Top 5 Weekend Picks (2/3-2/5)

February 3, 2012 · Print This Article

1. Inaugural Chicago Exhibition at Bert Green Fine Art

Work by Barron Storey, Elizabeth McGrath, Jeff Gillette, Carlee Fernandez, Laurie Hassold, Jen Heaslip, Shane Guffogg, Sandra Yagi, Clive Barker, Eduardo Villacis, Jessica Curtaz, John U. Abrahamson, and Gabor Ekecs.

Bert Green Fine Art is located at 8 S. Michigan Ave. Open house Saturday, 12-7pm.

2. Ground at Roxaboxen

Work by ACRE resident Rebecca Beachy.

Roxaboxen is located at 2130 W 21st St. Reception Sunday, 4-8pm.

3. Asylum at Linda Warren Gallery

Work by Nicole Gordon.

Linda Warren is located at 327 N. Aberdeen. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

4. (NO) Vacancy at Carrie Secrist Gallery

Work by Lauren Anderson, Vincent Como, Antonia Contro, Alex Gartelmann and Jonas Sebura, Angelo Musco, Jamisen Ogg, Javier Pinon, Liliana Porter, Joel Ross, Alette Simmons-Jimenez, Paul Anthony Smith, and Dietrich Wegner.

Carrie Secrist Gallery is located at 835 W. Washington Blvd. Reception Saturday, 5-8pm.

5. Drawings at Russell Bowman Art Advisory

Work by Nicolas Africano, Norman Bluhm, Roy De Forest, Carroll Dunham, Philip Guston, Robert Hudson, Elizabeth Murray, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Elizabeth Peyton, Joel Shapiro, David Smith, William T. Wiley, and Terry Winters.

Russell Bowman Art Advisory is located at 311 W. Superior St. #115. Reception Friday, 5:30-8pm.




Top 5 Weekend Picks!

June 10, 2010 · Print This Article

This week my Top 5 in actually a Top 4. Why? ‘Cus I say so damn it!  I’ll probably be out of town on Saturday, but luckily, my Top 4 are all on Friday. So, without further ado…

1. The First Five Years at 65Grand

We all know the city gives shit to apartment galleries, even though it was recently discovered that the city itself didn’t even have its own damn story straight on what was illegal and what wasn’t. Well, unfortunately, Bill was one of those that ended up with the shi..ahem…short end of the stick. This is your last chance to see 65Grand in its original incarnation, and get an overview of the last five years of exhibitions.

65Grand is located at, well, you figure it out. Reception is from 7pm to 1am.

2. The Intuitive Photography of Jay King and Lee Balterman at Stephen Daiter Gallery

Daiter presenting more of the work he does best. I’ve really come to love Stephen Daiter Gallery over the last year. Street and personal photography spanning a 60 year period by Chicago natives Jay King and Lee Balterman.

Stephen Daiter Gallery is located at 230 W. Superior St. Reception is from 5-8pm.

3. I’ll Be Your Mirror at Spoke

From the venue that brought puppies into the gallery (I shit you not, it was awesome), comes another round of strangness. The artists of I’ll Be Your Mirror, and I quote, “will focus their energy on exploring the possibilities of mutually beneficial relationships rooted in conversation, exchange and sincerity.” Included in the exhibition are Lise Haller Baggesen and Anni Holm of Chicago, Gitte Bog of Mexico City, Gudrun Hasle and Berit Nørgaard of Copenhagen.

Spoke is located at 119 N Peoria St. #3D. Reception is from 5-8pm.

4. About Face at Thomas Robertello Gallery

An amazing show dealing with the face. Don’t miss it, you will be sad if you do. Including works by Jason Robert Bell, Cody Critcheloe (SSION), John Delk, Scott Fife, Emily Noelle Lambert , Nikki S Lee , Noelle Mason, Mike Nudelman, Ed Paschke, Grant Schexnider, Travis Leroy Southworth, and Julie Weitz.

Thomas Robertello Gallery  is located at 939 W. Randolph St. Reception is from 5-8pm.




Gagosian’s Upcoming Ed Paschke Exhibition Is Not About Jeff Koons.

March 17, 2010 · Print This Article

Ed Paschke, Pink Lady, 1970. Oil on canvas.

Meg emailed me about this forthcoming Ed Paschke exhibition, curated by Jeff Koons, a few months ago. I can’t remember if WTF?? was actually stated in the email or just implied, but we both kind of rolled our eyes and thought, whatever. I replied that the Koons curation part maybe wasn’t so bad — Koons was Paschke’s assistant, after all, and Koons has often expressed his admiration for Paschke, who died in 2004 (see the MCA Chicago’s 2008 exhibition “Everything’s Here” for one example).  But this morning I noticed the following Tweet: “Jeff Koons gets a second chance: his show of former employer Paschke’s work @Gagosian opens Thursday.” Ugh. It more than sucks that this exhibition of Paschke’s work, which no doubt will rock the house, is already being framed as some kind of Jeff Koons extravaganza. Or even worse, as Koons’ chance at redemption, a way to show that he does, indeed, have some fragment of a soul.

Luckily, the Gagosian Gallery itself has thus far refused to improperly hype this show (other than by having Jeff Koons curate it in the first place, some might argue). But the gallery’s press release is comprehensive and focused. At the top, the text notes that Koons worked as Paschke’s studio assistant in Chicago in the mid-1970s while the former was attending the School of the Art Institute. A line or two follows about Koons’ admiration for Paschke. But the rest of the two-page text is devoted to Paschke himself, as it should be. It’s a very well-written  release, so I don’t feel the need to paraphrase. A couple of excerpts:

“Born in Chicago in 1939, Paschke studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the
height of the Imagist movement in the late fifties, while supporting himself as a commercial
artist. He avidly collected photograph-related visual media in all its forms, from newspapers,
magazines, and posters to film, television, and video, with a preference for imagery that tended
toward the risqué and the marginal. Through this he studied the ways in which these media
transformed and stylized the experience of reality, which in turn impacted on his consideration
of formal and philosophical questions concerning veracity and invention in his own painting. At
the same time, he sought living and working situations — from factory hand to psychiatric aide –
– that would connect him with Chicago’s diverse ethnic communities as well as feed his
fascination for gritty urban life and human abnormality. Thus he developed a distinctive oeuvre
that oscillated between personal and aesthetic introspection and confronting social and cultural
values.

****

“Unlike most of his Pop predecessors with their unthreatening embrace of popular culture,
Paschke gravitated towards the images that exemplified the underside of American values —
fame, violence, sex, and money – a preference that he shared with Andy Warhol, who was one
of his foremost inspirations. Although long considered to be an artist of his own time and place,
his explorations of the archetypes and clichés of media identity prefigured the appropriative
gestures of the “Pictures Generation,” and for a new generation of global artists his totemic,
eye-popping paintings have come to embody the essence of cosmopolitan art.”

A fully illustrated catalogue is being published in conjunction with the exhibition, with essays by Koons (natch), Dave Hickey, and reprints of significant texts on the artist by Richard Flood and Dennis Adrian. And presented concurrently here in Chicago will be a survey show titlted “Ed Paschke’s Women” from March 26 through May 22, 2010, at Russell Bowman Art Advisory.

Paschke is a well-known figure to art historians in Chicago and the Midwest, but he certainly never attained star status by anyone’s measure. No doubt it’ll be tempting for NY critics to try and frame Paschke’s work in terms of Koons, or better yet, to frame the latter’s work in terms of the former. But I hope those who see Paschke’s Gagosian show will resist this temptation and instead take his work at face value, as it were, without politicizing it or using it as an opportunity to disguise the fact that the artist they really want to write about is Jeff Koons (again….yawn.). It’s a shame that this show risks being framed via the hand that Jeff Koons has played in “presenting” it, but make no mistake: this is an Ed Paschke show, and from its outlines, at least, it promises to be a fairly significant one.

Ed Paschke, Cocco, 2002 Ink and colored pencil on paper. Russell Bowman Art Advisory

Ed Paschke, Au Voleur, 1991 Oil on linen. Russell Bowman Art Advisory.




Meeting Beatrice Fisher a Little Too Late: In Memoriam

November 16, 2009 · Print This Article

Guest post by Damien James

Beatrice Fisher, Going Home

Beatrice Fisher, Going Home

I walked into Woman Made Gallery on Wednesday, October 14th, to view and review the Beatrice Fisher retrospective, which surveyed fifty years of art making. Intrigued by the gallery’s website, which noted that this was Fisher’s first solo exhibition and that she had studied under such renowned Chicago artists as Karl Wirsum and Don Baum, for better or worse I had fairly high expectations.

Everything had just been hung, and the space was still a bit of a mess—the opening wasn’t for two more days and I hadn’t let anyone know that I was coming—then I realized that the mess consisted mostly of Fisher’s work, of which there was just too much to fit on the walls. (I was told that Fisher had thousands of pieces in her Evanston studio. Thousands was later corrected to hundreds.) After a moment of orientation amidst the clutter, I was able to focus on the walls, on her art, and was instantly taken, overtaken, by not only the range of her work but its consistent beauty and energy.

Beatrice Fisher, Under the Table

Beatrice Fisher, Under the Table

Fisher’s Attachment/Separation series focuses on divorce in the most physical terms; bodies in surreal Siamese union, some split apart by knives or attached by zippers rendered with a level of detail which brings the stark flatness of the paintings and their sharp lines into a kind of focused intimacy that looks cleanly through you. At least, they seemed to look through me. Some are paintings of women and men joined at the hips or shoulders, others of women joined to women, skin stretching into long bands waiting to be broken, their faces staring so pointedly, hypnotically. On another wall were military-themed works which dressed disembodied penises in camouflaged field gear, while across the room a group of small paintings of Jesus clad in ruby slippers and floating in the clouds shimmered. The slippers were glitter. Jesus had a beatific and tranquil face. Maybe it was the shoes.

Truthfully, there was so much work that this could easily have been a group show of six or seven entirely different artists, though it wasn’t difficult to see the common thread—the unique handwriting as it moved through all the pieces; the tongue-in-cheek humor, the cultural critiques, the exploration of sexuality and religion—yet each period in her career seemed to point to the absolute need to make art, out of anything and everything available. It was without a doubt the life of an artist on the walls of Woman Made, not just her art. Read more