Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Announces Fall 2011 Exhibitions

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) announces its Fall 2011 exhibitions, “David Noonan” and “Emily Wardill: Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck.” These exhibitions will run simultaneously in CAM’s Main Galleries from Friday, September 9–Friday December 30, 2011.

CAM is organizing the first solo presentation of the work of London-based Australian artist David Noonan in an American museum. Since emerging in the early 2000s, Noonan has developed an international reputation for work that incorporates photographic imagery of costumed performers, groups of figures from utopian collectives, and other elements of theater and stagecraft in collaged, painterly, or sculptural formats. In doing so, he encourages viewers to consider how documentary images of actual events and happenings might be transformed into fiction, while suggesting the significant roles that theatricality and performance have played in our recent cultural history. This exhibition will present a survey of recent works in a variety of media as well as numerous new works created especially for this presentation at CAM. The main gallery spaces will feature examples of large-scale works featuring evocative photographic images from various sources such as books about experimental theater or puppetry, as well as Japanese textile designs, all screen-printed onto different fabrics that are layered and stitched together. Noonan’s process of creating these works gives the images a shadowy sense of mystery, while the layering of the figurative and abstract imagery creates a tension between abstraction and representation. A new sculptural work emphasizing a connection to modernist aesthetics and design as well as a presentation of smaller, collage works will be presented in the main galleries as well. An installation of wood, cut-out figures featuring images of dancers in various positions (originally created for a solo exhibition at the Chisenhale Gallery in London in 2008) will be presented in CAM’s performance space to accentuate and reemphasize the theatrical function and design of that space.

David Noonan
Born in 1969 in Ballarat, Australia, David Noonan lives and works in London. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia (2009), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2008), the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2007). Noonan has participated in group exhibitions internationally including TABLEAUX, Magasin, Grenoble, France, (2011); The British Art Show 7 (2010–2011); the 17th Biennale of Sydney: THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE Songs of Survival, Sydney, Australia (2010); Altermodern: The Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2009); and The Rings of Saturn, Tate Modern, London (2006).

EMILY WARDILL: Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck
CAM is proud to present a solo exhibition of the work of British filmmaker Emily Wardill. The presentation will feature her 2007 film Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck, in which props and costumed performers appear in theatrical situations that evoke the stained glass windows of Gothic cathedrals, yet possess a contradictorily contemporary sensibility in their actions and manner of speech. The title of the 12-minute film is a play on the popular phrase “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll” and captures both the obsessive and unconventional qualities of the acting and mise-en-scene, as well as the allusion to stained glass windows’ original function of communicating moralistic religious tales to a largely illiterate public. The film suggests how allegory and metaphor were once used to condition and control human social behavior and how this condition is extended in contemporary political rhetoric.

Emily Wardill
Wardill was born in 1977 and lives and works in London. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, (2010-2011) and at the de Appel, Amsterdam (2010). Sick Serena… is currently featured in “ILLUMInations,” the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2011), and has been featured in other prominent group exhibitions internationally, such as “The British Art Show,” Heywood Gallery, Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland, The Castle, Nottingham, England (2010) and “Word Event” at the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2008).

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis promotes meaningful engagement with the most relevant and innovative art being made today. Founded as the Forum for Contemporary Art in 1980, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis re-opened in its current location, 3750 Washington Blvd. St. Louis, Missouri 63108, with a new 27,000 square foot building in 2003. As a non-collecting institution, the Contemporary focuses its efforts on featuring local, national and international, well-known and newly established artists from diverse backgrounds, working in all types of media. As St. Louis’ forum for interpreting culture through contemporary visual art, the Contemporary connects visitors to the dynamic art and ideas of our times. As a gathering place for experiencing contemporary art and culture, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis pushes the boundaries of innovation, creativity, and expression.

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108

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