Perle Fine & Lisa Nankivil

Perle Fine, In High Spirits (aka in August), c. 1949, watercolor on paper, 17 x
Perle Fine, In High Spirits (aka in August), c. 1949, watercolor on paper, 17 x 14 inches (courtesy of Thomas McCormick Gallery)

Chris Miller reviews two concurrent shows at Thomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago: Perle Fine: Wide to the Wind and Lisa Nankivil: Metes and Bounds (both on view through June 14).

Miller writes that Fine "was influenced by one artist after another, picking up whatever innovation fascinated her, from geo-form to bio-form, from tight to loose, from simple to complex, from whimsical to angry. She seems to have had a modest, if iron-willed, personality, that was far more interested in the potential of painting than she was in herself. This exhibition is limited to works on paper, from 1942 to 1959, beginning with a very economical Bauhaus linear design and eventually arriving at the post-climactic exhaustion of abstract expression... Like some pioneering artists of the 1950s, [Nankivil] has chosen to confine that expression within a field of painted lines, all of them straight, all of them parallel. But there’s no feeling of either Modernist perfection or post-Modernist tedium. With a mastery of paint and color, she has discovered a world of endless personal feeling between the lines."