Keiko Hara | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Keiko Hara 

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Keiko Hara was born to Japanese parents in Korea in 1942 but grew up in Japan and moved to the U.S. in 1971. Her 20 abstract paintings, prints, and drawings at Perimeter all have delicate surfaces that are vibrantly suggestive--less systematically than many abstract works, they evoke atmospheres or environments rather than objects, placing them in opposition to America's possessive consumer culture. Several also combine contrasting patterns. Verse Imbuing in Red is a diptych, with the mottled, mostly red surface of the top half suggesting natural surfaces such as bark or lichen and the larger areas of white, yellow, and red of the bottom half resembling an open-air landscape. Verse Imbuing in Yellow is another diptych, 28 feet wide with vertical gray rainlike drips on the right half and variegated yellows and blues on the left that also suggest nature. Occasional geometric shapes and collaged-on items, such as a small piece of netting, punctuate the surface like fragments of human culture set adrift in space. This work, like the large canvases of Barnett Newman, rewards walking back and forth next to it as if it were a forest. Perimeter, 210 W. Superior, through May 30. Hours are 10:30 to 5:30 Tuesday through Saturday; 312-266-9473.

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