Vera Klement | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Vera Klement 

The huge vase in Vera Klement's Chthonic Urn, one of her large works at Maya Polsky, is roughly painted, covered with smears and drips that give it an almost volcanic presence, as if it were still in the process of being formed. It floats isolated on a completely white field, invoking the whole history of pots rather than being just a particular vessel in a particular place. On a vertical panel to its right are five abstract landscapes; in her statement Klement writes that "the parts remain separate to...leave their meaning and their formal elements unresolved," but the landscapes connect the pot to the outdoors and to the lives of the earliest peoples who made and used such things. The vessel in Trace of Day #2, also juxtaposed with a strip of landscapes, is a pyramid missing its top, with rough detailing and spots of paint on the white background that magnify its impact. Here too Klement is painting the essence of myth, the idea of containment as it extends across cultures and time. Maya Polsky, 215 W. Superior, through April 25. Hours are 11 to 5 Tuesday through Friday, and 10:30 to 5 Saturday; 312-440-0055.

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