Exposure 21: Three Myths

Curator’s Statement

In designing the exhibitions for the Exposure series, I look for bodies of work that have an aesthetic and philosophical coherence and whose overall themes are relevant to contemporary society. I have followed the work of Julia Curran, Lola Ogbara and Emma Vidal for several years and a few days after visits to their respective studios I was thinking of the challenges to the foundational myths of American society and the role of the artist as myth-maker.

Myths serve as the foundational principles upon which societies, religious organizations, and political systems organizes themselves. These foundational myths infuse nations and individuals with a sense of who they are and what they should do and in doing so impart a perception of order on the perceived chaos of the human experience. Myths, at their most essential, are cultural self-narratives that describe the ideas, values, beliefs and aspirations of a society. They are part of our collective imagination and universal unconscious.

Artists have always referenced myths as a source of inspiration and content for their artwork. Myths drive art and art makes culture concrete. Of course, art is a two-sided sword. In one instance art may be used to enforce one groups’ social and political agenda. Here myths, through art, are the scaffolding for the supporting ideologies of the dominate culture.

On the other hand, art may actively subvert the sacralized values and foundational myths of a society. This is what Exposure 21 is about. The artists in this exhibition seek to challenge some of the conventional social myths and archetypes of contemporary Western society and in turn create narratives where new myths, peaceful and balanced, can take root and grow.

Terry Suhre, Director, Gallery 210, UMSL, August 2020

Catalogue   Artists’ Panel


Due to the CV-19 pandemic, this exhibition, as well as all gallery exhibitions this academic year, will be available online. The gallery will be open to the public by appointment only, but is limited to groups of ten or fewer. To make an appointment to see Maggie Meiners: Revisiting Rockwell, please email suhret@umsl.edu. Masks are required.

This exhibition is made possible by the Missouri Arts Council and the College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL.

Gallery 210 is on the University of Missouri-St. Louis at 44 Arnold Grobman Drive between the  North UM-St. Louis Metro Station and the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The gallery phone is (314) 516-5976 and the email is suhret@umsl.edu. For parking locations, campus maps and directions to Gallery 210 please visit our website at umsl.edu/~gallery/ .

Gallery 210 , University of Missouri-St. Louis  44 Arnold Grobman Drive, By appointment only. Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Gallery: (314) 516-5976/ Office: (314) 516-5952, , Email: gallery@umsl.edu, Web site: https://gallery210.umsl.edu