Strolling through Artopolis 2007: Final Hour
and here's a few final pieces from the Antiques Fair.
The above is by Lorenzl or Preiss
(I can't remember which)
both of them being leaders in the
decorative nude figurine market of the naughty twenties.
The subsequent war seems to have killed that market,
and it never recovered.
Georges Robin 1895-1981
Something about these paintings --
as if they're trying to be timeless, generic rural scenes
appropriate for the walls of motel rooms
in scenic Wisconsin.
(but these are much better than all the
ones I've seen)
Here's another by the same painter,
so dreamy - relaxing --
this is how I feel after the sun
has been beating down on my head all day.
Alexandre Louis Jacob (1876-1972)
This painter is a bit livelier --
and seeing another piece on the internet --
I think I'm becoming a fan.
He must have been consciously retro
back when he began his career at the turn of the last century.
He's got much more in common with Jacob Van Ruisdael
than with Cezanne, Monet, or even Daubigny.
These aren't just landscapes -- they're the setting for a cosmic drama.
(like the world was supposed to be.. back in the 17th C.)
Now -- we've left the Antique Fair
.. and moved over to the gallery of Folk and Outsider Art,
discussed at greater length here
Looking at this 19 C. Burmese deer -- I'm not sure why
I shot it --
maybe the photo just does not do it justice.
It's a large thing -- and it felt good
to share its space.
Outsider art ?
Or... just an art student from the 40's goofing around
in his sketch book ?
Or .. couldn't this sell as contemporary art--
if only some of those cryptic signifiers in the
background seemed more profound
and less adolescent ?
This artist could certainly draw a
monumental figure -- if only he could have
had a career doing so.
Finally -- we're strolling into the Bridge Art Fair --
over in the Holiday Inn that adjoins the Merchandise Mart --
and home for the galleries that weren't invited to Art Chicago.
Which is not a bad thing -- except that these
galleries seem to specialize in the post-apocalyptic
.. sharing with us that urgent message of:
"The world sucks -- and so do people"
Here's another blogger's take on this show,
which is much more representative than my own.
Remember now -- people are ugly and life is miserable !
Actually, I kind of like Heinneke Beaumont 's figures --
because at least they feel calm and noble amidst the chaos.
Here's some others I collected for the website last year
(I discovered her a Navy Pier art fair two years ago)
Ian Strawn "What's rights is wrong again"
This is my favorite miserable person.
(more can be found here
Daniel Blagg "Trailer Park", 40"X60"
..and this is my favorite miserable landscape.
(from Texas -- where else ? -- the hunting ground for ugly
where Lori has found so many
faded treasures. )
Both of the above paintings are rather obviously the children of photographs -
and the photographic way of seeing -- but isn't the computer screen
the best way to see them ? Where they flash on --- and then flash off ?
I just can't imagine living in a room with them
(without a few bottles of liquor handy)
But the best part of the Bridge show --
was the 50 feet of windows
up there on the 26th floor
that look down the urban river canyon
of downtown Chicago
This was also an issue --
back when Art Chicago occurred at Navy Pier
and the view out the lobby window
of the yachts on Lake Michigan
was far more interesting
than the art works in the exhibit.
So now, our stroll is over.
It was fun -
but how I wish that eventually
this conglomeration of art exhibits
might eventually include
the kind of painting found in
the Denver Rotary "Artists of America" shows.
This is the most popular genre of American art -
for both those who collect it and those who
Even if it's hopelessly middle-brow --
is it really so consistently awful
that it must be ignored by this
art fair of art fairs ?