The image is handsome and unsettling. A tan, skin-like sheet, webbed in bubbling red, emerges from a jet-black envelope.
In “Blackmail #33” (1998), the artist duo Stone & DeGuire slyly captures the push-pull of distance and connection, of individuality and dialogue, that defines both the act of letter writing and their own decades-long studio collaboration.
On Friday, Jan. 22, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis will present nearly a dozen works from the “Blackmail” series as part of “Sincerely, Stone & DeGuire.” The exhibition, which also includes a small group of sculptures, will open with a reception from 5-7 p.m. and remain on view through Feb. 20.
Nancy Stone DeGuire (1947-2013) and Lawrence R. DeGuire, Jr. (1947-2006) met as undergraduate art students at Washington University. They married in 1969, earned their bachelor of fine arts degrees in 1970 and in 1972 commenced what would become a lifelong artistic partnership.
Based in Carmel Valley, Calif., Stone & DeGuire exhibited widely on the west coast. Major exhibitions include shows at the Pacific Grove Art Center, the Monterey Museum of Art and the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga.
“We are two artists, husband and wife, working together, producing a single object,” they noted in an artists’ statement. “We prefer our works to be presences that question rather than answer, challenge rather than agree, and arouse rather than clarify.
“We cannot be halved.”
The exhibition opening will include an announcement, at 6 p.m., of the Sam Fox School’s new Stone & DeGuire Contemporary Art Award.
The Des Lee Gallery is located at 1627 Washington Ave. Regular hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and by appointment. For more information, call 314-621-8735, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit desleegallery.com.