Yes, You're in Heaven: Spotlights young, ascending Chicago artists

May 19, 2014 / by Noah Berlatsky / Chicago Reader

The Gold Coast pop-up exhibition engages both a viewer's eyes and his sense of humor.

"Yes, You're in Heaven" as a name for a gallery show seems to demand to be taken ironically, as a cynical art-world sneer at the declasse smiling herd. No doubt there is a touch of the tongue-in-cheek here, but overall the title is fairly accurate for a show that has exuberance to spare. The work in this Gold Coast pop-up gallery exhibition of emerging Chicago artists, some of them recent School of the Art Institute grads, has an air of bursting forth, an eagerness to engage both a viewer's eyes and his sense of humor. In a delightful Koonsian trick, Jason Guo's An Elementary Meal appears to be a loaf of bread next to a glass of milk until you realize they're made out of aluminum. The untitled sculpture from Lesley Jackson has a similar, though more elliptical, sense of whimsy—the metal pole with a couple of curvy, indeterminate objects stuck to it is cheerfully parodic, an ostentatious tchotchke that appears content with its own uselessness. Margaret Bobo-Dancy's sculpture Transverberate presents a bronze hand emerging from a conch shell, the suggestively posed middle and index fingers dripping a golden goo. Mika Horibuchi's untitled painting, a cutout of a plant sitting on a marble shelf, is itself perched on a marble shelf—a conceit that makes you wonder for a second if you're in a painting, or perhaps you're the missing plant. This bubbly, approachable show may not quite be heaven, but it's joyful nonetheless.