Art Letter


September 2012 Archives

ExpoChicago: GangBusters, Two
I got to Navy Pier, the venue for the thoroughly excellent ExpoChicago, at least an hour before the reception for the donors supporting the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It gave me an opportunity to stroll the fair and take photos with the finished booth installations the way the galleries wanted and the lighting now properly adjusted.  So these are better photos than yesterday's.

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And the people watching wasn't too shabby either!  Don't miss this show.

Thank you,
Paul Klein




ExpoChicago: GangBusters
I had the pleasure of previewing ExpoChicago while dealers and art installers were setting up their booths.  This is the moment of supreme optimism, when everything might just work out as everyone has dreamed.  And it just might.

Exhibitors not seen in Chicago in over a decade have returned with way better than the material they normally take to art fairs.  Excellent newer and younger galleries are also participating, and the show does an exemplary job of including non-commercial presentations by local arts organizations.

Organizer Tony Karman teamed with star architect Jeanne Gang who designed a gorgeous layout, with three dazzling, silver, hanging elements that enliven the whole show and keep people from getting lost.  Everyone is thrilled to be there.  The show is about as good as it can be.  

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Don't miss this show.

Thank you,
Paul Klein


Art Work Ethic

After the cacophony of last week's season opening exhibitions across the city of Chicago, there are three impressive, divergent openings tonight.  Jacob Hashimoto, and all the artists in this ArtLetter, went to school in Chicago and were clearly imbued with the work ethic that distinguishes our artists from those elsewhere.  Hashimoto's work is on view at Rhona Hoffman.   Impressive vision and execution.  Gorgeous work.

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Laura Letinsky is beautifully pushing the photographic image forward.  Known for her photos of the detritus left behind at dinner parties, her new work looks familiar, but is executed altogether differently. In her show at Valerie Carberry, she's combined flat elements pulled from magazines or of her own creation and composed them alongside real objects, yielding an image which at first glance looks 'true,' but beckons closer examination and engagement.


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In some ways Rory Coyne is more 'classic.'  He is in his painting technique and his knowledge of mythology.  But in his show at FM Gallery, there is more on view.  This is seductive work, with layered meanings.  His model is his fiancĂ©e.  They are both open and honest, and the passion and emotion Coyne brings to his muse and art are lusciously more complex. 

 

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Thanks very much,

Paul Klein


Old is New as the Fall Art Season Opens
Here we go again.  With a very limited number of exceptions, all Chicago galleries open their Fall Season this weekend.  This is the weekend those who usually don't make it to the Friday night openings get out and get seen,  All the galleries are putting their collective best feet out, the weather is right and the party flows from the street into the gallery and back out again. This is a wonderful time to see which galleries have moved, closed or up-scaled over the summer.  The people are out en masse. The art is good.  You might as well be part of the crowd.  Here's what to anticipate:

Russell Bowman and Zolla/Lieberman are collaborating on a survey of the work of historic Chicago Imagist, Roger Brown's graphic, seminal, influential paintings. The exhibition is nicely divided between the two venues, with plenty of iconography, but fresh art.  

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For all the attention normally directed at the young and the new, there's a lot of 'old Chicago' opening this weekend.  Gladys Nilsson was an original member of the Monster Roster. Her new work is on view at Albano Gallery. 

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Fellow Imagist and 'old school' Chicago colorful is being revisited, with new and luscious images by Robert Lostutter opening at Corbett vs Dempsey

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Terry Evans has been photo documenting the Midwest for decades.  Her show at Catherine Edelman is also a survey, with images spanning decades.

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Vivian Maier is actually the oldest (were she alive) of the older batch of Chicago artists opening this weekend, though her art was only discovered recently - this time showing at Thomas Masters.

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I'm not sure what to make of all the "senior Chicago' art been on view. I like the diversity, but it's going to take more than one weekend of shows to suggest this could be a trend. Carl Hammer is showing new work by cartoonist/artist Chris Ware who is a mid-career Chicagoan.  His ostensibly simplistic renderings are tightly composed, balanced and nuanced works of art.

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Western Exhibitions has moved to a new and brighter space and opens with Geoffrey Todd Smith's sophisticated, patient  complicated, color pattern compositions.

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At Carrie Secrist, Anne Lindberg also creates labor intensive work using colored string to weave back and forth to create large, abstract, color field installations that intrigue and suck you in with their absent, or multiple, focal points. 

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At Robert Bills, Tom Berenz rounds out the strong push to color in his paintings that play between two and three dimensional space as he creates balanced, yet, disjointed compositions. 

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These are just the highlights of some of the shows opening this weekend. There's plenty of opportunity to discover art on your own.  I'd be pleased to hear what resonates for you.


Thanks very much,
Paul Klein