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Exhibitions of mixed-media works on view at I space in Chicago

Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Myths, metaphors and invented narratives abound in the mixed-media works of Claire Wolf Krantz and Les Christensen, on view Sept. 6 through Oct. 12 in two new exhibitions at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"Claire Wolf Krantz: Java, in Time and Memory," a large, five-panel canvas is representative of the Chicago artist’s penchant for blurring the lines between reality and fiction by combining digital photography and painting. Krantz, an Illinois alumna who also is a writer and curator, is known for using her travels as a jumping-off point for her highly narrative works that mix past and present to create her visual fantasy-scapes. Krantz’ work on view at I space was inspired by three trips to Java – including a 1 1/2-year year residency there. In text that accompanies the exhibition, Franz Schulze writes, "She effectively leads the viewer on a walking tour through the centuries, as historic landmarks and scenes of contemporary countryside, towns and people, conveyed through her own photographs, are disposed against loosely painted passages depicting sky, mountains, rivers and fields."

"Les Christensen: Sculpture" features mixed-media works by the artist, who is based in Jonesboro, Ark. The works combine mundane, everyday objects such as spoons, coffee-cup handles, mirrors and glass to create artworks that explore cultural icons, rituals and myths. The exhibition includes "World View," a massive map of the world pieced together from broken mirror fragments, and "Flight From Servitude," a pair of wings fashioned from spoons of various designs.

An opening reception is set for 5-7 p.m. Sept. 13 at the gallery, 230 S. Superior St., Chicago.

I space gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.