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20130906121017-mana_chicago_v1 Writing on the Image of Mana Contemporary   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 9/6/13

What defines a space if not its imagined intentions? Or, more literally, when does the projected image of a site’s ideal function supersede its realization, and become the very thing it projects? Such is the case with Mana Contemporary, an elaborate multi-use art center currently being renovated in Pilsen’s industrial Cermak corridor, which if a shorthand history of shared art spaces were any indicator, would belong to the 19th century Salon in Paris as much as it does to a sleek, ateli... [more]

20130830080549-4 Theaster Gates: Space is the Place   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Theaster Gates at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) May 18th, 2013 - October 6th, 2013
Posted 8/30/13

Artist. Entrepreneur. Potter. Bureaucrat. Singer. Arts Administrator. Host. Urban Planner. Collector. The list could go on and on, but the take away from all these labels might be that Theaster Gates is hard to pinpoint or define. Because his practice combines so many disparate disciplines and mediums, it's counter productive to try and categorize the work he does, and the work he makes. Up until now, that hasn’t been too much of an issue—he’s fit comfortably in the trending, self-ref... [more]

20130823084327-vertical_choice Standardization vs. The Sublime   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Jimmy Bunnyluv, El Gato Chimney, David Cooper, Ian Ferguson, Anthony Freda, KLUB7, Julie Murphy, Hernan Paganini, Ruel Pascual, Dave Pressler, Dmitry Samarov, Raudiel Sanudo, Steve Seeley at Vertical Gallery August 3rd, 2013 - August 31st, 2013
Posted 8/23/13

Thought Experiment #1: A zealot has denounced plurality. He calls for his followers to storm the temple and restore it to holiness by casting out the false idols within. The local elders hear of the plan and, in response, decide to play a trick on them. When the zealot and his followers arrive where the temple once stood, they are surprised to find not one but three identical temples, none of which contain idols. What does the zealot instruct his followers to do? Choices can be terrible things.... [more]

20130817072205-l Sixty Inches From Center: How Green Star Movement is “Changing the Urban Canvas”   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/17/13

As Chicagoans, we are lucky to be exposed to a variety of different forms of public art. Blessed with numerous blank walls, building faces and underpasses, we have a vast “urban canvas” to be transformed into accessible works of art for all to enjoy. Many talented artists have seized the opportunity to turn these spaces into their own creations, and Green Star Movement has played an integral role in marshaling young artists to take part in the transformation of their environment. I ha... [more]

20130809073909-happyshow1_1800_1114_75 Less Than Kind   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Stefan Sagmeister at Chicago Cultural Center July 13th, 2013 - September 23rd, 2013
Posted 8/9/13

Commercials set to an uplifting loop of an indie song – the violins, the slow crescendo of choir voices, a gratifying and persistent drumbeat – this sound is reified, a ubiquitous, and entirely digestible image of faux-celebration used to market a feeling of happiness. This over-heartened and insufferably “inspirational” attitude strikes an irritating nerve in some, but the trope of the live-for-today individual is often hard to criticize, or even notice, in its calculated... [more]

20130726102622-0de0fbrooks013 Tête-à-Tête   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Amanda Ross-Ho at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) July 23rd, 2013 - November 1st, 2013
Posted 7/26/13

In his 1973 text,The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom cited a term called poetic misprision. What he was referring to was a process that artists, in his case literary authors, adopted in order to further themselves from their sources and avoid being derivative. As an artistic process, it’s a brilliant explanation of how to deal with appropriation and context in contemporary art – to consciously and deliberately misread your source in order to create new meaning. For The Character and Shap... [more]

20130721113255-o Sixty Inches From Center: Well Played: A Collaboration between Angela Bryant and Diana Gabriel   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Angela Bryant, Diana Gabriel at R & D Gallery June 22nd, 2013 - July 31st, 2013
Posted 7/21/13

Tucked away in River North is R&D Gallery, an exhibition space run by Justin Pauly and Dave Sharma featuring local and international artists who work primarily in new media. Currently on view is Well Played which features the work of Angela Bryant and Diana Gabriel. Serving as the first collaboration between the two artists, this exhibition is curated in a way that shines a light on the distinct qualities of each artists, but then blends to the elements that overlap within the two artists’ s... [more]

20130713184222-2ofakind73-600x366 Making an Impression   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Mike Andrews, Joseph Belknap, Sarah Belknap, Katy Cowan, Chelsea Culp, Alan Fleming, Michael Fleming, Jacob Goudreault, Wyatt Grant, Michael Hunter, Andy Jordan, Sofia Leiby, Matt Nichols, Rachel Niffenegger, Mike Paro, Josue Pellot at LVL3 Gallery June 29th, 2013 - July 21st, 2013
Posted 7/13/13

What does it mean to visibly leave an impression on someone else? 2 of a Kind, currently on view at LVL3, begs the question with an exhibition that focuses on the collaborations of sixteen artists, each paired with another, to realize a piece. The concept of the show is not all that radical – loose, and arbitrary at best – but despite itself, the eight pieces within the exhibition present certain relationships within the works that would otherwise go unnoticed in such a large group set... [more]

20130706154542-tumblr_moxzpsaoyl1qh7i74o1_500 The Artwork of Daniel Clowes: Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Daniel Clowes at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) June 29th, 2013 - October 13th, 2013
Posted 7/6/13

Daniel Clowes’ career trajectory has had a weird sort of herky-jerky-ness to it. When he started out making comics in the 1980’s, his narratives were amorphous and meandering, at times borrowing from the Surreal, with paranoid/delusional plotlines and violent, and sexually perverse, graphic imagery. This was married to his early drawings which were highly restrained; in the press walk through of his current exhibition, “Modern Cartoonist: the Art of Daniel Clowes,” on view... [more]

20130628080438-pope_car_2 An Artist’s Responsibility   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Cheryl Pope at moniquemeloche gallery June 22nd, 2013 - August 3rd, 2013
Posted 6/28/13

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods: this is a kind way to put it. In reality, Chicago suffers from deep segregation – limiting the potential of a majority of its citizens. Avenues such as Western are lines that mark boundaries between races and income brackets. As one travels west on Division, from Wicker Park, median household income drops by $30,000 upon crossing Western Avenue. With this drop in income, comes a drop in school funding, resulting in neighborhood schools that lack everything... [more]

20130622151218-lab-image-1-1-of-2 From Sixty Inches From Center: Inside Marwen Lab: The Voice and Vision of Young Artists   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 6/22/13

For the past month and a half the Marwen Lab students and teaching artists have been kind enough to let me attend their meetings and workshops as Sixty prepared to have our first article created by youth. We decided some time ago that we wanted to provide a unique platform for young artists in Chicago to discuss the work they are doing. The students of Marwen Lab immediately came to mind. I’ve worked as a teaching artist at Marwen for the past year and am continually inspired and impressed with the... [more]

20130607143131-moca-2011-nfp069c Museum as Gallery, Gallery as Museum   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 6/7/13

Roughly three years ago, New York City gallerist Jeffery Deitch was tapped to serve as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MoCA). It was an interesting selection given Deitch’s prior for-profit, commercial sector experience. What has followed are a series of eyebrow raising exhibitions, such as Dennis Hopper (curated by Julian Schnabel) and James Dean (curated by James Franco). Deitch, while largely lampooned by the press, has also had his supporters, who note that since his te... [more]

20130518172259-afc-nada-2 Infinite Corpse: Crowd Sourcing New Media   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 5/17/13

Most of you are probably familiar with the Surrealist game “exquisite corpse,” where a composite drawing is created in sequence by a group of artists adhering to some predetermined set of rules (no peeking, for example, and, pick up where the last artist left off). Local Chicago comics collective Trubble Club recently began an online project entitled Infinite Corpse. Unlike its Surrealist precedent, it harnesses the energy and inexhaustibility of the internet by being limitless in duration. As of t... [more]

20130503105502-2_kupferdistanz_2013_55_x_70 Domestica Dentata: A Tyranny of Details   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Daniel Bauer at Alderman Exhibitions April 27th, 2013 - July 20th, 2013
Posted 5/3/13

Daniel Bauer’s photographs are hard to write about. His images are not easily encapsulated by description. I can more easily relate the experience of viewing them, which is slow and contemplative, or, in Michael Fried’s terminology, absorptive. These are self-contained worlds wholly manifest in every moment, in every detail, yet they also take time––the duration of exposure and the duration of viewing. I could say Bauer employs a modernist sensibility, in the sense that he explores and exploits... [more]

20130420063131-hallofkhan Interrogating Monuments: Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford’s Hall of Khan   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford at Hyde Park Art Center April 14th, 2013 - July 28th, 2013
Posted 4/20/13

The critical pedagogue Henry Giroux tells us that objects placed in front of us in the public sphere operate as forms of public pedagogy—meaning that they communicate and reinforce certain cultural narratives, hierarchies, and social mythologies. These image | objects seek to teach us about our collective past and present regardless of accuracy or consensus. As cultural reflections and representative image | objects, monuments serve as cultural mirrors and the sites in which they are situated serve as... [more]

20130406125610-analog7 INTERVIEW from Sixty Inches from Center: Visual Theater: A Conversation with Neo-Futurist Kurt Chiang   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 4/5/13

The Neo-Futurists are a staple of Chicago theater best known for their modular and ever-evolving signature show, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, which, after a quarter-century in production, is the longest continuously running show in Chicago. Within a certain milieu, TMLMTBGB is something of a cult hit — It’s frenetic, inclusive, somewhat participatory, absolutely community oriented and just plain fun. Perhaps less well known are the limited-run productions the Neo-Futurists stage each season.... [more]

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