Posted inArts & Culture

Discomforting Looks

Jose Luis Cuevas: What Is Our Strangeness? at Aldo Castillo, through May 29 By Bertha Husband Mexican artist Jose Luis Cuevas has been well-known since the 1950s for his depictions of society’s outcasts; essays on his work describe his figures as “grotesque,” “shocking,” or “horrifying.” But this exhibition at Aldo Castillo Gallery, his first in […]

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French Revelations

Gustave Moreau: Between Epic and Dream at the Art Institute of Chicago, through April 25 By Bertha Husband We don’t usually expect great surprises from exhibitions of 19th-century painters well-known in their day; what we expect are the originals of works familiar to us through mass reproduction. But Gustave Moreau is different. Before he died, […]

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Feasts for the Eyes

Casimiro Gonzalez at El Nandu Restaurant, through November 30 By Bertha Husband We tend to assume that the natural places for exhibiting art are galleries and museums, but in fact art is increasingly displayed in such public places as airports, hospitals, banks, and even car washes. Exhibiting paintings in restaurants, however, has a long history, […]

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Forest of Symbols

Michael Piazza at Beret International Gallery, through November 25 Michael Piazza’s work is cerebral rather than sensual, engaging the intellect rather than the body. His sculptures of found objects take us on mental journeys through forests of signs and symbols in constantly changing contexts. An Italian-American who’s had a deep awareness of his ethnicity from […]

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The Unseen City

Peggy Robinson: Cracked at the Chicago Cultural Center, through November 19 Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspective deceitful, and everything conceals something else. –Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Most of us no longer really see the city we […]

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Latin Americans

4 X 4: Four Views, Four Roads at Aldo Castillo Gallery, through August 26 Every artist must find his or her own voice, a unique way of expressing private concerns. But there are so many dogmas, theories, fashions, and art-market trends that finding a genuine path becomes a struggle. The show “4 x 4: Four […]

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Memories of the Future

Nacho Alfonso: Memorials at La Casa de Arte y Cultura, Calles y Suenos, through July 29 By Bertha Husband “Memorias” is the title Nacho Alfonso has given his exhibition of 20 works on paper, mostly ink and acrylic, now showing at La Casa de Arte y Cultura in Pilsen. Of course memories can take two […]

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Not In The Market

Juro Grau, Sabine Mohr, and Dieter Vieg at the Flat Iron Gallery, through May 27 The recent technological revolution has marginalized the visual arts in a way that it hasn’t music, theater, dance, or literature. The media have taken over the visual realm, thereby making the expressive and imaginative working of materials–paint, wood, metal, or […]

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Continental Divide

Transnational Identities/ Cultura en Proceso at DePaul University, through May 20 The group show is primarily the work of the curator, who brings art by many disparate artists together like found objects to make a point. In fact the curator often functions like a critic, and the exhibit’s words–in the form of wall texts, catalog […]

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Whispered Messages

MESSAGES Rebecca Wolfram at Kozuch Gallery, through October 14 Many painters start with an idea and plan their paintings in detail in advance. Everything is decided upon, down to color composition and the scale of each element. For some of these painters, the finished work is disappointing, diminished beside the original concept. But for others, […]

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Cultural Exchange

BETWEEN TWO CULTURES: A MEXICAN ARTIST IN BELFAST Alfonso Lopez Monreal at Prospectus Gallery, through June 11 Mexico and Ireland might at first seem completely dissimilar cultures. Yet there are some connections. Both have swelled the population of this city through massive immigration. And both countries, despite centuries of colonialism and neocolonialism, have retained many […]

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The Universal Prison

THE JUDGMENT OF PAINTING Elizam Escobar at Prospectus, through April 18 Mainstream art has become increasingly concerned with educating the public on the social and political issues of the moment. In such a climate it may come as a surprise that an artist who is also a committed political activist might see the function of […]