Often, good art results from collaboration. Such was the case with the William Wegman photos at Carl Hammer Gallery. Over a decade ago Wegman asked Hammer if he could borrow a slew of sideshow banners as backdrops to use in his photos with his dogs. So Hammer shipped off over a dozen pieces. All went well. The photos were exhibited in museums and elsewhere. End of story -- until recently when Director Yolanda Farias and Hammer decided to mount a summer exhibit of sideshow banners and remembered lending pieces to Wegman, which they proceeded to borrow and share with us. Some are thoroughly wonderful and the oversized Snapp Wyatt banner is a remarkable work of art.
Sometimes art happens by accident -- and/or, we don't recognize that it's happening. Frank Paluch is the director of Perimeter Gallery and he is having a exhibit of his art, up the street, at Judy Saslow. Frank doodles when he is on the phone and he makes rather elaborate renderings that have a relationship to the person with whom he is speaking. Fortunately, I could not recognize myself in any of Frank's drawings. It was perceptive of Judy to notice Frank's large drawing pad and make the appropriate leap to offering Frank a show.
One of the core messages in the Klein Artist Works program is that artwork should resonate with the artist's heart and soul. In so doing the artist can explore what makes them unique and present that distinctiveness to their audience. Distinctive art -- art that is distinguishable from all others is of primary importance. I've always found Joanne Aono's masterful art distinctive, with the invariable pairings of atmospheric water imagery, realistically rendered objects and obscured text. Meaning is ostensibly withheld, though we are given enough clues to construct our own truths. Aono is showing at Images Gallery, a cooperative that annually reaches outside its membership for a show that draws from the community -- like this one.
I'm impressed that Walsh Gallery can continually work directly with Asian artists and do well enough from a Chicago base to perpetually present strong exhibitions like the one which opened last night with Zhu Ming. In his bubble/balloon performances there is balancing of the real and the dream, reality and imagination, fact and fiction; the two different parts that occupy us and balances our existence. In Zhu Ming's work these forces are in greater balance than in my life. And though the photographs of the performances seem in contrast to the glow-in-the-dark paintings presented here, each body of work delves into the balance and the dichotomy.
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