Review: You'll want to 'Dream' again
"Dreamscapes" at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is a perfectly realized exhibit, inviting viewers to explore the idea of dreams and spaces of the subconscious. Curator Francesca Herndon-Consagra has exercised keen insight and discretion, choosing a relative few number of works that engage intriguingly with Tadao Ando's architecture as well as with one another.
When: Through August 13
Where: Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 3716 Washington Blvd.
Information: 314-754-1850, www.pulitzerarts.org
Art: RenÃ© Magritte (Belgian, 1898â1967), <i>The Invisible World,</i> 1954, Oil on canvas, 77 x 51 5/8 in. (195.6 x 130.8 cm), The Menil Collection, Houston (V 615), Â© 2010 C. Herscovici, London / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Rene Magritte's mysterious "Le mond invisible" (1954) ("The Invisible World," pictured in the box) fittingly opens the exhibition: It's a painting of a large boulder poised in front of open doors and a view onto a watery horizon. The link it forges with the Pulitzer building, particularly Scott Burton's "Rock Settee" in the building's water court, is unmistakable and nevertheless enchanting.
From that point on, surprises abound: Do Ho Suh's floating "Staircase" and Kiki Smith's "Pee Body" completely subvert expectations, while works by the Symbolist Max Klinger and contemporary artist Katharina Fritsch deliver scenes that are at once fantastic and utterly mundane.
The voice of Janet Cardiff, sleepily describing a dream via an antique telephone, sounds like a message transmitted from another world. Indeed all of the works in "Dreamscapes" seem poised at the threshold between reality and surreality, suspended at the in-between. In this, they echo aspects of Ando's architecture, which can seem simultaneously open and closed; airy and confining; light-drenched and awash in shadow.
"Dreamscapes" offers extraordinary experiences; it is an exhibit you'll want to return to.
Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic. To reach her, contact Beacon features and commentary editor Donna Korando.