Bruno David Gallery Exhibit: Leslie Laskey's 'Windows' Is Decades In The Making, Jill Downen Gets Miniature With 'Three-Dimensional Sketchbook'

By Ashley Ray
In Culture

Bruno David Gallery opened its 8th season last weekend, and the current exhibition is indicative of the high caliber of work St. Louis has come to expect from the institution. The show explores perspectives; Jill Downen offers the viewer a scaled-down three-dimensional sketchbook of her monumental installations, and Leslie Laskey presents a fresh look at the everyday object of the window. The exhibition is currently up and will run through Oct 5.

Jill Downen, "Three-Dimensional Sketchbook," courtesy of Bruno David Gallery

Jill Downen, “Three-Dimensional Sketchbook,” courtesy of Bruno David Gallery

Laskey, ever creative and ebullient at 92 years old, is one of the most seasoned and successful artists currently working in St. Louis. The show “Windows” was 32 years in the making, and takes a close-up look the commonplace object that separates us from the elements. In each painting the viewer sees a different window. Some are intact, while others are broken, but all of them require the viewer to contemplate the panes of glass that frame the world around us. Laskey is a Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Washington University.

As one can observe in her piece at CAM’s current exhibition “Place is the Space,” Jill Downen’s art is typically larger than life. Across the street at Bruno David, however, she offers an intimate look at the process of making these sizable works. Through the moquettes made of mixed media such as plaster, paper, gold leaf and basswood, a different approach to her artwork is offered¬†due to the dramatic altering of scale. Downen’s work investigates the relationship between architecture and the human body and their analogous cyclical natures. Downen is an assistant professor of sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Be sure to also check out the film by David Wild and Lulu Gargiulo in the new media room about Lesley Laskey’s life, recorded over an 11-year period.

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