I had a dream a couple years ago in which a new, previously unknown continent was discovered on Earth. The knowledge entered my consciousness first like the ambient news of a radio dispatch. It was an impersonal knowledge, born through the slippery medium of dream space, the source of the transmission overlooked as my dream self wondered instead about the profound consequence such a discovery might have on the rest of humankind. The next thing I remember is that I stood on the ground of the new cou... [more]
“Falling, rushing, ruining! buried in the ruins, on Urthona's dens”
– William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1790-1793.
Icarus’ father Daedalus made him wings and warned him not to fly too close to the sun. But Icarus, ecstatic with the ability to fly, forgot his father’s caution—the feathers came loose and Icarus descended to his death in the sea. This Greek myth can be literally interpreted as the human desire to overcome his or her limits. In... [more]
I’m not sure exactly what Jon Savage meant when he referred to “Bowie victims” in his book about the birth of punk rock, England’s Dreaming, but ever since I read that phrase it stuck with me. In a way I identified with it—being a big David Bowie adherent—and didn’t necessarily consider it as a derogatory term. I figure he meant teens obsessed with Bowie, the young androgynes with their flared high waters and platform boots, teased mullets and green eye mak... [more]
Art Fair Musical: Setting the Stage for IN/SITU at EXPO CHICAGO
As exhibitors and artists ready their productions for EXPO CHICAGO, Caroline Picard introduces this year's IN/SITU works.
As Chicago approaches the four day run of its annual art fair, the art world becomes increasingly animated with preparations. This is the moment backstage of an as-yet empty auditorium; red carpets are cleaned one last time as painters touch up their back drops and technicians in black clothes hastily test... [more]
EDITION Chicago: What's in a Multiple?
At EDITION Chicago Gan Uyeda muses on multiples, value, and the designations of "art."
Just on the basis of massiveness, EXPO CHICAGO’s top-tier art fair on Navy Pier could be expected to have pervasive and rippling effects through the art system of Chicago, and ripple it does. Museums line up stardusted blockbusters to coincide with the fair, galleries arrange collector-centric city tours, and the city’s Cultural Affai... [more]
“And we’ll pretend that people cannot see you. That is, the citizens. And that you are free of your own history. And I am free of my history. We’ll pretend that we are both anonymous beauties smashing along through the city’s entrails [She yells as loud as she can] GROOVE!”
— Amiri Baraka, Dutchman, 1964.
We gathered in the lobby of a recently renovated bathhouse at 1914 W Division Street in Chicago’s Wicker Park. The time was 11:00pm. Upon arrival,... [more]
Manus Groenen’s show Cryptographics: A Tribute to the Voynich Manuscript was selected as the winner of ArtSlant’s Curator’s Open, where we asked readers to use our massive database of art to design an exhibition. Now showing at EXPO CHICAGO Art Fair, Groenen’s Cryptographics brings together twelve unique artworks exploring different forms of marking, both linguistic and pictorial. Reflective of the mysterious text his show honors, Groenen’s Cryptographics features works touching on the cosmological, the obscured, and... [more]
Just on the basis of massiveness, EXPO CHICAGO’s top-tier art fair on Navy Pier could be expected to have pervasive and rippling effects through the art system of Chicago, and ripple it does. Museums line up stardusted blockbusters to coincide with the fair, galleries arrange collector-centric city tours, and the city’s Cultural Affairs department antes up sponsorship for a gallery crawl shuttle. For the second year running, one of the EXPO ripples will be EDITION Chicago, a kind of mini... [more]
With the opening words “By art is created that great Leviathan,” Thomas Hobbes launches readers into his seminal work of political philosophy, Leviathan, in which he imagines the State as a great aggregation of the masses into a singular societal body. Drawing its title from Hobbes’ treatise, LA-based artist Glenn Kaino’s exhibition at Kavi Gupta Gallery’s Elizabeth Street location indicates an ambition for superstrata-level political commentary. Despite the impossible loftine... [more]
As Chicago approaches the four day run of its annual art fair, the art world becomes increasingly animated with preparations. This is the moment backstage of an as-yet empty auditorium; red carpets are cleaned one last time as painters touch up their back drops and technicians in black clothes hastily test light and sound sequences. Dancers stretch. Producers sweat, fiddling their mobile devices unconsciously. There is a palpable buzz of anticipation — an energy not yet disseminated into the grea... [more]
In the forward-thinking exhibition The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle, curators Allison Peters Quinn, Christopher K. Ho, and Megha Ralapati explore the notion of the Middle, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Hyde Park Art Center (the “Center”). Of course, defining the middle is not an easy task. The mere attempt to define “it” and its ubiquity is confusing—but this exact confusion makes the experience of the show all the more intriguing.
In the insta... [more]
Of the multitude of exhibitions opening this September in Chicago, one stands—or falls—singularly into view. A complete series of work by Maccarone artist Sarah Charlesworth that helped to define the Pictures Generation will be shown for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago. The series, entitled Stills, features figures falling from great heights, suspended in front of buildings that function more as a frame than as a backdrop—static yet tense. Teasing the weight and re... [more]
David Bowie Is, coming to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in just a few weeks, is unprecedented to the extent that it is the first massive solo show the MCA has ever given to a musician. But as James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling discusses below, he was drawn to the exhibition because Bowie emulates the blending of media, the crossing over of disciplines he finds so relevant to contemporary artists’ practices.
Darling was kind enough to sit down with me this month and ex... [more]
An Italian/Polish Fiat, wheels to the wall, is anchored over your head. In the next room, two slabs of marble dominate the space—250 kg from Italy, one ton from China—floating above the floor. They support each other by means of a simple pulley. Further into the exhibition, helium-filled jacks hold up and balance a 4,900 lb. plate of Romanian steel. These three works are given top billing in Simon Starling: Metamorphology, the artist’s first major American museum survey.
What first reads like an astral constellation is in fact a photograph whose blackness is broken only by the erratic swarm of dead insect bodies. Greg Stimac’s Santa Fe to Billings (2009) documents the choreography of the countless lives his windshield intersected on a drive between locales. The momentum of each smash is evident—guts smear and spray across the surface, recording innumerable tiny accidents. To create this piece, Stimac placed an 8 x 10 inch sheet of Plexiglass on the h... [more]
Mies van der Rohe is such an historic presence. The aftershock of his innovation is still palpable, reflecting as it does the evolution of an “international style after World War II.” It is hard to imagine, therefore, how one might absorb his architecture into daily life—much less install an exhibition under one of his roofs. That is the challenge posed by the Elmhurst Art Museum, an institution that purchased van der Rohe’s prototype for suburban life, the McCormick House, in 1992. Chicago-based artist Heid... [more]