In the dialogue of Francine Turk, the observer finds secret traces of the romantic tradition existing alongside modernity. “Body Language,” currently at Chicago Art Source, abounds with both wit and passion. “My works are emotional portraits. I don’t always draw from my own experiences,” the artist says. “My latest series of works are direct responses to a desire to draw a relationship between mark-making, the figure, and language.”
The exhibition is dominated by nudes, primarily mixed media on paper, and charcoal, which the artist has been using comfortably for some time. “I can get caught up in the process of making, and end up killing the thing. I am not great at expressing lots of self control when it comes to that; the more linear figure drawings in the show are harder for me in that sense,” she shares. Then there’s her subjective journey into things French. “My impulse to fly to Paris and rub the graves at Pere LaChaise Cemetery was one I cannot fully explain; it was a gut impulse that I followed through with.”
These gravestone rubbings have rough edges, names painted in gold, black enamel with undecipherable French writing, and blue-black shading to provide texture. Most notable is “Proust.” Other francophile tendencies manifest as a stroll down Avenue Montaigne and playful titles like “Ce nest Pas une Femme.”
Viewers relate to Turk’s work, she says, because “they see a connection between something they have felt. I believe that we are operating out of a state of healing, working towards becoming a better, more whole person,” she concludes. (Jeffery McNary)
Through October 30 at Chicago Art Source, 1871 N. Clybourn.