Opening weekend is almost here

The opening of the James Rosen exhibition is looming, and (not unpredictably) we are intently making final decisions about placement of the work, editing the wall texts and labels, and calculating how much capacity remains in the storage closets to sweep up all the detritus before the company arrives on Sunday.

James Rosen sketches
Some of the James Rosen sketches selected for display in "The Artist and the Capable Observer."
Rosen's Saints in waiting
Several of James Rosen's "saint" paintings await installation.

James Rosen: The Artist and the Capable Observer opens this coming Sunday, September 26, with a free public reception from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. We are disappointed that, due to unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Rosen can’t be with us for the opening. However, we are optimistic that he will be able to visit St. Louis later this fall for a public lecture and master class.

We have some special parking options on Sunday for the opening reception, so be sure to download this PDF with directions and a map.

On Saturday, MOCRA takes part in Saint Louis University’s Homecoming celebrations, and everyone benefits–we’ll be open for a sneak preview of the exhibition from 11 to 4 p.m. Overlapping with that, MOCRA will be participating in a gallery walk from 1 to 4 p.m. The gallery walk coincides with the fourth annual Dancing in the Street Festival, featuring more than 50 dance companies and 700 dancers, and the Earthways Center’s Green Homes Festival.

We are finally at my favorite phase of exhibition preparation, when everything begins to gel. The internal logic of the installation has become apparent and, made manifest in the works hung on the walls, begins to yield new insights into the work.

Along the way, we have moments of levity amidst the stress. For instance, several staff members have commented on the way that Mary peers out at us from one work, Homage to Guido da Siena: Maestà. It’s an inversion of the exhibition title–the artwork becomes the “capable observer”–an effect enhanced by the positioning of the work in its traveling frame:

Rosen's Maestà has a discerning eye.
The Madonna in this homage to a painting by Guido da Siena catches the eye of passersby.
We hope to see you this Saturday, Sunday, or in the coming weeks.
– David Brinker, Assistant Director