Art alum James Chatelain '71 shows work at Cass Cafe...

The Detroit News, 9/6

"Unforgettably grotesque: Painting display at Cass Cafe reveals disturbingly raw work"

by Michael H. Hodges

Menace hovers over the raw, unsettling portraits by 1970s Cass Corridor great Jim Chatelain. With his first solo Detroit show in nine years, "Jim Chatelain — New Paintings" at Detroit's Cass Café, it's clear the artist hasn't abandoned this dark point of view. Many of the solitary individuals in these painterly works stare out through ugly, misshapen faces, anger and anguish apparent in their eyes. "I call this series his 'dark-figure paintings,'" says Wayne State University art historian and critic Dennis A. Nawrocki. "They're strange and stunted with big heads and small bodies." By contrast, Nawrocki notes that many of Chatelain's abstracts and landscapes are quite beautiful. But his human studies seem to spring from a different well. "Jim's always done tough, disturbing, sometimes violent work," Nawrocki says.