Rosalyn Drexler (American, b. 1926), Chubby Checker, 1964. Acrylic, oil, and papercollage on canvas, 75 x 65 1/4". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966. © 2017Rosalyn Drexler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
If you're into art, this is a good weekend to be in St. Louis: Three interesting shows open, including one at the noted Hoffman LaChance Contemporary gallery and two at museums.
All are free, so there's no reason not to visit all three.
Jason Rohlf: Ancient Astronauts
Hoffman LaChance Contemporary
2713 Sutton Boulevard | www.hoffmanlachancefineart.com
Opening 6-10 p.m. Fri., Feb. 10. Continues through Mar. 4.
Jason Rohlf envisions his layered painting as a form of time travel. What begins as lines and planes of color are then partially submerged under layers of collage and mediums. As each layer rises from the canvas, geometric shapes begin to emerge, along with raised layers of media. Elements deep in the painting may be still be visible, a visual reminder of each piece’s distant origins. As work continues, these elements may be covered by a succeeding layer, only to somehow reappear further down the line. The overall effect is one of past and present vying for prominence within the overall picture plane. Black pyramids intermittently ring a circular palimpsest of hot pink and muted gray, recalling an aerial photograph of an archeological dig in progress, while the intersecting lattices of blue lines marked by faded red dots evoke images of partially obliterated Nazca lines.
Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?
Kemper Art Museum
1 Brookings Dr. | kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu
Opening 7-9 p.m. Fri., Feb. 10. Continues through Apr. 17.
This full-career survey of playwright, novelist and visual artist Rosalyn Drexler offers a rare opportunity to see the breadth of the self-taught artist’s work. Her paintings feature bright colors and figures appropriated from films and print media, which she cropped, enlarged and printed on her canvases and then painted over them. The effect is somewhere between photo-realism, pop art and the visual language of a dream. Chubby Checker depicts a large Chubby mid-twist against squared fields of scarlet and blue and yellow, with couples dancing in 45-sized circles to the left; a smaller Checker echoes the larger one to the right. Love And Violence is far more sharp, a suited man looming over a crumpled blonde woman, grabbing her chin. A triptych of blue windows beneath the tableau show the same man helping to assault a fellow in a trench coat.
Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade
Saint Louis Art Museum
1 Fine Arts Dr | www.slam.org
Opens Sun., Feb. 12. Continues through May 7.
Edgar Degas may be best known for his paintings and sculptures of dancers, but he was also fascinated by high-fashion hats and the young women who made them in the fashion capital of the world. This multimedia exhibition includes 60 paintings and pastels that depict high-fashion millinery, some by Degas and others by his contemporaries Manet, Renoir, Cassatt and Toulouse-Lautrec, who were all influenced by Degas’ work. More than 40 period hats will be on display as well, many of them by the acknowledged masters of Belle Epoque millinery, including Madame Georgette and Caroline Reboux. The exhibit is free on Fridays; admission is otherwise $6 to $15.