The wonderful thing about this exhibition is the variety of genres that each of these middle-aged women have entered throughout the decades of their lives as artists—a luxury available only in art careers that never felt the financial pressure to stick to a successful format. And there’s also that wonderful difference between artists trained in St. Petersburg, Russia and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Like the ancient Romans, twentieth-century Soviet sculpture was mostly about depicting strength and importance in portraits of old men, and Kovalevskaya has mastered this demanding art. Soviet sculpture also followed the cool, simple classicism exemplified by Maillol, and she is good doing that in clay and stone, as well as practicing a looser, colorful, geometric kind of folk ceramic art. Brody’s American training focused on a more personal, self-expressive style, with dreamlike silk-screens and abstractions from the seventies leading up to figurative sculpture reliefs and her current photographic documentation of a quiet, meditative life overlooking the changing moods of Lake Michigan. Here are two Chicago women with two very different lives, but both with a sense of beauty that is not specific to any time or place. (Chris Miller)
Through November 18 at Palette and Chisel, 1012 N. Dearborn.