New American Paintings/Blog


Museum Admission: José Lerma at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago by New American Paintings

Engaging all the melodrama and frivolity of commemorative portraiture, José Lerma’s most recent exhibition, currently on view at the MCA Chicago, challenges the long-since relevant historical relationship between social status and painting. Fitting the museum with a number of works ranging from painting, sculpture, and installation, Lerma combines the pomp and splendor of honorary gestures with the sharp and undercutting wit of his overly embellished, and stylized method. Beginning in the entrance, on either side of the main lobby, monumental-scaled paper portraits hint at parade floats – the two pieces entitled Marjorie Looks at Marianne and Marianne Looks at Marjorie, refer to the patrons each lounge was named after, though it would take a certain degree of rationalization to come upon those resemblances. The large inflatable masses of color have the effect of being weightless and full of air, though they lack a celebratory attitude. Made out of photographers’ backdrops, the theatrical material quality of the busts suggests a projected read over a definitive statement. Likewise, the faces are featureless and empty, and the smooth contours of the hollow paper shell are foregrounded as equally as the figures they suppose to represent – a sculpture bound to face itself indefinitely in a farcical tête-à-tête. – Stephanie Cristello, Chicago Contributor

Lerma-1
Installation view, BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: José Lerma, MCA Chicago, July 2 – December 3, 2013. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Continue reading



Chicago Works: Scott Reeder at the MCA Chicago by New American Paintings

It is difficult to think about Scott Reeder’s work without the word “funny” coming to mind. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago recently opened up with the Milwaukee-native’s first museum show that features his colorful, faux-naïve paintings of smoking fruit, symmetrical pirates, protesting pandas, and humorous still-lives: the usual suspects in Reeder’s art historical and pun-based visual jokes. The exhibition also includes Reeder’s newer untitled spaghetti paintings, made using raw and cooked noodles and spray-paint. Upon entering the MCA, visitors are confronted with a massive, two-story, raw spaghetti painting; commissioned specifically for the show. – Josh Reames, Chicago Contributor


Scott Reeder | Installation view of “Untitled,” 2011, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 180” x 300”

(detail) of “Untitled”

More pictures after the jump! Continue reading




%d bloggers like this: