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Showing posts from October, 2013

Carroll Street Open Studios

Here is more great work that I saw at the open studios in Carroll Street, Chicago, last weekend. Beautiful constructions and work on paper by Judith Mullen, intriguing objects by Joan Giroux, and a terrific ab-ex painting by an artist whose name I didn't uncover.

The Gods of Dreams

I recently saw an interesting show of work at a gallery not too far from my Chicago apartment. Morpho Gallery runs a regular 'emerging artists' competition, and they were exhibiting the winners of the last few competitions. The first piece that caught my eye was by Michael Klaus Schmidt : The bold shapes and collage elements have references to cloisonne ceramic work, or collagraphs in the printmaking realm. They also remind me of 1970s poster design, which must be something to do with the curved shapes ending in heavily outlined forms. There's a lot of texture in the different areas, too, that stops them coming off as flat and dull. I believe the artist has collaborated with theatre people, and you can see the cross-over in the graphic impact of this work. I liked this painting by another artist in the show, for its colours, and good organization of all these shapes. It's something that lots of artists seem to be doing at the moment, but this is doing it quite

A Visit to the Studio of Connie Noyes

An artist’s studio, it has been said, is half science laboratory and half Aladdin’s cave. I was reminded of this when I visited the studio of Chicago artist Connie Noyes recently, on the third floor of a grand brick factory building that once manufactured Ford Model Ts. As soon as the steel doors swung open, Noyes guided me on a pathway that led between old and new paintings concealed in bubble-wrap and leaning against walls, tables laden with the recycled and cast-off materials that she uses in her current work, and works in progress standing against other walls, reclining on other tables, or lying on the floor, amid pools of wet and dried resin that she pours in cascades over her materials. We talked a lot about process. Whether in a series of works incorporating enlarged digital photos, pigment, resin, and hilariously gaudy frames, or in a piece that cocoons hundreds of peanut shells in a bright gold layer, Noyes spoke about finding her way by working with the materials. The

A fashionable assemblage of elegant notables

Salon n . 2 . a fashionable assemblage of elegant notables (as literary figures, artists, or statesmen) Last Saturday evening, October 5th, Patty and I held a salon at our Chicago apartment. Patty is a writer and I am a visual artist, and since about 2003 we've hosted one party a year (sometimes more) at which we invite the many writers we know to read something from work in progress or published work, the artists to bring some work along and talk about it, and any musicians to play a song if they feel inclined. It's more of a party than a salonin the traditional sense--no Gertrude Stein holding forth about modern art in the corner, no competing for attention or ascendancy. Just an opportunity to eat, drink, and share some work to combat the isolation that usually goes along with the writer's and artist's lot. This recent one was great for many reasons, chiefly that so many people contributed, and so many were there for the first time. In addition to t

Previewing a new web series

Last week, I met Martin Garcia at my Chicago studio to talk over art related things (though we also talked about English football, which heathen US sports fans refer to as 'soccer'). Martin is an artist who also uses video, both for his own work and to record stuff for other artists and galleries around Chicago. Recently he formed a production company to work on a web series called Our Cultural Center , which will consist of a series of 2 minute films set in a fictional arts organization whose funding has just dried up. The series is called Our Cultural Center, and Martin has hired a group of real actors to work on each episode, which will feature art created by real artists from around Chicago, too. The stated intention is to talk about art and the art world in a humorous way, and simultaneously to raise the profile of art in Chicago and the issues facing the art world. It's an ambitious project, and I hope it gets the viewers it deserves. The series is scheduled to b