Caroline Picard

  • picks April 17, 2020

    Erin Louise Gould

    Erin Louise Gould’s exhibition “All That I Have” presents three rooms of the artist’s studies of the Kentucky coffeetree, suggesting her affinity for, or perhaps metabolization of, her subject. These poem-like works include found arboreal materials—branches, saplings, leaves, seed husks—as well as their representations in woodblock prints, videos, and sculptures. Yet Gould creates a dynamic slippage between the “real” tree and her interpretations thereof. This is particularly evident in a juxtaposition in the gallery’s light well. In Hold it Together, 2020, a branch hangs precariously from a

  • picks February 28, 2020

    José Sierra

    In his latest body of work, José Sierra presents thirteen large anthropomorphic vessels that combine sculpture, painting, and ceramic techniques. Their varying surface textures and distilled vocabulary of geometric marks and colors (saturated lemon yellows, pinks, lime greens, and cobalt blues pattern dark gray and black surfaces) evoke the paintings of Surrealists, including Wifredo Lam and Joan Miró. But Sierra extends their language into three dimensions, exploring how an abstract lexicon can negotiate a form. He adds volume to the exteriors of his wheel-thrown creations via concave depressions,

  • picks January 21, 2020

    Carlos Mérida

    In “Estampas del Popol Vuh,” Carlos Mérida (1891–1985) presents ten earthy, psychedelic lithographs inspired by the Popol Vuh, an ancient K’iche’ Maya creation story, from present-day Guatemala, about a set of twins. Matte colors—forest green, banana yellow, tan, cobalt blue—swirl beneath thick black lines, accentuating forms that slip in and out of coherent representation: almost-fetal twins, snakes, rivers, legs, a lightning bolt, faces in profile, pipes, and birds. Mérida’s rich compositions might have been pulled out of a primordial, abstract soup. Although the artist produced them in 1943,

  • picks December 07, 2015

    Jefferson Pinder

    Jefferson Pinder’s first Chicago exhibition, “Onyx Odyssey,” is ambitious and nuanced, shying away from depicting a singular black experience in favor of a fluctuating and ambiguous study of American society. Above the gallery’s entrance is Gauntlet, 2015, a cluster of charred police batons strung by invisible wires. On the other side of the room hangs POTUS, 2015, a white neon drawing of President Obama’s eyes. The gaze is as cool as a billboard, conjuring a dream where anyone can succeed. Between these works stands Monolith (Dream Catcher), 2015, a collection of African masks piled inside a

  • picks October 23, 2015

    Jessica Stockholder

    Jessica Stockholder has unveiled new work at several Chicago locations this fall, including a site-specific installation at the Smart Museum of Art as well as in her solo exhibition “Door Hinges” and the group show “Assisted,” which she curated, both in Kavi Gupta’s Elizabeth Street location. “Door Hinges” continues Stockholder’s characteristic experimentation with color and abstraction as tools to disrupt and transform architectural space: A catwalk snakes through the main room beside Wall Hardware, 2015, a temporary wall-cum-canvas fixed with enlarged calligraphic pen marks near the stool and

  • picks July 02, 2015

    Edie Fake

    Having recently relocated to Southern California, Edie Fake returns to Chicago with “Grey Area,” a solo exhibition of ten ink and gouache drawings on paper. Each work describes a different geometrical space: The Blood Bank, 2015, features an ornate green-and-gold-tiled, roofless bathhouse. Behind three arched columns, one glimpses the inside of this building, where there is a rich red pool. As the warmest mass of color, the pool vibrates in powerful juxtaposition to the drawing’s otherwise cool, angular lines. As with many of Fake's compositions, the space is foreshortened, and the building

  • picks February 18, 2015

    Desirée Holman

    Bay Area artist Desirée Holman mashes 1960s sci-fi, nineties New Age ideology, and posthuman technology in her solo show “Sophont.” The first room of the gallery features two air-brushed portraits of auras, titled Aura, Annie Besant and Aura, Buckminster Fuller, both 2014, for the historic figures depicted. A large pencil-and-gouache drawing of a man wearing an ad hoc colander-cum-telepathic-hat, titled Time Traveler, 2013, hangs nearby. These strange portraits set the stage for Holman’s two-channel video installation Close Contact, 2013, in the next room.

    Beginning with a flat screen tilted

  • picks December 17, 2014

    “Division of Labor”

    Despite America’s espoused celebration of family values, the boundary between professional and family life is generally strict, especially within artistic occupations for which “motherhood in particular is often seen as the endpoint of a serious career.” So begins the curatorial premise stated in the catalogue of Glass Curtain Gallery's current exhibition, “Division of Labor,” curated by Thea Liberty Nichols and Christa Donner.

    The mess of parenting appears unapologetically, as does the energy of play, as well as practicality; Claire Ashley’s soft sculpture and neon-light installation, Sleepovers