionistic painter Claude Monet. He tends to use noticeable brushstrokes and certainly uses these strokes to create light and reflections on the water. Florence Red Morning, for example, contains strokes that create a clear vision of the Cathedral Duomo, but it is flooded by a wave of red warmth, indicating sunrise.

The show contains 16 of Hunt’s paintings, some of which have been duplicated into prints that are for sale to the public. Most of his paintings are for sale as well, unless otherwise specified. Accompanying Tom Hunt’s work are the paintings of some of the students who were part of his summer painting course. These paintings on the far wall of the gallery and showcase the talent of Nerinx Hall high school students. It was interesting to observe similarities between their work and the work of their mentor, Tom Hunt.

Tom Hunt. Arch of Constantine. Oil on Panel.

It was a treat to see the talents of Mr. Hunt and his students highlighted in this exhibit. Thank you to Lary & Lynn Bozzay of Grafica Fine Art Gallery for their hospitality in regards to this exhibition review.

"Scenes from Europe—Summer 2010" remains on view through August 27. A free closing reception and opportunity to meet artist Tom Hunt will be held on August 27, 2010, from 6-9 p.m. Grafica Fine Art Gallery is located at 7884 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, MO. 314/961-4020. Gallery hours: M-F 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. & Sat. 12-4 p.m.

Michelle Kimberlin is currently wrapping up her Summer 2010 internship with Art Saint Louis. Michelle is about to embark on her senior year at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO where she is an Art History major with a minor in Italian Studies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A brief interview with St. Louis artist Nancy Newman Rice

by Helene Wildi, Art Saint Louis Summer 2010 Intern

Nancy Newman Rice. From the "Reflections from Home Series," Fading Light. 2010. Oil on canvas, 20"x20".

Helene Wildi:- The last time I saw you was at your Summer 2009 Show at Duane Reed Gallery – where you had the paintings from the Dark Reflections and Chairs series. How is your recent work now?

Nancy Newman Rice:- The colors are lighter and slightly more varied, but still muted. The image is more abstract – the story is about light and reflection. The images come directly from one particular window in my house-the angle of the light and the resulting shadows and reflections that change with the season and the hours.

HW:- You had been using pointillism for "vibrancy of the colors." Why is there a change in technique?

NR:- My life has settled down and I have more time to think and to work. A slightly more blended approach produces the effect that I want.

HW:- Your source of inspiration was "art history, family and dreams." Has that changed?

NR:- Oh yeah! It still has to do with dreams and memories which are sometimes inseparable. As a kid, you spend – at least I did – lots of time on your own and I got really intrigued with light – light patterns, light reflections. I did a painting in 1974, and exhibited it in my first faculty show at Maryville University: a reflection of light on our apartment wall. I guess I have made somewhat of a circle in terms of my subject matter.

HW:- During your winter 2008 sabbatical from Maryville University, you published a book of personal writings – did that influence the direction in your paintings?

NR:- No. Initially I was going to write about my own work using my experience writing art criticism, monographs, and catalog essays. I just could not do it objectively. So, I wrote about the origin of my paintings.

HW:- You are recognized for your work in oil. Do you ever use other media such as acrylic? Prints?

NR:- Not recently although, as an undergraduate, I double-majored in painting and printmaking and started the intaglio program at Maryville University. I used to paint in acrylic when the kids were young... I did not want to poison them with the oil paint or solvents (she laughs!). I am still trying to find a printmaking method that works with my imagery...

HW:- New upcoming show?

NR:- There are talks... I also do have some portrait commissions to complete.

Nancy Newman Rice is a founding member of Art Saint Louis. She is represented by Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO and her works are included in public and private collections in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Helene Wildi is currently wrapping up her Summer 2010 internship with Art Saint Louis. She is a senior in Studio Art studying drawing, painting & metalsmithing at Maryville University in St. Louis. Helene will earn her B.F.A. in December 2010.