Thursday, December 24, 2015

Portrait Show - 2015

 Andrew Conklin, "Personification of  Spring"

This is pretty good  show!  (as long as you ignore 90% of what's up on the wall)

Andrew showed this piece in last year's Faculty show. Now he calls it the "personification" rather than an "Allegory" of spring.  But it still is essentially two separate paintings: a floral and a portrait - both of which are very good.

 Dan Kolleng

Anyone who loves the ideals of 18th C. English portraiture is going to like this painting.

Including me!  This girl just stepped out of a Jane Austen novel.

David Mayernik, "Lenin"

As noted here   David Mayernik is a classical  architect and muralist.

So it's not surprising that this stately  depiction of a familiar Palette and Chisel stalwart belongs on the wall of a Renaissance palazzo or church.

Errol Jacobson

A very expressive portrait of a woman who seems impatient.

Jessica Smit

If only we could see the rest of this figure - and perhaps Jupiter descending in a shower of gold coins.

Lenin Del Sol

This well-drawn figure feels uncomfortable.  It feels cut and pasted against its background.

Maybe it's telling a story about an anxious woman who just received some bad test results.

Love these flowers.

Leonid Osseny

Leonid is the least predictable artist in our galleries. Remember his meticulously detailed scale model of Lenin's Red Square mausoleum?

Now he's executed two paintings within paintings.

Just for the heck of it.

I  guess.

Leonid Osseny

Marina Nemtseva

It's impossible to imagine a Palette and Chisel without its Russian trained artists and the legacy of Cezanne.

This poor fellow seems so crazy -- in a painterly sort of way.

Mark Huddle

A nice update on Chicago's most famous American painting.. I am sooooo glad I did not grow up in that house.

Robert Tati

Noting how this finely modeled head does not  float helplessly on the page, this is another good example of an un-American art education.

Rong Liang

Usually portraits, like the previous one,  portray the best that a person can be.

But like her fellow expressionists, Rong portrays people as they actually are.

Watch out.

Stephanie Weidner

Have you seen the "New Contemporary" exhibit at the Art Institute?  If Cindy Sherman could paint women's emotions  instead of just photograph them, this might be the result.

But then Ms. Sherman would be a member of the Palette and Chisel, instead of an iconic post-modern artist.

Val Yachik

There are plenty of scary portraits in this show -- but this is the only one that might have gotten that way intentionally.

Valerie Stanaszek

She has apparently painted an angel that belongs on the right of a devotional image.

I would like to see the rest.

Michael Van Zeyl

This might be called "Magical  Realism" - though the only magic seems to concern the lady's fabulous hat.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Home Grown at the S.A.I.C.


The Prints and Drawings Department of the Art Institute of Chicago is currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of the museum school with an exhibit of alumni entitled "Home Grown"

With so  many alumni over so many years, most artists are represented by only one or two pieces.

But  the exhibition includes 20 prints by Gustav Baumann, an early member of the Palette and Chisel, who once took a few night classes at the Art Institute. (most of his art training was received in Germany).

With a concurrent exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art , it appears that Baumann's star is ascendant.

Check out this video to learn how his friends at the Palette and Chisel took him down to Brown County.

So many of those early Palette and Chisel members were illustrators.

This large, decorative, multi-color woodblock print reminds me of Post Impressionist painters like Vuillard.

But instead of dabs of paint, Baumann is using small nicks cut by his chisel.


Carl Hoeckner

Here's the other former Palette and Chisel member in the show. (though he was a bit too independent minded to stay a member for very long)