• Tala Madani, The Gift, 2015, oil on linen, 20 × 17 1/8".

    Tala Madani, The Gift, 2015, oil on linen, 20 × 17 1/8".

    “Tala Madani: First Light”

    Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
    3750 Washington Blvd.
    January 15–April 3, 2016

    Curated by Kelly Shindler and Henriette Huldisch

    Cock-dragging baby-men leer with amusing hubris and dazed melancholy in the paintings and stop-motion animations of Tala Madani. In this exhibition of works from the past two years, the Tehran-born, Los Angeles–based artist’s cast of rotund fellows prance and lactate in a sinister, metaphysical darkness cut sparely with light. A grim, corporeal humor bubbles through while Madani’s (mostly) bald subjects suffer odd torments; in one oil painting, The X, 2015, a figure clad in a black thong grins submissively as disembodied hands stretch his limbs outward. Opening at cam with nine paintings and an animation, the exhibition will expand when it travels to the co-organizing MIT List Visual Arts Center, gaining eight additional paintings from Madani’s series “Smiley Has No Nose,” 2015, and “Abstract Pussy,” 2013–, and a second animated video. Travels to the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, May 20–July 17.