To the editors:
A couple of points about “The Chicago Show” seem obvious [The Culture Club, March 23].
One is that a show containing only a few works by minority artists is not representative of Chicago art, and should not be billed as such. This is true no matter how the exclusion of minority artists came about: whether because they didn’t enter the show, because the jury members (whatever their own ethnic groups) were unsympathetic, or for some other reason.
Secondly, a juried show is always political in some way; politics did not enter the show with Lois Weisberg’s intervention. The first political move was the selection of the jury. A jury’s purpose is to uphold some aesthetic standard that, however self-evident to its members, is certain to appear arbitrary or wrong to those of a different vision. That differences of artistic vision should in the Chicago of 1990 be related to ethnic differences is no surprise.
I also think Lewis Lazare is naive to talk about a blind selection process. The jury members could only have been blind to the identity of artists they didn’t already know; and about the artists they did know they had probably already formed opinions. I would also expect them to have preconceived loyalties to certain trends or schools in Chicago art.
As a patron of the arts in Chicago I put my money and my time where my mouth is: I support Chicago writers, artists, performers, craftspeople, and arts organizations. I don’t plan to see “The Chicago Show,” which has failed to celebrate the variety and vitality of Chicago art.