reviews

  • Gertrude Abercrombie

    Hyde Park Art Center

    All the work in Gertrude Abercrombie’s retrospective—96 paintings done from 1932 to 1971—is intended to be autobiographical. The consistent use of similar symbols centering on a woman figure who appears in almost every painting successfully demonstrates a course of life.

    Early self-portrait heads (1932–35) are in sunny, translucent, pastel colors. In White House (1935) the woman extends her arms from an open window toward the lawn where a white horse grazes, symbol of a good enchantment. In The Hill, 1938, the woman approaches the house but its doors and windows are shut; she wears a hat, symbol

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  • Trio Exvoco Of Stuttgart

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

    The Trio Exvoco performance, part of a Contemporary Concerts series, has both Futurist and Dada inspiration. Displayed typographical arrangements act as scores for three singers, three slide projectors, and an electronics man with elaborate technical equipment for recording and altering sound. Dada poster and sound poems and Futurist simultaneous poems are intermingled with contemporary work that carries out similar ideas.

    For example, Mauricio Kagel’s Hallelujah (1969) concentrates on pure sound, with no sustained development, no linear sequence. Voices wobble, simper, and toot, approximating

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  • Miguel Conde

    Young-Hoffman Gallery

    For an artist who traffics in the grotesque, Miguel Conde is remarkably restrained. He is no Jim Nutt whose glibness reeks of the horrors he pictures, nor does his work seem bitter or resigned. Indeed, its strong quality is that the button-eyed, stump-fingered, split-headed characters can look so matter-of-fact. For one thing, Conde is totally in control technically. Every one of the works on exhibition—pen-and-ink or ink and gouache drawings done from 1973 to 1977—is scrupulously made. In a half-square-inch area of a typical head I counted four different colors and ten separate types of pen

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  • Tom Rose

    Walter Kelly Gallery

    Tom Rose’s porcelain sculptures are mostly white, giving innocence and enchantment to their small scale. Their smallness concentrates the images, so that their imaginary spaces are intensified. But this “skin” of white masks other, less pristine, things below its surface—odd items such as shells, thread, chickenwire, glass, jacks, cuttlebone.

    Rose’s work is largely about its own material. An initial wet substance is pinched, split, creased, bent, rolled, and penetrated to compose platforms, objects on the platforms, and complex substructures. To make little tracks, pieces of glass, wire, or bone

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