Night & Day Archives » Night & Day

Empire of the Son


Jon Cournoyer's large-scale collages have taken on a darker cast in the past two years. The work in his new show, Empire of Dust, still prominently features Edwardian-era figures and storybook animals, but the narrative beds of borrowed images these characters rest upon have changed. Cheerful moons and fairytale landscapes have given way to early-American advertisements, maps of war zones and the recurring image of a plump child relentlessly gorging himself. Cournoyer speaks of the work in a collage of images as well. "This show is about America and my idea of it. From standing on the beach at Big Sur realizing I was at the end of the continent and what it must have felt like to early settlers, to going to taverns with my grandpa as a kid and looking at the stuff on the walls to now... I find myself somewhat frightened, as if we have sold it all." Despite the air of menace and loss that pervades the work, there is still a sense of optimism. In a dark corner of A Side Order of Everything, a little card printed with the slogan "Wish upon" floats between a globe and a sturdy rocket headed for the stars. Children make mistakes and fear foolish things while remaining oblivious to real danger, but they dream more fervently than adults; sometimes, they fulfill those dreams when they grow up. Empire of Dust opens with a free public reception from 6 to 10 p.m. at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary (2713 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-960-5322 or The show remains up through Saturday, November 14; gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Oct. 16. Continues through Nov. 14, 2009

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.