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.

Art Expo Chicago 2019

Amoako Boafo

(MARIANE IBRAHIM Gallery ,   437 N. Paulina St)

The 2019 edition of  Expo Chicago is different -- and better ! -- than the previous seven editions of Tony Karman's international art fairs.

There were some disappointments - like very few landscapes, cityscapes, or still lifes.  And Forum Gallery - often my favorite for mimetic representation - had nothing for me this year.

But overall, the show felt calmer -- more like an art gallery and less like a street fair.  Maybe that's because visitors now enter from the end of the long hall instead of from the hectic middle.

It didn't humiliate the younger, smaller galleries by putting them in a distinctive "children's table" section.

It  accommodated cyclists like myself by giving us a parking area right next to the entrance. Hurrah!
(last year, security personnel  were stationed there to keep bicycles from being chained to a railing)

But  most importantly -- this show seems to announce the arrival of a new mainstream in American painting:  the depiction of black people by black artists (mostly).

There have, of course, been black figure superstars like Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and mostly recently, Kerry Marshall.   But until this year, black figuration has been rare at Chicago's annual art exhibition.

This year is different -  and not just at Navy Pier.   Black artists and black figuration have recently been much more visible throughout Chicago's galleries and museum spaces.  The Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, which just moved here from Seattle, is one, quite promising example.

And since the subject matter is more about life than art theory, I am one happy viewer.

Below are my favorites.

Many others were on display,  however.   Some I didn't like -- and some  I probably never saw.  ( after about an hour of wandering about in this huge hall, I always become disoriented and may well miss  a gallery or two )

Mala Cruz Palileo

Mario Moore

David Antonio Cruz

Cheryl Pope
(this is a kind of tapestry)

Charles DuBack, 1960

Shadi Al-Atallah
the U.K. artist is an Arab from Saudi Arabia

Pat Phillips

Love this dramatically skewed sense of space -- reminds me of Philip Guston

Devan Shimoyama

Many materials went into this confection -- including a real piece of carpet.

Paritosh Sen (1918-2008)

Marcus Brutus

I really like this self taught artist who was discovered after someone posted his work on Instagram

Marcus Brutus

Matthew Stone
(this is a wall-size digital print)

Alex Gardner

Stephane Conradie

John Sonsini

Elizabeth Catlett (1915 - 2012)


Now, we move on the depictions of white people:

Celeste Rapone, "Corner Office"

Sandro Chia

It would be hard to imagine this kind of figuration coming from anywhere but Italy or maybe France.

The artist was born in Florence.

Sandro Chia

Danuel Mendez (Cuban)

Nathan Oliveira  (1928-2010)  , 1966

Always a thrill to see good life drawing in these shows.

It's quite rare.

Tom Wesselmann (1931 - 2004) 

Cayce Zavaglia , embroidery

Gina Pellon, 2011

Dae Hun Kwon, cast resin

Milton Avery, 1930

King Rhee

This was the only landscape that I saw --- it uses two layers of plexiglass to deepen  pictorial space.

Mark Innerst

There were only a few cityscapes -- and these are the only ones that I liked.

Mendes Wood Gallery
(couldn't find the name of the artist)

Michael Reafsnyder

Jim Lutes

So far, this is  my favorite painting by this local artist.

Alexandria Smith

Rashid Johnson

Similar to the banged and burned  panels of Cleveland Dean -- but this one seems more related to abstract painting.

Mary Abbott.  1957

A huge and wonderful piece - the best of her's  I've yet to see.

Jeff Kowatch

Quite large, quite goofy, and quite different from the blurry shapes that he painted below.
(it was executed with oil sticks)

Jeff Kowatch


Paul Jenkins

Federico Herrero

Carrie Moyer.

John Santoro

Always one of my favorites in these shows.

Angelina Gualdoni

Andrew Holmquist

Andrew Holmquist

Sean Scully

Ad Minoliti

Chung Sang-Hwa

A Go board ?  The ruins of an ancient city?

William Dalziel

A self taught Chicago artist whose work only came out of his basement  after his death.  The subject matter relates to his experience as a ball turret gunner in the Army Air Corps in WWII.

It's anxiety  reminds me of the paintings of Vietnam veteran Richard Olsen who showed at the Zhou B Art Center in 2017.

Vidvuds Zviedris

A monumental, and quite different, piece by one of my favorite local painters.

Scott Anderson

Giorgio Cavallon, 1964

Dexter Dalwood

Dexter Dalwood

(Alan Koppel Gallery)

Freidel Dzubas, 1982

Yvonne Thomas, 1949

the views from the windows of  Navy Pier
are usually better than most of the paintings in the show.


Mary Qian

Mary Qian's galleries do not show at Expo Chicago,
but this painting would have fit quite well
into the predominant theme of  this year's show.