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Versatile, Perverse, Reverse and Diverse Art Opening This Weekend

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Tom Torluemke -- whose expansive show opened Thursday at Linda Warren -- is a marvelous, prolific, once-troubled, insightful, gentle, considerate artist of magnitude. His art is invariably autobiographical and touches on his difficult youth with an abusive father and a loving, deaf-mute uncle with whom a young Torluemke could only communicate by passing drawings back and forth. Many artists start young, but I know of no other for whom it was a sole means of communication with a close family member. Obsessively, Torluemke makes art every day and it keeps him sane, in touch, loving and gentle. The show is a remarkable view into a diverse artist whose art is likely on the threshold of even broader, more significant, acknowledgement. Also on view are the difficult and competent paintings of Jeriah Hildwine. If you can distill the essence of these two artists, the dialogue between their art enhances each.

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Opening Saturday at Carrie Secrist, the art of Liliana Porter, who I exhibited over 30 years ago, continues to explore, poke fun at and balance so much of what is popular in contemporary art today. Raised in South America, Porter is an informed outsider. There's something charming, honest and satisfying about her work.

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Russell Bowman consistently finds and exhibits a broad range of contemporary art -- not necessarily current -- and mixes it with established local artists, as he has in Image / Abstraction / Object, with wonderful pieces by insufficiently seen Betty Woodman, DeWain Valentine, along with Roger Brown and Pete Voulkos.

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At Firecat, Nicholas Sistler's virtuoso, postcard-sized paintings and prints are inspired by the Kinsey Institute's images of sex in all its variations. Couple that with Sistler's fascination with film noire and the multiple interpretations each specific, yet ambiguous, fragment can deliver, one finds a luxurious stage for exploring our, and his, psyche.

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These are wonderful exhibits and a great reason to go look at art.

Thanks very much,
Paul Klein