Burnaway > Art Review > Peeking into Desolation Row: Good Weather in Chicago

Peeking into Desolation Row: Good Weather in Chicago

Installation view of Desolation Row at Midland Warehouse, Chicago, presented by Good Weather, North Little Rock. Works by Ron Ewert and Amy Garofano (left to right). All images courtesy Good Weather, North Little Rock.

Since pulling out of its suburban North Little Rock garage in 2017, Good Weather has taken the show on the road. One of the most recent off-site iterations operating alongside the fixed gallery space is the exhibition Desolation Row, presented by Good Weather in a post-industrial warehouse in Chicago’s Douglas Park through November 10. The exhibition stretches between two abandoned offices, serving as a reminder of the absence within this derelict monument of twentieth-century industry. The exhibition takes great pains to salute the ghosts of the workplace past. The readymade pockmarked walls are an active backdrop, accentuated by a mahogany trim molding that runs like a timeline throughout the space. The works are subtle, lean gestures that mine the memories of this site.

Installation view of a sculpture by Inga Danysz in Desolation Row.

Protruding from the wall, Inga Danysz’s glass sculptures recall the old idiom of being chained to our desks. The translucent links mimic their wrought-iron counterparts, suggesting a connection to the past and imposed labor dynamics. Restraints that are normally weighty and restrictive now dangle helplessly, broken links plunked down on the carpet. Matt Siegle’s TOUCHE’ / Chicago, IL (2019) feels like a postcard tucked onto your windshield. The modest language and clip art image of a bull’s head say so little while also saying everything necessary. Looking more closely, you’ll see the image has been formed by sweeping compound—a material made of dried wood shavings used in janitorial contexts to absorb oil or wax. Ron Ewert’s black and white paintings cover up windows and seal doors. They are large, tirelessly scribbly, and possess no sharp points, ungraspable. Like a dreamer in too-long meeting, they live to fill an emptiness. Resembling Wile E. Coyote tunnels, Amy Garofano’s upholstered black velvet gates dazzle and complicate the room. A slight chromatic difference changes everything. From across the room, the doors appear open and endless. Only when you tilt your head to see the details do you realize the road doesn’t lead anywhere, just further into the precarity of late capitalism.  

Matt Siegle, TOUCHE’ / Chicago, IL, 2019; oil, acrylic, and sweeping compound on canvas.
Matt Siegle, TOUCHE’ / Chicago, IL, 2019; oil, acrylic, and sweeping compound on canvas.
Detail of a work by Amy Garofano in Desolation Row.
Installation view of Desolation Row at Midland Warehouse, Chicago, presented by Good Weather, North Little Rock.

Presented by Good Weather, Desolation Row is on view at Midland Warehouse in Chicago through November 10. Walking the Cow, a group exhibition presented by Good Weather at Green Gallery West in Milwaukee, is on view through December 10.

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