BOLT PROJECT SPACE: HOLD FAST and HATCH PROJECTS: THIS CAPTIVATING CULTURE at Chicago Artists' Coalition
A text about the Hatch Project residencies cites that the work by Cydney Lewis and Sandra Perlow is bound by the “rhythms and relationships associated with social interactions.” Isn’t everything these days? I don’t get the curatorial decision to show these two artists together, and Perlow’s bright abstractions are suffocated, almost literally, by too many of Lewis’ plastic bag sculptures. Lewis has a way with her materials, molding figures from recycled materials and wire into her attempt at creating sexier Worry dolls. In one piece, a bound female form straddles a reclining male on a surface of plastic, with store logos occasionally left intentionally visible. Larger hanging works are thankfully devoid of the human figures, but come off equally as calculated, like a glorified daisy chain of detritus that lacks the edge and awe of an El Anatsui tapestry.
Sandra Perlow, A Question Has Struck, 2012; Courtesy of Chicago Artist Coalition.
Perlow’s paintings involve fabric and other patterned surfaces, but for formal purposes only. The collaged shapes and vivid summer hues hark midcentury cool. I’m a sucker for swimming pool turquoise and the Paul Klee influence, but these beg for more space. Ducking into the side room, BOLT resident Marty Burns intersperses neon dream catchers with scattered art knickknacks in her installation Hold Fast. Crochet, macramé and weaving is used to create fractals, nebulae and shooting stars around carefully arranged artifacts. There’s a ticket to fiber artist Nick Cave’s exhibition in San Francisco, an origami folded dollar bill, and some cheesy gold angels. The bric and brac distracts from the manipulated fiber elements at first, but eventually they blend together in a series of altars to personal and cultural memory.
(Image on top: Marty Burns, Hold Fast, 2012;Courtesy of Marty Burns / Photo by Juan Suarez)