Credit: Ryan Afflerbaugh

Joey Wozniak, painter, whose exhibit ”Urban Flowers” is now showing at the Eyeporium Gallery (1431 N. Milwaukee), heads out for:

Chicago’s prairie gardens In the summer I find myself on my bike a lot, more looking for inspiration than the need for exercise. My rides have taken me over to two northwest-side parks. River Park at 5100 N. Francisco and Winnemac Park at Damen and Foster. Both have prairie gardens, or areas that have been let go back to a more natural state. I see these prairies as abstract paintings ready to be found, and I love the forms of the flowers themselves.

Ed Gero, the actor currently playing Mark Rothko in Goodman Theater’s Red, studied:

Mark Rothko by James E.B. Breslin

Most of my reading of late has been research related to Rothko’s life and work. In that regard Mark Rothko: A Biography, by James E. B. Breslin, is definitive, and provided the psychological and historical foundation for all the character work I’ve done on the play. It is a comprehensive and meticulously detailed work of some 700 pages, including annotation. It was enormously helpful in gaining insight into Rothko’s formative years: migration from Russia, loss of his father at an early age, his sense of being an outsider as child and into his young adulthood, leaving Yale. That was really helpful in getting a handle on his character traits, his ego, his sense of loneliness and drive. Historically, it is a rich work that beautifully sets out the New York art scene of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, giving a palpable sense of this complex, conflicted artistic genius and monumental ego, his colleagues and his period.

Barbara Kasten, professor of photography at Columbia College, is excited for:

Eiko & Koma

Since my days in NYC during the 1980s attending Brooklyn Academy of Music performances, I have been a fan of dance. While catching up with summer exhibitions, I was thrilled to see Eiko & Koma’s installation, Time Is Not Even, Space Is Not Empty, now at the MCA until November 13. Experiencing the empty set and seeing the costumes close-up was intriguing and brought back memories of attending their performances in the past.

The endurance and intensity of the performance can test one’s own meditative abilities and remained with me for a long time. It is a chance to experience a unique and amazing partnership in form and movement.

See Reader Recommends on Eiko & Koma.