Fresh Paint
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Heating Up Curated by Beth Hart and Vera Scekic at EAC
If you are unsure who to vote for this year, go to this show and head to the gallery to your left, an installation room by Lee Tracy entitled "Found." The white walls are washed up to 3 feet with water marks, the center contains an old oak desk covered with diaries and scrapbooks, containing what we hope is not our future history, writings of devastation and pointers to what a new future may look like:
few mornings ago it was reported that the last polar bear in the world had died. I am so sad.
one entry begins, and describes how the bear became thinner and thinner, her fur no longer fluffy, the silent lines at the Lincoln Park Zoo wanting to catch a glimpse.
I am thrilled that I was able to make the most delicious soup today. It has been so wet and chilly here that when I heard that celery and bell peppers were coming back into circulation this week, I made calls to find them. [...] I also bought four sticks of celery with the leaves intact from North Carolina, which is a state that has a harvest season (June and October).
And some beauty returns, too:
We have completely given in to the flickering lights and are in our 3rd year since the city adopted its "Low Lights" program. [...] Mood lighting is everywhere.
The large notebooks are written in pencil on translucent parchment paper, with drawings in the margins, interleaved with washed-out watercolor drawings. The handwriting in some of the notebooks becomes more and more frantic, witness to events only hinted at, since the writing is ripped, scraped off, washed away as Lake Michigan rises and wipes away our history.

I know Lee Tracy's work as a painter of large works, and hadn't known she also did installation art. This is definitely worth seeing, especially on a day when you can look out at a stormy Lake Michigan.

The other work I liked was Lisa Truax's ceramic strata, layers of sparkling, beautiful compressed geodes in progress, a million years from now, as garbage and our own bones create layers that may become fossil fuel for the next incarnation what remains of our species.

Other work in the show followed similar themes. Kim Jackson DeBord's UNI Chicken Project presented tiny shelves with pillows, a single egg resting on each. Or a scale balancing a pile of chicken feed and a pile of the resulting eggs. How precious these lives are!

The show runs through November 9, 2008 at the Evanston Art Center. In the past they've put a .pdf of their exhibition notes online, but seem to have stopped doing it. Worth picking up if you go see the show.

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