Amanda Greive and Erik Peterson meet in "The Middle" | Art Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Amanda Greive and Erik Peterson meet in "The Middle" 

Two artists, solo and together, at Chicago Artists' Coalition

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Detail from Soft Palate by Erik Peterson

Detail from Soft Palate by Erik Peterson

I saw "The Middle" at the beginning, when it looked different than it will at the end. The clever conceit of this show, curated by Jessica Cochran of Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Arts, is that its content will transition, over a three-week period, from work by one artist to work by another. As of this writing the space belongs to the beguiling domestic scenes of Amanda Greive. One painting, Anatomy of Despair, shows a woman leaning against a shower stall wall, her body obscured by glass blocks. Greive's also got a thing for pears, which recur in several pieces. In a still life called You Are I Am, Part 2, a pear coated in milk or cream drips, suspended, over a bowl while eggs and eggshells sit nearby. It's a strange, slightly lurid, delicately composed vision of homemaking.

Before May 3 Greive's oils will have given way to Erik Peterson's installations. As they meet in the middle of "The Middle," the two artists plan to address each other, with food as the common theme. In contrast to Greive's rather ethereal realism, Peterson offers a conceptual approach. Take a look at his shockingly pink Soft Palate, for instance, which resembles a self-devouring ice cream cone. Peterson's work also comments on the gallery's location in the heart of Fulton Market—less a meatpacking district now, of course, than a burgeoning zone for haute restaurants and galleries.

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