Where to go to see paintings of male nudes and clouds? | Art Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Where to go to see paintings of male nudes and clouds? 

Jen Heaslip's solo show at Bert Green Fine Art

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click to enlarge "Two Days," Jen Heaslip
  • "Two Days," Jen Heaslip

Jen Heaslip's fourth solo show at Bert Green Fine Art features the male nudes that've long been her concern. She doesn't provide an artist's statement, which adds an element of mystery to the work; according to the gallery, the paintings are meant "entirely as a visual experience with no mediation, no explanation, no guides." The figures are represented in drab colors—near-silhouettes against a dusky background. Their faces aren't always visible, but when they are, the men are impassive or forlorn. In Two Day, the canvas is shocked by the addition of a gold crown, but the painting remains ambiguous, with its subject's back to the viewer. Heaslip also paints clouds, which vacillate between realist and abstract—some share the same glum palette as her male nudes, but others are brighter, and maybe tenously hopeful. Her cloud paintings Nine, Ten, and Eleven, for instance, look like portraits of an overcast dawn.

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