Monday, January 12, 2009

Latest and Greatest Art Shows of the Week: January 12-18

Robert Davis and Michael Langlois' collaborative show, "House of the Rising Sun," opened this weekend at the Chicago Cultural Center. Pop culture references abound, from portraits of the artists' fathers, circa 1970s, to a large blue painting rife with sexual explicit symbols alluding to a present day Tower of Babel. Here we see images such as sumo wrestlers and and naked women tied up in S&M fashion, a warning about the dangers of excess. Like the paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, only here the it's cultural motifs, not abandoned plates of food that depict the embarrassment of riches. The artists suggest that our current danger is an overabundance of misleading messages about sex and play. The exhibition is on show at the Chicago Cultural Center until April 5, 2009.

Another opening from this weekend is "Re: Production" by Christa Donner, at Three Walls gallery. Through video, interview-based zines, and large drawings on paper, Donner nimbly examines the landscape of female fertility and reproductive power in both shocking primitiveness and resounding beauty. Particularly memorable is the painting of bloody children emerging from a woman's womb, and equally compelling, the one showing copulating couples piled on top of each other. Donner proposes the paradoxical burden and freedom women gain via the birthing process. The exhibit runs at Three Walls through February 13, 2009.

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