I've been waiting for the opening of Jun Kaneko's ceramic sculptures at Millennium Park. There are two powerful bodies of work on view. To the south are the dangos I've been familiar with, and exhibited, when I had a gallery. And on the north side of the park are the new Tanuki sculptures that are making their first public appearance. The new work has a playfulness that will engage a broader audience. I'm eager to see how the public interacts with them.
There's a gorgeous show of paintings by Thomas Nozkowski at Russell Bowman. I represented Nozkowski for a stretch during the 1980's. I have distinct memories about his home (an old church), car (a small station wagon with racks in the back for unfinished paintings so he could pull over and work on them while en route to or from Connecticut), and that he worked at Mad Magazine. The focus of these content full, abstract paintings and his unique engagement with his art make him and his art totally memorable. There is a purity here that is special and moves toward balancing the hyperbole in today's art world.
Sanford Biggers is a powerful artist whose work often presents a contemporary take on his cultural heritage. At Monique Meloche his large window presents century old quilts he has painted and embellished. These quilts may have been an Underground Railroad sign of a safe house. His beautiful and contemplative art acknowledges a deeper past and contextualizes its contemporary relevance. Also on view, in the gallery, are disarmingly beautiful and tough work by Kate Levant who investigates alternative uses of atypical materials in work that occasionally incorporates photographic images.
See you out there!