Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Gold Medal Show - 2016

Stuart Fullerton

This year's Gold Medal show is so dominated by the illustration of clever ideas, I have given the Gold Medal to this landscape that is  notable only for how well it's been done.  It's solid, peaceful, carefulness reminds me of  an earlier club member, Frank Dudley, the famous painter of the Indiana Dunes.  And I love winter scenes - especially as I enter that  stage of life.

I really like the quiet, yet assertive, qualities of this painting.  It's as strong an argument as one can  make against the  last 70 years of American art.

Ali Hasmut

I love how he's painted those dry leaves - but overall, it just feels like an ordinary collection of whatever was at hand.

Clayton J.  Beck III

The ordinariness of the figure and its central location is not redeemed by the wildly  expressive background.

But I love this painting for the perfection of this area of detail.   So sharply done.

Andrew Conklin (Gold Medal Winner)

In the fine Palette and Chisel tradition of Joseph Tomanek, Andy gives us an attractive young woman on the beach in the sunlight.

He neglected to remove her clothing, but still it's a fine illustration - appropriate for a young adult novel about a lonely girl who spends the summer with her grandparents on Martha's Vineyard. Even if the figure in the foreground doesn't really work with the rocks behind her. The parts feel cut and pasted.

Dan Kolleng

A face that makes you care about the person

George C. Clark

This appears to be a dramatic, possibly tragic,  harem scene - with yet another appearance of George's damn camel saddle.

Helen Oh, "The Guest Bed" (Second Prize)

Obviously there's a story here.  Who was the guest?.  Not an especially exciting painting.

But wonderful in the close-up details.

Is this the first time that a married couple have take the top two prizes at our Gold Medal show?
I can't remember whether  Richard-and-Nancy or Scott-and-Sue ever pulled a hat trick.

Jill Leipprandt

A whimsical arrangement -- though  the colors and tones are disappointing.

Jose Bedolla

A very impressive, well made, wall-size illustration of a girl and her memories.

It begs to have a story written about her.

Kimberly Beck

A nice moment in a boy's life (and his mother's life, too)

Lois Eakin

Love these whispy roots

David Mayernik, "Diana and Actaeon"

This is not the largest painting in the show - but it has to be the most ambitious - combining multiple figures, landscape, still life, Classical narrative, and a sense of decorative design.

It presents that terrible moment on the last day of Actaeon's life when he accidentally stumbled upon the Goddess Diana bathing in the forest.

Overall, the results feel a bit stiff and awkward to me -- but I love this area of detail

Misha Livshulz

This is Misha's recent portrait of his daughter, the scientist (she's a professor of Botany)

It has a certain fierce, even uncomfortable, intensity

Rong Liang

Here's a completely different expressionist portrait --- of a completely different kind of person. I believe this is Katy - a very fun person.

Soko Okada, "Watching Demo"

A nice snapshot of Palette and Chisel life - featuring one of our more serious recent members.

Val Yachik

Val  will not reveal the personal events that summoned this image.  Possibly a visit from inlaws?

Valerie Stanaszek, "Resistance Fighter"

The title is puzzling - perhaps this woman has been fighting a disease rather than a despot.

Alex Zonis, "Group Portrait" (Third Prize and Peoples Choice)

"I paint details. Oh I paint objects and ideas and narratives, but underneath it all – it is all about details and how they relate to each other. I find details fascinating, I look for them everywhere, I am in love with them, so I paint them"

She does indeed!  And I like the spooky feeling of this piece.. Alex is a Chicago Imagist - yet distinctly different from the many others.  It's a memorable piece - so I  voted a medal for it.

James Ensor  (this piece was not in the show)

Alex's "Group Portrait" also reminds me of a recent show at the Art Institute

James Hajicek, "Dana"

One of the better sculpture portrait  busts our shows have seen over the years.  Maybe Jim should teach sculpture as well as drawing.

Leslie Outten, "J"

This moody, melancholy  portrait of the club's favorite model feels like it was painted in the 1930's.

Barbara Ansell, "Winter Wonderland"

A beautiful and distinctive landscape.
And it makes me feel good.
The Blaue Reiters would have approved.

Debra Balchen, "Lou Lou May, 92 years"

I didn't really appreciate this piece until it was put beside a window so  the light could turn it into an  Impressionist painting.  It appears to have as much life as the lady who posed for it.

David Cushing, "Dreaming of Icarus"

Phyllis Brodny, "From the Firmament"

Friday, April 01, 2016

Exhibition: George Clark

 Eyes of Ariadne

I first met George  about 35 years ago - back before I knew about the Palette and Chisel and  went to draw at a workshop George conducted out of a storefront  in Lincoln Park.

Like his heroes from the early 20th Century, he does landscapes and cityscapes, as well as figure drawing.

Regarding those figure drawings, like the ones in this show, he seems to start with whatever pose the models are taking (especially at the pairs session in my drawing marathons!) , and  then discovers whatever composition - and theme - eventually develops.

Which is exactly what I do in the Palette and Chisel workshops, though I've stopped referring to Greek mythology.

Perhaps this drawing turned into "The Eyes of Ariadne" because the Greek girl with big eyes has turned them towards the viewer rather than her relaxing lover. Is she ready to leave him for another?

Or possibly it's a response to this statue:

Sleeping Ariadne, Roman copy of 2nd C. BCE Hellenistic, Vatican Museum 

Lovis Corinth, "The Girlfriends"

George explicitly relates this drawing to the Lovis Corinth painting shown above it, though I would relate this ensemble more closely with these dangerous girls:

Picasso, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon"

"If the Devil Dress her not"

Often, George's figure studies turn comic
(in this case - also Shakespearean)

But I like them better when they introduce some inscrutable relationship

I would call this one 'Adam and Eve"

I really like this painting.

And it features George's favorite prop: his Egyptian camel saddle.

George brought his camel saddle to this show

.. there's a medallion of Nefertiti on one of the legs.

Romance 1