Art Expo Chicago - 2014
Approaching these shows like a treasure hunt
rather than doing a thorough survey of each and every gallery,
I really can't comment on how they have changed over the years.
Recent expos do seem to place greater emphasis
on abstract painting,
but perhaps that's just because I'm paying more attention
to that genre now.
But there still is a lot of figurative
and even observational painting,
my favorite being the large, thrilling
swimmer shown above.
who specializes in underwater views of women swimming.
It answers the question:
"Why is life on earth so wonderful?"
but basically this cool, relaxed figure
dates back 2500 years.
have been in the Chicago art fairs for a decade or more,
often in more than one gallery each year.
classical figure sculptor in all that time.
(with its three-dimensional materials,
this piece is much more effective in person)
a child and home centered world.
and it's not as satisfying.
so let's wait and see
what her next show will be like.
and I wouldn't mind if showing them both became an annual event.
but so are floral arrangements.
this early abstract painting
seems to be the resolution of great
and irresistible forces
but I also see a defiant New York spirit
that chose to join the early 20th C. celebration
of brash heterosexuality.
I like the melancholy mood of this early painting
more than the ontological concerns
of her recent work
are often fanatical about perfectly rendering
the labels printed on them.
But here, it doesn't seem to matter,
the zig-zag of colorful paint tubes is so dynamic.
For whatever reason,
I love to see paintings of places
I don't enjoy being in.
Here is a young still-life painter who takes his product label lettering quite seriously,
and who is the latest addition to the roster of
more of which is shown at the end of this post)
This is really goofy, and ugly, stuff
that hasn't interested me since age four.
but I did laugh out loud,
recalling adolescent speculations
concerning the romantic life of Catherine the Great.
I'm not a big fan of joke paintings,
but they can be welcome diversions
in a hall filled with thousands of paintings
This piece is modest in size and price,
but not in its Platonic confidence.
Pretty lively for an octogenarian,
but it looks more like a fried batter tempura
than the figures named in the title.
Its forms cannot withstand
its centrifugal energy.
Gallery signage dated this piece to 1983,
Leslie's book lists it as 1976,
so perhaps there is more than one version.
There is something so American
about this woman.
But she seems to be trapped by that identity.
She's not exultant and free floating
like Shemesh's swimmer
shown at the top of this post.
it must be recent.
It's not exactly what I would like to see while wolfing down
a ham sandwich,
but it certainly does share the artist's nightmarish world
while still asserting "and yet I survive"
800 years ago, bishops would have sought him out to paint Hell
on a wall of the cathedral
"Calling across the watermelon field for you"
Yet another octogenarian painter in the show,
this time, cat like, he has condensed down
to balancing a few simple moves.
Coming from a military family,
I suspect he studied fencing
it might be considered merely decorative.
But I like the decorative.
A peaceful life is always an important achievement.
If Hall had begun her career 30 years later,
she might well be working in encaustic
may have been the time
he helped Picasso stretch the canvas for Guernica.
somewhere in between the angst of abstract expression
and the hedonism of color field.
of a wealthy, talented, intelligent young Manhattan woman.
at her town house on the Upper East Side.
The energy in Japanese abstract expression
seems to come from outer, natural
rather than inner, psychological conflicts.
this is what contemporary sculpture was supposed to look like in 1955.
But it still feels something like a standing figure,
and it still feels balanced and proportioned.
(a few years back, his show actually included
a clear plastic bag full of refuse)
offers that kind of puzzling look
in which Corbett Vs. Dempsey specializes.
This piece seems full of energy and purpose,
but where is it going and where did it come from ?
With it's strong sense of direction,
this piece makes quite a contrast
with the piece shown above it.
I was more familiar with Olitski's all-over
spray painted surfaces -
so these large, dramatically balanced shapes
were a pleasant surprise.
Here's the master of American abstract expression,
and this is the first piece of his that I've really liked.
It feels like you've been dropped into
someone's turbulent brain,
with a billion synapses firing at once.
Another southern California abstract expressionist
who feels more like the streets of New York
(during a garbage workers strike)
and I've only seen his work in magazines,
I was a bit surprised
that this painting was so beautiful.
even if they're ones that have been genetically modified
and over stimulated with growth hormones
Here's a young local painter
(he just got his MFA in Chicago this year)
whose work has often resembled the Rosenquist shown above.
But obviously he's taking his own direction
with a very inventive mind
I am properly annoyed by minimalism
(isn't that it's purpose?)
but this is more like traditional ceramics
in its simple satisfaction.
It even has the earth tones and shapes
of a good pot..
If you look closely,
you'll see how the edges are painted differently
on the top and bottom shapes.
This is exactly what the McCormick Gallery specializes in,
and I'm so glad they do.
The world of mid-century American abstract painting
is so much larger than what is found in museums.
(just as the world of mid-century American figurative painting
is much larger than can be found in either art museums
or art fairs)
Resembling the most eccentric of Chinese calligraphy
(the kind that even Chinese scholars cannot read)
And like that kind of work,
this piece is thrilling to see,
but doesn't really belong in permanent display on a wall.
It needs to be rolled up like a scroll
and only taken out for special occasions.