Art Letter


Strong Exhibits for a February Spring
Most artists make art because they have to.  Not much choice about it.  They have a compulsion that drives them.  And the new exhibit opening tonight at Zolla / Lieberman examines the expression of that fervor. Titled Repertoire, there are a handful of gallery artists in the show and quite a few newcomers from out of town. There's a lot of exciting work, mostly abstract - with plenty of repetitive, obsessive mark marking.  

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Claire Sherman's new paintings at Kavi Gupta are impressive.  Elegant, considered and thoughtful paintings, theyelie their meticulous rendering, and rehearsal through drawing to panel to completed canvas.  The technique and the energy are palpable; the mark-making intentional, and the results convincing.  

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Jeanne Dunning's new work opening at Donald Young is further evidence of her maturing aesthetic - growth from the more clich├ęd, yet interesting, one-liners I historically associate her with. This is meticulous, beautiful work. Not particularly original, it contributes to the lineage of decaying fruit that has been rendered for centuries.

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It took a long time for Renee McGinnis to hit her stride.  Though she's always hustled, it is only in the last few years that her art and technique have gelled. She's found her voice and a painstaking process that yields solid results - on view in her new exhibit opening at Packer Schopf. I'm proud of her.  She's stuck with it and segued into a genuine talent. (There's seemingly off-putting El construction near the gallery, which in actuality can still be easily accessed from the east.)

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Some of the best Chicago shows are out of town.  Not necessarily that far away; in this case at the Evanston Art Center where the artist Susan Sensemann has curated Physiotasmagorical - a show  that delves into the relationship between a person's body from the outside and the myriad, invisible things that go on on the inside.  Too many curators uncomfortably force their context on the artists' aesthetics and draw them into territory they wouldn't want to enter.  Not here.  Sensemann augments the artists' intent and adds to our undersatnding of their work.

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Let's go see some art before winter returns!  Thanks much,