Not of Iron | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Not of Iron 

Geoffrey Bates, the curator of this show of five Illinoisans, says their works "shun the glib irony that typifies much recent contemporary art." Most of these intriguing sculptures and installations--from Yvette Kaiser Smith's over-the-top resin sculptures to Michael Ferris Jr.'s geometrically patterned busts--serve as a reminder that a lack of irony doesn't have to mean a lack of humor. Lucy Slivinski's sculptures made of discarded materials are standouts, with a powerful presence but no signature style. Head, a large ball of brush fiber, is at once imposing and a bit goofy. The small and elegant Stack places a clump of grass atop two bricks, making a third "brick" that suggests the split between nature and industry. Yet her large Seed With Hangers doesn't hint at any such rupture: wire clothes hangers are arranged into a giant organic bloom that appears to sprout from a large, dark "seed." Bill Smith's gentle but affecting F System also connects nature with machines: when a visitor approaches the installation a fan starts whirring, causing a tiny maple seed suspended from a wire to turn as if in the wind. Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, second floor, through March 14. Hours are 9 to 5 Monday through Friday; 312-814-5317.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Henchpeople Jarvis Square Theater
July 09
Performing Arts
April 30

Popular Stories