reviews

  • Helen O'Toole

    Sazama Gallery

    The atmosphere of the bog seems to permeate Helen O’Toole’s recent paintings. Determinedly and unmistakably Irish, in the tradition of James Joyce and William Butler Yeats, she views her homeland as a place of turmoil, as a nation deeply marked by a poignant struggle for a place in European history. It is in her attitude to nature that O’Toole finds the surest metaphor for her conception of Irishness, and in these avowedly romantic canvases she indulges a passion for a textured tenebrism suggestive of ineradicable sorrow. No specific place is represented in O’Toole’s work; indeed it is usually

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  • “Art at the Armory: Occupied Territory”

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

    Before the Museum of Contemporary Art can move to its new Josef Paul Kleihues building in 1995, there is the matter of tearing down the structure that now occupies its future home—the Chicago Avenue National Guard Armory. The delay in demolishing this massive, rather anachronistic building presented an opportunity to take a kind of metaphoric possession of this space before it is razed, destroyed, and recreated.

    Ergo, “Art at the Armory: Occupied Territory,” a collection of 18 rather largish installations scattered over some 75,000 square feet and parts of five separate floors in which

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