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beautiful mathematics, 20th century architectural elevations

Big City - A Chicago Album
April 23 - August 21, 2004

Paintings, watercolors, etchings and vintage and contemporary photographs expressing the most American of big cities.


Artists see Chicago as a feast of contradictions. The scale is gigantic, dwarfing the natural landscape. Its views combine the historical with the futuristic. Its romance is tinged with violence.

Chicago, like all the worldıs great cities, has become a myth to match its reality. The artist sees no end to the possibilities of painting, drawing, printing and photographing this legendary place.

ArchiTech Gallery has assembled works in all media by various artists whoıve been struck by this city on the lake: A Russianıs cubist interpretations on canvas and computer paper, a teacherıs lessons in watercolor and etching in addition to humanist essays by photographers throughout a century.

Various works by Elizabeth Ockwell, Leonid Osseny, Alex Fradkin, Jay King and others will present a multi-media view of how the artist responds to the most American of big cities.

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Notes on the Exhibition:
Big City: A Chicago Album
April 23 - June 19, 2004

Most of the contemporary artists in my stable can't help but create works about this city. Not only do they either live here or visit for work, but they're compelled by Chicago's very bone structure to respond artistically. It's one of the benefits of having this gallery here.

Summer is also the time visitors flock here. It's become festive here in warm weather and I wanted to capitalize on this influx of Chicago architecture buffs.

Alex Fradkin's "Monolith Series" of photographs of skyscrapers disappearing into the fog has always been a hit and he printed up some big ones for this show. I had asked Elizabeth Ockwell to do a new watercolor for me and she found herself south of the Michigan Avenue Bridge putting her emotive spin on our most famous image since the 20s. I already had some huge etchings she'd done of river subjects so hers became the "wet" theme.

Chicago's wind was still an elusive subject for this show until my friend and former colleague, Jay King, brought in some experiments he'd done on old 35 millimeter slides of his. He'd scanned them into a computer file so he could clean them of scratches to the surface. One of the printed out images was of a wind-whipped shredded tarp flapping around the steel superstructure of the Bloomingdales building that went up in 1989. It looked like a day lily in full bloom.

I'd been searching for the last couple of years for computer derived drawings I actually liked. I know it's the future of rendering but I've found everything so cold and mechanical that it makes simple drafting look emotional. Leonid Osseny was inspired after 9/11 to respond through computer drawings in his cubist/constructivist painting language. As an immigrant from Minsk, he saw America in fractured, nearly kaleidoscopic views that resembled the 20s Parisian paintings of Robert Delaunay.

He brought in these dizzying computer drawings of well known scenes filtered through the mind of a mad cartoonist. I finally found some CADs that said something beyond geometry.

click on image
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Water Tower photograph,  Chicago
Alex Fradkin
The Watertower, Chicago

Gelatin-silver print, 2000
24 x 20 inches

Wrigley Building, drawing, Chicago
Elizabeth Ockwell
Michigan Avenue Bridge

Pen and ink, penci and watercolor
Oct., 2003

18 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches

Fradkin Photograph of the Wrigley Building, Chicago
Alex Fradkin
Wrigley Building, Chicago

Gelatin-silver print, 2000
24 x 20 inches

Leonid Osseny Computer enhanced architectural drawing, Chicago
Leonid Osseny
Adams Street

Oil on canvas, Oct. 2003
40 x 30 inches

Leonid Osseny Computer enhanced architectural drawing, Chicago
Leonid Osseny
Hancock

Inkjet print, 1/10, 2002
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Leonid Osseny Computer enhanced architectural drawing, Chicago
Leonid Osseny
LaSalle Bridge

Inkjet print, 1/10, 2002
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Leonid Osseny Computer enhanced architectural drawing, Chicago
Leonid Osseny
Michigan Avenue Bridge

Inkjet print, 1/10, 2002
11 x 8 1/2 inches

Leonid Osseny Computer enhanced architectural drawing, Chicago
Leonid Osseny
Raised Bridge

Inkjet print, 1/10, 2002
11 x 8 1/2 inches

 

David Jameson
ArchiTech Gallery
730 North Franklin suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654
312-475-1290
ArchiTechGallery@earthlink.net


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