Wednesday, September 17

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« The Bridge Comes to Bridgeport I Grew Up in a Big Ol' Gay Disco: an Interview with Oli Rodriguez »

Art Sat Jun 07 2014

A Painter's Voice: Portals, Passages and Vessels at Linda Warren Projects

2.HikerAtNight2014siz-web-218x300.jpgPainters and paintings: this is a special relationship because there are so few relationships we get ourselves into where we cannot hide one little aspect of ourselves. Paint sits on the canvas looking back at us, as painters, mocking our attempt to run from the ugliness, shame and overall lack we carry with us day in and day out. That mocking sits in the studio for years, staring back at us telling us, in full color, what steps need to be taken and what changes need to be made. This is a conversation being had directly with us in full Dolby surround sound, around the clock, and it is still the hardest work as a painter to hear it, follow it and trust it.

If you are not a painter, this might be difficult to understand, but know that when a painter puts a mark on a page it says something. No matter how controlled or meticulously the painter works to hide their hand, there is always something there screaming back at us that we didn't intend. That's a message directly from a part of us that we do not have deliberate conscious access to. As painters we look to describe our work, in writing, to others, but because we don't have direct access to that information the paintings are telling us we go straight to what we, as painters, think we are offering the world.

web-SunStructure-36x24.jpgI, as a lover of painting, want to see the artist's work beyond what they believe they are offering to others. I want to see the artist's conversation with their work because it is always so much more interesting than what we are told the intent is.

Okay, so that was the prerequisite.

William Eckhardt Kohler is a painter; there is no way around that. On Monday he is a painter, on Tuesday he is a painter, when he eats he is a painter -- it's astounding how much he carries that with him. Full disclosure, I have known Willie for 20 years. Over that time I have seen his work change, but more importantly I have seen him change.

His current show at Linda Warren Projects, Portals, Passages and Vessels, is a very difficult show to talk about, because it is not simply something you walk into and leave saying something that makes no sense to anyone outside the art community. This show is a total experience. At times it feels like a playground and you can't help but smile, sometimes its traffic, sometime you feel alone but surrounded. As an experience this show is a must see.

Are all the paintings hands down amazing? No. Is there one piece that everyone should see because it is going to change the art world forever? I don't see it. But what is here is a conversation between an artist and his work. And that conversation is being driven by the artist looking inward at his relationship to the world. This show doesn't only show us pretty pictures, which it does, or tell us stories, which it also does. It builds a world around us. And whether we like it or not, William Eckhardt Kohler is not painting for us, and because of that we get a much wider experience with more depth and discovery than we would have otherwise.

Thumbnail image for web-FuturePast2013-48x52.jpg


MartinJon Garcia / June 7, 2014 1:13 PM

Artist talk today 6/7/14 at 3:pm at Linda Warren Projects.

Add a Comment

Please enter the letter o in the field below:

Live Comment Preview

Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Theater Wed Aug 13 2014

An Epic, Tragic Win: All Our Tragic

By Benjamin Cannon & Mike Ewing

What then is to be made of the Hypocrites' new stage production, All Our Tragic? This massive opus, comprising all 32 surviving Greek tragedy plays re-written and directed by Sean Graney, lasts a staggering 12 hours, including intermissions and meal breaks. Ben and Mike go the distance.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Sep 12 2014

The Drop, Dolphin Tale 2, The Skeleton Twins, Finding Fela, Code Black & Gringo Trails

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery



Wed Sep 17 2014
Diplomats of Drum, Hawaiian Music Masters @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Wed Sep 17 2014
Fifth Star Awards @ Millennium Park

Wed Sep 17 2014
Luftwerk @ Chicago's Couch Place alley

Fri Sep 19 2014
Black Lips & King Khan @ Logan Square Auditorium

Fri Sep 19 2014
Last Days of Danger Release Party @ Challengers

Fri Sep 19 2014
Funny Ha-Ha @ Hideout

Fri Sep 19 2014
Expo Chicago

Sat Sep 20 2014
BoyGirlBoyGirl: The Bible @ Stage 773

Sat Sep 20 2014
Marlene Dietrich's Morocco @ Music Box

Sat Sep 20 2014
Expo Chicago

Sun Sep 21 2014
Expo Chicago

Tue Sep 23 2014
Sean Graney on All Our Tragic @ The Arts Club

Tue Sep 23 2014
White Mystery @ MCA

Tue Sep 23 2014
David Bowie Is @ MCA

A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: LaShawn Williams,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15


Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!


Preferred format    Preferred format