Simplicity is refreshing. Grouping a screen-printed image with a straightforward sentiment can oftentimes produce more of a stomach punch of emotion to a viewer than something overly constructed and vague. The Academy Records exhibit demonstrates the varying relationships between visuals and context. The intent of the project, co-operated by Steve Lacy and a revolving group of contributors, is to use graphics and text to personalize otherwise historically mundane subjects. The work in this particular exhibit is set up in a screen print poster fashion with a simple image of a cartoon character or graphic, matched with a quote such as “and reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot … it could only be worse in Milwaukee.” (Ain’t it the truth.) The Chicago-based art collective operates with a toolbox of music culture, drawing, typography and phrases to expand the normal setting of an art experience. Viewers of an Academy Records showing often take with them souvenirs such as recordings made on the spot by collaborators. By specifically creating accessible art, the artists insure that there will be something for everyone, provided they come willing to receive. (Kelly McClure)
Through Feb 16 at Linda Warren Gallery, 1052 W. Fulton Market.