The Impotent Landscape | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Impotent Landscape 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

The curators of this engaging group show, Duncan MacKenzie and Shannon Stratton, argue that the "transcendent" visions of past landscape artists such as Turner are no longer possible in a world that's been "stripmined, overdeveloped, amusementparked." MacKenzie's miniature sculpture Model for Communal Gathering is a patch of grass jammed with cars and people that has a junkyard-chaos charm. Stratton's more poetic Wish You Were Here--a wall collage of an alpine scene in paper, cellophane, vinyl, and white tape, out of which poke black plastic cutouts of evergreens--makes an almost Japanese use of uncluttered space. At once a study in cheap paper and plastic and an evocation of an impressive natural scene, this work doesn't reach for the sublime, but it does elicit a gently meditative response. Chris Gillespie's Snowmobile and Trees--made of clay, plaster, and modeling compound--consists of seven lumpy white treelike shapes placed on the floor under the gallery's storefront window with a single yellow snowmobile pointed at them. The well-worn floor dominates these suggestive blobs, which seems deliberate: for many people nature has become what we can imagine in the rectangles of our cities. Pond, 1152A N. Milwaukee, through July 6. Hours are noon to 5 Saturday; 773-368-8484.

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  → 


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories