Loud and Proud | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader

Loud and Proud 

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University of Illinois art professor Susan Sensemann answered her cell phone in the lingerie department at Marshall Field's, where she was getting outfitted for this weekend's opening of Fabulous!, an exhibit she curated at the Riverside Arts Center. ("Just between us," she confided, "backless.") Sensemann says "Fabulous!" had its origins in a qualm artist David Lozano expressed about his own embellished paintings. "Lozano's work comes out of a queer aesthetic but is steeped in abstract expressionism--like Tina Turner meets Clifford Still, or Barnett Newman done in sequins," she says. "He was feeling guilty about doing work that's 'fabulous,' and I said, 'That's going to be the title of my next show.'" Sensemann doesn't think the word, with its roots in "fable," should get a bad rap. In this exhibit she's put together pieces she finds both "aggressively beautiful" and intellectually complex. They include Leslie Wolfe's manipulated evening bags, Patty Carroll's photographs of Las Vegas, and an abstract installation of glass beads by Bonnie Ward Klehr that required poking thousands of pins into the gallery wall. There's also work by Phyllis Bramson, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Melissa Scherrer, and, of course, Lozano. The exhibit opens on Friday, March 19, with a "faux black-tie and rhinestone" reception from 6 to 9, and runs through April 17 at the center, 32 E. Quincy in Riverside. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday and Saturday from 11 to 5 and Thursday and Friday from 11 to 7. It's free; call 708-442-6400.

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