Abstraction's Other Voice | Art Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Abstraction's Other Voice 

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This exhibit, the first in a series focusing on "women painters dealing with abstraction," includes three paintings by Chicago-area native Caroline Peters--two of them airy, almost lyrical combinations of inspired lines and translucent paint smears. Double Brink centers on a wheellike shape, with charcoal lines for the spokes and washes of acrylic around the rim. The gentle hues and wet-on-wet mixes evoke the delicacy and fragility of a spiderweb. In The Whitest Feet the center is mostly white with very pale yellow, suggesting a kind of freedom: above are curvy black trellis lines that shelter but don't limit the open space; to the right and below lurk large fields of red and gray. The sense that the lines and forms are casual yields to a surprising feeling of perfection that recalls the exquisite small drawings of Montana artist Wes Mills, for whom Peters worked and whose influence she acknowledges (along with Helen Frankenthaler's, Brice Marden's, and Richard Tuttle's). Her statement refers to "free will" and "moving into an unknown realm," suggesting that she sees her paintings as metaphors for life--an interpretation they sustain. Four paintings by Lee Tracy--lush, sensuous fields of thick paint--provide a fitting contrast. Oskar Friedl, 300 W. Superior, suite 202, through August 31. Hours are 10 to 6 Tuesday through Saturday; 312-867-1930.

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