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Paul Klein

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The Populist, Butter President and Other Art Exhibits Opening This Weekend

Posted: 10/26/2012 7:50 pm

Industry of the Ordinary is a pair of artists who make art out of the seemingly mundane, and transform it into art that engages the broad public. Their show at the Chicago Cultural Center does just that. The viewers there include the non-art going public who respond audibly to the fun they have seeing the off-beat, high quality content on hand.

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Now, Industry of the Ordinary is fabricating a new work of art. Have you ever been to a state fair and seen the huge butter sculptures of farm animals. Americana at its slippery best. With that as a precedent, Industry of the Ordinary has commissioned and transported Bob Kling to Chicago to render a bust of President Obama in butter, and what's a good work of art without a parade? On Friday the 26, around noon, the butter bust of Obama will be loaded into a glass-doored cooler and paraded from 842 W Lake to the Cultural Center. One pothole and the butter could be toast.

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Opening Saturday at Western Exhibitions is another timely, and politically motivated exhibit by Mark Wagner, who among other works has created portraits of the president and his opponent out of American cash money. The work is beautifully created in what must be a tough medium. Other pieces will be exhibited in voting booths.

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Dietrich Wegner is a deliciously absurd artist who combines images seemingly whimsically. His flexible interpretation of an object's physicality or meaning enables him to combine those objects, and present us with warm incongruities that boggle as they entice. It is precisely this balancing act that provokes our imagination and memory, and sticks with us. At Carrie Secrist.

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One of the things that I like best about Peter Drake's show at Linda Warren is that he memorializes his father's miniature lead soldiers by accurately rendering them in large scale paintings These are painstakingly detailed paintings presented with shelves for the toys and videos, which activate the scene in the painting. There's a lot going on here. Give the show time to grow on you.

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Our friends at Corbett vs.Dempsey are riding a nice trajectory. Having just returned from London's gloriously presented and equally successful Frieze Masters Fair, they are opening an exhibit with the ebullient Joyce Pensato. Combining pop culture, historical icons, passionate artifacts with her exuberant expressionist painting technique, it is clear that there may be no artist who has more fun in his or her studio than she does. For a good time see Pensato.

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Thanks very much,
Paul Klein

 

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