A self-described archeologist of the contents of ladies’ handbags since he was a child, Francois Robert has his subjects empty their purses, arranges what pours out in designs worthy of a food photographer and then shoots his compositions, including his subjects’ hands, in color. The wild yet always themed diversity of things that women carry with them shows that there is no general answer to the question of what they want. One bag coughed up a plethora of fresh food, another a mountain of bead necklaces, a third a ream of sales slips and a fourth two bristling key chains worthy of a janitor, along with the usual suspects like drivers’ licenses and insurance cards. Robert also found more motley collections, but they also evinced unities of temperament and lifestyle. Vive la différance! (Michael Weinstein)
Through August 28 at Carl Hammer Gallery, 740 N. Wells. (312)266-8512.