Tuesday, January 16, 2007


A solo show of my urban landscapes is in the gallery of the University Club of Chicago, 76 E. Monroe, until Feb. 3, 2007. Most of the work can be seen on my website, www.nancyalbrechtstudio.com and click on cityscapes. Chicago writer Robert Kamczura has this to say about the paintings:
"Nancy Albrecht’s recent paintings represent something of the duality of Chicago’s personality. On the one hand the city is earthy, seemingly rough, massive and jumbled, on the other side Albrecht sees the city representing the acting out of the cycle of life, the eternal pattern of birth, death and rebirth.

Her paintings show a Chicago that is made out of tough steel and stone, in neighborhoods which include heavy buildings, El platforms, streets and alleys, with a particular emphasis on things which are being torn down for reconstruction. She takes a certain delight in the bizarre shapes and counterpoints of urban structures. Her Chicago views are all painted in a raw painterly style, done almost exclusively with palette knives, laid on in thick textured layers with small touches of lyrical bright color to enliven the scene.

Beyond this rough but attractive surface Albrecht’s work often carries a strong symbolic theme. This theme is hinted at by one of her most prominent subjects, a large trash recycling building that features in several of her paintings, sitting like a kind of latter day Pantheon temple surrounded by worshipping earth-moving machines. This points towards her view of the city as a living entity that reinvents itself in a cycle of destruction and rebirth, further enforced by the way her half wrecked buildings seem to loom like Roman Ruins, hinting at their power and strength even as they are destroyed. Her use of touches of bright color add a sense of gaity and rough lyricism that suggest the 18th Century Rome of Piranesi as much as contemporary Chicago, further emphasizing the theme of rebirth; the old world reinvented in the new.
Albrecht’s Chicago paintings, with their strong geometry, bold paint surfaces, lyric details, and optimistic strength, seem very much in line with Carl Sandburg’s mythical image of Chicago as “…cunning as a savage, pitted against the wilderness, bareheaded, shoveling, wrecking, planning, building, breaking, rebuilding.”
Robert Kameczura
Arts Writer and Critic
Big Shoulders’ Magazine, Chicago Artists’ News, and etc
January 10, 2007"


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