Sunday, July 20, 2008

Exhibit: Sergio Rocha

Exhibit: Clayton Beck III

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Friend Ingerle

I just came across this image
from the
Art Institute's
25th Annual Artists of Chicago Show
(of February, 1921)

The artist depicted is Rudolph Ingerle,
and the artist depicting him is Karl Krafft.

(both of them were P&C members)

Wasn't this
a rather modern style of portraiture
for that time?

an outspoken (though anonymous)
critic of Chicago painting
published an exhaustive critique
of all the paintings in the 1921 exhibit.

And here's what he had to say
about this one:

"An anemic inanity.
No drawing -

color chosen without a thought or reason,
no more than accidental composition
(which here happened to be entirely damaging)
and a technique which could not be less effective.

He calls it "my friend",
but his failure to display
any trace of sympathy or feeling
would lead one to suspect
the depth of his friendship.

Complete lack of art,
added to its total technical ineptitude,
characterize this as the choicest example
of misdirected effort
in the exhibition"


I wonder how he really felt.

I can only report --
that the first feeling I got from this painting
was a deep love for the subject
(perhaps from the great arc of the palette
that seems to emerge from the subject's heart -
and from the direct, open way
the subject is staring back at the viewer)

And the second feeling I got --
was how geometric - how triangular
this design was.
An accidental composition?
No way.

All of the P&C painters in that show
got trashed pretty bad.
(while, ironically, the archives of the P&C
may be the only place in the world
where this mimeographed critique
still exists)

((note: his entire critique will be published at a later date.))

Archibald Motley Jr.
seems to have been the only painter
who pleased him without reservations,
and Motley may also be the only painter from that 1921 exhibit
to be given a museum retrospective in my lifetime.
(at the Chicago Historical Museum about 10 years ago)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Byers as the "Chief Demon"

"Bolshevicski" was a show
that the club produced
sometime around 1922,
seven years after the
P&C's first (and only) "Annual Abstract Show"
and four years after the
club's most active modernists,
Weisenborn , Shiva , and Hoeckner
walked out and never came back.

So the club was now ready
to identify itself as the old guard
and make fun
of those wacky 'ultra modernists"
("a trio of Bolsheviks from Siberia
who are pursuing art, but never catch up with her")

Here's the characters involved.
(the cross-dresser in the upper left corner is J. Jeffrey Grant)

The cast included: Riddell, Hake, Lundgren, Adam, Tyler, Grant, Mack, Laabs, Byers, and Hoban. It was Written by Alfred E. Hayden, Directed by Audubon Tyler, Scenery by Julian Dove, Music by Hayden, Ingerle, and Biorn.

Otto Hake as
"Oddski Tecknicovitch"

The three Bolsheviks,
returning to their studio
one night,
talk their artsy avant garde trash
to the janitor
who gets so disgusted
he "gases 'em"

Saint Peter then rewards their souls with a
new life of "wine, women, and song",
but since all three are of low quality,
they're actually
being sent to Hell.

Then - finally -- the three wake up
out of their nightmare,
express remorse and repentance,
and move back
"on the straight and narrow path"
(i.e. more traditional painting)

The Presidency in 2008

Some final thoughts on the 2008 election. Since Ed Wentz will likely be the last person to seriously challenge the lifetime presidency of Val Yachik, this may end up being an important event.

What would Ed do if he were president? Presumably -- the same thing he's always done -- fascinate himself with promotional ideas and hang out in the P&C office instead of his own studio. He may want to get a different executive director -- but that is really the board's decision, and I'm doubting he'll be able to dominate the board the way Val has.

What would happen if Val were president (again). Actually -- I think there will be a big difference this time around -- because he and his board have given our number one cash donor of-all-time, Jane Ellen Murray, such a slap in the face - changing the bylaws to keep Ed from becoming President. Val's era of peace making is over - he wants to be Mr. Palette and Chisel - and he'll do anything to keep that position.

But hasn't all the building repair been done by now anyway ?

Maybe not.

I sure would like to see the second floor of the coach house reconfigured as a large open studio - suitable for classes and special workshops (so we can have more classes and special workshops without evicting any open workshops)

Because I'd like to see the P&C grow -- not just stand still - and there's no way to grow besides replacing private studios with public ones.

Of course, evicting all those private studio renters would cause an uproar -- they seem to have de-facto leases for life.

And while I'm creating an uproar -- I'd also like to see our gallery be taken seriously as a gallery of art -- rather than as a service to those members who can't show their work anywhere else. I think we should still have a few annual group shows that all members (like me) can enter -- but beyond that, we should consider that beautiful space as a more traditional version of the gallery space at the Chicago Cultural center -- showing the best local (and traditional) artists we can find. (and have a committee that makes those decisions)

But it could be that the above opinions are in a distinct minority.

A minority of one.


BTW - here's
an interesting local news story about Ed
- with some things you may not know.