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Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

The setting is an intimate art gallery in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.

I had been here once before, during the open studio tour in the fall of 2006. It's a decent space, not huge, not tiny. What it might lack in square footage is made up with the kind of work that is on show.

Granted, I have only been there twice, but I left the gallery impressed more or less with what I had seen.

"30 Years and Moving On" - that was what drew us there last Friday. On display was a sampling of the private collection of the gallery owner - work that he has acquired over the past 30 years.

There were more than 25 pieces on the walls ranging from photography, paintings, mixed media, and mezzotints. It was a nice smattering, showing the array of what is in his collection.

As usual, there were some pieces that impressed me, and a few that did nothing for me at all (and, even one that I hated no matter how far or close I was to it - I couldn't make it work).

But, amongst all the glory and chaos (and even a Dali!), there was one piece that kept drawing me back to its corner. It was a Mezzotint done by the artist Alfonso Lopez Monreal.

Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, he has lived and worked in both Paris and Belfast. His work has encompasses architecture, painting, and I am sure other mediums (I am finding it hard to gain much insight about him unfortunately). But, the mezzotint entitled "Pieta" is all I needed to see that night.

It was a simple setting - a few figures, a horse, other nouns I can't recall. But the layering of each object, as if on multiple, separate layers of onion skin, reassembled gently on top of each other, created such an ethereal sensation to me. It was both complex and multifaceted - the images wrought in a Picasso-esque style of cubism and shade that literally floated on and among the surface.

It was such a stunning example of this medium - so delicate and bold, simple in presentation of the subject, but with so much going on there. I could look at one tiny section of one of the figures, and get so wrapped up in all that was going on in that 1/2 of an inch.

It was truly worth going out on a 10 degee, snowy night.

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