Martina Nehrling | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Martina Nehrling 

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The Hyde Park Art Center's regular program of exhibits in the lobby of the Cook County Administration Building was interrupted for three months following the tragic fire; it resumes with three colorful abstract paintings by Martina Nehrling that are so winningly cheerful they almost seem surreal in this sterile institutional space. Despite / Because consists mostly of solid, vertical brushstrokes against a yellow and gray background; some are crowded together, a few outline empty centers, as if the painter forgot to fill them in. In her statement Nehrling cites "the order and disorder of daily life" as an inspiration, but there's also something humorous about the bright colors and irregular arrangements. The marks in Wigs & Plus are horizontal and vary in length and angle. Again, some are crammed together; some are long and bold. The sure strokes suggest pride; the messiness evokes human imperfection. Cook County Administration Building, 69 W. Washington, atrium, through April 17. Hours are 8 to 6 Monday through Friday and 8 to 1 Saturday; 773-324-5520.

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