A Midsummer Group Show Dream / Hyperallergic

J.P. Rodman, “clownshoesbros” (2013), enamel on steel and forged steel (all photographs by the author for Hyperallergic)

J.P. Rodman, “clownshoesbros” (2013), enamel on steel and forged steel (all photographs by the author for Hyperallergic)

CHICAGO — As we settle into midway-through-summer mode here in the city that does sleep sometimes, we spend more time hanging at the beach, BBQing with friends and generally chillaxing. With this slowing down of general movement comes the proliferation of — wait for it! — the summer group show. Hate on them if you want, but I’ll be the first to admit that they’re a great way for the art world to take a mini-vacay while still hanging out.Whisper Down the Lane at University of Illinois at Chicago’s Gallery 400 is one of those summer group shows. It’s like rolling up to the beach and being greeted by 29 artists, all of whom are wearing their most stylish bathing suits and designer sunglasses.

For the exhibition’s premise, Gallery 400 Director Lorelei Stewart started by asking five artists — Dana DeGiulio, David Leggett, Christopher Meerdo, Cauleen Smith and Stephanie Syjuco — to each pick an artist, who would in turn pick another and so on until the game of “artist telephone” subsided, and the network came full circle. The work in this show runs the gamut, from Leggett’s ascerbic commentary on race in the art world and pop culture to Dana DeGiulio’s chunky abstract paintings that at times look like bodily incisions and Brad Hayes’ lo-fi street photographs that bounce off of Cayetano Ferrer’s catalogue of purposefully cheap reproductivity.

Read the full story on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/76486/whisper-in-my-ear-tell-me-summers-always-here/