reviews

  • Jim Roche

    John Doyle Gallery

    Jim Roche’s one-night performance of 10 tapes, selected from about 500 1970–75 audio pieces, has problems similar to his ongoing gallery show of drawings for park sites and photos of the installations. All the work as presented is little more than a tease. We see diagrams of mechanically animated horseshoe crabs, but where are the real ones for us to watch? We see aerial photos of Roche’s park sites as football-field float arrangements of flowers, mechanical toys, moats, etc., but the photos are small and 2-D, and the sites are massive and 3-D. Why no installation of flowers and moats in the

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  • Lyn Blumenthal

    N.A.M.E. Gallery

    Lyn Blumenthal’s new installation begins with a layer of powdered and pebbled bitumen strewn over two 13-foot by 15-foot areas side by side on the gallery floor. This is a natural, chaotic, or antiform “nonarrangement,” which emphasizes the various material properties within each area’s bounds. Coal crystals reflect the light, and the powder absorbs it. Bumps and particles make a varied content that is easily bypassed in faster, nonsensual, outside-the-gallery situations—a frequent problem with Earthworks and outdoor installations.

    But Blumenthal also introduces form. Across the center of one

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  • Bill Conger

    Kenyon Gallery

    Bill Conger’s oil paintings begin simply as a way to organize a flat surface, but they go beyond that fundamental. Conger is an eclectic, an appropriate disposition in the city of Chicago, where people, objects, and other influences continually come and go; and his work might appear “dated” in art history’s sequence. But if art is a changing, overlapping “mosaic,” as Lawrence Alloway suggests, rather than a “crystallized” mainstream, the concept of datedness is irrelevant to Conger’s work. It has a metaphysical light, a cubist spatial orientation, a surreal juxtaposition of elements, and an

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