Des Moines Art Center exhibition examines women's inner worlds

Posted on Friday, January 4, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343

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Des Moines Art Center exhibition examines women’s inner worlds

DES MOINES, IOWA (January 2019) – On Friday, January 18 the Des Moines Art Center will open Stacey Steers: Edge of Alchemy, which will be on view through May 19, 2019 in the Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery. Director of Curatorial Affairs/Senior Curator Alison Ferris is organizing the exhibition.

In the Edge of Alchemy (2017), silent film stars Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor are cast into a surreal epic that upends the Frankenstein story. In this handmade, animated film, Stacey Steers employs found film footage and collages she creates with 19th-century engravings and illustrations. Every second of screen time is comprised of up to eight distinct collages; the labor intensive project took Steers five years to complete.

Edge of Alchemy is the third film in a trilogy made by Steers examining women’s inner worlds. Music for the film was composed by Lech Jankowski, known for his work with the Brothers Quay.

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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