Zolla/Lieberman is going to take a break. After their consummate Deborah Butterfield show, which opens tonight, closes sometime in September, the gallery will close for six months while their space is rehabbed and reconfigured. Faced with a significant rent increase, the gallery chose to contract, redefine their space, and stay put. Creative people find creative solutions.
Some artists change themes, content and sometimes styles for every body of work - and sometimes even more often. A smaller percentage of artists find their voice and preferred expression and stick with it for their entire career. Deborah Butterfield has been making horses from found branches for decades, first directly out of wood, and now by casting that wood into unique bronze sculptures.
Over time, the art reveals incremental improvements that make the most recent work the most beautiful yet. The relationship of the "wood" to itself, the overall composition, and the remarkable patinas place her in a category others can't touch. The show sings.
As society becomes perpetually more urban, art like Butterfield's reminds us of our roots; ancestry; big, open spaces; and the fragility of our planet. Always relevant, the art seems even more pertinent now.
Creativity, solutions and synergy abound in Chicago Sculpture International's Biennial titled Invoking the Absence, which opens Saturday at the Elks National (War) Memorial at Diversey and Sheridan.
I've lived in Chicago for decades, have wanted to get into the Elks Memorial for years, and never have. CSI's exhibit is the first art exhibit in the building and it's free.
I'm not clear on how this show came about, but someone deserves a lot of credit for fulfilling an inspired idea. CSI Is a great group of Chicago sculptors working towards a common goal. Shows like this will enhance their exposure and impact.