St. Louis loves it when you get that acquisitive urge while in town, and you art collectors can scratch that itch at a fine assemblage of galleries showing everything from emerging local talent to art-world heavyweights. Plus, if you just want to look, the looking is good.
Start the day at Art Saint Louis, the co-op gallery that specializes in juried shows of regional artists. Some, but not all of the artists who show here have commercial gallery affiliations in town, and several were discovered by local gallery directors in shows at Art Saint Louis. Head west on Washington to Grand Center’s Bruno David Gallery, showing some of the best local talent and national artists, like Judy Pfaff, Alex Couwenberg, Jill Downen, Chris Kahler, Joan Hall, Theaster Gates and Buzz Spector. The gallery sits just opposite the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and The Sheldon Art Galleries, and it's right around the corner from Saint Louis University Museum of Art, so there's a lot of art to see in a small space.
Slide into the Central West End, where Atrium Gallery, Philip Slein Gallery and Duane Reed Gallery all show outstanding work by national and international artists. Atrium's roster includes Steven Sorman, Annette Morriss, Lore Bert, Karen Kunc and Suzanne Caporael, among others. Philip Slein loves pure painting and shows artists like Valerie Jaudon, Fred Stonehouse, John Dilg, Glenn Goldberg, Phyllis Bramson, Andrew Masullo, Cheonae Kim, Erik Spehn, John Zinsser and Jackie Saccoccio. Duane Reed exhibits painting, photography and sculpture, featuring a stellar collection of artists working in fine craft disciplines, like Paul Dresang, Jun Kaneko, Jiyong Lee, Beverly Mayeri and Jenny Pohlman & Sabrina Knowles. A bit farther west, Third Degree Glass Factory lives up to its name with a massive selection of glass art produced on the premises, and its Third Friday Open House, where you can do some supervised glassworking, is a blast. In The Loop, Serendipity Gallery offers a surprising mix of media and styles, and Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design features outstanding work by local and national craftspeople.
Just south of The Loop, William Shearburn Gallery specializes in blue chip contemporary artists like Chuck Close, Jullian Opie, Donald Sultan, Bernar Venet, Robert Ryman, James Turrell, Jeff Koons and Alex Katz. Farther west in Ladue, Kodner Gallery shows American and European masters from the 18th to the 21st centuries, currently exhibiting a spectacular Modernist show of work by Picasso, Braque, Vlaminck, Indiana, Johns, Rosenquist, Rauschenberg, Dali, Calder, Lichtenstein and others.
If you're still not satisfied, head north to Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, where working studios overlook a suite of exhibition spaces showing themed, juried work by regional and national artists.