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Tuesday, December 7

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Art Sat Nov 07 2009

Barbara Crane: Challenging Vision

Age 81 and still taking pictures every day, Barbara Crane's career retrospective, Challenging Vision, at the Chicago Cultural Center (CCC), hardly scratches the surface of her incredible body of work. She has shown in 170 group exhibitions, 75 solo exhibitions, and her work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Crane also taught at the School of the Art Institute for 28 years, making Chicago a central player in her canon of work.

The historical CCC, "The People's Palace," is an excellent home for this show. Nestled among Chicago skyscrapers is the most fulfilling way to view Crane's graphic explorations in her Chicago Loop Series, 1976-78 or her photos of Chicago commuters pummeling the viewer in her Commuter Discourse, 1978. Chicago Beaches and Parks, 1972-78 captures Windy City summers with glossy, bikini-clad bodies that look like stills from a multi-racial version Beach Blanket Bingo.

Crane never stopped exploring images or how to capture them.

The key to viewing this exhibit is time. This is Crane's life's work in which her constant curiosity is deeply evident. Viewers should explore this retrospective the way Crane would--contemplate each photo and allow every to subject reveal its individual narrative.

The show is up until January 10 with gallery talks held November 19th with Crane essayist Abagail Foerstner, December 17th with curator Whitney Bradshaw, and on January 7th with the artist herself.

 
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Kathe Stoepel / November 8, 2009 7:56 AM

I can't wait to see the exhibit. I'll be downtown on Wednesday, I will make sure to visit the Cultural Center.

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Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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