Saturday, April 26, 2008

NEXT Art Fair

Update: For links to photo sets and commentary on Artropolis and NEXT, go HERE

If you live in Chicago and have Sunday or Monday free, I highly recommend visiting the Merchandise Mart to see the NEXT Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art. [Link]. It's an opportunity to view some of the most exciting new visual art in the world, and to do so up close and personal. The photo is of Paul Villinski's Lumen, one of his series of exquisite, fragile sculptures of butterflies. A similar work is at NEXT, and I was able to get within inches of it to see how it was made, and how the artist affixed the tiny sculptures to the wall. Amazingly, they are made from discarded beer cans. Paul Villinski's website: [Link]

NEXT shares the Mart with some other exhibitions, including Art Chicago, the International Antiques Fair, and Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art. Intuit is small, but I enjoyed it as well. Art Chicago was disappointing, with overstuffed floor space, and a shopping mall feel about the art. There were a few really nice pre-war Chicago paintings here and there, but if it's a decade before I see another Ed Paschke, it will be too soon. Oh, and the cafes and bars at NEXT are better than at Art Chicago, too. My favorite was the Old Country Bar, which appears to be the actual interior of a real country-western honky tonk. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, but will post photos if I find them out there on the internets.

Have a great weekend!

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