Connie Noyes moved to Chicago a few years ago after living on several continents. She feels anchored here, but continues to show everywhere. I've followed her work since shortly after she arrived. It's been strong for a while but now is more focused on a commentary about the detritus in our lives and its beauty. Any material is fair game, from asphalt to discarded video tape to bubble gum - along with a modicum of paints and varnish. Her pieces are disarmingly beautiful and like all artists who push themselves aggressively into uncomfortable territory, some of her pieces are clunkers, but most just resonate. She's in a show at Corporate Art Source Gallery along with other painters and a photographer. Though I went to see what Connie was up to some of the other work is challenging and/or appealing too.
Talk about a good relationship: Perimeter Gallery has been working with Keiko Hara fo 30 years. Raised on the ocean, she watched her parents fish more than anything else and her seductive work is a meditation on the oceans, the play of light on the water and the universes that exist within that over-sized microcosm.
Barbara Crane has been a significant photographer for decades, perpetually and continually pushing the limits of her medium and its social commentary. In this colorful and beautiful body of work she successfully pushes the difficult to convey concept of abstract photography, combining, overlaying and obfuscating pictures of flowers. Her show opens tonight at the newly upscaled and relocated ThinkArt, whose idiosyncratic owner and director, Laurie Glenn presents a fascinating array of art that doesn't succumb to trends.
It's only been a few years since the Hyde Park Art Center moved to its new facility, but what a difference it has made to Chicago and the Hyde Park community. Shortly before it opened I led a failed effort to start the Chicago Art Project, a museum for Chicago art and artists. Maybe it's a good thing we didn't succeed because HPAC had done an exemplary job in elevating its game to expose and champion a broad array of significant Chicago talent. Sunday afternoon they're opening a full-blown exhibition for savant, Renaissance man and/or loony genius, Conrad Friedburg. Never constrained by the reality of fiscal responsibility, Friedburg builds contraptions and concepts that reorient our thinking, sense of history and wonder.
It's Spring (soon). The good art is coming out again. Time to expand our horizons and go look at something new or different. Try it. It feels good. I look forward to seeing you out there.