Since obtaining his MFA at Cal Arts in 1997, Douglas Melini has exhibited his paintings in London, Munich, Tubingen, and New York at noted galleries such as 11R, Feature, Minus Space, and White Columns. This is his first solo show in St. Louis.
The work has, until recently, been described as an unlikely fusion of Minimalism and P & D (Pattern and Decoration). Melini fills in a hard-edge, minimalist grid with what looks like painted patterns of plaids, stripes, and tattersalls. The precisionist effect is then overlaid by a less-perceptible layer of drips and drops of paint.
As that body of work progressed, Melini simultaneously was working on a closely related group of paintings in which gestural elements were painted over a lattice-like structure. The work retained the formality of a grid that nearly disappeared under the lushness of brushwork almost spiritual in quality. The effect projected, by both bodies of work, is one of optimism--something badly needed in trying times.