Friday, November 28, 2014

Contemporary Citizens - 15th & West


"Contemporary Citizens" -- also called "12 Chicago" --   was a one-night show that seemed to be more for artists than collectors, like the "Meeting of Styles" that periodically gathers together the graffiti community. It took place on the near west side, in a warehouse   owned by artist/collector/art-mover Ronald Montanez, and it drew  artists from the nearby neighborhoods to the south and east.

Sergio Gomez and Mario Gonzalez Jr.

Several pieces were collaborations between Sergio Gomez, an artist, curator, and gallerist associated with the Zhao B Center-- and Mario Gonzales Jr, also known as Zore, a well traveled graffiti master, whom I once wrote about here


Lately, Zore's  paintings have gotten almost too dark to read.  On the other hand, Sergio Gomez usually gives his upbeat, figurative paintings an intense, inner glow. Maybe too intense.

Which makes for a very enjoyable collaboration between these two extremes.
 Ish Muhammad Nieves

Here's another artist who has taken graffiti from the urban landscape to the gallery wall.


Like many artists, and almost all poets, he has another career (power plant engineer). But that does not seem to have detracted from a single minded devotion to visuality.

I don't know whether he's Muslim, but this piece is definitely in the great tradition of Islamic art as it presents the wonders of existence without specific reference to anything that exists.
Olga Knopf (Rybchenko)

This fiery landscape  demonstrates how much a traditional Russian studio artist has  in common with the Latin street artists in the same show.

Olga Knopf runs a large art restoration business with her husband, who, coincidentally, is the son of this noted Russian painter  who spent his final years at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago.

Hopefully, the wall full of pieces in this exhibit announces her return to making paintings.

Sally Ko
This one feels like an orchid, doesn't it ? 
 "here is something beautiful" rather than "here is my struggle"
 A nice complement to the rest of the show.
 Sally Ko
 Reminds me of ice on a window during an arctic vortex.
 Very comforting and relaxing.
Sally Ko
 Chuck Walker

I met this artist's muse last month at the Palette and Chisel - and she lets me know whenever his work goes on display.  Because I like it -- and have written about it here

His figures are statuesque - a quality which disappeared from American painting at mid century.

Though his figures do often emerge from a dark, dingy, and somewhat depressing world.

He seems so comfortable with depicting figures in space, I had assumed  that he had spent a lot of time drawing from life -  but Chuck set me straight on this matter: he mostly draws from imagination.
Chuck Walker
This is the closest I've seen him come to an Impressionist's celebration of light and the world seen.
  Mostly, his world is inner not outer.
 This is a girl of his dreams, and probably she vanishes as soon as he reaches for that bare midriff.
 Chuck Walker
 Chuck Walker
 Chuck brought many large canvases to this show, and there wasn't enough room to hang them all.  So this one sat on the floor outside the display area.
The clouds feel full of opportunity but the dark splotch in the water seems to threaten despair. But I'm not sure how it would feel when hung up on a wall
 Wesley Kimler

Kimler seems to be living in a brutal, horrific world that's about to get even worse.
He could be making street art in Baghdad.
So he can be credited for honesty - but disparaged for hopelessness. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Goldman Collection 2014

Allesandro Maganza, 1580

This is the second appearance of the Goldman's Italian drawing collection in the gallery which they funded and  to which the museum attached their name.

(It first appeared six years ago, and I wrote about it here )

Absent is the recently attributed Raphael (what happened to it ?) --as well as the Cambiaso (that one I really miss)

Andrea Sacchi, 1650


Baldassari Franceschini,1640

Battista Franco, 1650

Gallery signage notes that this may have been drawn from life -- or from a wax maquette.


Francesco Ballegrini

Giacomo Cavedone

Giovanni Francesco Bezzi, 1565

Girolamo Muziano

Giuseppe Cesari

These are some rather fine details - but overall this drawing, as well as the others, are no more than studies or storyboards -  and I don't share the artworld's fascination with them.

But then, when I look up images of the paintings done by the same artists -- they don't look too appealing either. 

As I recall, the museum's last exhibit of contemporary figure drawing occurred about 25 years ago - and very few of those, if any, were drawn from live models.



These two Guercino's were drawn on two sides of the same sheet.



Gulido Breni, 1620

Lodovico Cardi, 1610

Lodovico Cardi, 1611

Lodovico Carracci, 1580's

Marco Marchetti, 1580

Piero Berrettini, 1524

Simone Cantarini, 1637