reviews

  • Richard Artschwager

    Walter Kelly Gallery

    Richard Artschwager’s celotexboard paintings, done since 1964, are views of home interiors drawn in charcoal that is allowed to seep through two tones of white acrylic. Up close, they are mystical and fuzzy, taking on the texture of the grainy board. From far away, they focus into mathematically precise patterns—a recap of Seurat. In his 1966–1967 diptychs and triptychs, a photo is fragmented, the images transferred to board sections and then reassembled optically, if not physically, by a continuous textural treatment. A section of marbleized formica interrupts these image fragments. It is

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  • Cletus Johnson

    The Arts Club of Chicago

    “Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer . . .”

    “Theater . . . an edifice for dramatic performances; a place where events of importance are enacted; a structure for viewing a wonder or a spectacle.” A theater is also a box; it shelters a specific situation and contains an event. Since the early 1950s, boxes in art have been “theaters” for many things: incongruous images, memorabilia collections, erotic or menacing forms, social or political metaphors, intimations of infinity, and everyday junk. Cletus Johnson’s theaters are architectural facades of old-fashioned movie palaces or vaudeville

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  • Mary Stoppert

    Deson-Zaks Gallery

    Each of Mary Stoppert’s designs, on a human scale, has a physically rigid, straight wooden frame or support, which may connect with a latex-substantiated rope, a curved element that extends into the viewer’s space. The designs progressively widen or taper, with an accompanying motion of uplift or descent. Real-world references are to sleds, chairs, fences, ladders, surreys, and skeletal frame houses. Here Stoppert resembles the steel sculpture of a less poetic but practical Midwestern sculptor, Michael Hall, whose elegant, stark designs have contrastingly common, friendly references to gates,

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