January 9 - February 14, 2009
Studs Terkel has just died. One of Terkel’s core messages, evident in the easy way he could swing from an interview with the building custodian to one with the Arditti String Quartet, is that there is no inherent conflict between working people and intellectualism. In fact, there is a special group of folks who are both at once: working intellectuals or intellectual workers.
Since the late 1940s, Morris Barazani has been a working artist in Chicago. Unswayed by fashion and trends, Barazani has pursued abstract painting, and without any narcissistic heroics he has labored with the regularity and persistence of a working man.
In color, line, form, composition, and dynamics, what has emerged over the three and a half decades covered in this survey is every bit as extraordinary as Barazani’s studio philosophy has been regular-guy. His paintings are brilliant, deep, lively, and achieved through a mix of meditative insight, sensitivity, and elbow grease.
Hard work and consistency of purpose – in Barazani’s hands, these lead to concentrated bursts of transcendence. We’re sorry Studs isn’t here to experience them.