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“Slow Read”
Columbia College, Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
by Robin Dluzen

"Slow Read," 2013, installation view. Photo: Clare Britt

Continuing through November 2, 2013

Curator Justin Witte’s premise for “Slow Read” is simple, but undeniably appealing: five painters selected books to accompany their bodies of work, providing unusually specific conceptual contexts for viewing abstract paintings. Available for viewers to peruse, the physical libraries and statements by the artists about the books’ significance to their individual practices are displayed upon shelves along the walls, putting the literature on almost equal footing with the artworks.

The function of commingling the books and the art is more evident in some artists’ works than others. After encountering seven volumes of the "Diary of Anaïs Nin," the “hat and ears” shape repeated in the paintings of Magalie Guerin becomes reminiscent of a narrative with a recurring, evolving protagonist. The linear character of Nazafarin Lotfi’s ballpoint pen crosshatching becomes a clear parallel to the written word, though in true artist form she chose to exhibit colleagues’ artist books in her library, reinforcing that her vocabulary is overall still a visual one.

Columbia College Chicago

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