The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art invites you to an exhibition of Subconscious Eye. Artists in this exhibition include Chicago artists: John A. Kurtz, Bruce Thorn and Paul Lamantia.
Subconscious Eye brings together the work of three artists who penetrate the surface of everyday experience in order to immerse themselves in realms beyond consciousness. Their engagement with this territory varies immensely as the sources and aims of their art rarely overlap with one another. Yet there is a serendipitous harmony in this ensemble. Each pushes his form and subject matter to aesthetic extremes in order to convey the overwhelming intensity of that trip to the void.
Bodies in Paul Lamantia’s (b. 1938) aggressively sexual vignettes elongate, pucker, birth bestial heads where limbs should be, and multiply their identities before our eyes. While owls, parrots, and other wildlife sprout up in John A. Kurtz’s (b. 1942) terrestrial fireworks but they hum with electricity, sprout oversized eyes amid feathers, and bear openings in their bodies that allow the observer to see through to the landscape beyond. Swirling, mutating, dissolving into one another, the forms and fields in Bruce Thorne’s (b. 1952) paintings perpetuate motion, suggesting improbable connections between amoeba and supernovae. Each work is almost too much to take in; an assault on the senses that intellect and emotion wrestle to balance. They bear the legacy of a cultural shift that made interior (psychological) space and subjectivity the equal of crisp empiricism.
Senior Curator and Curator of Modern Art
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia