THE BLOG

Diaphanous? Chicago?

06/04/2010 11:51 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I like diaphanous and all that, but there are other things in life. I'm seeing it too much. I'd hate to think the rough n' tumble iconography I associate with Chicago would be supplanted by diaphanous.

I'm not suggesting any of the artists discussed cease their exploits, but yeah, if I were a gallery I'd move on.

There's a show of strong work at David Weinberg. Each of the artists, Rhonda Wheatley, Yvette Kaiser Smith and Marissa Glink are solid on their own. Together, their diaphanous trait is emphasized and their work is lessened - that is, if you are like me and see the works in relationship to one another , even though they aren't in the same room. The good news is that the art looks really good, especially that which benefits from getting seen in the more intimate spaces.

2010-06-03-L1030536.jpg

2010-06-03-L1030537.jpg

2010-06-03-L1030538.jpg

I like seeing the growth in the work of Heidi van Wieren and Jerome Powers at Roy Boyd. I'm told both artists continue to apply their medium, be it van Weiren's inks and paint or Power's horsehair or graphite, to multiple layers of Elmer's Glue. I'm not sure they are benefited by being paired. The show feels a touch crowded. Two different meditations interrupt each other. I was told that Jerome Powers see his pieces as mountain studies and I see them more akin to da Vinci self portraits. Van Weiren grew up on the other side of Lake Michigan. Her newest pieces are studies of the lake.

2010-06-03-L1030540.jpg

2010-06-03-L1030544.jpg

2010-06-03-L1030543.jpg

2010-06-03-L1030542.jpg

It's a difficult question to answer; whether the artists were better served in the exhibitions above by the juxtaposition and proximity of other artists? If you were the artist, if you even had a clue about what the other artists art would look like, would you have spoken up? There's a lot of responsibility the artist relinquishes to the gallery.

At Architrouve is the very talented Donna Hapac, whose art I wouldn't have thought of as diaphanous unless the theme was already established. Though I've been following her for years, her work still feels fresh; perhaps naive. She's new in the way that allows for clunkers to be included. (Artists, if you can't edit, get someone you trust who can!) Here Hapac is paired with Paul Clark. Though the theme goes on, I like the pairing.

2010-06-03-L1030547.jpg

2010-06-03-L1030546.jpg

2010-06-03-L1030548.jpg

Watch out for angels,
Paul Klein