You are here: Home // Artists, Editorial, Exhibitions, Galleries, Spaces, Studios // Off to a Strong Start: Fall Gallery Season Opening Night

Off to a Strong Start: Fall Gallery Season Opening Night

Recently, I attended the opening night of Chicago’s fall gallery season in the West Loop. Having spent the last four Septembers in Savannah, Georgia, this event was a first for me. The night ended up being a bit of a blur. No, I wasn’t drunk on gallery wine. Rather, I was overwhelmed. The crowds and my friends’ swift pace gave me little time to take everything in. I would squeeze in between a tattooed 20-something and a woman in pearls long enough to catch a glimpse of a photo series, and then it was on to the next gallery. There was a hungry excitement in the air and who was I to deny it?

I managed to catch my breath in the G.R. N’Namdi Gallery. The size of the space surprised me, as my only previous reference point for the West Loop was the tiny Rowley Kennerk gallery. The brilliantly colored paintings of Angelbert Metoyer hung on the walls. I read the artist statement, but didn’t have the time to contemplate how the works related to racism, quantum physics, or teleportation. Instead, I took the pieces at face value; that is, as dazzling, energetic canvases that were at times both inspiring and overpowering. I chuckled at the absurdist manifestos that accompanied each piece. I agreed with Metoyer’s thoughts on the sandblasted-time-loop-death war, but we were at odds when it came to Miss Black and White America.

The Packer Schopf Gallery was larger than the N’Namdi, so I had more time to spend contemplating Michael Ferris Jr’s sketches and sculptures. The artist statement referred to his two dimensional works as “process drawings” but they were realized works in their own right. These pieces were often fully rendered and quite beautiful. Through viewing them one could see how Ferris tests out color schemes and explores different angles and levels of abstraction to come up with his finished sculptures. The resulting three-dimensional pieces were really something to see. Ferris takes sculptures of humans and covers them with tight geometric patterns. These designs represent the inner world of the subject. After seeing the artist’s process drawings, I felt like I got to see a little into his inner world as well.

My friends and I ended the night at the Linda Warren Gallery, which was easily the most crowded of all. I was somewhat ambivalent to the work of Chuck Walker and Heather Marshall, although a dessert painting by the latter artist resonated with me. Having written my thesis on works of art that depict cake, I couldn’t help but recall Wayne Thiebaud’s Cake Counter as I looked upon a similarly composed painting of Marshall’s. I was mentally exhausted by the time we finished at Linda Warren. My brother and I grabbed some bifteka in nearby Greek Town and I tried to sort through it all.

This was hardly my first experience with the Chicago art scene, but it was by far my biggest. Outside of a museum, I had never seen such a quantity of talent and innovation at one time before. How exciting that all of this is happening in Chicago, I thought.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2010 Sixty Inches From Center, All rights reserved.