In the late Fourteenth and early Fifteenth Centuries, small figures carved in alabaster were created to commemorate of the line of the Duke of Burgundy. The figures, between fifteen and twenty inches in height, depict heavily robed monks and other members of the clergy in a state of mourning. Philip the Bold and his son, John the Fearless, were buried in tombs decorated with these statues. While their home was in the process of renovation in 2009, the statues went on tour, and made a stop here in St. Louis.
In the throes of a hot summer, local artists Joanne Kluba and David Ottinger took refuge in a cool, darkened room of the St. Louis Art Museum and sketched these figures to the recorded chanting of monks. It is these sketches, drawn in pencil on Arches 88 paper, that now adorn the walls of the Schlafly Branch gallery. Set in an alternating black and white pattern, the works create a stark display that explore the many faces and phases of grief.
The sketches are on display in the Schlafly Branch Gallery until April 30.