Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune, September 12, 2008
Kathleen Waterloo paints abstractions in encaustic, an old and sensuous medium. Her colors shimmer up through layers of wax to cause instantaneous seduction. But these days triggering that kind of response is not enough for artists who seek to deepen their discourse through work based as much in ideas as craft.
Waterloo's paintings at the Melanee Cooper Gallery move in that direction. Trained as an architect, the artist here responds to buildings, imaginary (by Giovanni Batista Piranesi) and actual (by Gordon Matta Clark, Jeanne Gang, Frank Gehry). She also pays homage to artists such as Agnes Martin and Robert Mangold, whose work has strong architectonic qualities.
In her large paintings, Waterloo's familiar vocabulary of stripes, bars, commas and hooks is pretty much undisturbed and her architectural references are embedded within them. But a series of smaller pieces bring architecture to the fore, as shapes of the incisions Matta-Clark made in derelict buildings become primary motifs that Waterloo has superimposed on blueprints. These rely less on color and the seductions of surface, looking more improvisatory, experimental.
At Melanee Cooper Gallery, 740 N. Franklin St., through Oct. 31; artist's talk 5 p.m. Oct. 24. 312.202.9305;www.melaneecoopergallery.com
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