IIT TechNews, vol. 158(4), p.15, Feb. 15, 2005

ArtFutura speaks to past


Written by Mindy Ann Sherman   

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Artists from around the country are currently being displayed in an exhibition sponsored by the Associate Board, a group of young business and civic leaders committed to building awareness of the best ranked rehabilitation hospital in America, as reported by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991.  The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago will receive funds from an auction of exhibit pieces during an event held this Thursday night, February 17, from 6:30 to 9PM.  While tickets for this award party might be out of range for student budgets, the exhibit is able to be viewed for free in the lobby of the AMA building, 515 N State, until February 18th.

Entitled ArtFutura, American artists submitted work based on this theme and were selected by James Rondeau of the Art Institute. While it is an American-themed exhibit, many Chicago-based artists are featured, including Its own Bob Krawczyk, of the School of Architecture.

Among the works there are a variety of media presented, beginning with the first presentations in the exhibit.  Using a variety of symbols and letters, a handful of artists submitted work that abstracted the ordinary meanings of a clock or groups of words placed in a variety of colors.  Within the initial group of exhibited art is a unique quilting-inspired piece that provides unobstructed cuts of fabric that are seamlessly layered and interwoven.  Strategically placed sewing thread lines complete the piece. However, the exhibit quickly changes pace with a second section filled with paintings and the compositions of twelve-to-fifty-seven million points which make up Krawczyk’s work.

Possibly the artist who presents most competently to the theme ArtFutura, Krawczyk uses “the value of the color, red, ranges from early time, nearly black, to the recent time, bright red” to define his three ArtFutura pieces in addition to the nearly two thousand other images online at http://home.netcom.com/~bitart/ .  By using color to crossover dimensions, Krawczyk creates illusions, whether real or unnatural. The three dimensional images present a highlight in a show that questions the future of art by not questioning it at all.  Although no one would be able to fortune tell about the real plight of art, there were no digital elements represented at all in this exhibit which presented a major disappointment and absolutely no inspiration.

Getting back to aged methods of art production, painter Deborah Adams Doering, gained inspiration from holy subjects such as the inside of a stain-glass church and priest figure for her pixilated works.  Two other artists were be found with similar works, but each with their own variation such as Anni Holm who chose to work with black ink and her thumbs to create her pixelations. Larry Deemer also took an eye-pleasing option of comparing different tones of blue through a cubed painting.

The theme of ArtFutura becomes blurred with a series of three paintings of a suspended nude model.  Using two straps hung from the ceiling, a variation of positions and household spaces are used for an unclear meaning.  Not too much thought was expended on these pieces as the following etchings were too noticeable.  One artist used two layers of glass and papers to produce shapes by poked holes, similar to an unfinished connect the dots. The result is fascinating with a variety of depth.

Another not so clear intention is that of artist Wendy Park, who blurred and superimposed objects that are accompanied by a single, defined line cutting through her two pieces.  Combined with the titles “Integrity” and “Artificial Boundaries,” no meaning at all was derived.

One artist, however, indeed used technology to create his version of Union Station by using the same shot filled with different people. These shots were then seamlessly put together and subjects were placed in a Polaroid frame, which made the composition less effective.  Another disappointing piece of “futuristic art” was the documentation of airport call names, such as O’Hare international airport’s ORD, gathered together in a square section of graphing paper.  One last redemption for the show was Larry Chait’s close-up view of decaying leaf edges on an otherwise healthy leaf.