reviews

  • Jeff Koons

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

    Jeff Koons’ work maintains an ambiguous position in relation to American consumer culture: a position of both confirmation and critique. Koons claims references, on one hand, to political issues of class and social responsibility, and on the other, to poetic metaphors for emotional and physical states, but his self-proclaimed determination “to find total liberation in the mainstream” leads to the privileging of the work’s status as self-conscious commodity. The artist’s articulate explanations—offered on videotape in the gallery’s downstairs orientation space—surround each piece like gift wrap,

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  • Christina Ramberg

    The Renaissance Society

    Christina Ramberg has been abstracting and re-presenting various portions of the human (usually female) body for 20 years. Her figures are often wrapped, draped, or bound; they are incomplete and unidentifiable, as well as half-dressed, provoking readings at once comical, sinister, and erotic. This retrospective follows Ramberg’s work from its pop-vernacular, cartoonish beginnings with the Chicago Imagists in the late ’60s, through larger works of the ’70s in which the body of the subject is represented by arrangements of semiabstract cloth draperies or furniture, and culminates with a group of

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  • Muneer Bahauddeen

    Isobel Neal Gallery

    The sculpture of Muneer Bahauddeen is so palpably an art of accretion that its initial impact is one of surfeit; it seems to overwhelm by an outpouring of possibilities. Each of Bahauddeen’s sculptures is composed of a riotous blend of elements that never quite congeal. Bits of string, beads, small bottles, shards of metal, coins, shot glasses, feathers, postage stamps, pieces of cloth, and more are placed on and about a central figure and its ceramic or wood base. The figural assemblages that emerge reflect Bahauddeen’s deep interest in African art and culture. The plethora of stuff strewn at

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