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In the Galleries - A modest occupation CLOSES April 12 at the Luminary 


This exhibit of editioned art objects was organized in partnership with the Chicago art space threewalls and curated by that nonprofit's program director, Abigail Satinsky. As part of the Luminary's season-long series "How to Build a World That Won't Fall Apart" — which investigates the role and nature of alternative art organizations — this exhibit takes up the issue of art's (un)affordability. Displaying on austere white tables items from various subscription services — wherein contemporary artists design items that are created as multiples and distributed at lower-than-typical-gallery prices to whoever elects to subscribe — the show surveys a gamut of approaches to the format. Allison Smith creates a printed linen tapestry and embroidery kit; Conrad Bakker makes a faux potato out of carved wood and oil paint; Allora and Calzadilla design a blank book titled Problems and Promises, attached to which is a white tennis shoe; Starlee Kine designs a cutting board on which only onions are to be sliced (title: Crying Instructions). Authorship for each piece is as much the purview of each artist as it is the subscription service that produced it, which include, among many other small national organizations, the Thing Quarterly, Alula Editions, Art Practical and Community Supported Art Chicago. One of the show's highlights is the small green catalogue that accompanies it, which articulates through a collection of essays the heart of the problem: money — how to get it, how to keep it and how much of it is necessary. Translation: If you harbor romantic illusions about art's higher purpose, shed them now. It is indeed just another business, trying to stay afloat in inequitable times. Through April 12 at the Luminary Center for the Arts (Temporary Gallery), 2644 Cherokee Street; 314-807-5984 or Hours: noon-6 p.m. Wed.-Sat.

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