Get It Together Again, a restaging of last July’s preliminary Get it Together held at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport, occupies the deep space of the Chicago Tourism Center, located at 72 E. Randolph, across the street from the Cultural Center. It makes good use of the cavernous size of this barebones gallery, and features twenty-five works made by twenty-seven local, national and international artists, several of whom where in the July show, save Chad Kouri (of the Post Family) and Ed Marszewski (of Co-Prosperity Sphere), who act solely as co-curators this time around.
Chiefly featuring works on paper, there is a fruitful array of mixed media pieces, such as Emily Clayton’s Achromatic, two ghostly, starched cloth sculptural wall pieces, and installations, such as Ryan Duggan and Nicholas Rouley’s Home Fitness, an extreme DIY version of a bench press, featuring two poured concrete cubes as weights and a milk crate and plywood for a workout bench.
Some of the standout works in the show include Joe Tallarico’s (a coworker of mine) optically jarring Goblin Postage Stamps [seen at left]. The work presents viewers with an opportunity to see Tallarico employ his signature black and white diagonal and horizontal lines and squares, typically found in his paintings, to the medium of collage. Just as visceral, they vibrate behind pouting knights on horseback, isolated geometric patterns and small snippets of budding foliage that all radiate out from the center of the composition. Small pastel colored triangles, squares and circles painted over the surface introduce a dichotomous color palette and add another layer of depth to the piece.
Adrienne Goodrich’s Grocery Store is the culmination of months of meticulous paper cutting and drawing with colored pencil and ink to create several shelves full of realistically rendered food items [seen at right]. The objects range from the tempting junk food favorites such as Kinder Chocolate, Pop Tarts and Jell-O, to the ethnic Spätzle and the seldom stocked anchovy paste. All items bear the typical manufactured neon orange price tags, but are randomly assigned hand-written prices. Goodrich did a stiff business opening night selling her pieces fresh off the shelf, as marked.
Anthony Zinonos, born in South Africa, raised in Cyprus and living and working in Great Britain, presents a pair of sparse collages on paper tucked in the far back corner of the exhibition which bring a balanced quietude to the show. In theCOWBOYtheMISTRESSandPAULO, a minimal clipping from a dated print advertisement is collaged together with construction paper clippings that correspond in color to the shirts worn by the figures from the ad [seen at left]. Smart and simple, Zinonos’ collection and placement of seeming detritus re-contextualizes the paper scrapes into this eloquent meditation.
Because of the staggered partial walls and arrangement of works within the exhibition, several interesting dialogues occur between pieces in the show. Despite the astonishing number of fresh, eye-popping items, the overall effect is one of exhilarating aesthetic arrest. Stake out a seat and scissors at the collage table located at the front of the gallery and create artwork of your own soon, because there are scant handful of days left before this gem closes on April 6.
--Thea Liberty Nichols
(All images courtesy of the artists)