Season’s start brings new exhibits
by Philip Kotulski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Today is the official start of the new gallery season, and almost every gallery in Chicago is opening new exhibitions at the same time on the same night. From River North to Michigan Avenue to Wicker Park, the art scene is in a state of supercharged hyperactivity as each gallery prepares for its big event.
Each gallery will showcase the work of the best artists on their roster, and the hot new talent will be presented alongside the more established and sought-after artists.
With so much happening in one night the choices of what to see is endless, however one show that is not to be, missed is the exhibition of new work by Howard Hersh opening tonight from 5 to 8 p.m., at Gwenda Jay Gallery, This will be Hersh’s fifth solo show in Chicago.
Hersh, a resident of Pojoaque, NM, is mostly self-taught, but any hint of naiveté has long since disappeared from his art. While his paintings address metaphysical themes, they are grounded in the observation of nature, existing in the space between abstraction and representation and the real and the unreal.,
His work explores the dichotomy between the landscape he sees outside his door and the memory of the lush vegetation in the forest around his boyhood home.
A fine example of the melding of the self with the landscape is his recent painting Heaven and Earth. In this work, Hersh completely dissects the visual elements of the forest and the desert. He then assembles them into a montage of leaves, stems, bark, stone, sand, and air that not only recalls the character of these two disparate climates, but invokes the ethereal spirit that is inherent in both. A serenity in balance is achieved within this combination of opposites.