projects+gallery, a St. Louis commercial art space designed to present multidisciplinary exhibitions, is pleased to announce the public opening of ALMOST NOW, JUST THEN... on June 8th, 2017. The exhibition features work by Saint Louis artists Lyndon Barrois Jr., Addoley Dzegede, Jen Everett, Kahlil Robert Irving, Katherine Simóne Reynolds, and WORK/PLAY (Kevin and Danielle McCoy).
ALMOST NOW, JUST THEN... builds on constellations and their stars as models to explore a modular approach to art making. Shifting away from prioritizing individual subjects, the strength of the show hinges on a relationship between many. The artists in the exhibition consider the nuanced potential of multiple reads, using a variety of historical, material and cultural references in near proximity. This relationship between macro and micro is fundamental to our understanding of the depths and complexities of individual situations; we don't accept the cumulative entity despite our knowledge of its supplements, but rather, the value of its assembled form could not emerge without them.
In addition to the idea that the present is an unfixed condition, inherent in the exhibition is a spatial consideration of time. A star, as we perceive it, is always the image of its former self. The image has traveled quite a distance to be seen, out of the past, into an ever shifting present.
Lyndon Barrois Jr. is a multi-disciplinary artist born in New Orleans but currently living and working in Saint Louis. Interested in identity, culture and intersection, in this exhibition Barrois Jr. builds on a body of work influenced by the musician Prince. With the exhibition opening one day after the musician's birthday, the artist has produced new works that bridge references from Prince's life and work to the Barrois Jr.'s ongoing investment in constructed realities. Included in ALMOST NOW, JUST THEN... will be a series of paintings titled Wet Dream Cousin, which includes a diptych of toner box graphics and a 1980 live-footage still image of Prince masturbating his guitar, as well as a sculptural work, tentatively titled Camille, that stands at Prince's height and takes its name from the high-pitched alter ego that Prince created. Each of these works play on Prince's use and abuse of binary systems, while making allusions to the figure, and the potential of painting as a virtual, simulated space.
Addoley Dzegede is a Ghanaian-American interdisciplinary artist based in Saint Louis. Her practice is idea-driven, mixed media, and through a combination of words and images, investigates notions of belonging, home, migration and location, and hybrid identities. Fitting in line with the constellatory and past/present/future themes of this exhibition, Dzegede has created a series of new mixed media works titled The Constellation of My Genealogy. Thinking of her disparate ancestors as the grouping of stars positioned to influence the eventual event of her birth, these works are an amalgam of familial archives with a riot of color and pattern.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Jen Everett currently lives and works in Saint Louis. She is interested in the tension between consumption and control of images. Her work explores blues sensibility, blackness and most recently the archive. Over the past two years, her work has evolved from a strictly photography-based practice to one incorporating text and sculpture, drawing influence from her training in architecture. For ALMOST NOW, JUST THEN... Everett is contributing a series of work titled Redoubled, consisting of images that mine personal and institutional archives to consider the photograph as an affective artifact that investigates black subjectivity, myth, and memory. Repeating, obscuring, fragmenting and layering the photographic subject, the works imply motion, complexity, and the blur of time. In conjunction with the images, the artist will assemble an installation of archival objects that engage familial history and resonance across generations.
Currently living and working in Saint Louis after recently completing his Master of Fine Arts at Washington University, Kahlil Robert Irving is a multimedia artist whose practice and installations are intentional and are used as a way for the viewer to navigate their own bodily experience in reference to the artworks. Irving endeavors to challenge historical notions of Colorism, structural barriers that separate communities, and objects that exist within the history of decorative arts. In his works entitled Street Prints, the artist gathers litter and images from the street and sidewalk, forcing the viewer to engage with what is around us. Is litter mundane? Are there narratives in the refuse left behind? As it is translated and transformed into prints, Irving shares a discrete but national view of what it means to develop into an urban environment, either suburban or within the city limits.
Katherine Simóne Reynolds is currently based out of Saint Louis and creates conceptual photo and performance based works. Her recent work is made to be literal, authentic, and emotional by utilizing photo and performance based material. In this exhibition, Reynolds presents a photography series and video titled Optical Doubles, on the Binary. The title takes inspiration from the primarily English term 'double star,' which is used to describe pairs of stars that are seen to be close together in the sky. These double stars may be binary systems or may merely appear close together, despite having vastly different true distances from the Sun. The latter are also termed optical doubles. The two subjects of this work, Ayo and Moyo Akinsete are not twins. They are brothers whose dynamic is somewhat disorienting if gazed upon for too long. Through a very distant lens, a stranger cannot differentiate the older from the younger, but the gravitational pull of brotherly affection is there, masked in a competitive air.
WORK/PLAY (Kevin and Danielle McCoy) is an interdisciplinary duo based in Saint Louis. Kevin and Danielle McCoy integrate typographic works, textiles, imagery and experimental printmaking into their practice. Their new body of work centers around racial inequality as black Americans and erasure in history. For ALMOST NOW, JUST THEN... the duo will exhibit When Stars Align, which consists of mixed-media works. Sports figures are celebrated for their display of sheer athleticism until one decides to use their platform for resistance. Their work explores the relationship between athletes, personal purpose, political demonstrations and public scrutiny.
ALMOST NOW, JUST THEN... will open at projects+gallery from 5 - 8 pm on Thursday, June 8th and is free to the public. The exhibition will be on view at projects+gallery until Saturday, July 29th, 2017.