Chicago

Michiko Itatani

Deson-Saunders Gallery

Michiko Itatani’s vertiginous paintings do everything but actually spin, setting up disorienting and cacophonous rhythms. Maelstroms of shifting pictorial fields that pile up to touch the parameters of chaos, they reach as near to centrifugal speed as paint and canvas is likely to get. Writhing human figures are always at the actual center of Itatani’s dizzying orbs of matter, and are painted in brushy tones of gray, black, and white. They may be of indeterminate gender and have their faces averted, but they confront a rather specific dilemma—they are always shown spinning uncontrollably in a constricted space. These dervishes respond to no laws of gravity or logic; instead they wriggle in perpetual limbo, the naked denizens of some astral Last Judgment from which there is no release. Their ball-like form is extrapolated by Itatani into a polygonal prison, which is itself then set loosely

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