Articles featuring the Millitzer Studio & Gallery.
Catalina Ouyang’s sculptures are an amalgam of unexpected materials: a raw egg soaked in white vinegar, marble, fake bones, a printed copy of Italo Calvino’s book “Invisible Cities” and basketball shorts.
Ouyang uses the objects to examine her Chinese-American identity and challenge social pressures placed on immigrants to conform to North American norms. She specifically aims to provoke questions about how society asks immigrants to assimilate into white culture.
She wants people to consider what for her is a consistent dilemma: “How to contend with what I call the aspirational fantasy of whiteness in what I think persists as an imperialist and colonialist power structure.” Read more.
Catalina Ouyang is interested, according to her artist’s statement, in “where my experience as a Chinese-American woman meshes with histories of cultural and sexual colonization, [and] where my family’s transplanted history aligns with a larger narrative of displacement and lost communication.” All that is at the forefront of “an elegy for Marco,” her current solo at Millitzer Gallery in St. Louis, which examines the history of colonialism in China through the lens of Marco Polo. Read more.
That urge to celebrate while advancing culture also informed his curation of the show “Their Way,” which runs through this weekend at The Millitzer Gallery in the Fox Park neighborhood. The show focuses on photographic representations of the body and how it can vacillate between strength and vulnerability. All the exhibiting artists are women. In promotional materials, the gallery notes that the show poses important questions: “We all have bodies, which lens do we see them through? What is available or unattainable? How do we view the body in and out of our control?” Read more.
Catalina Ouyang is saying a long goodbye to a lifetime of Eurocentric, patriarchal culture in her latest exhibition, an elegy for Marco, on view now at Millitzer Gallery. The exhibition addresses “Marco” as one might use a distasteful pseudonym for an ex-lover, while also specifically referring to Marco Polo, one of the earliest European travelers to explore China, India, and Japan, and an emblem of white supremacy as it relates to East Asian identity.
On the same weekend, the Millitzer Studio and Gallery presented Their Way, a group photography show curated by local artist of color Kahlil Irving that dealt with the representation of bodies. One of the organizers of our community meetings, Katherine Simóne Reynolds, was exhibiting in this show; thus, supporting this gallery, this artist, and this curator seemed more relevant for inciting change.
Make no mistake. As a white man, artist Ryan Doyle does not try to “explain” racism to anyone. Doyle’s work is a way to explore his own experiences and the racist environment we all live in. Take his recent work using baseball caps. It features molds of the caps’ home team letters, spelling out “spookd.”
He first heard the reference while growing up in Florissant in the 1990s, about a noise on the porch. Later, the memory made him question the meaning of the word, and indeed, what’s behind much of what he took in about race as a child. In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talked with Doyle about his use of America’s favorite sport to grapple with our country’s most sinister side.