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F rank P annier A Painter Reviews Chicago, Part II November 1974 Part I of “An Artist Reviews Chicago” was published in the Summer 1974 issue. It is an independent essay and does not represent editorial policy. We hope other articulate artists will speak out on matters that concern them. The Examiner is meant to be a forum for artists and thrives on controversy. In the first part of this article I began discussing the state of affairs of the visual arts in Chicago. I wrote briefly about the art politics that have controlled this city for several decades, culminating in a wellnourished and masterfully engineered, self-proliferating, pseudo lunatic aesthetic which is evident to varying degrees in ninety-five percent of all work exhibited here. In further synopsis of the first installment, I offer the following list of individuals, institutions, and other control forces most responsible for this situation. Collections: Horowitz, Bergman, Shapiro. These chiefly Dada surrealist collections are extremely well-protected by big money and strong political actions such as starting a “Museum of Contemporary Art” and then staffing it with people who won’t deviate too much from a central theme. Collections: Adrian, Prokopoff. These chiefly “Chicago Imagist” collections are protected in value by the influential art occupations held by their owners. 20   T h e E s s e n t i a l N ew A rt E xaminer Museums: The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art. These institutions simply do not exist at all as show cases for locally produced art that does not conform to the imagist or figurative norm. This year’s “American Show” at the Art Institute for example suffered from a slant in favor of figurative art. The “Chicago and Vicinity Show” does not accept much in the way of large scale non-objective art. The Museum of Contemporary Art keeps showing us the “Hairy Who?” This season’s installment is the São Paulo bon-bon cooked up by Don Baum. Galleries: Phyllis Kind. This is, perhaps, the most influential gallery of the contemporary scene in Chicago and the home of the “Hairy Who?” Critics: Harry Bouras, Franz Schulze. These “critics” are only interested in imagist art and art history. Critics: Dennis Adrian, Harold Haydon. These critics often lack the courage to be forceful in their writing and work for reform. They are, however , the best and most perceptive available in the local established press. Critics: Alan Artner, Nory Miller. These critics are total visual illiterates and have no business being art critics at all. But the blame does not rest with these people alone. Many artists in this city find themselves too fat and content with their self-images of underground artistic stardom, or too overly concerned with divisionism along the lines of sex, age, different life styles, or perhaps, even color of hair, eyes, and skin to form truly professional alliances on the basis of aesthetic philosophy as have the “Chicago Five” (Ted Argeropolos, Lawrence Booth, Martin Hurtig, Vera Klement, and Lawrence Solomon), the Phil Berkman-Mike Crane-Angels Ribe-Francesc Torres conceptual group, “Artists Anonymous” (Carol Diehl, Tony Giliberto, Mary Jo Marks, Corey Postiglione, and myself), and even the good ole “Hairy Who?” Most of these artists (with the obvious exception of conceptualists) are held together to varying degrees in small alliances and in larger multiple action groups by the fact that they are non-objective artists who cannot accept any further promotion of art as being the exclusive aesthetic in Chicago. In fact the lack of professionalism beyond the studio practiced by most other artists in this city is probably the single most important factor responsible, until recently, for season after season of unimportant exhibitions of Chicago art and trite unimaginative art criticism. If more artists here were to take their profession more seriously and take some degree of initiative in the extra-studio mechanics which govern the political and F rank P annier    A Painter Reviews Chicago, Part II   21 economic aspects of art, then, perhaps, Chicago’s “art scene” would truly match its potential. Behind the doors of studio after studio some of the most beautiful work that I have ever seen rests in storage. Currently there is a small but growing number of artists living in Chicago who do not suffer the “closet syndrome.” It is primarily through them and the efforts of the people who have worked with them that bang! (almost as if from nowhere) the 1973–74...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781609090371
Related ISBN
9780875806624
MARC Record
OCLC
868220385
Pages
306
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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