It Looks Easy

Curated by Phyllis Bramson, Julia Fish, and Susan Sensemann

It Looks Easy, curated by Phyllis Bramson, Julia Fish and Susan Sensemann, considered the space and place of end-of-the-millennium painting, recognizing its continually unfolding aspects. The exhibition demonstrated that as much as painting as a practice is unresolved, it continues to complicate itself, remaining playfully defiant of its oft-proclaimed death. The diverse painting practices in this show reflected the spirit, recent shifts, innovations, improvisations and function of recent painting in Chicago.

Among the pieces in the show was Air-built, a graceful, calligraphic abstraction by Susanne Doremus, which kept company with Shona McDonald's methodical patterned painting, 180 Envelope Innards, constructed of thin strips cut from the insides of envelopes. A disturbing structure of cartoon faces in Mark Otten's Pickle Tickled found its alter ego in a pretty pattern of pastel dots sweeping across Michelle Grabner's Rainbow. Walter Anderson's deceptively simple text painting, It Looks Easy, lent the exhibition its title.