Robert C. Smith: An Eclectic Studio & A Remarkable Career

February 8, 2019
Des Lee Gallery, 1627 Washington Ave.

Opening reception: Friday, February 8, 2019, 6-8p; remarks at 6:30p
On view: Friday, February 8 – Saturday, March 9, 2019
Gallery hours: Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 1-6p
Additional hours available by appointment

Please join us for the opening reception of Robert C. Smith: An Eclectic Studio & A Remarkable Career.

Robert C. Smith (1926-2018) was an accomplished draftsman, painter, photographer, sculptor, and fountain designer, as well as a professor emeritus in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Bob joined the faculty in 1965 as director of the first- and second-year program and later helped establish the communication design major. In 1972, he launched Create Studio, a professional graphic design firm staffed entirely by students—one of the first of its kind in the nation. Bob’s own studio practice embodied his wide-ranging interests and endless curiosity, and included commissioned projects for Cincinnati’s Taft Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, and the MUNY Opera in Forest Park, among many others. The Des Lee Gallery is proud to celebrate the eclectic works and influential legacy of this consummate St. Louis maker and teacher.


SEX DEATH, RELIGION, AND GUILT: Photography of Stan Strembicki and Alumni

Photography of Stan Strembicki and Alumni
October 5 – November 10, 2018
opening reception: Friday, October 5, 2018 from 5-7pm
gallery hours: Wedesday, Friday & Saturday from 1-6pm

The Cabinet of Ordinary Affairs

The Cabinet of Ordinary Affairs

A multi­media installation by Stephanie Schlaifer and Cheryl Wassenaar

September 7, 2018 – September 22, 2018


The Cabinet of Ordinary Affairs is an immersive, site‐specific visual installation that explores the inner voices of the mind and their distinct, authoritative manner of telling us what to do. Merging sculpture, sound, video, text, and design, the installation is based on a series of Schlaifer’s poems that imagine the brain as a collection of governing bodies, operating as a bureaucratic institution.


opening reception: Friday, Sept 7, 2018 from 6-8pm

Artist Gallery Talk: Thursday, Sept. 20, 6:30 pm

gallery hours: Wedesday, Friday & Saturday from 1-6pm


This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.







2018 student show season


Friday March 23, Junior Exhibition

Thursday March 29, BFA Exhibition (Group 1)

Friday April 6, BFA Exhibition (Group 2)

Friday April 13, BFA Exhibition (Group 3)

Thursday, April 19, MFA First-Year Exhibition (Group 1)

Friday April 27, MFA First-Year Exhibition (Group 2)


All exhibitions have opening receptions from 6-9p.

Additional viewing hours will be each following Saturday from 1-6p.

XOXO images



February 8 – March 10, 2018

Opening reception, Thursday, February 8, 2018, 6-8 PM

Des Lee Gallery

1627 Washington Avenue

St. Louis, MO   63103


Gallery hours for this exhibition will be Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 1-6 PM and by appointment.

Harry Benson

IMAGE CREDIT: Harry Benson CBE,  Judy Garland, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1965
Archival Pigment Photograph, Courtesy of Barrett Barrera Projects


The Des Lee Gallery is proud to present XOXO – a group exhibition curated by Jessica Baran of work from Barrett Barrera Projects’ collection as assembled by Susan Barrett.

“I need anything, anything that will stop me from living in the kind of death the bourgeois eat, the death called comfort.”   – Kathy Acker, from In Memoriam to Identity

X marks the spot, the kiss, the nixing-out; O is the void and the hug, the encircling gesture that says that’s it and, all together, I love you truly but casually. The artworks in this show burlesque common strategies of evoking authenticity, using intimacy and self-revelation as methods for unmasking the constructedness of status quo identity.

Susan Sontag writes, “To perceive Camp in objects and persons, is to understand Being-as-Playing-a-Role. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater.”

This work “camps” gender, race, class. It writes fictions of the self that become both reality and myth. Employing parody, homage, cut-up and collage, these pieces quote familiar character typologies then strip-tease their constituent parts. They are skillful fakes full of real historical grandeur, empty icons made genuine by their excess, and somber survivors of pathological glamour and the power of desire.

Artworks by Zoe Buckman, Nicole Eisenman, Fantich & Young, Chantal Jaffe, Terrence Koh, Marilyn Minter, Toyin Odutola, Mickalene Thomas and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, among others.



About Barrett Barrera Projects


Founded in 2014 by Susan Barrett (BA86/BFA86, MArch94), Barrett Barrera Projects is a multidisciplinary consulting company specializing in art, culture and contemporary fashion. Representing national and international artists who blur traditional disciplinary boundaries, Barrett Barrera Projects also organizes exhibitions for travel that assert nontraditional media as historically and artistically vital. With its affiliated commercial art space, projects+gallery, Barrett Barrera Projects brings regional, national and international artists to St. Louis. The gallery serves as a laboratory for experimentation by our represented artists as well as other leading contemporary practitioners.

About Jessica Baran

Jessica Baran is the Associate Director of Curatorial and Program Development at Barrett Barrera Projects. She has curated exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, COCA, the Charlotte Street Foundation, fort gondo compound for the arts and White Flag Projects, among other venues. She holds a BA in visual art from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry writing from Washington University and is the author of three full-length poetry collections. With Ted Mathys, she co-curates the 100 Boots Poetry Series at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.



Parabola 2017: Frankenstein

Parabola 2017-Frankenstein

December 1, 2017
Des Lee Gallery, 1627 Washington Ave.

The Des Lee Gallery presents Parabola 2017: Frankenstein, an exhibition that will encourage cross-disciplinary investigations relating to the various issues raised in the book. How does Frankenstein relate to the idea of the “other” in sociological contexts? What are the book’s influences on popular culture, art, and medicine? How does the “year without a winter” that is referenced in the novel relate to climate change and environmental issues?

The opening reception will take place from 6-9p December 1, with additional gallery hours from 1-6p December 2.

This exhibition is curated by MFA students Taylor Yocom and Jacopo Mazzoni, and Des Lee Gallery director Brandon Anschultz. It is made possible through the generous support of WashU’s Graduate Professional Council, the Sam Fox School, the Graduate School of Art, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and the Des Lee Gallery.