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Archives - 2008

ArtScope.net's Hotlist - 2008 Archive

The Hotlist Archives contain entries for the indicated year. Exhibitions are listed alphabetically by name. This is an archive; see the active Hotlist for recommended, currently showing exhibitions.

Big Picture: A New View of Painting in Chicago
Chicago History Museum -- October 20, 2007 - August 3, 2008

Surveying a 100-year span of Chicago painting in 80 works, Big Picture presents Chicago's heritage in a diversity of images, from the Victorian sentimentalism of Jules Émile Saintin's Relief for the Sufferers of Chicago (1872) to the contemporary day-glo punch of Ed Paschke's L. + L. (2004). Highlights include seven works by Richard Chase, the exhibition's strongest section, celebrating Chicago's bridges and industrial construction; four paintings from the legendary Riccardo's Restaurant, not on view since the 1970s and including Ivan Albright's Drama (Mephistopheles) (1947); six newspaper-style caricatures from the Chapin & Gore saloons, dating from the late 1800s to early 1900s; and the haunting anti-war imagery of Carl Hoeckner's Homecoming of 1918 (1918). Thematic areas include Cityscape as Landscape, Approaches to Abstraction, Art in Social Spaces, and Persistence of Figuration. Not quite an actual study of Chicago painters nor of Chicago painting, it nevertheless showcases quite a few curiosities of interest, and images of Chicago, that one will not see elsewhere. http://www.chicagohs.org/

Image: Jean Crawford Adams, View from Auditorium, c. 1945

Full Review - Read Here

Augustus Frederick Sherman: Ellis Island Portraits 1905-1920
DePaul University Museum, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago IL 60614
April 17 - June 13, 2008

Between 1892 and 1954, Ellis Island processed over 12 million immigrants into the United States, an unprecedented wave of humanity shifting from one place to the next. Despite Emma Lazarus' romantic evocation of the U.S. as a place welcoming "your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free", the reality was one of a guarded hostility and the fear that the influx of immigrants would 'dilute' the American populace. Ellis Island and similar processing points in Boston and New Orleans were established as points of control over assessment and admittance. Immigrants were denied admission for a variety of reasons including illiteracy, medical conditions and later, ethnic reasons; they could be detained for some time while their cases were considered. This exhibition of 60 portraits from a unique body of photographs taken between ca. 1905-20 by Augustus Frederick Sherman, a clerk at Ellis Island from 1892 until his death in 1925, provide a rare glimpse of the individuals as well as the attitudes prevailing at the time. Due to the detainees' time spent at Ellis Island, Sherman could photograph them at will. Though recording his subjects with dignity, Sherman nonetheless also expressed then-current attitudes of ethnic 'typing' and the inclination to regard them as anthropological curiosities. An exhibition catalog accompanies and includes an essay by Peter Mesenholler providing analysis and context. Alongside the photographic works, a 28-minute video Ellis Island (1982) by Meredith Monk and Bob Rosen is mostly of value for its shots of present day Ellis Island. http://museums.depaul.edu

Image: Augustus F. Sherman, Untitled (Ruthenian Woman) (about 1910, silver gelatin print)

Tony Fitzpatrick: Portraits of a Remembered City
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, Chicago IL 60602
May 3 - June 29, 2008

Pictorial and poetic. Beautifully dense with symbols, scribbles and tiny, vintage images. Tony Fitzpatrick's work has long deserved a full-scale showing in Chicago and this 60-work exhibition of his drawing collages has been worth the wait. Begun in 1998 shortly before his father's death, the series brings together mementos and keepsakes assembled around a central, drawn image. Evoking the historic Chicago the artist knew as a kid, at times whimsical, curious, witty, sometimes dark, each embodies its own strange yet perfectly workably logic. Frequently these incorporate a line of poetry in a column down one side, drawn in as if pieced together from separate cutout bits. An example from the work Worker Ace (mixed media on paper: 2006) captures the savor of grit, wonder and storytelling that these images embody: "There were newspapers then; full of whiskey and spit and Dillinger: the pagan hustle of our city." A homage to Chicago's history, intensely and delicately done, this is one of the must-see exhibitions of the summer. The works on exhibit also appear in three published volumes: The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City (Dec 2004), The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City: The Dream City (May 2006), and The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City, Volume 3 (July 2007). Also at the same location is Brad Temkin: New Pictures (below). http://www.chicagoculturalcenter.org

Image: Chicago Truck, 2006 (mixed media on paper: 10 x 13 in.), © Tony Fitzpatrick 2006

Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918-1945
Milwaukee Art Museum -- February 9 - May 4, 2008

Featuring more than 165 original vintage photographs from 1918-1945, Foto offers a compelling look at the enthusiasm and variety with which Europeans adopted photography as the new language of modernity between the two World Wars. Their unusual vision and introduction of innovative techniques are the foundation of the photographic vocabulary we know today. Works by 110 photographers are featured, from André Kertész, László Moholy-Nagy and Stanislaw Witkiewicz to equally enticing if less well-known contemporaries. The lavish display of photos is organized around eight themes, including experimental photography, portraits, modern life, surrealism, activist photographs and landscape. Milwaukee's grand art museum is only a day trip away and the exhibition is well worth it. http://www.mam.org

Image: Herbert Bayer (American, b. Austria, 1900-1985); Lonely Metropolitan, 1932, Photomontage (gelatin silver print with gouache and airbrush); 16 1/8 x 11 3/4 in. (41 x 29.8 cm), Courtesy of The Buhl Collection

Full Review - Read Here

Bill Frederick -- works from Lovely in the Distance: Works on Paper
Zg Gallery, 300 W. Superior St., Chicago IL, 60610
June 6 - July 12, 2008

If you missed Bill Frederick's recent solo show Lovely in the Distance: Works on Paper at Zg Gallery, April 18 - May 31, 2008, be sure to take a look in the gallery's side room, where eight of the artist's uncannily precise ink on paper images are still on display. The perfection of scene, coupled with solitude, lends a flavor of ominous import. Service Station Lights is one example, the supple detailing of the lonely service station and its tire-tracked road, and the smooth expanse of gradated sky, just one of many compelling contrasts in this coolly examined image. http://www.zggallery.com

Image: Service Station Lights (ink on paper: 16 x 22 in.), © Bill Frederick 2008

Michael Hoffman, Paul Hunter, Sandra Dawson
Byron Roche Gallery, 750 N. Franklin St., Chicago IL, 60610
June 6 - July 16, 2008

Visit Byron Roche Gallery's new space for a grouping of works by artists Michael Hoffman, Paul Hunter and Sandra Dawson. Dawson's paintings in oil combine richly-colored, textile-like backgrounds with central, deliberately framed images of natural subjects, butterfly, bird, or human. Paul Hunter's gold leaf paintings employ broad expanses of metal leaf whose soft yellow and silvery reflectivity enhances semi-abstract imagery evocative of landscapes and coastal scapes. Michael Hoffman delivers vibrant geometries and a visual samba of paintings involving multi-colored layers of zips of paint. Dark, precise little oil works by Rouaud (Isabelle du Toit), while not strictly part of this exhibition, are also on view and provide a satisfying accompaniment to the themes explored. The new space is one door south from the prior location. http://www.byronroche.com/

Image: Michael Hoffman, Horizon Light, 2008 (encaustic and oil in paper: 21 x 21 in.), © Michael Hoffman 2008

Kathleen Holder: New Work
Perimeter Gallery, 210 W. Superior St., Chicago IL, 60610
June 6 - July 12, 2008

These moody oil pastels are rich with impressions of half-recollected and inexplicable forces. On a broad sheet of richly-colored paper, areas of pastel appear in faint ethereal cloud, their diffusion given a focal point by one, sometimes more, solitary circular daubs or smears. The placement of these suggests lights, moon or man-made, of which the faint pastel diffusion appears to be the merest illuminate vapor. Other rubbed areas hint at water, dimly lit in a dark expanse. Anamnesis, the titling of the series, is a term referring to recollection, particularly from a previous existence. The imagery of subtle, mysterious lights and presumed watery expanses conveys the feel of a world just past the edge of memory. Eight works are featured. An adjoining exhibition features abstract works in oil by Laura Beard. http://www.perimetergallery.com/

Image: Anamnesis XXXVIII, 2008 (oil pastel on paper: 48 x 26 in.), © Kathleen Holder 2008

Edward Hopper
Art Institute of Chicago -- February 16 - May 10, 2008

This engaging retrospective features nearly every iconic and well-known Hopper in the book, all the more reason to come and linger before these illuminate paintings, which are surprisingly gladdening when seen in the flesh. Hopper's oft-described starkness of vision comes in second here; what transmits itself with the greatest intensity is his passion with light and the spaces it defines. On a double bill (and single ticket) with the equally compelling Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light (see above), Edward Hopper presents 90 works chronologically, including paintings, watercolors, and several insightful selections of the artist's early etchings. The Art Institute's own Nighthawks is, of course, a feature, but the painter's final work, Sun In An Empty Room (1963) is the final word that says it all. http://www.artic.edu

Image: Early Sunday Morning, 1930; Oil on canvas; 89.4 x 153 cm (35 3/16 x 60 1/4 in.) Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Landscapes by Photographer Gary Kolb
LUMA (Loyola University Museum of Art), 820 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL, 60611
May 17 - August 10, 2008

Life and death, time that wears down even stone, the forest's growth and the water's flow -- these are the mysteries preserved in wild places where natural forces still reign free and untrammeled. Twenty-eight images by Illinois photographer Gary Kolb combine selections from two bodies of work photographed over a period of several years in the late 1990s, one at Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, the other at Michigan's Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Among the striking images in these delicately-toned silver gelatin prints are a long-forgotten memorial, its stone palings thickly overtaken with lichen and moss; the quietude of water-worn stone in a reflective pool; a spray of spring trilliums, their star-points dancing back in a rich carpet of blossom into the depths of the forest; and a young deer, spirit fled, body bent back like a bow, quietly returning to the earth's embrace. Presented as companion to the exhibition Manifest Destiny/Manifest Responsibility: Environmentalism and the Art of the American Landscape (see above), Kolb's photos provide a thoughtful counterpoint, their images balancing and complementing the artistic interpretations with a literal visual documentation of the natural world. http://www.luc.edu/luma/index.shtml

Image: Scoville Point, Rock Harbor Lodge Quadrangle (silver gelatin print: 24 x 24 in.: 1999), © Gary Kolb 1999

Manifest Destiny/Manifest Responsibility:
Environmentalism and the Art of the American Landscape

LUMA (Loyola University Museum of Art), 820 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL, 60611
May 17 - August 10, 2008

Closely allied with American art's early attempts to establish a national identity was the idea of manifest destiny, the assertion that Americans were entitled by right to exploit the vast natural riches of the New World for their own profit and prosperity. Manifest Destiny/Manifest Responsibility explores that identity as expressed by 19th century painters, and its evolution at the turn of the century into the first stirrings of conservation and protection of natural resources. Paintings, prints, drawings and pastels showcase a diverse exploration of nature and landscape in American art from the 1790s to the mid-1960s. Early 20th century forays into abstraction and Japanese-inspired printmaking receive perhaps too strong a reading imposed on them as direct illustration of changing environmental consciousness but do reflect a shift from the grandeur of landscape into a more intimate fascination with natural forms.

Highlights include early American oil paintings of the Hudson River School and the warm dazzling light effects of the Luminists in grand vistas of wilderness, waterway, and polar views; an Edward Hopper landscape, Sierra Madre at Monterrey (1943); an oil painting by Rockwell Kent, Cranberrying, Monhegan (c. 1907), an example of the artist working outside his normal medium; and a set of six wood engravings by Clare Leighton, collectively entitled The Lumber Camp (1931). All 56 works are American art and all hail from the Terra Collection, making this the first show in Chicago dedicated solely to Terra artworks since the closing of the Terra Museum in October 2004. Running concurrently is Landscapes by Photographer Gary Kolb (see below). http://www.luc.edu/luma/index.shtml

Image: Alfred Thompson Bricher (1837-1908), The Hudson River at West Point, 1864. Oil on canvas, 20 1/8 x 42 1/4 in. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, Chicago, IL.

Re-presenting 'The Migration':
Reproductions of Paintings by Jacob Lawrence

The Field Museum -- February 1 - July 6, 2008

Painted in the 1940s, The Migration, Jacob Lawrence's sequential narrative of 60 panels, recounts the Great Migration of the early 20th century -- the flow of Black Americans from the impoverished Deep South to opportunities offered in the North -- and the trials and difficulties faced at both ends of the journey. The 60-panel series was split between two museums shortly after its completion, and subsequent exhibitions have shown only a few selections, denying the work its full force. Organized by the Harlem fine arts center Triple Candie, Re-presenting 'The Migration' provides the opportunity, even if only in reproduction, to see them all and in sequence. Viewing them in entirety highlights the effectiveness of the artist's signature use of bright, flat colors and shapes in propelling the emotive power of his storytelling from panel to panel. The paintings have all the power of a wordless novel; the captions, composed by the artist, lend a stark poetry. Free with museum admission. http://www.fieldmuseum.org

Image: Lawrence, Jacob (1917-2000), In the North the Negro had better educational facilities, panel 58 from The Migration Series (tempera on gesso on composition board: 12 x 18 in.: 1940-41). Location: The Museum of Modern Art, NY, gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY & © 2008 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Brad Temkin: New Pictures
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, Chicago IL 60602
May 3 - June 29, 2008

Thirty large-scale photos combine two recent, complementary bodies of work. In Relics (2006) they are of mysterious objects, mysteriously abandoned: wooden cable rolls decaying in the middle of nowhere; dented steel shipping containers all in a row, dumping out a cargo of useless rocks; a squat trio of electrical towers on the shores of a barren lake. Monocolor prints focus attention on the formal qualities of these strange structures, all laid aside forever in a landscape of low short grass stretching off uninterrupted toward a long, lonely skyline. Focal Points (2006-7) introduces color, muted and silvery under overcast skies; this series picks up the theme with several similar images of castoff equipment, then expands on it to include natural features and man-made curiosities whose striking configurations of curve, color and prominence stand out on the sweep of the landscape. Titling each solely by the series name or Untitled enhances the sense of enigma in these photos, which withhold, temptingly, as much as they tell. Also at the same location is Tony Fitzpatrick: Portraits of a Remembered City (above). http://www.chicagoculturalcenter.org

Image: Relics VII (archival inkjet print: 2006), © Brad Temkin 2006

Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light
Art Institute of Chicago -- February 16 - May 10, 2008

Winslow Homer came late to watercolor, bringing to it a sensibility to tonality honed by monochromatic works for the illustrated press and by a long familiarity with full-color oil painting. He turned to the medium for its easier accessibility, quick drying time and flexibility in plein air situations in order to explore the interest in light and its effects which quickly became his main fascination. This exhibition of 130 works shows the astonishing freshness of color and light captured by the artist across a broad range of settings, from American and English coastal scenes captured in sun and storm to the sapphire intensity of the Bermuda seas. The Art Institute is the exclusive venue for this exhibition, the largest display of the artist's watercolors for more than two decades; the works are fragile, and not often placed on view, so this is definitely one to see. The special ticket also gives admittance to the Edward Hopper exhibition (see below). http://www.artic.edu

Image: Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910), The Watcher, Tynemouth, 1882; Transparent and opaque watercolor, with rewetting, blotting, and scraping, heightened with gum glaze, over graphite, on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream wove paper (all edges trimmed); 213 x 377 mm

Xiaoze Xie: Both Sides Now
Zolla/Lieberman Gallery -- April 11 - May 24, 2008

Both Sides Now presents images of newspapers: stacked, amassed, hoarded; or presented as front-page sheets whose thin vernacular paper bleeds through its headlines with images from its opposite side, at times amalgamated deliberately into a montage by the artist. Most effective of the three bodies of work here are precise figurative oil paintings of stacked newspapers as seen from the front, successive folds revealing only an inch or two of headline or news photo, reminding us of the insistent flow of news that shapes our lives and our days. http://www.zollaliebermangallery.com/

Image: September-October 2007, C.T. (oil on canvas: 42 x 84 in.: 2008), © Xiaoze Xie 2008

--Katherine R. Lieber

Katherine R. Lieber has edited ArtScope.net's Visual Arts reviews since 1998. Ms. Lieber is Editor and Associate Producer for ArtScope.net.

This is the Hotlist Archive for 2008. Looking for currently running shows? See our Hotlist.

And don't forget our full-feature reviews.

See Current & Archived Reviews:
Volume 9-10 (current)
Volumes 7-8 (September 2004 - August 2006)
Volumes 5-6 (September 2002 - August 2004)
Volumes 3-4 (September 2000 - August 2002)
Volumes 1-2 (October 1998 - August 2000)

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