Wednesday, November 18, 2015

David Becker and Friends

David  Becker has invited  two of his colleagues at The Studio,  a McHenry art school, to join him in an exhibit:   Lucy Tonyan and Gary Wigman

In centuries to come, when people wonder what the American art world was like in our era, Christopher Wool's "Fool" (now showing in the Milwaukee Art Museum) should suffice.

But when  they ask what it was like to  happily  live and work in a bustling 21st C.  city like Chicago, Dave Becker's watercolors will be recognized as the masterpieces that they are.

He has a wonderful way of making  complexity feel  breezy, quick,  and easy.

So much stuff -- but it doesn't feel cluttered.

Gary Wigman

This reminds of that slightly ominous, old world setting for that great film, "The Third Man"

Lucy Tonyan

Reminds me of  top-notch, Scandinavian fabric design.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Treasures from the Clearance Sale

 Barbara K Herring

This tiny gem is one of the great narrative paintings of this, or any, Palette and Chisel show.

Snapped up for $90, it sold for less than a hundredth of a percent of big ticket contemporary art like this   

But that's the artworld for you.

Charles Critchelow

It looks pretty good, but I had some difficulty interpreting the object in the lower left corner -- until the label identified the location as Bughouse Square ( Washington Park), a block from the P and C..

Regretfully, this sploshing fountain has now been emptied for the winter.



Charlotte Arnold

Helen Oh

All of the small paintings featured in this post have gorgeous details -- but  this piece is so finely done, it would probably look good even under a microscope.

Jayne Bellows

Liz Wall

Misha Livshulz

Painted on-site at the Skokie lagoons  - it has that Russian/Jewish anxiety that I enjoy so much from his paintings.

William Schneider

Gentle, charming,  slightly melancholy  American Scene painting has returned!

Nearly 70 years since it was hooted of the stage by Clement Greenberg et al.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Chicago Plein Air Painters 2015

Errol Jacobson

An astonishing late bloomer, Errol keeps on cranking out really good  paintings of urban life that are often my favorites in the PAPC shows.

But aren't paintings called 'plein air' when they have been painted outdoors ? I don't think all of the pieces in this show qualify.

So I'm in a quandary.

I like to look at good paintings - wherever, however they were painted.

But I'd also like to encourage that bizarre discipline of painting outdoors - where so many obstacles must be overcome: changing light, bad weather, annoying onlookers, and the need to finish quickly.

Errol Jacobson

The Field Museum ought to put this one on the cover of its magazine.

Errol Jacobson

Errol's heavy impasto actually feels like an incrustation of ice.

Kathy Hirsh

Feels very Italian - even like this famous fresco by Masaccio.

Ken Crocker

Ken Crocker

Lee Radtke

Misha Livshulz


Terry Niccoli

Tim Leeming

Stephanie Weidner

Don Yang

Monday, October 26, 2015

2015 Open House

Andrew Conklin

Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago has been drawing several thousand visitors to 1012 N. Dearborn every Fall, so it's no surprise that some of our best pieces are put on display, even if the exhibit only runs for one weekend.

Margaret Trboyevic


Arlene Tribbia

This kind of work hasn't been seen much in the P&C  since it held a mock-modernism exhibit about a hundred years ago.

Christina Body
I first liked this painting when it appeared in Christina's solo exhibit earlier this year.

Mary Qian

All the private studios were open for the day. Here's Mary's portrait of Ed Wentz as an  English gentleman.  It's hanging in his studio.

Errol Jacobson

His gallery has questioned why Errol left out the faces. But it makes sense to me - as it heightens the sense of anonymity and urban loneliness that seems to be Errol's principal theme.

 Errol Jacobson

More loneliness - after a long day at the office.

Errol Jacobson

It's as if you were seeing Errol's images in the mind's eye - rather than in sunlight.

Helen Oh

Misha Livshulz

Here's another painting that has been shown several times before - but that's O.K.. It's my favorite among all the views that Misha has painted looking out the P&C dining room window.

Nancie King Mertz

A nice sense of sweet, well-worn exhaustion -- from both the old theater and from the hard working artist who has been so prolific.

Tobin Richter

If only those damned Mets hadn't frustrated, yet again, the North Side's impossible dream.

 Mark Huddle
Here's another painting that was shown earlier this year. I really like it, and hope that its creator makes more urban scenes.
Larry Paulsen

I hope the Palette and Chisel does not become a photography club -- but people who draw and paint do make unusual photographs.

And there's nothing like being young, sexy, and bored.

Though it's not a hard and fast rule, it does seem that the  radiator in the small  gallery has been reserved for male fantasies.