ArtNews: The Best Booths at Expo Chicago, From Pleated Knots to Poignant Works About Memory

Apr. 17, 2023

Audra Skuodas at Abattoir

Two works by Audra Skuodas on either side of a work by Michelle Grabner. Photo : Maximilíano Durón/ARTnews

Cleveland’s Abattoir gallery has brought to Chicago paintings and drawings by the late artist Audra Skuodas, who was born in Lithuania and spent much of her career in Oberlin, where her husband, John Pearson, was a printmaking professor. Skuodas, who died in 2019, had a memorable presentation as part of the second Front Triennial in Ohio last summer that including her studio, which ARTnews said “makes the best case for her as a seriously underrated artist (outside Ohio, at least).” On view at Expo is at least one work that was included in that exhibition, depicting a contorted, spindly figure whose elongated body seems to radiate movement. Set against a pale green background, a vine of thorns wraps itself around a part of the figure’s body, in what is likely a self-portrait; various sections of the canvas feature bright red cuts that Skuodas termed “wounds.” Last year, ARTnews said a Skuodas retrospective should be in the offing; this Expo booth offers potential proof that this may be coming closer to fruition.