CAM presents the seventh edition of the Great Rivers Biennial featuring new work by St. Louis-based artists Lyndon Barrois Jr., Nanette Boileau, and Tate Foley. The Great Rivers Biennial Arts Award Program, a collaborative initiative between CAM and Gateway Foundation, identifies talented emerging and mid-career artists working in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, providing them with a $20,000 honorarium and a major exhibition at CAM. Three distinguished jurors—Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum; Valerie Cassel Oliver, Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and Paul Pfeiffer, sculptor, photographer, and video artist—selected the 2016 winners from more than 80 submissions.
Through a multi-disciplinary practice including installation, painting, and sculpture, Lyndon Barrois Jr. examines questions of aesthetic value, race and representation, and the creation of meaning through imagery in popular culture. Of Color situates eight life-size assemblages—composed of cropped images of athletes, fashion models, and domestic objects culled from magazines—on an asphalt basketball court. By repositioning this outdoor setting within the protected space of the Museum, the artist asks viewers to consider how people, cultures, and lifestyles typically sited on the periphery can gain visibility in a new context.
Nanette Boileau bases her practice on the vast territory of the Louisiana Purchase, creating nuanced portraits of the contemporary American West through writing, painting, and video. Filmed over the course of several months, Dakota Territory, a three-channel video installation, consists of a series of scenes—or “field notes”—examining the quotidian life of ranchers in southeastern Wyoming and the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Tate Foley’s work revolves around printing and bookmaking, often examining connections between language and social issues. In Post No Bills, an installation of large-scale sculptures and twelve single-channel videos, Foley reframes the language of protest by presenting a series of words spelled phonetically. Viewers are asked to interrogate the impact of prescribed definitions and construct their own nuanced meanings of often essentializing terms.
The 2016 Great Rivers Biennial is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Jeffrey Uslip, Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs / Chief Curator.