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The Art of Storytelling

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In a town full of talented artists, William LaChance stands out as someone uniquely talented. His paintings are "invented narratives," large-scale works that feature clusters of people inhabiting the same space but occupying different worlds. In Darkhorse, two women uncover a medieval painting in the background, in which every detail is startlingly rendered, from the flattened perspective to the hooded tunic on an awkwardly posed huntsman. Near this interior painting crouches a man with a camera, filming a young couple in '60s-era clothing as they dance; a strange light from the girl's hand illuminates her partner's face. Behind this couple is a window, through which we see children perched in a tree — but are they peering into this room or looking somewhere else? Technically, the painting's impressive; LaChance's mastery of perspective, light and texture are evident. But it's his composition that dazzles, as LaChance fills his canvas with scene upon scene without cluttering the total image. The more you examine Darkhorse, the more you see, each new detail fueling speculation as to who these people are and what they're doing. LaChance displays his work with Jesse Thomas and Ian Weaver in the show Personal Allegories at the Millstone Gallery at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, University City; 314-725-1834 or www.cocastl.org). The show opens Friday, August 22, and remains up through Sunday, September 28. An artists reception takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 19.
Aug. 22-Sept. 28, 2008

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