Monday, May 21, 2018

Xavier Toubes at the Chicago Cultural Center

I've already written about this ceramicist in a review for New City back when he showed at Perimeter Gallery.  There's  not much more I could add about this show at the Chicago Cultural Center - except that perhaps it's even more hedonistic.

I wonder if he collects Javanese puppets ?  That piece on the left certainly reminds me of some mischievous demon in Wayang.

Every streak and drip feels so loose - yet so perfect.

Is that a self portrait of the artist's face at the very top ?  He's certainly given this figure a rather substantial manhood.

A seed pod for one of the magical plants that reaches higher than the clouds.

No need for any art criticism of this artist -- he has concisely described his own work.

Except that -- since his objects do bring to mind human beings - I would query what kind of the people they might be.

There's no Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Priam, Hector, or Odysseus here.

They're all lotus eaters.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Zoe and Miyoko

Miyoko Ito (1918-1983)   "January into  February"  (1980)

Zoe Nelson (b. 1983) "Swipe Right" (2017)

By possible coincidence, the DePaul Art Museum  has recently acquired these two paintings.

By probable curatorial choice, they are now hanging side by side.

They make for a fascinating contrast between  age and generation.

Ito was 62 when she painted "January into February",  and judging by the sad look on that face, she probably was not feeling very well.  She would die three years later - the same year that Nelson was born.

Nelson was 34 when she painted "Swipe Right".  No explanation was needed for it to feel  sexy and sensual. But it feels even more so when gallery signage explained the title ( "swiping right" invites a hook up on the popular dating ap, Tinder)

An old woman faces mortality while a much younger one pursues sexuality.  Life moves on.

And perhaps the baton for a  certain kind of sensitive, suggestive, meticulous abstract painting has just been handed from one generation to another.