presents six exhibitions by Charles Schwall, Douglass Freed, Xizi Liu, Frank Schwaiger, Monika Wulfers and Story Stichers Collective.
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 2, 2017, from 5 to 9 pm
Exhibitions Dates: March 2 – 25, 2017
Gallery Talk with the artists: Saturday, March 25th at 4 pm
CHARLES SCHWALL Breaking, Splitting, Seaming
DOUGLAS FREED Small Reflections
XIZI LIU Indoor Landscapes
STORY STICHERS COLLECTIVE Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age
FRANK SCHWAIGER Ondine
MONIKA WULFERS Open Lights
In Gallery 1, the gallery presents an exhibition of recent paintings by Charles Schwall titled “Breaking, Splitting, Seaming.” This is the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Schwall's work investigates a longstanding interest in curvilinear and organic formations found in nature connected to life, growth, water imagery, and the life sciences. In each work, interdependent elements create compositions that explore diverse organic systems and are evocative of flora and fauna of the natural world. His aesthetic explores trajectories of growth, the expansion of organic systems, and morphology (the form of living organisms and their structures). Compositions are created through the use of overlapping forms and visual elements that come together, touch, and in one sense caress one another. There is interplay of containment and lack of containment among the energy transferred among the distinct relational parts. Color is an essential element employed to compose the spaces of the paintings.
His most recent works on paper explore forms of change (processes that are taken apart, torn, split, or severed) and forms of union (processes that are seamed together, reconnected, or joined). These works explore the relationship of human culture to nature, and seek to create gendered space by combining forms that reference the natural world with cultural references taken from textiles, forms of clothing, and fashion. Symmetry, asymmetry, and surfaces that mirror one another and reveal the contents from another place are also key concepts in the work. Indeterminacy and fluidity of meaning within the context of gendered space provides viewers with opportunities to reconsider what can be revealed when looking deeper or beyond what is immediately obvious.
In Gallery 4, the gallery is pleased to present an group exhibition titled Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age organized by Mariana Parisca and Susan Colangelo with the youth members of the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective and Heather Bennett, Michael Byron, Carmon Colangelo, Addoley Dzegede, Ann Hamilton, Kahlil Irving and, Buzz Spector.
Curating Teen Voices: Coming of Age is a time capsule of teenage voices combined with adult artists living in St. Louis in 2015-16, all reacting to a critical and unique time in the history of race relations, gun violence, police roles and community relationships in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective is a nonprofit organization where artists and urban youth collect stories, reframe and retell them through art to promote understanding, civic pride, and literacy. The project eloquently puts a megaphone to unheard voices, generating new respect for minority youth and brushing implicit biases away. There is no other program in St. Louis, or in the United States, that is generating work in this way.
The project contains an edition of 10 portfolios, each containing 30 archival digital prints. Each portfolio is housed in a handcrafted archival box created by Saint Louis Story Stitchers artist-in-residence Mariana Parisca. A limited number of sheets of six images will be available. Proceeds will benefit the ongoing work of the Saint Louis Story Stitchers.
In Gallery 3, the gallery presents an exhibition of recent paintings by Douglass Freed titled “Small Reflections.” This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
The landscapes of Douglass Freed can seldom be contained to one canvas. His minimalistic and almost ambiguous images of horizons, clouds, and bodies of water pour onto adjoining spaces where their forms shift in color and light as if they have transformed into entirely different pieces, but they remain undeniably suited to one another. While his pieces vary from quiet, monochromatic works to fully orchestrated chromatic ones, in either sense, he creates places that simultaneously imply reality and a dreamlike, even spiritual, serenity. He captures and holds onto the viewer’s gaze, creating an experience that few can. Through his harmonious use of blended color, texture, and structure, Freed finds the grey area between traditional landscape painting and its abstraction into color fields.
In Gallery 2, the gallery presents an exhibition of recent paintings titled “Indoor Landscapes.” by Xizi Liu. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Xizi Liu’s work uses stylized painting methods to create a quasi-fictional consumer society in the contemporary economic environment, and explores different attitudes toward consumption and mass production, which the consumerism brings to us through the mechanical vision. In addition, her work portrays the power of information transmission from hidden language and painterly gesture, which replaced the alphabet in non-places.
No region in the world has undergone such rapid and profound economic and cultural changes as China in the last decades. As a part of the generation born in the late 20th century, Xizi Liu has witnessed the country’s feverish progress, technological innovations, and rapid economic growth. The subjects she chooses are heavily rooted in her experience growing up amidst frenzied transformations in China, followed by its subsequent unbearable urban density. The flattened surfaces - while depicting a complex, highly torqued deep space - use the accumulation of individual colors to contribute to that space, creating the sense of dizziness and turbulence.
She paints places where we easily find language, but the language is missing in the paintings. All those paintings are filled by the empty carriers of language. Her gesture is the language, and this language of the brush replaces words. No content or brand names are revealed; characters are anonymous; objects lack specificity, and it is impossible to distinguish one from another. They are meaningless objects immersed in an indistinct world. She uses a highly stylized painting method to create a surreal city that’s filled with fantasy. These flattened pictorial spaces are based on the desirable products. They are emotionless and explore the vanity and fantasy of the Pop Culture amidst urban chaos. They also bear her critical position and commentary on the manipulation of capitalism. The paintings based on capitalist society depict a culture in which choices depend on desires rather than needs, and where production is meaningless. The rigid, faceless, even headless people in her paintings artfully show the de-individualization and overwhelming nature of consumer culture, the cold relationships, and lack of freedom of people in the modern society. She transforms space and objects that disturb the ‘normal’ order and rhythm of urban life, in order to find new physical and conceptual spaces.
In Gallery 5, the gallery presents a sclupture by Frank Schwaiger titled “Ondine.” Frank Schwaiger is currently having a solo exhibition “Recent Works”at our second location –.Bruno David Projects. The location in The Grove and is open by appointment only.
In the Window on Forsyth space, the gallery presents “Open Lights” by Monika Wulfers. This is her third solo exhibition with the gallery. This exhibition can be seen all night and all night from the outside and, will be on view through April 29, 2017. Monika Wulfers explores the concept of line in minimalist sculptures and paintings, as well as computer generated images and constructs. Various representations of lines and shapes created by lines are seen in her work which draws upon spatial and temporal constructs. She uses two and three dimensions to examine the line and our perception of it.
Free and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday 10 am – 5 pm – also open by appointment
Bruno David Gallery
7513 Forsyth Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63105