Sunday, February 23, 2020

Arts Club of Chicago - Members Exhibit

Dorian Allworthy,  "When I Have Fears"

The Arts Club of Chicago
is a short walk from my art club,
the Palette and Chisel,
so why is this the first time
I've ever visited their members' biennial exhibit?

Maybe it's because they don't focus
on naturalism and figurative art
as we do.

Except for a few exceptions
like the artist shown above,
(and Dorian was briefly a member
 of the Palette and Chisel exactly ten years ago.
I wrote about her here )

On the other hand,
their standards for membership are much higher,
or to put it more precisely,
we don't have any standards at all.

Several of their members, like Julia Fish,
 are among the most celebrated artists in our area.
All of them are quite accomplished,
though  only a handful interest me,
since I have no interest in photography
or conceptual art.

Regarding the above painting, it is rather intriguing, isn’t it?

The solitary, powerful figure, of indeterminate race,
 is striding forward into a menacing though glorious forested landscape.
The vision is heroic, believable, public, adult, and positive
-  the very opposite of 50 years of Chicago Imagism,
and utterly foreign to the mainstream contemporary art world
of the MCA or the Whitney Biennials - except for Kerry Marshall.

Her subject is human destiny -
which does tend to make everything else in the show feel insignificant.

Stanley Dean Edwards ( b. 1941)

Looking him up on the internet,
his career began back in the 1960's
with a figurative surrealism
similar to Art Green  of the Hairy Who.

I like his recent abstraction much better.

The theme seems to be the dynamics of natural forces.

Stephen Duren, b. 1948, untitled #3919

A wonderful post-Impressionist landscape painter from Michigan.

Tom Bachtell, b. 1957,  Nelson Algren

A long-time illustrator for the New Yorker,
I really like the electric, early-modernist
feel of this piece

Danny Bredar , Half-life

A 2014 MFA from the School of the Art Institute.
His website shows him going in many directions.
I hope he keeps going in this one.

Pooja Pittie, "In my memory, she was a mountain"

I love Poojah Pittie !

.. though this piece may not have caught my eye
unless I had seen the more colorful, celebratory work she showed
at McCormick Gallery last year.

Which reminds me
that the same might have been true
with many other artists in this exhibit.

It's hard to like an artist from seeing just one piece.

Aron Gent, b. 1985,  Donald Trump

Equal  parts monster and pathetic child

-- the kind that tears the wings off butterflies.

Peter Frederiksen,  I’ll Be There

An art school drop out with some amazing abilities in fiber art.
I'm allergic to cartoons - but he transforms them into a much better world.
Why haven't I seen him at Western Exhibitions ?
That's where  his work belongs.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Medici Bird

Same old  same old from Tony,
the rebellious adolescent.

But still it feels fresh, beautiful, and thrilling.

Michael Olszewski, b.  1950,  In Berkeley

A fabric artist, and teacher,  in the old school, modernist,
Bauhaus tradition.

A very nice geo-form design.

Dan Jensen, History of Art Part II

If this were a self portrait,
Jensen could be an art star.

Melissa Leandro, b. 1989,  Window View

Go to her website,
she's a very exciting designer,
and a New City Break-out artist from 2018.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Eulogy for Linda Warren Gallery

My recent eulogy for Shane Campbell's gallery
got me thinking about another exhibition space
that recently closed.

Like Campbell,
Warren is still in business,
it's just that she does not 
mount exhibitions any more.

Unlike Campbell, who taught art history at the Art Institute,
Warren relied much more on her eye than on academic ideas.
I doubt that French theory means a damn thing to her.

She showed things that were gorgeous, upbeat, and just a bit quirky.

I really miss her.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

A Eulogy for Shane Campbell Gallery

Chicago and Vicinity

I'm embarrassed to say that I only discovered Shane Campbell's gallery in 2015 --- fourteen years after he opened it in Oak Park. (which is where I live)


How could I have missed it ?  Looking back at his list of exhibitions , he 's a bit closer to the contemporary  artworld mainstream than I've ever been.  He finds fashionable alienation much more attractive than I do.  But still, there's quite a few I wish I'd seen.

In 2016  he opened the south side gallery shown above.

It was a huge and gorgeous space.

He also had a satellite apartment gallery in a Lincoln Park high-rise designed by Mies Der Rohe.

How cool was that!

Apparently, he recently realized that he wasn't having fun any more.  He hasn't sold his building or shut down his website -- but he's no longer  mounting any shows.

I hope that eventually he will change his  mind - if he can still afford to do so.

Maybe he could downsize a bit.
He ran a very small gallery for more than a decade. Why not do it again?

As Thomas McCormick has proven -
you don't really need a big staff and a big, gorgeous space
 to sell big gorgeous art.

( The links below are to my New City reviews )

Elliott Hundley

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Bengt Lindstrom

Biegga Galles, God of the Storm Wind

As it turns out -- I'm a big fan of the Swedish painter,
 Bengt Lindstrom (1925-2008)

His stuff drives me crazy.

I wrote about his show here .

Below are some more pictures that I took.

The American contemporary artworld
being what it is,
 chances are I will never see his work again.

The Nordic God, Thor

Little Red Riding Hood
(with a rather crocodilian wolf)

student work,  Art Institute of  Chicago

self portrait, 1970's

The Nordic God, Loke

Women of the Champs Elysees
(one for each side of the box)


Crazy  Person

Red Magic


and recently it occurred to me that he might like this show.

Bingo!  Hit that nail on head.

He bought a coffee-table book of Lindstrom reproductions
back in the nineties.
For a  while, he riffed on his style
-- examples of which are shown below.

If anything - he's gotten even wilder.

He seems to have turned his mind  inside-out.