exercise in restriction

You might have to think of how you got started in your little room, Jack White sings in the White Stripes’ song “Little Room,” referring to a return to roots, but maybe also calling for some restricting rules to enable a creative project. The rules of tennis (or any other game) might seem restrictive. But while they constrain play, they also give rise to infinities: for n possible plays, there are n2 possible responses and then n4 responses to those responses. Constrained by the rule that he couldn’t afford anything except blue paint, a young Pablo Picasso turned out a series of blue paintings that now define a whole period of his career. Well, Kansas City writer and artist Steve Brisendine explores the concept of self-imposed rules with One Tube Squared Is Still One Tube, an exhibit at Central Avenue Arts (556-1/2 Central in Kansas City, Kansas) that opens at 7 p.m. Each painting uses a single acrylic color (one tube), and each is executed on a square canvas. A portion of the sales benefits the Laundry Love Project, which provides clean clothes to homeless people.— Chris Packham

Fri., Aug. 13, 7 p.m., 2010