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Art Letter (10/10/08)

There are 4 exhibits opening over the next 3 days, in different parts of town, on vastly different themes, made out of significantly different materials and they are all damned good.

Tonight, Friday, thereís an opening at
Donald Young Gallery for the new Rodney Graham exhibition. This is art that by its scale and quality execution conveys significance, yet refuses to take itself seriously. New paintings, a larger than life photograph and a kinetic, op-art replica of a Black Sabbath concert backdrop from the early Ď70ís are on view. Work of this freshness and caliber is not often seen in Chicago.  See this show.

Also, tonight is the opening for a fabulous piece by
Patrick Lichty at Antena and it isnít even really there. This is one of the best examples of the use of a medium I have seen. Lichtyís work recently has been about cultural artifacts that have disappeared. For me it was Riverview. For him itís the Berwyn Car Spire that was recently dismantled. So he has recreated it - virtually.  in Second Life.  I downloaded it to see the piece.  What a hoot.  And Lichtyís not going to be at the opening either, but he will be available by computer.  It all makes sense even if thereís no there there.

Preston Jacksonís tight new sculptures at Maison Rouge explore vivid historic memories with passion and talent.  This gallery is more like a salon.  A find. And Preston is one of Chicagoís truly great and under appreciated artists. This is another opportunity to see him shine.

On Sunday, Peggy Casey Friedmanís exhibit of photographs opens at Devening Projects.  In the neglected parks and overlooked lots she photographs the beauty she sees. These are strong, optimistic pieces. I like them.

The diversity and range of the work balances the diversity and range of the locations hosting the art. All over the City.

Derek Guthrie was one of two founders of Chicagoís New Art Examiner in 1973 and he is giving a talk Sunday at 2 PM at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art. Itís called Defilement; A Story of the Art World. This should be memorable.

Thank you,
Paul Klein