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Review: Good Citizen show deserves several visits

For “The Indeterminate Length,” San Diego-based artist Mike Calway-Fagen has occupied Good Citizen Gallery with a marvelous monument to the mundane.

He collected cast-off furniture, carpet, and other domestic items from St. Louis alleys and junk shops, trucked them to the gallery and constructed a labyrinthine structure that is overpowering in scale but modest in means.

On a mosaic of shag carpet swatches, chairs stand upon headboards, intersect with ladders and collide with dressers. Vases and bowls and tattered blankets provide counterpoints of color and texture. And it’s all a work in progress: Calway-Fagen plans to return periodically to St. Louis to reconfigure the work, so it’s worth visiting again and again.

And don’t miss Calway-Fagen’s photo on the gallery’s billboard, an image of an empty highway scrawled with the message, “I was here but now I’m gone.” It’s an apt summary of the artist’s general approach, which engages the fleeting essence of everyday life.

When: Through Feb. 25

Where: Good Citizen Gallery, 2247 Gravois Ave

Information: 314-348-4587, http://goodcitizenstl.com/

Ivy Cooper
Ivy Cooper is the Beacon visual arts reviewer and a professor of art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.