Archive for March, 2008

Howard Fonda: Alla Prima Dualities


Howard Fonda. Untitled. 2007. Oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″.
Photo: Darrell Roberts.

Chicago-based artist Howard Fonda, whose work is collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, is currently exhibiting a thorough body of work from the past 2 years in a solo show, Nothing to Live Up To, at the Hyde Park Art Center until May 4, 2008.
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Book Review: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Map of India
Map of India. Image from Wikimedia.

Jhumpa Lahiri has provided an engaging, beautifully written set of 9 stories focused on characters of South Asian Indian descent, mostly living in the US, but bearing the cultural heritage of India. In the namesake story, the Das family is visiting parents who have returned to India following retirement from the US workforce. As a part of their visit to India, the Das family decides to take a side trip to visit the famous Sun Temple in Eastern India. Mr. Kapasi, the Indian guide driving the family to see the Temple, after listening to the families caustic dialogue in the opening scenes, reflects to himself that “Mr. and Mrs. Das behave like an older brother and sister, not parents” to their three children. For me, the early recognition that Mr. and Mrs. Das are not fully evolved as parents is the major theme of this particular short story, one that sets the reader up to try to understand how this young couple became this way.
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Q&A with Aviva Alter: Fiber Art as Personal Reflection

New Work
New Work. Courtesy of Aviva Alter. Photo: Darrell Roberts.

Aviva Alter, 53 years young, is currently exhibiting in Soft Life at the Hyde Park Art Center. She recently created pieces for the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project, which was on display at the Chicago Cultural Center last fall. Working in the fiber arts steadfastly for the last 3 years, Atler grew up in Waukegan but has lived in Chicago proper for the last 36 years, where she spent many years working with clay. She has upcoming shows featuring her textile art in Los Angeles, London, and New York.
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Green Journal: Green Life Tips

In January, 2008, The Chicago Tribune published an article “50 Simple Tips from a Year of Living the Green Life,” by Karen Klages. Beth Botts, Marjorie David, Elaine Matsushita, Tiffany Meyers, Cindy Dampier and William Hagerman contributed to this story. Here are some highlights from the article and my commentary.

Water-saving Planting

Plant thirstier plants closer to the house. Choose fescues for lawns. Mulch to keep water from evaporating. Use native plants.

My Favorite Peperomia. Photo: Amy Rudberg.

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Michiko Itatani: Lyrical Works on Paper

Michiko Itatani
Work by Michiko Itatani. Permission by Printworks Gallery.
Photo: Darrell Roberts.

Michiko Itatani was born in Japan and came to the United States in 1970 to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is currently a professor of painting and drawing. Itatani (pronounced EE-tah-tah-nee) had aspirations to be a fiction writer, and in her youth studied philosophy and literature. It appears this early interest has fueled her current body of work, with scholarly subject matter. Her works are on display this month at Printworks Gallery in Chicago’s River North gallery district.
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