Night & Day Archives » Night & Day


Local painter is fêted with a series of parties


Bill Kohn! Bill Kohn! Bill Kohn! Painter Bill Kohn is everywhere this month. It would not be surprising to see a sequence of downtown buildings spelling his name in lighted windows at night. Truly, he is bigger than Orlando Pace.

And what's the occasion? The prolific painter is celebrating a 40-year retrospective with two gallery exhibits and gobs of related parties. His exhibit of watercolors at Elliot Smith Contemporary Art (4727 McPherson Avenue, 314-361-4800, free), Brunelleschi ed io, features various views of Brunelleschi's Duomo in Florence. The warm earth tones used by the former Washington University art professor bring a sunny quality into the space. Check out the work through December 1.

Head east to Washington University's Des Lee Gallery (University Lofts Building, 1627 Washington Avenue, 314-621-8735, free) for Bill Kohn: A 40-Year Retrospective, this Friday through January 2. You can see how Kohn has used his signature technique for decades -- painting small watercolors in exotic, far-flung locales; returning to his St. Louis studio to enlarge these watercolor studies; and sometimes using the watercolors to create large-scale acrylics that can flood a wall with vibrant colors. The exhibit features works inspired by visits to Oaxaca, Machu Picchu, India's Thar Desert, Chicago and the Grand Canyon. There's a free opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Saturday.

The Kohnheads at the New Music Circle are hosting a benefit Friday that includes snacks from each of the nine painted regions; live music; multimedia art and performances by eight artists; and supper at the Des Lee Gallery (7 p.m., $60-$150, 314-567-5384).

The shenanigans continue at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday with NMC-sponsored collaborations of dancers, artists, poets and musician/composers who've worked with Kohn, repeating their performances before his paintings (Des Lee Gallery, $6-$12, 314-935-6564). Be prepared for projected images, funky instruments, spoken-word performances and leotard-clad women flying in front of an acrylic Grand Canyon.

Kohn himself may need plenty of caffeine and Alka-Seltzer to make it through this cluster of celebrations.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.