Afterimage receives Artforum Critic’s PickOctober 15, 2012
Afterimage opened on September 14th to record crowds and has since garnered great praise, most notably, a Critic’s Pick from ArtForum, which can be read here and found online as well. Additional press links are below.
It is a testament to the generative richness of the Chicago Imagists, who coalesced around the Art Institute of Chicago and the Hyde Park Art Center in the 1960s, that a show about their influence on artists working today is so void of anxiety and full of exuberance. In a small separate gallery at the museum’s entrance, a concise sample of fourteen Imagist prints, drawings, and paintings by James Nutt,Christina Ramberg, and Ed Paschke, among others from the 1960s and ’70s, reminds viewers of the original movement’s loosely associated idiosyncrasies: figural forms, often with a combination of hieratic graphic precision and grotesque distortion, comic juxtaposition and cryptic text, recurrence of motifs and the suggestion of hidden or symbolic meaning, and strong colors not of the Pop art Day-Glo variety but out of comic books, Surrealist painting, and homespun craft.
The title “Afterimage” refers to the persistence of an image on the retina after an initial exposure, and it’s true that some specific Imagist precedents crack across the mind’s eye when one moves through the twenty-five recent works on display. For instance, David Leggett’s squirming black ink lines, which trace incongruities such as a chain of daisies and a floating brain in Summer of Dreams and Magic, 2010, recall James Falconer’s squirrely ink drawings (see Slep Portrait, 1966, on view in the entrance gallery). For others, the persistence of Imagism is not so retinal. In Rebecca Shore’s oil painting 09, 2010, it’s found in the potential of some connective symbolic logic behind the farrago of neat silhouettes that she lays across a teal ground—a wig, a pot, a leg, a lock. One paired relation promises to unlock a story or game, but the whole remains an insoluble spread of surface variation. Because Imagism is both underrecognized outside of Chicago and inherently difficult to define in its recourse to personal meaning and individual style, “Afterimage”’s influence shoots in both directions as a later generation of artists reads and rearticulates Imagism’s import. – Julia Langbein
Artslant Review, by Alicia Chester
Best Bet for Fall, from the Chicago Reader
Fall Preview, from the Chicago Tribune