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T+L Reports: Midwest Modern

On the heels of landmark museum debuts in Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Fort Worth, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis—formerly the Forum for Contemporary Art—reopens in the city's thriving Grand Center cultural district on September 20. Designed by Brad Cloepfil, of Portland, Oregon's Allied Works Architecture, it's the second major architectural project to be completed in St. Louis in the past two years: Japanese minimalist Tadao Ando's Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts opened on an adjacent lot in October 2001. The two buildings share a terraced courtyard of concrete and crushed limestone, with a torqued steel sculpture by Richard Serra, titled Joe after the late philanthropist (and St. Louis native) Joseph Pulitzer Jr., on the lowest level. Cloepfil's new 27,000-square-foot building nearly quadruples the museum's former space. Three galleries—as well as a performance space, media lab, and café—are housed behind cool concrete walls wrapped in a stainless-steel mesh. The inaugural exhibition, "A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad," brings together the work of 11 emerging artists of the African diaspora— now living in London, Amsterdam, and even Tallahassee, Florida—in a show that looks at the costs and rewards of exile (September 20-January 3). 3750 Washington Blvd.; 314/535-4660.
—Raul Barreneche

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