Western Exhibitions | Art Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Western Exhibitions 

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Ready, Able by Allison Schulnik

Ready, Able by Allison Schulnik

In her 2002 video I Spill My Guts Every Day for Nothing, Kirsten Stoltmann slices open her prosthetic abdomen and animal guts splatter across the floor. The innards evoke the offal-wallowing of Carolee Schneemann or the Viennese Actionists, while a reaction shot of Stoltmann's horrified face has all the comforting familiarity of a slasher movie. Stoltmann's combination of morbidity and exuberance, snark and vulnerability, bluntness and delicacy, characterizes lots of the wonderful work produced by emerging American artists over the last decade: a celebration of postmodernism without the air-quotes ambivalence. Two exhibits set to run in tandem at Western Exhibitions showcase some of that work. Scott Wolniak has curated "Suitable Video," a collection of videos (including Stoltmann's) by artists who exhibited at Suitable, Wolniak's renowned gallery-in-a-two-car-garage, between 1999 and 2004. And Ryan Christian's "The Power of Selection" covers the last half of the aughts with works that express high craft and juvenile energy, including an intimidating robotlike wooden construction by the reliably remarkable Mike Rea, a seven-foot drawing of iconic 1970s album covers by Eric Yahnker, and a video by prolific blossoming art star Allison Schulnik, best known for the clay animation she's done for the band Grizzly Bear.

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September 24
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