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Posted inArts & Culture

Fears of a Woman

TERRITORIAL IMPERATIVE: A DIALOGUE WITH FEAR at Gallery 2 If walls could speak, it’s sometimes asked, what would they say? In two of the installations in “Territorial Imperative: A Dialogue With Fear,” a group exhibition of women who are School of the Art Institute alumni or current graduate students, the walls do speak: urgently whispering, […]

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High Fiber

STRETCHING OUR ROOTS at the Textile Arts Centre Appropriately, the Textile Arts Centre has opened the new season with a show that draws attention to contemporary fiber artists’ diverse processes and ideas. After all, pluralism is no stranger to the textile arts, which have long embraced styles ranging from the abstract to the figurative, and […]

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The Family Circle

CARMEN LOMAS GARZA: PEDACITO DE MI CORAZON (A LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART) at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum San Francisco artist Carmen Lomas Garza has painted scenes of childhood and family life–not often treated in contemporary painting–for most of the past two decades. She came to her subject when she was a young […]

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A Tired Woman

“Their policy is ‘Pay what you wish but you must pay something,’” I told a student when she asked how much admission cost to the Art Institute. “But they do have suggested fees–check over at the cash register.” While she went to find out the fees, a couple of students and I waited in the […]

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Women’s Pictures

NOT NICE GIRLS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY WOMEN 1930-1980 at Kelmscott Gallery Though the title “Not Nice Girls” might suggest otherwise, most of the work in this show isn’t explicitly feminist in intent, method, or imagery. Nevertheless the exhibit won’t fail to persuade viewers that women photographers have made significant contributions to the medium. The show’s title […]

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Symbols of Courage

JACOB LAWRENCE: THE FREDERICK DOUGLASS AND HARRIET TUBMAN SERIES OF NARRATIVE PAINTINGS at the Art Institute of Chicago Early in his long career, Jacob Lawrence demonstrated a keen understanding of the importance of symbols in art that aims to educate and enlighten. Of the 31 paintings in his 1939-’40 series about the life of Harriet […]

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Souls in Transit

RISA SEKIGUCHI: RECENT PAINTINGS at the Chicago Cultural Center Who has twisted us around like this, so that / no matter what we do, we are in the posture / of someone going away? Just as, upon / the farthest hill, which shows him his whole valley / one last time, he turns, stops, lingers–, […]

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Artists as Critics

BACKTALK at the Randolph Street Gallery The phrase “talking back” connotes a certain amount of defiance, a tone with an edge, probably confrontational. But the works included in the current show of five artists at Randolph Street Gallery are anything but overtly confrontational. They’re thoughtful, complex, and even poetic, which is not to say they […]

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The Urge to Picture

HEARTFELT/HANDMADE: EARLY ILLINOIS FOLK ART at the State of Illinois Art Gallery Cameras have made it a simple and convenient matter to obtain pictures of people and places, yet they have also meant a certain loss for most people: the experience of making pictures. Gone from everyday life is the kind of patient looking that […]

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A Tale of Two High Schools

LIZ CHILSEN at Columbia College’s Hokin Center Gallery Of course no two high schools are alike, but it can be shocking to discover how extreme the differences can be. In her exhibit “Class Pictures: Photographs From Two American High Schools,” which continues through November 30 at Columbia College’s Hokin Center Gallery, Liz Chilsen has placed […]

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Bloc Studies

SOWERS OF MYTH at the Chicago Cultural Center It would be a shame if the exhibit hall on the fourth floor of the Chicago Cultural Center, with its high coffered ceiling and tall windows overlooking Grant Park, were ever to close permanently. Here Chicagoans have been introduced to the work of local painters and sculptors […]

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Palpable Surfaces

TOI UNGKAVATANAPONG at Artemisia We think of sight as the most important means of experiencing paintings and sculptures–and in the case of representational painting, which relies heavily on visual illusions, sight is primary. But the sense of touch plays a major if not always obvious role in both the creation and understanding of works of […]

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Inside Art

SOURCE MATERIAL: A GLIMPSE INTO THE ARTIST’S STUDIO at the Center for Contemporary Art Artists have often made paintings of their studios. What they offer the viewer, however, is rarely a snapshot of everything visible. They give only limited access, carefully controlling what we see. Vermeer’s The Studio, for instance, presents us with an orderly […]