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Contemporary Art Museum Announces Short Exhibitions by Artists and Others

ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis announced a new season of The Front Room. Running alongside the Main Galleries, The Front Room operates at a different rhythm, with exhibitions lasting anywhere from a day to a few weeks. These reactive, nimble, provisional, and experimental exhibitions test the boundaries of conventional programming and echo the elasticity of contemporary culture.

The upcoming Front Room season features exhibitions by:

Xavier Cha (January 22 - 31)
Xavier Cha's performances, objects, and videos revolve around systems of social exchange and hierarchies of physical and psychological space. Her works subtly distort these ideologies by re-contextualizing culture, desire, the individual, and community. A frequent collaborator, Cha has invited dancers, musicians, mystics, or clowns—among many others—not only to participate in her projects, but to become the protagonists of the work. She inaugurates this season’s Front Room with a week-long performance.

Torbjørn Rødland (January 22 – February 28)
In his attempt to dissolve the traditional genres of portraiture, still-life, and landscape photography, Norwegian artist Torbjørn Rødland creates perverted juxtapositions that lead viewers to question their own process of looking. Mute, flat, but somehow still seductive, his photographs inject an uncanny blankness into recognizable images. On the outside-wall of The Front Room, he presents a suite of recent works based on the British comic strip character Andy Capp, a figure sometimes evoked by progressive Norwegian politicians to represent the “common man.”

Greg Parma Smith & Zin Taylor (February 3 – 14)
Greg Parma Smith is a New York-based painter who takes equally from the tradition of still-life painting and from generic commercial photographs of commonplace objects. Masterfully painted in the highest quality oil paint, Parma Smith’s canvases invoke the joy of painting but still contain the plastic numbness of design, decoration, and consumption, and if they seem to promise creative fulfillment, they are only hermetic factures. While Smith presents new work in The Front Room, Brussels-based Canadian artist Zin Taylor presents sculptures and videos based on the age-old process of making bread. Through use of a wide range of media, much of Taylor’s work explores the many layers of growth involved in the development of forms.

David Musgrave & Erin Shirreff (February 17 - 28)
Underlying the work of British artist David Musgrave are economical images of human or animal shapes that seem ancestral, primitive, or paranormal. His graphite drawings involve a meticulous precision and contain subtle evocations of images embedded within images. His aluminum and resin sculptures bring his anthropomorphic yet essentially abstract inventions further into physical space. New York artist Erin Shirreff uses a wide range of media, including photography, video, and sculpture. For her contribution to The Front Room, she photographs clay sculptures in her studio to create new images of monolithic stone-like forms.

Pablo Pijnappel (February 20 – 21)
Brazilian artist Pablo Pijnappel makes films and slide-projections that explore the many facets of personal narratives. He combines alluring anecdotes about his own personal family history with an erudite understanding of the power of images to create work that forces viewers to reflect on the contingencies of time, place, and the changing state of our everyday. In The Front Room, Pijnappel presents a screening of his film 'Andrew Reid'.

Jochen Lempert (March 3 – April 18)
After training extensively as a zoologist, German artist Jochen Lempert began taking photographs of the animal world, merging his scientific expertise with a more formal, visual, and poetic sensibility. Hung in a grid on the outside wall of The Front Room, the series of black-and-white portraits of birds portray living creatures as forms suspended in space.

Roman Schramm & Haris Epanimonda (March 3 – 14)
Berlin-based artist Roman Schramm makes photographs and videos with a lens focused on the slightly-altered objects of everyday life, infusing the traditional genres of portrait and still life with a self-reflexive process of depicting the medium of photography itself. Obscuring the hard edges of commercial or “masculine”—images, Schramm presents new and recent work in The Front Room. Cyprus-born, Berlin-based artist Haris Epaminonda presents recent films and books from The Infinite Library project that juxtapose the highly modern and the ancient as time and memory compressed. Working in a mode of assemblage, she often processes the content of found images and footage oriented towards the definition of space and the evocation of poetic encounters.

Leslie Hewitt (March 17 - 28)
Currently an artist-in-residence at Harvard University, New York-born artist Leslie Hewitt is drawn to the way we remember images and objects. Her photo-sculptural works ask how the human mind accesses, reframes, and changes the images that it remembers over stretches of space and time. Distinctively personal, Hewitt’s practice also involves a commentary on popular culture and the circulation of socially and politically charged imagery. She presents a new video installation in The Front Room.

Machine Project (March 31 - April 18)
Machine Project is a Los Angeles performance and installation space investigating art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food. The space offers events, workshops, and site-specific installations using hands-on engagement to make rarefied knowledge accessible. Beyond their storefront space, Machine Project operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations near and far. In The Front Room, Machine Project stages a series of free workshops for a St. Louis audience.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis | The Front Room | Xavier Cha |

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