Our critics recommend these shows.

Art Capsule Reviews 

Our critics recommend these shows.

American Pastoral Where does grief go? Several places, apparently. It evaporates or corrodes or erupts in a welter of agony. And sometimes it coalesces into artistic works such as Robin Bernat's American Pastoral. Bernat created this five-part video installation after the death of her lover, who fell from a cliff in Argentina. If the tragedy sounds like the stuff of exotic melodrama, Bernat takes her consolation in sleepy ordinariness — soft-eyed cows, river ends clotted with driftwood, tree-lined country lanes walked by flannelled wranglers. Bernat sets these worn images of American rural iconography to whispered text and soul-heaving gospel. In one segment, a slow-motion fireworks bloom accompanies two staggered recordings of Bernat reciting Gertrude Stein's "Tender Buttons." The sibilant wisps and consonant plods of Bernat's voice drop eerily in the exhibit space. Through Sept. 30 at the Kemper Museum of Modern Art, 4420 Warwick. (Ashley Brown)

Summer Group Exhibit It requires a delicate hand to peel an orange's spongy casing in an uncorrupted spiral. Ceramic artist Rachel Euting has that delicacy of dexterity, at least with ceramics, her medium of choice. Her piece "Nested Vessels" resembles a series of perfectly peeled concentric fruit rinds nestled into one another like a Matryoshka doll. In Euting's "Bud Vases," pastel-green pods, squashlike and bottom-heavy, are topped with tiny apertures. They look like molten olives or, disconcertingly, like a litter of eyeless maggots, little mouths yearning for sustenance. Andrew Gilliat's jars look like miniature towers of stacked tires topped with nipplelike spires. His "Juice Cups" is a line of small glasses with distended bases and fluted shafts. Ginny Sims' pieces are the most ecstatic of the bunch, with inky newsprint decals of type and images countered by gold accents. Her white finishes are intentionally messy — drippings are visible near the bottom of each teacup, like frosting. Through Sept. 2 at Red Star Studios, 821 W. 17th St., 816-474-7316. (Ashley Brown)

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