CHICAGO—Read about Bergman’s “wonderfully assertive” exhibition.
Wo-manspreading at Corbett vs. Dempsey
By: KT Hawbaker
In a 2016 interview with “Inside\Within,” Chicago artist Margot Bergman said that she returned from working with found paintings to canvases exclusively of her own for two reasons. “One, I was missing painting, very much,” she says. “The other reason was I wanted to go large. I wanted to decide how large the pieces were. I also wanted to decide how much expression I could bring of myself, and not accommodate the collaborative work, while still retaining what the collaborative work taught me.”
Bergman is currently exhibiting a range of these canvasses at Corbett vs. Dempsey, in a show entitled “Thank you for having me.” It’s a cordial title for work that is so wonderfully assertive. One quality of Bergman’s paintings — the expansion of form and subject that her new work allows — feels like a reclamation of space in the art world, especially because most of her subjects are women. She began painting these figures in the early 1990s, conjuring what other visual artists have since then called “the female gaze” — in short, female subjectivity created by female objectivity. The paintings in this show are vibrant representations of this dynamic and often draw the focus squarely into the subject’s disproportionate eyes.
“At times, the works are more minimal, only a few lines articulating the outline of a head,” read the show’s curatorial notes, “mostly, they are dense and multiform, with highly variable marks from tightly rendered to slashing to washes.” Through April 21, Corbett vs. Dempsey, 1120 N. Ashland Av.
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