Saturday, April 30, 2005

The TOP NON-ART-FAIR Shows to go See

(Actual Exhibitions as opposed to last weekend’s big tent revivals)

There were countless art exhibitions launched this past weekend along with the temporary mega events. Crowds were out and about and everything was well attended, here are a few that stick out as top spots. They are all still on view, so go out and see them.

PILEism at Heaven Gallery
On view through May 21
1550 N Milwaukee 2nd Floor
Saturdays 1-5 & by appointment
Damen Blueline, Milwaukee Bus

Forget Lyricism or Narritivism, Pileism is the “new art that stacks up.” Essentially a novel concept that expands into a surprisingly rich territory for exploration, Pileism stems from the concept of stacking or piling. This can be objects, layers or concepts.

Highlights include: Elke Claus’ meticulous prints that pile on layers of images and collaged in found images. Nate Euhus’ transplanted billboard, the sort found all over the gallery’s neighborhood, feature thought provoking, spiritual and political postings in place of the standard band announcements found on the pedestrian ones. Doug Fogelson’s all American installation, Spin, (a flapping Uncle Sam blown by a fan, a clothes dryer and tons of red, white & blue party favors) chokingly calls to mind the new quote-end-quote patriotism. But his disgustingly sweet photograph of a Fourth of July cake, piled high with every sort of candy crap a fat American would love to gobble down is the strongest. Keep an eye on Fogelson, he’s Art or Idiocy?s pick for a “break out artist.” Over all, the show is very strong with a good group of artists. Only a few don’t quite make par.

The Hollingsworth Natural History Collection
At Gallery X

On view through May 14
280 S Columbus #2
Tues – Fri 12:30-5:30, Saturdays 10-3
That hallway which connects the back of the Art Institute to the School

History and installation art merge in this high concept exhibition drawing inspiration for the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

The Acme Novelty Library
Chris Ware at Carl Hammer Gallery

On view through May 28
740 N Wells
Tues – Fri 11-6, Saturdays 11-5 & by appointment
Chicago Brownline, Chicago Bus

From the specially designed announcements:
“The general public is invited to attend the unveiling of original cartoon –drawings -diagrams the internationally-acclaimed children’s entertainer, social muralist and motivational speaker F.C.Ware.”

The work is beautiful, meticulous and precise, as is to be expected. Also you'll find a vitrine of his multitudinous publications and a mock up of the forthcoming Rocket Sam. Ask for a specially made exhibition flyer. Looking at the works as drawings on a wall, and not imperfect production originals, I wonder what it would mean for comics to be made to hang on the wall, as a singular object rather than as a step in the process of making a multiple.

Westown at ,40000
inaugural exhibition,

On view through May 27
1001 N Winchester
Saturdays 12-6 & by appointment
Blueline Damen or Division, near Damen & Augusta

Forty Thousand is a startup gallery with a space that rivals the pros. The exhibition features an excellent selection of up-and-coming artists who also happen to come from the area ,40000 is calling home. Westown, mutherfucker!

With a multitude of works that span every aspect of contemporary practice, you are bound to find something you love.
The website is up an running and it is pretty nice.

Drawn to Drawing at The Betty Rymer Gallery
On view through July 1
280 S Columbus
Tues-Sat 10-5
Jackson & Columbus, behind the Art Institute

D2D takes a cue from MoMA’s Drawing Now, but expands the concept of drawing to include nearly all media and practices. Here we have traditional notions, but also drawing with paint, working on paper, drawing with a camera, drawing with birds and birdfeed, drawing as sculpture and as destruction & reduction, and so on.

Especially popular are: Michael Goodlett's intricate paper businessman/angel/demons emerging from sketchbooks and Rebecca Carter’s Drawing Machine.

*Yes, I am in this show. But there are lots of quality artists in this exhibition, which is one reason I am so happy to be a part of it. Do blogs have ethics anyway? At least I’m not listing it as number one.

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