reviews

  • Phil Berkman

    N.A.M.E. Gallery

    When Phil Berkman makes objects, they are props or implements used to communicate ideas in his performances and installations. In the cover photograph of a catalogue for a 1976 exhibition entitled “The members of N.A.M.E. have agreed to show together,” Berkman lowers his head so that his is the only hidden face in the lineup of participants; it’s the one you notice. In a group self-portrait show in 1979. Berkman carved a jack-o’-lantern face out of the gallery wall and called it Okey-Doke. Despite its modest means, scale and negative presence, the calculated placement of Okey-Doke, a Halloween

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  • June Leaf

    Young Hoffman Gallery

    June Leaf’s newest and most ambitious work is a three-foot high mechanical portrait-bust of a woman. Cast in aluminum and mounted on an armature, the painted Head is operated by a crank at its side. Inside the head is a simple transmission, visible through perforations (“holes in the head”), which drives a whirligig on which are mounted steel cones, irises that flicker as they spin past the blank openings of the eyes. When you turn the crank, the bellows at the neck force air through the mouth and the tongue wags up and down in the frozen half-smile. Like a colossal toy, The Head breathes and

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  • Roger Brown

    Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Chicago)

    During the mid-1970s, when Roger Brown was singled out as one of the new champions of the “Chicago Imagist School,” his painting underwent a transition toward greater size, more pictorial weight, and global subject matter. His use of symmetry and measure, which in the early 1970s had been implicit, became overt and iconic; he began tackling subjects like An Actual Dream of the Second Coming, 1976, and The Entry of Christ into Chicago in 1976, 1976, in expanded versions of his comic-book style. Behind his signature image of little people with 1940s hairdos, seen most often as silhouettes on window

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