Gallery 180 is more like a waiting-room display for the Illinois Institute of Art, a private art school, than a downtown gallery. The actual gallery space is bright and promising from the outside of the building, but one must travel through office desks and down corridors to break out into the room where the paintings hang. In addition to the disappointing vibe of the space half of the paintings of Thomas Masters were unimpressive. The canvas landscapes were dull and his choice of colors—reds and grays—did not add anything lifelike to the paintings. In contrast, Masters’ acrylic on metal pieces are vibrant and “Chocolate City” evoked a dynamic experience of the senses. “The Elders,” also on metal, is a unique piece that requires some thought from the viewer. There is no need to visit this “gallery;” Masters’ art can be viewed at his namesake gallery in Old Town. (Rachel Turney)
Through September 4 at Gallery 180, Illinois Institute of Art, 180 N Wabash, (312) 280-3500.