The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) debuted its fall exhibitions on Friday, Sept. 8. This season, CAM presents Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities, an exhibition of film, video, photography, and installation by the New York-based artist; Hayv Kahraman: Acts of Reparation, highlighting the evolution of the Iraqi-born artist’s practice, spanning multiple bodies of work from 2011 to the present; Zlatko Ćosić: A Murmuration, the most recent iteration of Street Views, a large-scale video projected on the Museum’s exterior façade, featuring the artist’s “motion painting;” and Hedge, an installation in CAM’s courtyard by the design team of Jason Foster Butz, Nathaniel Elberfeld, and Lavender Tessmer.

Artists Mickalene Thomas, Hayv Kahraman, Zlatko Ćosić, and the Hedge design team participated in the preview, as well as CAM Executive Curator Lisa Melandri and Chief Curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi.

Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities

Mickalene Thomas recasts and reconfigures notions of beauty, gender, race, and representation in powerful new and recent works. Known for her expressive paintings and collages, Thomas builds upon previous explorations into portraiture to create expanded narratives. In these new works she focuses on black women who inspire, who represent, and who express a wide range of possibilities and desires. Specifically for CAM, Thomas will create a vinyl print consisting of collaged photos and found film footage from The Color Purple, a major new work that will cover the entirety of the 60 foot-long Project Wall.


Hayv Kahraman: Acts of Reparation

Fueled by her experience as an Iraqi immigrant, Hayv Kahraman is concerned with the multitude rather than the self. In recent paintings, a protagonist female body is pictured in various sequences and actions. Kahraman says of this figure, “She is one who dwells in the margins, surviving and navigating a life of spatial and temporal displacement.” Often appearing in transitional states, Kahraman’s women exist within physical and conceptual frames. Both objects and subjects, their bodies address such fundamental issues as gender politics, diasporic consciousness, decolonization, and collective memory.


Zlatco Ćosić: A Murmuration

A native of the former Yugoslavia, Zlatko Ćosić’s experience of war and displacement have consequently shaped the content of his artistic practice. His “motion painting,” A Murmuration, begins with the play of light on water, a natural image that Ćosić manipulates by intensifying colors, varying speed and direction, to mimic the patterns of a flock of birds.The artist has said that nature was a source of solace when he was driven into forced labor during the war. With A Murmuration, Ćosić expresses nature’s liberating imaginative power.



Built from recycled materials taken from industrial sites, Hedge experiments with light and reflection, with material and ephemera, and with changes in the weather in CAM’s courtyard. The design team of Jason Foster Butz, Nathaniel Elberfeld, and Lavender Tessmer, investigates modular forms, with the repetition of smaller units reconceived to create a large-scale holistic material system. The completed form maintains a subtle yet profound influence on the outdoor space, a surprise to the eye activated by cloud, sun, moon, and slant of light.


Via Press Release