I took a break from drawing flying houses and heads of dogs to see one of 2 great art shows opening tonight in Illinois. I'll talk about the one I didn't get to go to first; American Cosmos- Jeff Tady has his first public showing of his collage series opening tonight at St. Ambrose University in Davenport Iowa (Okay, its across the river from Illinois). He will have 10 collages on display along with 20 automatic drawings he's been posting on his drawing blog. I really wish I could have been at this show tonight. Jeff is not only a dear friend, he is one of the true art heroes I've met in this lifetime. His versatility in image making , whether it be in painting, drawing, or collage is truly stunning. These collages are prosaic, funny, and profound. Keep checking his blog as he has made archival print copies of the 10 works which he promises he will have up for sale soon.
The show I did go see earlier this evening was at Tony Fitzpatrick's studio , Big Cat Press, in honor of the late artist Steve Griff. The show was an exhibition of Griff's graphite drawings from the last year of his life and they are truly fantastic. Intense, well rendered and energetic drawings that make me wish I had met the man behind them.
The show was rounded out with excellent work from Julie Murphy and Dmitry Samarov. Julie had some really nice work on display, including these insane little drawings on Manila Folders which looked like some sort of lost archival system tracking the development of mythological monsters with mirth and ball point pen. Great stuff. I met Julie during the book-signing for Beasts!, the collection of creatures edited by Jacob Covey of which we both contributed to. Julie promises to contribute a print to the exhibition of the same name that Jacob is putting together in honor of the 2nd Beasts! volume being published, so I look forward to seeing what she makes for that.
Dmitry Samarov's work is ubiquitous in Chicago- He has shown his paintings at the Rainbo Club, the Artist Project, and in many other numerous settings; His paintings are beautiful and improvisational. His site is a must-read; not only for the great artwork ( I'm a big fan of his ink drawings- kind of an ashcan Pettibone) but the fantastic ramblings. It was a pleasure to meet Dmitry this evening, while corraling Ella, my 3 year old, away from the heaping pile of Oreo cookies on the table.
Thanks again to Tony Fitzpatrick for opening up his studio as an "Artist Incubator", as he put it, Chicago needs more of this- artists putting on their own shows.