Arts & Culture » Arts

In the Galleries - Intersecting Narratives CLOSES August 3 at Duane Reed

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The day-to-day collides with the abstract or surreal in this group exhibition of recent work by six St. Louis-based artists. A domestic bathroom with a figure submerged in a tub dematerializes into a fragmentary stratosphere of building parts and watery ethers in Brigham Dimick's painting Gaylen and Blue. Portraits of family members performing domestic tasks are interwoven with bursts of floral patterns, glittery highlights and atmospheric color washes in Sarah Paulsen's complexly composed canvases. Similarly, David Dolak integrates familial portraits with graffiti-like textures and wild splashes of flung paint in his large-scale, multi-panel paintings. In one a massive, weary set of eyes emerges from layers of yellow crosshatches, drips of pale blue and broad brushstrokes of muted umber. Travis Russell's massive corner installation features a grid of DayGlo-colored paper prints that climbs one wall, forming a depiction of an age-weathered city building. These spaces are Russell's muse and reappear in two sculptural constructions, in which delicate pieces of furniture are painted black and crowned with miniature buildings. It's a wonderfully weird fantasy of place that manages simultaneously to celebrate the beauty of abandonment and abuse and mourn the larger socioeconomic implications. That's the case for many works on view here: a sense of wistfulness that revels in loss and is at its mercy. Through August 4 at Duane Reed Gallery, 4729 McPherson Avenue; 314-361-4100 or www.duanereedgallery.com. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. and by appointment.

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