The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is pleased to present Centering on the Grand, a group exhibition of work by Bill Kohn, Peter Marcus, and Robert Pettus that explores Grand Center. The exhibition is comprised of large-scale paintings, prints, and photographs that were inspired by historically significant buildings located in Grand Center such as the Fabulous Fox Theater, Continental Life Building, Masonic Temple, and the renowned Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Bill Kohn has stated, “Grand Center as a landscape embodies forces of creativity, decay, restoration, preservation, learning and innovation, interacting over time in the heart of a metropolitan region, whose rich character is often overlooked by its own residents.” Work in the exhibition will ask viewers to reevaluate their perceptions of the area and see it with new, enlightened eyes.
In recent years it has been the city’s mission to redevelop Grand Center by supporting existing art and cultural organizations and encouraging new institutions to emerge in the area. Grand Center boasts much celebrated architecture, such as the 1928 Art Deco Skyscraper, Continental Life Building, Coronado Hotel, Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and the Masonic Temple. The Grand Center Bill Kohn described has several historical buildings that exemplify early twentieth-century architecture, and are now evidence of the constant changes the city has undergone throughout the last century. The artists included in Centering on the Grand realize the invaluable character the area has gained over the years. The Contemporary hopes to raise the visibility of Grand Center’s significance on a local and national level, playing its part in furthering this very exciting urban redevelopment through the presentation of Bill Kohn, Peter Marcus, and Robert Pettus’ timely work.