Sunday, February 21, 2010

Michael Van Zeyl at the County Treasurer's Office

I was not the only one
who found Michael Van Zeyl at
the One-of-a-Kind show
at the Chicago Merchandise Mart last November.

Cook County Treasurer, Maria Pappas,
did as well,
and she invited Michael
to show his paintings
in her office
from March 4 to April 9.

An opening reception for the event will be held March 8th,
2010 at 3:30 and will be open to the public.

Ms. Pappas
hosts art exhibits
in her office
eight times a year.

And obviously,
she has a
quite discerning eye.

(so you better make sure your first deposit
for the 2010 property tax
is paid in full!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Done at the Palette and Chisel?

The above figure painting
by Walter Ufer
was recently de-accessioned
by the Art Institute.

(along with about a dozen
other American paintings and sculptures
from the early 20th C.)

It was dated 1915,
which was when Ufer
was still living in Chicago
and a member of the Palette and Chisel.

And it seems like
more of a general model study
than a personal project.

So isn't it likely that
it was painted
at an open workshop
at the Palette and Chisel Club?

(note: the Indianapolis Museum of Art is deaccesioning
this Walter Ufer as well)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Phyllis Brody: Gift Cards

Photography should never,
be featured at
the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art

But what can I say?

The cards that Phyllis Brodny
showed at her last show
were really clever

..or perhaps I should "quirky"?

...and now the Newberry Library
is featuring them
in the gift shop.

and while we're at it,
we may as well visit Phyllis
in her studio
during the open house
at East Bank Lofts

(above, holding the Tush Plant)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Exhibit: 2010 Faculty Show

David Leffel (self portrait)

This year
the faculty show is including
some of the distinguished artists
who come in to teach
special workshops throughout the year.

This is a nice chance
(perhaps the only chance)
to see their work in Chicago.

So..... what do you think?
How does Leffel compare with Rembrandt?

It seems like something one of the
artists from Mad Magazine might have done
back when the country's best cartoonists
were working for them.

(note: my New City review of the show
has been posted here )

David Lefel
(portrait of Kishio Takeda)

David Lefel

Henry Yan

Here's another
out-of-town artist
who comes in to
teach a figure drawing workshop

Don Yang

Don Yang

Ed Wentz

Michael Van Zeyl

Michael Van Zeyl

Tony Francesconi

William Schneider

Diane Rath

Robert Pernau

Marci Oleszkiewicz

Helen Oh

Helen Oh

James Hajicek

Audry Cramblitt

Andy Chan

(also shown
was Zhiwei Tu's portrait of him )

David Becker

Clayton Beck

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Sketch Book of Mike Wilkins

Palette and Chisel members
usually like to sketch people.
(why else would anyone join??)

And their quick sketches
of people on trains
or in bars
are sometimes
the liveliest,
most compelling
images that they make

It would seem like such a crime
to cut these sketches
out of the notebooks
to frame them on a wall.

These are records,
not just of people,
but also of moments
spent quickly sketching them
in public places.

And it's the excitement
of quick improvisation,
both personal and visual,
that really makes
these things so poignant.

Plus the fact
that Mike Wilkins
has been honeing his drawing skills
for about forty years.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ralph Making Snowman

Here's Ralph Cossentino
as reported
The Daily Herald

"Even though I lived like five minutes from Randhurst, I would really prefer to be down here in the city," Cossentino said while on a break from his Native American sculpture titled "Amongst the Canyons of Chicago."

"In this kind of setting, you can't beat it," he said.

Working with son Sean and team member Frank Sorrentino, this is Cossentino's second time competing in a major snow sculpting competition. But it's not a far cry from his day job working with clay and stone sculptures as an instructor for Palette and Chisel Art Academy in Chicago.

"It's great, because it is a different medium," Cossentino said. "Plus, there's that whole fantasy and romance of playing out in the snow."

I think I've seen
that big Indian head
in the back room of the sculpture studio,
and thought
that it was something that had blown up in the kiln.

Little realizing
that it was a maquette
for public sculpture!

Exhibit: Dorian Allworthy

I was somewhat blown away
by this unexpected
exhibit last weekend.

Who is Dorian Allworthy ?

Apparently,she lives a few blocks away,
but I've never seen her paintings
in any of our shows.

(and most of them would have
won at least my vote for a gold medal)

Unlike the other professional artists
in the Palette and Chisel,
she's not out there hustling
by constantly promoting herself
with gallery shows and teaching classes.

Like Manet and Cezanne,
she appears to be a serious artist
of independent means.

(her last big show seems to have been
at the Marshall Museum in Mt. Vernon,
back in 2003)

But, as it turns out,
I have heard about her before.

Dominic Vignola ,
(who would still be painting at the P&C
if he could climb all those stairs to the third floor)
first studied art with her father, Joseph Allworthy,
whom Dominic discovered many years ago
through a listing as "Artist" in the Yellow Pages.

(that was, of course, many decades before the internet)

As Dominic tells it,
Allworthy practiced
"tonal impressionism"
that emphasizes mass over line and color,
and his daughter, Dorian,
has continued in that direction.

These are

They can dominate a hallway or room,
just like a tapestry
(and it doesn't hurt
that a tapestry is painted in the background)

And they're so decorative.

While the figure always seems to be a model posing.

Here's a popular model from the club.
(who always works the door at the drawing marathons)

Looking something like the Sphinx.

A delicious close-up,
showing how
geometrically she works.

A wonderful goat.
Dorian really finds
the strong, simple shapes.

(But who, besides the Palette and Chisel,
would hang a goat over the fireplace ?)

and I love this big,
ridiculous nude,
and would love to visit this chateaux
where the entertainers
don't wear pants.

Here's a few more.
They're sexy in such a casual way.

Why don't I ever get invited to these parties?

While every chateaux
must have it's domestic workers.....

.. and it's peasants.

(and I'm glad they keep their clothes on)

The exhibit was accompanied
by these handwritten
fragments of text.

(this one was next to the standing couple)

Is it really true that
"any attempt to teach art is futile" ?

The remarkable characteristics of Dorian's art
is hardly the result
of her being self taught.