Chicago Tribune,  review by Louise Burton, Arts + Entertainment sec. 4, pg 6 April 13, 2017


published Feb. 20, 2017 at:


published Feb. 5, 2017 by Amy Haddad at:

Flavorpill CHI | NYC | SF | LA | LONDON                                                                  April 10 - 16, 2007
Cultural Stimuli in CHI
Issue 134: used flavor

Group Show

when: Now through Sat 5.19 (Tue-Sat: 10am-5:30pm)
Zg Gallery (300 W Superior St, 312.654.9900) map
Event Info


Flavorpill CHI is an email magazine covering a hand-picked selection of music, art, and cultural events delivered each Tuesday afternoon.

This exhibition highlights work by Zg's extraordinary roster of artists, displaying black-and-white, photorealistic paintings of ominous modern landscapes by Bill Frederick and melancholy oil paintings on collectible patches by Regin Igloria. Mark Murphy's "puzzle collages" transform everyday imagery into witty, poppy iconography, and photographs by Suzy Poling depict overgrown, abandoned theme parks. On view in the office are new paintings
by Molly Briggs, looking up tree-lined North Avenue in glamorous but restrained hot pinks and cool grays. (AMM)



Old augments new in
'(Un)Natural History'

November 10, 2006


In an ingenious and particularly beautiful mix of styles and eras, Zg Gallery presents oddities, curiosities and exaggerations in art and nature in a group show of mostly small works that range from realism to surrealism to abstraction. While some artists, like Gregory Jacobsen, wallow in grotesquerie -- his "Botanical Heaps" series sets the bar for gorgeous creepiness -- others present a subtler view of the still-terrifying aberrations of nature.

What sets this show apart is the inclusion of 17th and 18th century botanical prints, many from the gallerists' own collection. The sense of wonder at the myriad manifestations of nature in these works sets off their very modern-seeming beauty. The oldest piece in the show is also one of the most dazzling: a 1613 engraving of a cactus by Basilius Besler, a German apothecary, chemist and healer who painted the healing herbs he grew.

Besler's work and others like it lend gravitas to the 21st century art it is hung beside, sparking a conversation between the literal and the witty, the sincere and the ironic, the perceptual and the conceptual. Here, when the modern is set side by side with the antique, each makes the other look more serious. Fred Stonehouse's crying tomato seems more ominous, Martina Nehrling's exuberant abstraction more complex and Beth Reitmeyer's glittery daisies more delirious.

"(Un)Natural History: 400 years of Oddities, Curiosities and Exaggerations in the Pursuit of Beauty and Nature"; Zg Gallery, 300 W. Superior; (312) 654-9900. Through Nov. 25.

By Fred Camper
November 3, 2006

"(Un)Natural History"
WHEN Through 11/25
WHERE Zg, 300 W. Superior
INFO 312-654-9900

Zg owners with Basiluis Besler's Rose of Jericho and the Mother-in-Law Cushion, a 17th-century engraving (right); Maria Sibylla Merian's Cayman With Snake (top) and Gregory Jacobsen's Bountiful Merkin-Bag Corsage (bottom)

Robert Drea (portrait)

Zg's current show, "(Un)Natural History," pairs early prints they've collected with work that's closely or tangentially related by artists the gallery represents. Maria Sibylla Merian's Cayman With Snake -- a 17th-century work marked by precise drawing and a flamboyant color sense -- is hung with paintings from the "Botanical Heaps" series by Zg artist Gregory Jacobsen, which Sheehy describes as depicting "tangled tissues, muscles, raw meat, foodstuffs." She says that where early naturalist-artists were introducing Europeans to forms they'd never seen before -- Merian traveled to Suriname -- in today's image-saturated culture Jacobsen must invent flora and fauna to create novelty. Also being shown are works from a series of engravings commissioned by 18th-century medical doctor Robert Thornton, who had a passion for naturalist pursuits. Sheehy says she identifies with early entrepreneurs who fostered work they believed in without knowing whether it would sell. Thornton, for example, suffered financial setbacks, recovered, but finally died destitute after holding an unsuccessful lottery for the entire contents of his gallery.



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300 W. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Please contact
Zg Gallery
for further information.

T. 312.654.9900


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