reviews > Chicago, IL

I have long been jealous of the Victorians, whose every book was bound by marbled endpapers. The bubbly swirls, the murky depths, the irrational curves—what better way to approach and depart from the other worlds contained within the pages of a great book? In her “Ranbu” series, Millie Mac has created a painter’s version of this lost literary treasure, bound by a white canvas frame rather than cloth-bound boards. Using acrylic paints mixed to varying degrees of viscosity and eschewing a brush for the tools of palette knife and gravity, Mac creates strange and wondrous panels as gaseous as they are liquid, as luminous as they are cavernous. No wonder that she has borrowed the Japanese word for “wild” as her series title. But the chaos is ultimately controlled, encased in layers of thick glazing, which present a surface as smooth as a ceramic plate—and you’re allowed to touch!

—Lori Waxman 2020-02-15 7:55 PM