reviews

  • Sandra Straus

    Smart Gallery

    It’s “Parents Night” at the University of Chicago Laboratory School, and Sandra Straus walks into her youngster’s sixth-grade social studies class. On the bulletin board are rows of notebook-paper sheets; the assignment was to “make a million marks.”

    Noting that the “children’s demonstration expresses how I feel as much as any other projects I’ve done,” Straus transferred 115 of the assignment papers out of that social studies context and into an art gallery. Behind the gallery’s permanent, classical sculpture case, the notebook-paper sheets are unexpected, immediate, and refreshingly direct.

    All

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  • Andrea Blum And Barry Holden

    N. A. M. E. Gallery

    In Robert Morris’ recent terminology, Andrea Blum uses space as “diagrammatic” and “surface-bound.” Blum says about some of her early installations-for-a-day, “I freely drew with bricks and cement.” But now she carefully plots and subdivides layouts, generating repetitive, internal rhythms. Her glass sheets, light bulbs, slate squares, and dirt layers all have a place, a rationale for being there; darkness, opacity, solidity, luminescence, transparency, and smudginess all interact within an overall system.

    In contrast, using Morris’ terminology again, Barry Holden deals with three-dimensional,

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  • Richard Hunt

    Sears Tower

    Richard Hunt makes good tough sculpture but when he turns to prettiness, his work loses its formal, conceptual, and even mythological edge.

    He started Hybrids in the early ’60s. Linear, steel, elongated “insects” that coiled around like paranoid flies, they made weird paths into space from little point-anchors on wall, ceiling, or floor. In the later ’60s, his work stressed massed or crushed bodies welded together with organically shaped fragments. Now, he deals more intellectually with the concept of bringing together unrelated elements, assembling them, and relying on the resulting visual

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  • Susan Michod

    Artemesia Gallery

    In Susan Michod’s paintings—“metaphors to my feminism”—overlapping ribbon-shapes are juxtaposed, inverted, and turned inside out with few, if any, individually oriented boundaries. Shimmery close color-values cancel distance between figure and ground. Isometric perspective eliminates hierarchic structure and position. No particular unit excels as visual master.

    A traditional climactic composition would arrange subordinate details around some unexpected, odd appearance, number, structure, or proportion. But in feminist terms, this mastery would symbolize an overactive personal control, possibly

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