This weekend is making up for the last couple slow ones. In all, 35 openings, with shows in all the standard art districts, a few museum events, and an awesome array of shows at the weird-ass venues that make Chicago such a vibrant art scene. Here’s my picks:
1. Living Treasure at Pentagon
“Living Treasure is a shadow of Pentagon Gallery’s first opening Nemesis, A show that engaged cultural others and darkness in music, film, literature and athleticism. Living Treasure attempts to take note from Nemesis but focuses on current global issues and America’s involvement with in them. Each artist transforms ideas of violence, destruction, environment, religion, and sexuality by utilizing different mediums and engaging the viewer to be critical of their own social nature. The show it’s self might seem sinister but stays satirical with subject and matter.” Work by Carl Baratta, Carolina Wheat, Montgomery Perry Smith, Theodore Darst, Ryan Ingebritson & Flash Gordon (1980).
Pentagon is located at 961 W. 19th St., 1F. Reception is PLEASE NOTE: Saturday from 7-10pm.
2. Younger Than Janis at Noble & Superior Projects
“The work of all of these artists (who together cover film, sculpture, sound, food, printed matter, painting, photography and video) considers the ephemeral nature of youth and beauty. The work ranges from musings on death to pursuit of an infinite youth, covering all the fleeting affect in between.” Work by Marcel Alcala, Ryan Barone, Lucas Blair, Patrick Bobilin, Connor Camburn, Kevin Clancy, Adam Cruces, Cara Anne Greene, Eliza Koch, Andre & Evan Lenox, Vanessa Macholl, Celia Marks, Ross Meckfessel, Michael Morris, Erin Nixon, Michael Radziewicz, Anna Rochinski, Steve Ruiz, Liz Rugg, Hannah Verrill, Blair Waters, Ali White, Andrew Norman Wilson, and Travis Wyche.
Noble & Superior Projects is located at 1418 W. Superior St. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm, film screening is Saturday from 7-10pm.
3. A Packer Schopf 3-fer: “South County Scrapbook”, “Gleaners, Hawkers, and Reapers” and “Skivery”
Danny Hein: South County Scrapbook – “My drawings are inspired by romantic memories of growing up in rural Indiana. I always felt there was a lot of mystery there. The figures here represent the land. I think of them as corn-fed-ghosts.”
Catherine Jacobi: Gleaners, Hawkers, and Reapers – “The Histories of Objects are platforms from which Jacobi starts her pieces – considering a narrative that has already existed and one that she will have imagined existed. The novelty of form is that it leads you to believe it will endure. Look at a body, her body – immortality it seems is mortal.”
Nancy Bardawil & Casey Gunshel: Skivery – “Nancy Bardawil started her art career as a painter and a sculptor, but for the last twenty years she has been working in film as a director. Although she’s been painting since she was six-years-old, this is the first time she’s shown her paintings in public. As a child, Casey Gunschel learned to draw by way of National Geographic and Dungeons and Dragons monster manuals. That introduction has inspired a lifetime fascination with animals, creatures and all things wild.”
Packer Schopf Gallery is located at 942 W. Lake St. Reception is Friday from 5-8pm.
4. Action! at Chicago Art Department
“ACTION! is a Chicago Art Department exhibition themed around the idea of the Hollywood summer blockbuster movie. Since the release of Jaws in 1977, the summer movie season has, for better or for worse, become characterized by over the top, big budget, action, special-effects laden movies that we now know as “the summer blockbuster”. The art in this exhibition looks at the summer movie as cultural phenomena and symbol, as nostalgia and memory, and yes even simple, mindless fun.” Work by Ryan Roberts, Christophe Roberts, Clare Rosean, Nat Soti, Jim Jeffers, Ali Serradge, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Kayce Bayer, Chris Lin, and Kerry Flaherty.
Chicago Art Department is located at 1837 S Halsted St. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm.
5. Visible City: Map Room at Fill in the Blank Gallery
“Visible City: Map Room is part of an ongoing body of work by Aaron Delehanty in which painted images and drawn maps work together to build a mythos of a nonexistent place called Visible City. This exhibition highlights two features of this city—its urban physical space and its mental space—by showing scenes of the city as being designed in harmony with its surroundings. The maps of Visible City are strange and unique, different from your usual map because Visible City is a different kind of human settlement.”
Fill in the Blank Gallery is located at 5038 N. Lincoln Ave. Reception is Friday from 7-11pm.
Time like Ming the Merciless, tyrant of the doomed planet Mongo, catches up with everyone and not even Flash Gordon can rescue you from it’s clutches. Al Williamson the Artist that helped bring more comic characters to fame then you can count passed away Saturday June 12th in upstate New York, his wife, Cori, recently released. He was 79.
Williamson the milti award, two time Eisner award winner (1996, 1997) worked from the 1950′s steadily till his retirement in 1999 illustrating everything from Flash Gordon to Secret Agent Corrigan to what personally was my first comic his work bringing Luke Skywalker to the illustrated page. If Williamson wasn’t making some of the best penciling even before there were such companies as Marvel or DC Comics he was inking the work of other great artists like Jack Kirby. While other artists were thinking about shadow, volume and representing the human figure in dramatic 2d space (even Kirby who’s early work when compared to Williamson is dramatically different) Al Williamson was executing that with unparalleled skill and complex sensitivity.
“He was one of the more sublimely talented artists to work in mainstream comics, His men were handsome, his women were beautiful, and the landscapes he drew — alien or westerns or battlefields — always seemed lushly authentic. He made panels you could lose yourself in.”
said Tom Spurgeon, editor of the online magazine Comics Reporter.
Alfonso Williamson born March 21, 1931 in Manhattan, one of two children of Sally and Alfonso Williamson. His Scottish father, was a citizen of Colombia, and soon after his son was born the family moved to Bogotá.
At the age of 9, his mother took him to his first movies which he saw a chapter in the “Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe” serial, was sold and immediately started sketching scenes from memory when he got home.
The family returned to New York when Alfonso was 13. He took classes at the School of Visual Arts (then called Cartoonists and Illustrators School in Manhattan), and was later hired by EC Comics.
Mr. Williamson’s first wife, the former Arlene Sattler, died in 1977. In addition to his wife of 32 years, the former Cori Pasquier, he is survived by his sister, Liliana Gonzalez Williamson; a daughter, Valerie Lalor; and a son, Victor.
Al Williamson was a pioneer in countless ways in defining comics as we know them today and will be greatly missed.