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Tonight: Great Rivers Biennial and CAMSTL Front Room Exhibit Curated by RFT's Own Jessica Baran

Categories: Arts
Baran Art.jpg
courtesy of Pavel Zoubok Gallery
Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt uses Foil, plastic wrap, vinyl, pipe cleaner, holographic tape, Britney Spears, aluminum cans, wire, ink, wood and staples in this piece
Time for a bit of shameless self-promotion. In this week's dead tree edition, Paul Friswold told you about the Great Rivers Biennial going down tonight at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. What he didn't tell you is that our own art critic Jessica Baran is also curating a show that features the work of acclaimed New York artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt in the museum's Front Room space.

Lanigan-Schmidt's art is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and the New York Public Library. He was a prominent figure in the NYC counterculture of the 1960s and the Obamas invited him to the White House on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall Riots.

Baran writes that Lanigan-Schmidt's work, "strives to elicit a sense of ecstatic exuberance from its otherwise modest material." He creates collages from random household items like pot holders, place mats and lasagna pans that "resemble Mid-American immigrant grottoes."

We're not exactly sure what that means but Jessica says it's great and that's good enough for us.

Admission to both the Biennial and the Front Room exhibit is free tonight. Details on the former after the jump...

Paul Friswold on the Great Rivers Biennial:
The Great Rivers Biennial provides three local artists the chance to mount a major exhibition of their work at a major institution, namely, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660 or www.contemporarystl.org). This fourth installment of the program features a trio of artists who have admirably risen to the occasion. Martin Brief's interest in how language and thought shape our culture and our sense of self plays out in densely written blocks of text, the small bits of print accreting into a physical representation of an idea, or of our idea of an idea. Sarah Frost builds physical assemblages from similar small bits; her installation QWERTY comprises 60,000 recycled computer keyboard letters affixed to walls in a tactile mosaic of off-white blocks. Cameron Fuller's installations double as gateways to the age of fable, a taxidermy of primal might and cerebral wonder combining a coyote and the night sky in large-scale diorama. The 2010 Great Rivers Biennial opens with a public reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 30. The work remains up through Sunday, August 8, and the Contemporary is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free opening night, Wednesday and Saturday, and $3 to $5 all other days.

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