The title of Cassie Tompkins’s exhibition at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago feels apocalyptically prophetic, though the art itself is mostly hushed and soothing. Originally planned for March, now rescheduled for mid-September, At Sea consists of seven dreamy dye paintings on silk panels, the all-over flora and strong horizon lines inspired by Midwestern landscapes and a restored prairie path in local Horner Park that artist walks regularly. The storming indigo streaks of an immense eighth piece, designed to be hung in a corner, were created using the Japanese arashi shibori method; worrisome brown blooms were achieved by wrapping the wet canvas around rusted scraps. Earlier this year, climate change and rising seas seemed like the foremost threats to existence on planet earth; to this we must now add our current global health pandemic and all of its associated ills, with more to come. We are nothing if not at sea right now.
—Lori Waxman 2020-07-18 8:18 AM