Visual Art

First Thursday: August

Barcodes and photography decorate the walls of downtown galleries and museums.

By Douglas Bair August 5, 2010

Coincidence of Events photo imagery, oil on wood. © 2010 Sherry Karver will be showing at Lisa Harris Gallery.

Chicago artist Sherry Karver mixes modern and classical technique in her “Urban City” exhibit Synchronicity, on display at Lisa Harris Gallery through August 28. After traveling around New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco, she took black-and-white photos of the everyday—people waiting for a subway, or standing around Grand Central Station—and transposed them onto wood panels, then added a surreal sheen of oil and resin. In some pieces, like Coincidence of Events, she imagines the stories of her nameless subjects—based on their appearances and actions—and superimposes a layer of opaque narrative text. “It makes them stand out from a ‘sea of sameness,’” Karver says. “It creates a public-private dichotomy, giving the viewer an opportunity to ‘experience’ the artwork.”

PREVIEW Starting August 19, Las Vegas-based painter Tim Bavington spices up binary barcodes—those black-and-white nightmares that hold us hostage in the checkout line—in a series of New Paintings at Greg Kucera Gallery. Guitar solos mutate as Bavington takes notes from sheet music to produce a pattern of barcodes—the thicker the line, the longer the note. He splashes on vibrant colors to replace those dull black stripes. The process from strings to canvas? Bavington pairs shades from the 12-hue color wheel with tones from the 12-pitch chromatic scale. Inspired by ancient Greek mathematics and the Italian Renaissance, Bavington uses synthetic polymer on canvas in this upcoming exhibition.

Only one more week to enjoy…

Issac Layman’s photography exhibit 110% at Lawrimore Project. Through Aug 14.

A rare glimpse into the mind of the German American sculptor Kiki Smith, whose creative process is documented in I Myself Have Seen It: Photography and Kiki Smith at Henry Art Gallery. Through Aug 15.

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