Press release: ‘Andréa Stanislav: Convergence Infinité’ explores natural and social histories of St. Louis

By | March 24, 2016

ST. LOUIS, March 24, 2016—Andréa Stanislav: Convergence Infinité opened at the Saint Louis Art Museum today. The free exhibition—the 112th installment of the museum’s popular Currents series—features new works by Freund Fellow artist Andréa Stanislav. It will be on view in Galleries 250 and 301 through June 19.

Stanislav has created a new body of poetic work exploring the complex natural and social histories of St. Louis—a city that has fascinated her from a young age, when she made frequent visits from her childhood home in Chicago.

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Stanislav’s hybrid practice incorporates sculpture, installation, video and public art. Animals—especially horses and birds—proliferate throughout her work, sometimes reflecting notions of empire and manifest destiny, and sometimes more mythological narratives. In Convergence Infinité, Stanislav has created a complex immersive space that brings together mirrored sculpture, a four-screen multichannel video, digital printing on mirrors and taxidermied animals.

The exhibition is dominated by Converger, a four-screen video portrait of St. Louis that looks at the region from the perspective of predatory birds. The videos, shot largely from an aerial drone, capture sweeping views of the Mississippi River and document sites of historic significance from Cahokia Mounds to the Gateway Arch. Stanislav’s four films converge on Art Hill and The Apotheosis of St. Louis, the equestrian statue of Louis IX that Stanislav sees as a symbol of imperial aspirations.

Two large-scale mirrored sculptures, Apogee 1200 and Apogee 1969, echo and abstract the forms of a Native American mound and the Arch. Each is a half-completed structure, suggesting the underlying and transient fragility beneath the construct of empire. These reductive, geometric forms are offset by natural elements that include a taxidermied raptor and hanging, chrome-dipped horse skull.

The exhibition of new work in Gallery 250 will be complemented by the artist’s earlier film, Blow Away (2008), on view in Gallery 301. The film highlights Stanislav’s sustained work in mirrored sculpture, showing a dramatic explosion of mirrored obelisks on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Stanislav is an internationally known artist who has executed recent projects in a wide range of media. Perhaps most notable is Nightmare, a video intervention staged on the Mississippi River in Minnesota in 2011 and on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2014. In Nightmare, a digital screen, tugged by a barge at night, played an image of a galloping white horse. Reflected in the water, this ghostly illusion provided a surreal and provocative presence, underscoring Stanislav’s interrogation of the horse’s symbolism throughout history and mythology.

Stanislav currently works in Minneapolis and New York. She has had several solo exhibitions, including at the Art-Center Pushkinskaya-10, St. Petersburg, Russia (2015) and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2008). She has been featured in group exhibitions at the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2013) and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Gallery (2011).

Stanislav is the 2015-2016 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Fellow. Supported by the Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Endowment Fund, Freund Fellowships promote the exhibition and acquisition of contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, as well as the teaching of contemporary art principles in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Each fellowship consists of two month-long residencies, during which recipients teach in the Sam Fox School and prepare an exhibition for the museum’s Currents series.

Andréa Stanislav: Convergence Infinité is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, with Molly Moog, research assistant. This presentation is supported by the Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Endowment Fund.

CONTACT: Matthew Hathaway, 314.655.5493, matthew.hathaway@slam.org