Art Letter

January 2008 Archives


I haven't been writing because there's been a dearth of good art.  Finally that trend is being reversed. with the opening of 4 superb exhibitions. 

I took them from East to West starting at the
Cultural Center where I was impressed by the HereThereEverywhere exhibit in the always handsome 4th floor Exhibit Hall.  There're a lot of things to like about this exhibit. On the surface, there's excellent art like Gisela Insuaste's kickass, painted sculpture /  hanging object / installation. Far and away the best piece I've seen of hers because it engages the eye at ground level and you follow it up to the top of the 28 foot ceiling invariably bringing a grin to your face as your horizon and optimism lift. The show is winsome because it engages a lot of local artists in the company of national and international artists with the sufficiently substantive  content of locality and place that the presentation doesn't read like the more common Some People from Here Shown Together with Some People from There and None of the work having Anything to Do with Anything show.  Nor does the show feel forced like these are wont to do. I  was pretty pleased.

I'm impressed with the number of superb shows Rhona Hoffman (great picture) has strung together. This one with Anne Wilson fills the gallery in three manifestations of her ephemeral, gossamer forms and patterns and all scales from those as minute as a thimble to the large installation woven by humans dancing in the art ever drawing with the shiniest, brightest strands. Mix in her collaboration in one major piece with Shawn Decker's soundworks derived from coding Anne's marks and rhythms and you have an augmentation that yields insight into each artist and brings appreciation for Anne's art to an even higher plane.

Upstairs Walsh Gallery is presenting some pretty strong art by Korean art Chang Jia that shows standing women urinating; a statement of defiance and self definition in any variety of ways.  I enjoying adding the layer of seeing it as a commentary on the contemporary art world, beyond its more intended commentary on gender and role. Memorable.

Then I headed west into land unknown.  First time to Dominican University where I viewed the Wesley Willis show.  Willis was a mainstay of the 90's with his insightful straightforward, pen drawings with the raked perspective. He died a few years back at 40 with leukemia and left a beautiful body of work that shows a love and knowledge of the city. Reminiscent of Lee Godie with their unfettered simple honesty.

It's worth going out.


Thank you,
Paul Klein