Observer Effect by Alicia Chester Jessica Hyatt, Steffani Jemison, Jochen Lempert, John O'Connor, Steve Roden, Jorinde Voigt at Gallery 400
January 18th - March 9th
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]
A familiar eye in luminescent, freshly hewn copper stares up from a wooden cradle against a backdrop of anthropomorphic lions ripped from the palace walls of Sargon II, an Assyrian king who ruled in the 7th century BCE. This is probably the most striking installment of Danh Vo’s We the People in Chicago—an indefinite project brought to Chicago as a collaboration between the Art Institute of Chicago and the Renaissance Society that reconstructs the Statue of Liberty’s façade and installs segments... [more]
The walk into EXPO CHICAGO from the entrance to Navy Pier takes you down long corridors lined with confections and photo booths characteristic of the carnivalistic atmosphere Navy Pier is known for. Would this long walk be an omen of what EXPO CHICAGO held – an endless, fatiguing, gaudy market? Once in Festival Hall, however, the winding dark hallways of the mall give way to an aluminous open foyer. The bustling atmosphere of Navy Pier dissipated as the art crowd casually makes its way into the... [more]
Dawoud Bey is a pillar of the photography community in Chicago. Starting his career in Harlem in the 1970’s, he moved to Chicago in 1998. His works of portraiture seek to represent the Black community in a positive light counter to an American photographic history centered on victimization, cruelty and objectification. Bey recently concluded two exhibitions in Chicago, Dawoud Bey: Harlem, U.S.A. at the Art Institute of Chicago and Dawoud Bey: Picturing People at the Renaissance Society at the Univers... [more]
What makes EXPO CHICAGO different from the rest? Nicole Berry, Deputy Director of EXPO CHICAGO perhaps said it best towards the end of a chat we had on a sunny day outside a small café near the offices of EXPO in River North. “Hamza Walker said it in an article, ‘Chicago is having a moment,’ which is totally true… Chicago deserves an art fair, a serious art fair of the highest quality and we’re trying to bring that back, but it’s not just about the art fair but about the art community.”
The wo... [more]
The inaugural EXPO CHICAGO aims to reestablish the city as a premier international art fair destination, taking place in the same location its predecessor of many years, Art Chicago, had inhabited until 1991. Endeavoring to attract the attention of the international art scene, exhibitor highlights include such high profile photographers as Gordon Parks, presented by the Weinstein Gallery (Minneapolis) and the Gordon Parks Foundation, and László Moholy-Nagy, presented by Annely Juda Fine Art (London). But the most intriguing... [more]
Afterimage by Alicia Chester Roger Brown, Lilli Carré, David Leggett, Amy Lockhart, Ellen Nielsen, Jim Nutt, Anders Oinonen, JOHN PAROT, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg at DePaul Art Museum
September 14th, 2012 - November 18th, 2012
The Imagists and the Cubs are quintessentially Chicagoan institutions that are similarly maligned in much of the rest of the country while continuing to hold sway locally. Like the Cubs, the Imagists have an intensely regional flavor, and the loyalty conjured of its adherents and descendants appears mysterious to outsiders. Aptly named, Afterimage traces the trajectory and diaspora of the Imagists’ influence upon artists based in or with ties to Chicago.
The opening of Afterimage marks the DePaul... [more]