Mounted on a red wall, a large black-and-white photograph of a funeral procession carrying a coffin draped in a hammer and sickle flag greets visitors to The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989. This striking first visual and the room that follows set the premise and tone of the exhibition with plentiful wall text, reading materials, and documentation to supplement and contextualize the work to come. The exhibition introduces an American audience to an Indian art collective... [more]
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Curator Naomi Beckwith’s latest exhibition, Color Bind: The MCA Collection in Black and White, currently on view through April 28, is a dynamic and engaging mix of works from the MCA’s collection. Conceived from the examination of the formal, conceptual and sociopolitical ideas associated with the colors of black and white, the exhibition provides viewers with the opportunity to reflect upon their own attitudes toward and notions of these contrapositive shades.... [more]
There is no shortage of Pablo Picasso exhibitions in our world right now – a good half-dozen major shows have opened and closed across the U.S. in the past three years, exploring everything from Picasso’s relationship with women to his relationship with other artists. Now, the Art Institute of Chicago has opened their own exhibition, “Picasso and Chicago,” adding Picasso’s relationships with cities to that list.
The premise of the exhibition is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the fir... [more]
The Stillness of Destruction by Thea Liberty Nichols Lee Bontecou, Alberto Burri, Niki de Saint Phalle, Gérard Deschamps, François Dufrêne, Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, Adolf Frohner, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, John Latham, Gustav Metzger, Manolo Millares, Otto Müehl, Saburo Murakami, Robert Rauschenberg, Salvatore Scarpitta, Shozo Shimamoto, Kazuo Shiraga, Antoni Tàpies, Chiyu Uemae, Jacques Villeglé, Wolf Vostell, Michio Yoshihara at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
February 16th, 2013 - June 2nd, 2013
This twenty-six artist-deep group show that just opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is an interesting re-examination of work by renowned artists such as Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg and Antoni Tàpies, among others. Re-framed and linked together based on the work’s general responsiveness to war, specifically World War II and the Cold War, all these square pegs are smartly made to fit in round holes despite their typical standing as loners, exceptions, outcasts and icon... [more]
There are two kinds of road trips: one where you have to get somewhere by a certain time (hotel, family reunion); and the other one where your plans are changeable (misfortune, curiosity). Both have equal ability to produce adventure and boredom, and though the adventure is what you end up taking home to friends and relatives, it’s boredom that’s your constant companion. Once the conversation in the car has died out, or your eyes have tired from reading, you fix your gaze on the horizon, as if yo... [more]
Climate of Uncertainty by Alicia Chester Marissa Benedict, Edward Burtynsky, Terry Evans, Allison Grant, Sonja Hinrichsen, Chris Jordan, Maskull Lasserre, Marilyn Propp, Sabrina Raaf, Christina Seely, Daniel Shea, Toshio Shibata at DePaul Art Museum
January 10th, 2013 - March 24th, 2013
Climate of Uncertainty at the DePaul Art Museum is one of the latest iterations of a timely and increasingly surveyed theme in contemporary art and exhibitions: climate change. Featuring twelve artists and occupying both floors of the museum, the exhibition operates under the premise that artists engaging environmental issues in their work have the power to challenge, inspire, and instigate viewers to action. The educational and activist impulse evident throughout the space is most apparent at the... [more]
Observer Effect by Alicia Chester Jessica Hyatt, Steffani Jemison, Jochen Lempert, John O'Connor, Steve Roden, Jorinde Voigt at Gallery 400
January 18th, 2013 - March 9th, 2013
In science, the “observer effect” refers to the phenomenon that the act of observation itself changes the subject of observation. Quantum mechanics goes a step further and takes for granted that a system cannot be observed without also being changed. The solution is to consider the observer as part and parcel of the system. Observer Effect, curated by artist Carrie Gundersdorf and Gallery 400 director Lorelei Stewart, tests the hypothesis that artistic practices are analogous to scientific processes... [more]
Ten paintings by Mary Porterfield are on show in the Koehnline Museum of Art at Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, until January 25. This strong exhibition merits a special trip. Sharing the Koehnline are excellent landscapes by Nina Weiss.
When she’s not teaching art or making it, Porterfield works with hospitalized Alzheimer’s patients. Though the odds against success are prohibitive, she wishes that she could do more for these people and feels remorse for her personal shortcomings and fa... [more]
Simply put, Chicago won big in 2012. The conglomerate of motley activities comprising the city’s art scene, so artist-driven and local in flavor, is gaining recognition nationwide: experimental curatorial models, innovative arts organizations, often-ephemeral alternative spaces and apartment galleries, its tradition of the interdisciplinary artist/writer/curator, and above all, emphasis on community. Possibly because of the continuation of the seemingly never-ending recession, Chicago’s thriftin... [more]
The floor of High Concept Labs is littered with confetti from a fabulous event the night before. In the brick and concrete room, about two dozen or so young men and women perch on their plastic folding chairs, all with laptops warming their laps. Three men sit at the front of the room, addressing the group about an issue very dear to everyone in the room: the glitch.
Glitch art is still in an embryonic stage, with many competing histories. Depending on whom you talk to, or read, the glitch ae... [more]
Veronica Bruce - 1st Place, ArtSlant Prize 2012
I met Ms. Bruce in a studio that looks more like a construction site than an artist’s studio, in one of Chicago’s many industrial lofts. Her sculptures rose vertically from the wooden floor, dotting the space as piles of material rounded the interior. Bruce’s process is founded in her training as a painter but has since expanded off the wall and into the exhibition space. She retains an acute understanding of composition and color while exploring the sculpt... [more]
Eleven months ago, Martin Creed started a year-long residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) bringing monthly creative interventions to the non-gallery spaces in and around the building. During this time, work on display by Creed, cohesively called “Martin Creed Plays Chicago,” has ranged from the hard-to-miss neon marquis Work No. 1357 (MOTHERS) spinning in the museum’s front plaza, to a brand new four-track record by Creed and his band, CHICAGO (Work No.1370). The residency... [more]
Susanne Ghez, Executive Director of the Renaissance Society, will step down in January after a prestigious career shepherding this Chicago institution known for its impeccable programming in contemporary art. Ms. Ghez took the helm of the Ren, as it’s affectionately called, in 1974 with a meager budget of $25,000 and built one of the country’s premier, non-collecting institutions with a current yearly budget of $1.7 million. For her final exhibition with the Renaissance Society, she has selecte... [more]
The 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan was recently released after roughly five months worth of town hall meetings, focus groups, interviews and conversations with artists and experts. The city hasn’t had this type of grandiose cultural road map since the 1986 Cultural Plan drafted after eighteen months of informational meetings conducted by then Mayor Harold Washington’s administration.
The preparation of the Plan was outsourced to the Canadian firm Lord Cultural Resources, who dressed it up with full... [more]
Elizabeth Atterbury, a recent graduate of MassArt, began with a still life picture of a corner of her friend’s apartment in Portland. The Study began a research-like production that ultimately recalls Man Ray’s experiments with the picture plane (rather than process) through his invention of the rayogram, and in the end draws attention back to the work of photography as a representative analogue.
Photography Indoors is an exhibition of twelve small images framed discreetly in glass and wood, exhibited in... [more]
While the third floor of the Prairie-style Madlener House slowly filled for the opening talk of his solo exhibition at the Graham Foundation, Richard Pare screened a video he shot of a Russian industrial bakery in continuous operation since the early 1930s. For almost twenty years now, Pare has extensively documented modernist Soviet architecture built between 1922 and 1932, subsequent to the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew Tsarist autocracy and made way for the establishment of the Soviet Union.... [more]