Pleasure is unruly, sometimes fickle, and always ungovernable. These are the joys that aren’t beholden to any algorithmic assignation; they’re not necessarily good for you, they don’t materially or superficially “support” you, and neither do they usually make sense.
Artist Iris Bernblum intimately understands such frictions, the spaces between what we say we want and what we actually pursue, those spaces themselves being the subject of her exhibition “Various Pleasures,” up at Goldfinch Gallery. Bernblum’s work is multivalent: she offers watercolor, graphite, and acrylic works on paper alongside paraffin wax and plaster sculptures that combine elements of scent, color, and texture. Together these works form visions of the artist as both object and subject, as the image made and the image maker, and as the uncanny refractions that occur between those two positions.
At the center of the exhibition stand two sculptures, essentially echoes of the artist; one is the figure of a young girl (the artist at age 12), the other a grown woman in a reclining “baby pose.” Doubles are themselves a potent psychoanalytic symbol, and their presence speaks to Bernblum’s interest in analysis. She is an artist well versed in expressing how the idea of an “I” is inherently fractured, a concept imperfectly formed through one’s starts, stops, and pauses. There’s value to be gleaned from building such a map, a visual vocabulary of the frequently inarticulate and inchoate experience of becoming a person.
Some might say another word for this value is wisdom. I’d add that you need to see Bernblum’s show yourself and ask, “Where does your pleasure lie?”
Through 6/3: Fri-Sat noon-4 PM and by appointment, Goldfinch, 319 N. Albany, goldfinch-gallery.com
Like a moth to a flame
A solo show by artist Hyun Jung Jun at Goldfinch Gallery in East Garfield Park.
Combining nocturnal hues with cinematic composition and a deft touch, LA-based artist Carrie Cook makes paintings that will change the way you see the glass in your hand. Her latest solo show, “Second Chakra” at Goldfinch, is a seven-piece celebration of everyday things, both in their superficial appearance and their symbolic significance. These aren’t flashy,…