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Art & Art History

Unknown Chicago Painters: An Eclectic Selection of Emergent Work

Wednesday, September 25, 1985–Saturday, October 19, 1985
Gallery 400
400 South Peoria Street, Chicago, IL 60607

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Raul Cristancho, Mitchell Kane, Elizabeth Riggle, Susan Wexler, and Kevin Wolff

Gallery 400 highlights young talent in the exhibition Unknown Chicago Painters: An Eclectic Selection of Emergent Work, which features the artists Raul Cristancho, Mitchell Kane, Elizabeth Riggle, Susan Wexler and Kevin Wolff. The exhibition was guest curated by UlC alumnus Randy Alexander (Director of Performance at Randolph Street Gallery), and it presented a sampling of promising Chicago painters, who at the time were relatively unknown to galleries, collectors and the general public. Stylistically, the work varied greatly; as a group, these artists showed the technical facility and clearly defined intellectual concerns which mark artistic maturity.

Kevin Wolff’s large nudes are icons of sexual and political power, sarcasm and paranoia. In multi-panel paintings incorporating two and three-dimensional elements, Mitchell Kane addresses social and formal boundaries and the mechanisms for their protection and violation. Raul Cristancho ’s works invoke primeval signs and symbols, which relate man to nature. Elizabeth Riggle, exploring the nature of painting, employs light and dark as narrative elements in abstract compositions. Susan Wexler’s large airy canvases combine complexly layered images of figures, landscapes and maps seen from multiple viewpoints.

Randy Alexander also presented a lecture accompanying the exhibition.

Guest curator and UIC alumnus, Randy Alexander was previously the General Manager of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and has been the Performance Director at Randolph Street Gallery since 1984. He has lectured on performance art at various universities and colleges, and in 1985 served as production consultant for Evanston Cable Television’s ‘Performance Art in Chicago.’ In the fall, he will become Co-Director of Betsy Rosenfield Gallery. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of New Music Chicago. Alexander studied media communications at Columbia College, received a BA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and studied critical art theory at Northwestern University.