Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz 

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Instead of standard kitschy winter vistas, Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz's 18 snow globes at Rhona Hoffman present scenes fraught with peril. Sometimes the threat comes from winter itself. Snow has nearly buried the house in Traveler 86, and a man reaches out of an attic window to try to retrieve a woman who's fallen out. Traveler 100 shows a woman gingerly stepping from one ice floe to another as icebergs tower above her. But nature isn't the only danger. In Traveler 81 a crook points a gun at a man, who stands with his hands raised. Mass-market snow globes offer the illusion of a tamed nature: one can look at them indoors without feeling the slightest chill. The figures in these wilder wintry scenes are all dressed for summer, and the viewer shivers. Like all snow globes, these strange works are most effective when the snow is falling; ask the gallery staff to turn them over for you. Rhona Hoffman, 118 N. Peoria, through March 7. Hours are 10 to 5:30 Tuesday through Friday and 11 to 5:30 Saturday; 312-455-1990.

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