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Exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum features new work by Oliver Laric
Oliver Laric, Austrian, born 1981; “Betweenness”, 2018; edition of 5 + 2 AP; HD video, duration: 4 min 35 sec; Courtesy of the artist, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin and Metro Pictures, New York. LARIC-2017-0157 © Oliver Laric.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum is presenting new work by Berlin-based artist Oliver Laric in the 116th installment of the museum’s popular Currents series. The free exhibition is on view in Gallery 249 and 250 from Feb. 22 through May 27.

Founded in 1978, the Currents series serves as a laboratory for emerging and mid-career artists to create and exhibit new work. Featured artists have included Matthew Buckingham, Dale Chihuly, Leonardo Drew, Brian Eno, Ellen Gallagher, Frank Gehry, Donald Judd, Julie Mehretu, Richard Serra, and Cindy Sherman.

Working at the intersection between art and technology, Laric explores image creation, circulation and repetition across history. His works are wide-ranging, originally emerging on open-source sharing and online platforms like YouTube, yet he also creates installations, video and more traditional forms of sculpture. Existing both in museums and online, Laric’s works straddle these spheres, affirming them as legitimate spaces for the dissemination and experience of art.

For “Currents 116,” Laric’s 2018 video animation work “Betweenness” is being shown alongside a new sculpture that was created from a 3-D scan of “Reclining Pan,” the museum’s 16th-century sculpture on view in Gallery 236. Museum staff scanned the original sculpture and then sent the digital file to Laric. To make the sculpture, he printed molds of the object in multiple sections and then used a variety of contemporary materials—from plastics to polymer resins—to reconstruct his version.

“Betweenness” employs the artist’s far-reaching pool of source material, repurposing characters from anime; images of mushrooms, multiplying cells, and people morphing into animals; and even footage from the CT scan of the museum’s mummy, Amen-Nestawy-Nakht.

In addition to the exhibition, the museum is presenting Laric’s 2015 video work, “Untitled”, as part of the Museum’s New Media Series in Gallery 301. In this work, Laric extracted elements from animated films across history, compiling scenes in which people, objects, and animals transform. These clips run together against a white background with a piano score soundtrack sampled from the pop song “Cry Me a River,” by Justin Timberlake.

“Currents 116: Oliver Laric” and “New Media Series: Oliver Laric” are curated by Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art, with Molly Moog, research assistant.

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