Stephen Prina

The Renaissance Society

333 West Wacker Drive is one of Chicago’s most distinctive post-Modern buildings.Its sinuous curve follows the curve of the Chicago river and its shimmering green glass is the color of iridescent silk, of certain shades of water—and, now, of corporate office space. Stephen Prina’s work, which was installed in the first floor gallery of this building (an additional site for the Renaissance Society) seemed to have been infected by this ubiquitous green. Monochrome Painting, 1989, consists of 14 green canvases painted with the same acrylic enamel. This green stops light, stops illusion, stops thought; the dull surface is more cladding than color, and seems to vacuum and deaden the air around it. The uniformity, sterility, and closure—the alienation—that characterize corporate space is re-enacted in the work.

But what looked like site-specificity was just coincidence. Prina’s installation, with

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